Rishikesh, brief overview
Rishikesh is famous in the world as a world capital of yoga. This reputation was particularly strengthened when members of the Beatles band visited the town in the late 60s to practice yoga and meditational disciplines under the guidance of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The Beatles’ stay in Rishikesh has inspired thousands of hippies and spiritual seekers to come to Rishikesh in hope to learn here ancient disciplines of mental and bodily mastery.
Today, Rishikesh is an active touristic town. One can find here yoga enthusiasts and professionals, students of Vedas and Vedic astrology, tourists, backpackers, hikers, pilgrims, and rafters. Rishikesh is one of the official holy cities of India and place for Hindu pilgrimage. It has particular significance to Indian culture and spirituality because it’s believed to be the place where Lord Rama did his penance for having killed Ravan, the demon king of Lanka, and Rama’s brother Lakshmana crossed Ganga in a point where the present Laxman Jhula stands today, using the jute rope bridge.
The name “Rishikesh” comes from the word “rishi” which means "sage". Supposedly this was a place where Hindu sages who lived in caves on the banks of the River Ganga, received the revelations of Vedas, the holy scriptures of Hinduism.