Upper Ganga Canal System
Har – ki – Pauri at Haridwar
Rishikesh, also spelt as Hrishikesh, is a city near Dehradun in Dehradun district of the Indian state Uttarakhand. It is situated on the right bank of the Ganges River and is a pilgrimage town for Hindus, with ancient sages and saints meditating here in search of higher knowledge. There are numerous temples and ashrams built along the banks of the river.
It is known as the “Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas” and “Yoga Capital of the World“. The city has hosted the annual “International Yoga Festival” on the first week of March since 1999. Rishikesh is a vegetarian-only and alcohol-free city.
The Tehri Dam is just 86 km (53 mi) away and Uttarkashi, a popular yoga destination, is 170 km (110 mi) uphill on the way to Gangotri. Rishikesh is the starting point for travelling to the four Chota Char Dham pilgrimage places: Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. It is a starting point for Himalayan tourist destinations such as Harsil, Chopta, Auli, and summer and winter trekking destinations like Dodital, Dayara Bugyal, Kedarkantha, Har Ki Dun for camping and panoramic Himalayan views.
In September 2015, the Indian Minister of Tourism Mahesh Sharma announced that Rishikesh and Haridwar would be the first “twin national heritage cities”. As of 2021, Rishikesh has a total population of 322,825 with the tehsil including the city and its 93 surrounding villages.