The sunset Ganga Aarti at Parmarth Niketan draws between hundreds and thousands of visitors each day from all cultures, all languages, all religions and all walks of life. Regardless of one's religion or ability to understand Hindi or Sanskrit, the power of the Aarti is universal. Ganga Aarti transcends the borders and boundaries of language and culture, diving straight into ones heart, carrying one to Heaven.
Ganga is not only a river. She is truly a Divine Mother. She rushes forth from the Himalayas as the giver of life, carrying purity, bliss and liberation in Her water. Ganga is not only water. She is nectar - the nectar of life, the nectar of liberation. She is a source of inspiration to all who lay eyes on her ceaseless, boundless, rushing current. She irrigates not only our farms, but also our hearts, minds and souls. She is the Mother Goddess. Her water purify all who bathe in it, all who drink from it. In fact, She is the remover of contamination. Each evening as the suns last rays reflect off the boundless waters of Mother Ganga, we gather for Ganga Aarti. This divine light ceremony is filled with songs, prayers, ritual and a palpable sense of the divinity. Aarti is the beautiful ceremony in which diyas (oil lamps) are offered to God. Aarti can be done to a deity in the temple, it can be done on the banks of the Ganges to Mother Ganga, or it can be done to a saint. It is performed to God, in any manifestation, in any form, and by any name..
In the Aarti ceremony, the devotee waves the oil lamp burning with ghee and camphor from the eye to the feet, back to the eye and back to the feet of the Divine.
The essence of the Aarti ceremony is that all day long God offers us light – the light of the sun, the light of life, and the light of His (Her) blessings. Aarti is a time when we say, Thank You, and we offer back the light of our thanks, the light of our love and the light of our devotion.
We realize that the small deepa is nothing compared to the divine light which shines on us all day. So, Aarti is a ceremony of humility, a time in which we acknowledge that “God, you are everything. I am nothing. All day you shine upon the world. All I can offer you is this small deepa, a flame which will be blown out by the passing wind. But, I offer it with devotion and with love. Please accept my offering.”
One of the meanings of Aarti literally is remover of pain. There is nothing inherent in the name of the ceremony that says which form or name of God it should be performed to. It should be performed to the Divine Remover of Pain in our life. Ganga Aarti is a time in which we break free from the normal stresses and strains of everyday life and gather together in joy, reverence and peace. As the bright yellow sun dips into the water and the reflection of its rays brings tears to our eyes, we are filled anew with a deep sense of bliss, reverence and spiritual connection.
Kunjapuri temple is one of the must visit places of Tehri district not just because of its story related to gods and goddesses but also for the panoramic view of Garhwal Himalayan peaks like Swarga Rohini, Gangotri, Banderpunch and Chaukhamba to the north and Rishikesh, Haridwar and DoonValley to the south it provides to the visitors. The temple Kunjapuri is situated on the top of the hill Kunjapuri 1,676m. high, 7 km away from Narendra Nagar, around 15 km from Rishikesh
Trek from Hidolakhal village to the temple through the green forest will be more adventurous to nature lovers. The distance is 5km. The Char Dham pilgrims pay visit to Kunjapuri temple on their way from Rishikesh to Gangotri. Travelers appreciate the sunrise and sunset view from the Himalayan peaks. After reaching the temple, one can shoot photographs and enjoy the surrounding beauty. Kunjapuri temple is open from 6am to 8am.
Kunjapuri is temple of Goddess Durga , as it being one of the thirteen Shakti Peethas (Power Centers) in ShivalikRange and one of the three Shakti Peethas in Tehri district established by Jagadguru Shankaracharya. Other two Shakti Peethas in the district are Surkanda Devi and Chandrabadni. Kunjapuri, along with these two peethas form a holy triangle.
Shakti Peethas are the places where body parts of Goddess Sati (incarnation of Goddess Parvati before she took birth as Parvati) fell down while Lord Shiva was carrying her dead body in his arms and roaming unconsciously through the Himalayan ranges of Bharat barsh. There are total of 52 Shakti Peethas around Nepal and India.
The Durga temple Kunjapuri receives thousands of visitors throughout the year but during Navaratras (April and October) there is much flow of devotees. In the Dusshera Festival, one can be part of the grand celebrations at Kunjapuri. The best time for Kunjapuri visit is from May to October.
River Rafting in Rishikesh attracts a number of adventure seeking travelers every year. The excitement and thrill offered by the White Water Rafting are beyond comparison. It is a feeling like no other in the natural settings of beautiful landscapes. River rafting is a trending activity in India and brings thrill to everyone, age being no exception. It’s a break from the regular sporting adventure activities and provides a unique experience in itself.
Rafting is a recreational outdoor activity and can be enjoyed by anyone serving the minimum age criterion which is, 12 years of age. However, being a swimmer is not a prerequisite to try this great adventurous water sport. There are four different starting points of Rafting in Rishikesh, ranging from the basic to difficult ones. This means you have four different trips to choose from and your packages can be customized accordingly.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a sacred and famous temple located at 32 km from Rishikesh. Scenically situated on a hill at a height of 1330 mtrs, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a one of the most popular temples of Lord Shiva. A famous pilgrimage near Rishikesh, the temple lies above Swargashram adjacent to Nar Narayan mountain range. The temple is surrounded by three valleys namely Manikoot, Brahmakoot and Vishnukoot which makes it a religious place at the confluence of two perennial rivers Pankaja and Madhumati.
As per mythology, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a holy place where Lord Shiva consumed the poison originated from ocean (Samudra Manthan) and placed in his throat. This makes Lord Shivas throat blue in colour and named Neelkanth. This Mahadev Temple is best place for Lord Shiva devotees and people from far away places visit this sacred place round the year.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple has a very attractive and colorful architecture. Above the entrance door, scene of mythology story of Samundra Manthan is depicted by sculptures of Gods and Demons. The walls of the temple shows the entire story of Manthan. Inner temple complex is equally divine and beautiful. A sacred Shivlinga is situated in this holy shrine. Devotees tie up sacred thread in a gigantic Peepal tree and makes a wish. A natural spring is situated in the temple where devotees takes a holy bath.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated in Neelkanth Mahadev Temple with full rejoice and large number of devotees visit the temple on this auspicious day. Devotees offers milk, Bael leaves, coconut, flower etc. to the Shivlinga.
Rishikesh is predominated with Hindu cults and beliefs. Therefore, all the major Hindu festivals are celebrated with much enthusiasm and grandeur. The International Yoga Festival
Rishikesh is famously known as the Yoga Capital of the World. From time to time, several yoga-based festivals are organized here. The chiefest among them is the International Yoga Festival.
Organized by the Parmath Niketan Ashram in association with the Uttaranchal Tourism, the festival is an important event in the city and takes place generally in March every year. This week-long festival attracts the most renowned names in the world of Yoga and spirituality. The Yoga Aid Challenge charity fundraiser is notable for its noble inclinations.
This festival is celebrated to mark the onset of spring and the ensuing process of mirth and scenic beauty. Watch how the whole of Rishikesh is washed in the colours of yellow and green as nature revives back to a new life. Goddess Saraswati is worshipped in this festival all over India. The entire milieu of Rishikesh comes alive with the joy of the spring. Yellow is the color of this festival, so, you are suppose to wear yellow clothes, eat yellow food like rice cooked in turmeric, saffron colored sweets, besan ki mithai etc. Celebrated in the month of Magh, the festival marks the beginning of Holi Baithaks.
Equally excitedly celebrated is the festival of Holi, as fun, frolic and colours rule the order of the day. In the month of Phalgun according to the Hindu calendar the festival brings alive the city with color of joy and love.
Rishikesh is a famous Hindu religious destinations, popular amongst devotees, yoga persons and adventurers as well. Located on the banks of the sacred Ganga River, Rishikesh attracts thousands of pilgrims every day from India as well as abroad.
Rishikesh is a small serene town famous for meditation and yoga. It is Gateway to the Himalayas and being on the bank of river Ganges it is an ideal destination for adventure activities like rafting, trekking, rock climbing, kayaking etc.
Rishikesh is situated 25 kms ahead of Haridwar at an elevation of 356 meters above sea level and consists of three distinct areas known as Rishikesh, Swargashram and Muni-ki-Reti.
The town of Rishikesh is such strategically located at the Himalayan foothills that it has easy access by road to the entire Himalayan region in India, and is famous to be the ideal starting-point for your exploring expedition in the Himalayan region.
Evening aarti of Goddess Ganga is performed at Triveni Ghat. Triveni is a bathing Ghat where people wash their sins by taking a dip in the holy water of sacred Ganga River. It is believed that the three streams of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati are flowing together underground at this point. Pinda Shradha is also performed at Triveni Ghat.
The Bharat Mandir is the oldest temple of Rishikesh, situated near the Jhanda Chowk. Rishi Rabhya did his penance at this holy spot and the place is devoted to Lord Vishnu. A spectacular sacred Shree Yanthra is placed at the inner canopy of the temple. Bharat Mandir celebrates colourful spring festival called Basant Panchami.
Rishikund : Rishikund literally suggests the sages pond. It is believed that the waters of the Yamuna drenched this pond on the request of Kubz saint. Shani mandir is also situated at Rishikund.
Lakshman Jhula is on of the main attraction of Rishikesh. It is 450 ft long hanging bridge on the river Ganga which was built in 1939. According to myths and legends Laksman, brother of Lord Rama crossed Ganga River on a jute rope from this point. The 13 storied temple is located near Lakshman Jhula where the idols of several Gods and Goddesses are kept. The bridge gives a magnificent view of the Ganges, greeting you with the cool breeze from the river.
Ram Jhoola connects Swargashram with Shivananda Ashram. Several ashrams are located near Ram Jhoola. Ram Jhoola is bigger than Laxman Jhula and even more picturesque.
Geeta Bhawan is one of the oldest temple complexes situated by the side of Laxman Jhula on the banks of sacred Ganges in Rishikesh. Gita Bhavan is dedicated as a Museum for puranic and mythological awareness for the common public. Building consists of a very large complex comprising discourse halls and over 1000 rooms available free of charge for the stay of devotees. For the convenience of the devotees, simple vegetarian food, kitchen and grocery items and Indian sweets are available at very moderate price.
Thousands of devotees visit Neelkanth Mahadev every month throughout the year. It is situated on the summit of the mountain across the sacred Ganga River. According to mythology this is the place where Lord Shiva drank the venom produced during sagar Manthan which turned his throat blue and was thus the place was named as Neelkanth. Neelkanth and Mahadev are names of Lord Shiva.
It is one of the most famous temples in Rishikesh. The temple is visible from Haridwar-Badrinath Highway.
It is believed that Lakshman performed Tapa at the site of this temple. It is believed that Lord Rama along with his brother Lakshman made a twing bridge near this temple on their way to Himalayas. The main attraction in this temple is the Rishi Kund, where Lord Ram and Lakshman bathed in order to get rid of their sins of killing the demon Ravana.
Vashishta Gufa is a famous attraction for meditation, located at the bank of River Ganga, this gufa is situated at a distance of 16 km from Rishikesh. It takes about an hours drive on the Rishikesh Badrinath Highway to reach Vashishta Gufa. For the adventure seeker, this place provides with camping facility.