Temples at Rishikesh - A place of worship since thousand years
In Hindu Religion, there are more than three hundred and thirty million Gods and Goddesses. But all of them do not have temples dedicated to them. But a majority of Gods and Goddesses are worshipped in Rishikesh.
Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu have the maximum number of temples in their numerous forms represented as installed idols. Some of the important temples in Rishikesh are given below:
Bharat Temple: Close to Triveni Ghat, it is a grand temple of Lord Vishnu. As it was the place of penance of Lord Ram’s younger brother Bharat, therefore it came to be known as Bharat temple. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Narayana and inscriptions say that this temple was renovated by Jagadguru Shankaracharya, the great theologian of the 8th century. Some scholars believe that this temple has not been named after the loyal brother of Lord Ram, popular belief contends otherwise. The image installed here has a distinctly Himalayan cast of features. Though this temple is dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu, it holds a number of images normally associated with the worship of Lord Shiva.
Neelkanth Mahadev: This temple is about 12 Km away from Rishikesh by foot and 38 Km by road. This temple belongs to Lord Shiva. This is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva drank the poison churned out of the cosmic ocean. It turned his throat blue which is why he is also called Nilkanth. The devotees visit this place throughout the year but especially during the whole month of Shravan this temple is thronged by tourists and devotees. The Shravan period comes from mid of July to August.
Veerbhadra Temple: Veerbhadra also known the apportion (Ansha) of Lord Shiva and worshipped like Lord Shiva and this Veerbhadra Mahadev Temple is at the same place where Lord Shankar smashed his hairlock and Virbhadra appeared. The temple is approx. 1300 years old but the story is many thousands years old. Some kings of the middle ages had worked many times on the relics of this temple to keep the vedic stories alive. It is also believed that in Veerbhadra, there is a place where anyone could recall one’s last birth life by laying down on the place. But the exact place is extinct meanwhile by divine powers to absolve from misuse. The temple is situated 2 kms away from Haridwar-Rishikesh highway and one can reach here via local railway station, also named as Veerbhadra Station and situated on the highway. The Neem Karoli Baba Temple (Hanuman Temple) is also very near to the Veerbhadra station just 2 kms far from the Veerbhadra Temple. The distance from the Holy Triveni Ghat to Veerbhadra Temple is 6 kms.
Kailash Niketan Temple: While Crossing Lakshman Jhula, the main temple you will see is Kailash Niketan Temple. It is a 13 storey slightly different from regular temples. The temple has sculptures of all the Gods and Goddesses. The uniqueness of this place that this temple consists idols of all known Gods and Goddesses.
Kunjapuri Temple: Goddess Durga has taken numerous incarnations and Kunjapuri temple is one of them. It is situated on a hill at a distance of 25 kms from Rishikesh railway station. It is 5 kms away from Narendranagar township and at a distance 3 kms from the Hindolakhal bus stand. There is a road for jeep and taxi to reach the temple from this place from Rishikesh.
Raghunath Temple: Generally regarded as the most important place for religious ceremonies in Rishikesh. It is believed that the Ganga has joined here with Yamuna and Saraswati Rivers in hidden form. However, geographically, Yamuna joins Ganga at Allahabad and the legendary Saraswati has not been located by surveyors here any yet.
Hanumaan Temple: Located at Maya Kund, this temple was erected in 1924 by Swami Ramdas alias Oriya Baba. It draws a large number of devotees every tuesday – the day auspiciously dedicated to Lord Hanuman worship. One other Hanuman Temple is also there at Hridwar – Rishikesh highway near by Veerbhadra Temple. It is also known as Neem Karoli Baba temple. It is situated at the front side of the Veerbhadra railway station and the distance from Veerbdara temple is about 2 kms.