1. Beatles Ashram
Beatles Ashram or Chaurasi Kutia is nestled in the exotic Rishikesh in the Uttarakhand state. It was established by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Maharishi used to teach Transcendental meditation here to the people who were interested in learning and developing an educational career in this field. The famous Beatles band visited this ashram in the year 1968 but before coming to this place Beatles band participated in Maharishi’s seminar in Wales that forced them to visit Rishikesh and stay here for almost 3 months in his ashram.
The ashram was then taken into the administration of the forestry department. In the year 2015, the place was opened for public visit and was officially declared as a tourist hub. One can easily reach Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh is well- connected to the prominent cities of India through rail and airways. It is around 30kms away from Jolly Grant airport and 13kms away from the railway station. Enjoy clicking pictures and spend some peaceful time here.
Rsihikesh Tours offer to catch a glimpse of the pretty paintings painted on the ashram’s walls by the visitors. Indulge in trekking to Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula and witness the beauty of bridges. Do not miss to visit Ved Bhavan or the Beatles Cathedral. Witness the images of Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and John Lennon in the hall. Walking towards the end of the Beatles ashram one can see a structure that has a similar design as that of the hotel. This structure is called Chaurasi Kutia.
Visit the siddhi Bhavan and Anand Bhavan the ashram’s largest building. This was the residential area of the visitors who visited the ashram for advanced learning. The Beatles ashram is open from 9 am to 4 pm. Visit this place in the spring months that is March and April. One can even visit this place during winters too. Avoid the summer season as the weather is hot.
2. Swarg Ashram
Swarg Ashram was constructed in the memory of Swami Vishudhanand. It is located at Gangapar, Ram Jhula. One can find several ashrams and temples inside the Swarg Ashram. This place is very famous among foreign tourists as well as among the locals due to its ethnic touch. This Ashram is maintained by a trust, Kali Kamliwala Kshetra. Numerous religious activities are organised here like- chanting, meditation, aarti. This ashram holds different stress, shopping complexes, cafes, parks, libraries, ayurvedic dispensaries, meditation centres, Sanskrit schools, hotels and restaurants. The nearest railway station in the Rishikesh railway station is at a distance of around 3kms and the nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport that is around 22kms away. One can visit this ashram throughout the year.
3. Neel Kanth Mahadev
Neelkanth Mahadev temple is a holy and very famous temple situated at a distance of around 32kms from Rishikesh. This temple lies above Swargashram adjacent to the Nar Narayan mountain range. According to mythology, the Neelkanth Mahadev temple is that place where Lord Shiva consumed poison and placed it in this throat. The poison originated from Samudra Manthan thus Lord Shiva throat is blue and therefore lord shiva is also named Neelkanth. Several devotees pay a visit to this temple from all over India. The architecture of this temple is very attractive. Above the entrance door scenes of the mythology story of Samundra Manthan is depicted by sculptures of Gods and Demons.
The walls of the temple showcase the entire story of Manthan. Pilgrims visiting this temple tie sacred threat in Peepal tree and make a wish. One can also witness a natural spring that is in the temple where the devotees take a holy bath. The festival Maha Shivratri is celebrated in this temple with great pomp and show. Devotees offer mild, Bel leaves, coconut, flowers to shiv linga. Apart from devotees trekkers too love to trek to this temple that is a good 22kms trek from Ram Jhula due to its picturesque surrounding. One can easily reach Neelknath Mahadev temple by rail, air and road. The nearest railway station is at a distance of around 32kms and the nearest airport, Jolly Grant airport is around 49kms away from this temple. The best months to visit this temple is from February to December.
4. Trimbakeshwar Temple
Trimbakeshwar temple is a thirteen-story temple and is the significant religious landmark of Rishikesh. This temple enshrines the idol of all Hindu god and goddess and is known for its huge decorative symmetric architecture. This temple was founded by Adi Guru Shankaracharya in the 12th century. Visit this temple during Mahashivratri and in Sawan month as they are the most auspicious time to pay a visit to this temple.
Do not miss to get a view of the emerald water of Ganga that looks so calm and peaceful from the topmost floor of the temple. One can easily reach this temple as it is located near Lakshman Jhula on the banks of river Ganga in Rishikesh. The nearest railway station is at a distance of 6kms and the nearest airport, Jolly Grant airport is at 23kms.
5. Bharat Mandir
Bharat Mandir is a beautiful and ancient temple of Lord Hrishikesh Narayan located at the heart of Rishikesh city in Uttrakhand state. It is one of the sacred temples in Rishikesh. In 789 AD Adi Shankaracharya reinstalled the idol of the presiding deity on Basant Panchami. Every year on Basant Panchmi a symbolic reinstallation is followed in the temple. On this occasion, Shaligram is taken to nearby Mayakund for a holy bath and then a grand procession is organised to take back the idol to the temple. As per the mythology Pandavas after the Mahabharat on the way to heaven stayed at this place and worshipped Lord Hrishikesh Narayan.
One can find age-old entangled trees here that have great significance in Hindu mythology. These trees are- Vat Vriksh, Pipal, and Bail tree. There is a belief that theses trees signify Tridev-Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh. These trees are believed to be more than 250 years old. The nearest railway station to reach this mandir is located at a distance of around 2kms and the nearest airport, Jolly Grant airport is at a distance of around 19kms.
6. Geeta Bhawan
Geeta Bhawan or the Guru Shir Ram Sukh Dassjji is a vast and spacious complex nestled on the banks of the river Ganga in Swargashram in Rishikesh at the foothills of the majestic Himalayas. The ashram is considered as the major institution that preserves Hindu literature since it holds Gita that symbolizes the Hindu Vedas and epics. Numerous visitors visit Geeta Bhawan every year who come to take a holy dip in the river Ganga. Geeta Bhawan holds large halls and also has around one thousand rooms that are available free of cost for the devotees to stay at. The devotees are served simple vegetarian food and Indian sweets at nominal prices during their stay at the Geeta Bhawan. Indulge here in the devotion of the river Ganga every evening and bathing ghats in front of Geeta Bhawan that offers visitors a holy dip in its waters.
Witness the Banyan tree that is located within the complex. The best time to visit Geeta Bhawan is in the summer months from the end of April to the beginning of July as at this time special Satsang programmes are being organised in the ashram. Make sure to book your accommodation in advance as due to a huge number of people visiting this ashram it becomes quite difficult to get accommodation. This place is just 3kms away from the railway station.
7. Kunja Puri Temple
Kunjapuri Dei temple is one of the sacred temples and is nestled at a height of 1676metrs on a hill. This temple is one of the 52 Shaktipeeths in Uttrakhand. It is believed that at Kunjapuri temple the chest of burned Sati had fallen. Do not miss to capture the exotic views from here of snow-capped mountains and peaks like- Swarga Rohini, Gangotri, Banderpunch, and Chaukhamba. Several devotees visit this temple from far away places during Navratri and Dussehra festival. This temple also completes the triangle of three Siddha Peeths lying on top of mountains in Tehri Garhwal district.
Kunja Puri- Surkanda Devi-Chandrabadni makes the triangle of Siddha Peeths. One can find 80 steep steps to reach out to the main shrine of Kunjapuri Devi Temple form the road. Kunjapuri Devi temple is located at a distance of 25kms from Rishikesh and 8kms from Narendra Nagar. The nearest railway station to reach Kunjapuri Devi temple in Rishikesh is at 25kms and the nearest airport, Jolly Grant airport is at 39kms.