Rishikesh (Hindi: ऋषिकेश) is a city in the Northern Indian state of Uttarakhand in the foothills of the Himalaya. It is holy city for Hindus and a famous pilgrimage centre. It is also known as the gateway to the Himalayas and is located around 25 kilometres away from another holy city, Haridwar.
The sacred river Ganga (Ganges) flows through Rishikesh. In fact, it is here that the river leaves the Shivalik mountains in the Himalayas and flows out into the plains of northern India. Several temples, ancient as well as new, can be found along the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh. The city attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists each year, from within India, as well as from other countries. It is believed that meditation in Hrishikesh brings one closer to attainment of moksha, as does a dip in the holy river that flows through it. It is also becoming a popular spot for white water rafting enthusiasts, both from India and abroad, as it offers medium to rough rapids in the course of river Ganges.
We had just finished, in Oct 2008, a 2-day rafting trip (Shivpuri to Kaudiyala to Rishkesh) that ended in Rishikesh and these images are from a few hours spent that evening before we left for Delhi.