Rishikesh in India

Friday, 10 December 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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The legendary Beatles Ashram © Chris Dyer Peru/cc-by-sa-4.0

The legendary Beatles Ashram © Chris Dyer Peru/cc-by-sa-4.0

Rishikesh, also spelt as Hrishikesh, is a city governed by Rishikesh Municipal Corporation (since October 2017), and a tehsil in Dehradun district of the Indian state Uttarakhand. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, it is known as the “Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas” and “Yoga Capital of the World”. It lies 21 km (13 mi) north of the city Haridwar and 45 km (28 mi) southeast of the state capital Dehradun. As of 2021, Rishikesh tehsil has a total population of 322,825; this figure includes 93 surrounding villages as well as the city. It is the seventh most populated city in the state of Uttarakhand. It is known as the pilgrimage town and regarded as one of the holiest places for Hindus. Hindu sages and saints have visited Rishikesh since ancient times to meditate in search of higher knowledge. In September 2015, the Union tourism minister Mahesh Sharma announced that Rishikesh and Haridwar will be the first in India to be given the title of “twin national heritage cities”. Due to the religious significance of the place, non-vegetarian food and alcohol are strictly prohibited in Rishikesh. The city has hosted the annual International Yoga Festival on the first week of March since 1989.

In February 1968, the Beatles visited the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi‘s ashram in Rishikesh, attracted by his Transcendental Meditation. The Beatles composed numerous songs during their time at the ashram, many of which appear on the band’s self-titled double album, also known as the “White Album”. Many westerners followed, increasing participation in yoga, to the extent that Rishikesh has been nicknamed “Yoga Capital of the World”; it has numerous yoga centres that attract tourists. Serious yoga students come to learn and to become qualified as yoga teachers. The city includes the district of Sivananda Nagar, the home of Sivananda Ashram and the Divine Life Society founded by Swami Sivananda, north of the town centre; the temple sections of Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula, a little further north; and assorted ashrams around Swargashram on the eastern bank. The Ganga Arti performed at dusk around 5:00pm at the Triveni Ghat is popular with visitors. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, amidst forest 28 km (17 mi) from Rishikesh, is a popular local pilgrimage, along with Vashishtha Guha (Cave of Sage Vashishtha), 21 km (13 mi) up from the town by the Ganges.

The Tera Manzil Temple on the east banks of Ganges © flickr.com - Fred Hsu/cc-by-2.0 © Tylersundance/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Tylersundance/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Tylersundance/cc-by-sa-3.0 The jewelry shops with their traditional and new age designs © flickr.com - McKay Savage/cc-by-2.0 The jewelry shops with their traditional and new age designs © flickr.com - McKay Savage/cc-by-2.0 The legendary Beatles Ashram © Chris Dyer Peru/cc-by-sa-4.0
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The jewelry shops with their traditional and new age designs © flickr.com - McKay Savage/cc-by-2.0
According to environmental activists, “These camps are not only in violation of Forest (Conservation) Act 1980, but also the Environment (Protection) Act 1986, as well as the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974, as it is leading to pollution of Ganga by discharging effluent, throwing of solid waste directly and adversely affecting the ecological integrity of the river system.” Environmental activists alleged that these camps, which are established as temporary sites, do not have adequate sewage and sanitation facilities, disturb the habitat of wild animals and “affect the peace, tranquility, and serenity of the forest area.” “At the campsites, the camp owners permit employees and the visitors to have food and alcohol. They leave empty bottles, cans, unconsumed food and waste including bones and filth in and around the campsite. still there are few Other Campsites that have strict Policies against Alcohol Consumption and littering” In a 2008 study on the beach camps between Kaudiyala and Rishikesh, experts from the Govind Ballabh Pant Himalayan Environment and Development Institute—R. K. Maikhuri, Nihal Farukhi and Tarun Budhal—found that wildlife conservation standards and norms, particularly for waste management, were routinely disregarded. A bench headed by the National Green Tribunal chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar on 1 April 2015 heard a plea filed by the non-governmental organisation Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE). The National Green Tribunal has sought explanations from the Government of India and the Government of Uttarakhand on the “unregulated” operation of rafting camps on the banks of Ganga between Shivpuri and Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. The state government has assured the tribunal that it would not grant permission to any new camp till the next hearing in May. As the seriousness of issue “The National Green Tribunal,” a bench headed by Justice U. D. Salve has rejected permission to rafting camps operating in Rishikesh and slammed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and the Government of Uttarakhand for not filing their replies in the case and directed them to file their response.

It has been reported that large numbers of tourists visiting Rishikesh from India and the world have been consuming Cannabis and alcohol and appearing partially naked at beaches, leading to complaints that the spiritual environment of the area has been affected. According to many Hindu yogis and sadhus, the riverside stretch is of spiritual and religious importance, as it is where the Ganges takes its form after the confluence of the rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda at Devprayag in the Garhwal Himalayas. Saints and yogis have been meditating on the banks of Ganges since antiquity. However, these banks have been polluted with liquor bottles, as well as obscene activities and behavior at the beaches.

Read more on LonelyPlanet.com – Rishikesh, Wikivoyage Rishikesh and Wikipedia Rishikesh (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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