Rishikesh also spelled Hrishikesh, Rushikesh or Hrushikesh, is a city and a municipal board in Dehradun district in state of Uttarakhand. It is located in the foothills of the Himalaya in northern India and attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists each year, The sacred river Ganges flows through Rishikesh. Rishikesh is a vegetarian city by law, as well as an alcohol-free city. River rafting and yoga meditation center are avaliable in Rishikesh. It is also known as the gateway to the Himalayas and is located around 25 kilometres north of another holy city, Haridwar.
Legends state that Lord Rama did penance here for killing Ravana, the demon king of Lanka; and Lakshmana, his younger brother, crossed the river Ganges, at a point, where the present 'Lakshman Jhula' (लक्ष्मण झूला) bridge stands today, using a jute rope bridge. The 'Kedar Khand' of Skanda Purana, also mentions the existence of Indrakund at this very point. The jute-rope bridge was replaced by iron-rope suspension bridge in 1889, and after it was washed away in the 1924 floods, it was replaced by a stronger present bridge.The sacred river Ganges flows through Rishikesh. 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.It is believed that meditation in Rishikesh brings one closer to attainment of moksha, as does a dip in the holy river that flows through it. Rishikesh is world famous for Rafting and Adventure. Rafting season starts from the month of March and ends in July.Rishikesh is also home to the 120-year old Kailas Ashram Brahmavidyapeetham, an institution dedicated to preserve and promote the traditional Vedantic Studies. Prominent personalities such as Swami Vivekananda, Swami Rama Tirtha and Swami Shivananda have studied in this institution.