Faces of India Part 8 – Colorful Local Tourists

Rishikesh is a famous Hindu religious destination .

These are not local people from Rishikesh. You can tell by the style of clothing they are wearing

It is believed that meditation in Rishikesh brings one closer to attainment of moksha, salvation,  as does a dip in the holy river that flows through it.

It is considered an abode of Gods, a place of worship and penance

colorful Saturday Tourists On the Way Down to the Ganga

Rishikesh has been the centre of spiritual and religious activities since ancient times. It is around Rishikesh where sages, seers or the rishis and munis in ancient times practiced severe penance and meditation.

crowds on laxman jhula

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. Many temples, ancient as well as new, can be found along the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh.  (It is also still pristinely clean-not having become polluted like the River in most places further South- coming straight down from the melting glaciers and so one is able to truly enjoy taking a holy bath or swimming just for fun – assuming you enjoy ice water!!  🙂 )

Rishikesh’s spiritual origins stem from Hindu mythology that Lord Rama was sentenced to penance at this spot, for killing Ravana the demon god of Lanka; the Laxman Jhula Bridge is named after Laxman, Ramas brother who is recounted as crossing the river at this point by jute rope.

indian family on vacation posing at bridge

Rishi, meaning “seer,” was a name given to monks living in caves in the surrounding hills, holy men to whom the Vedas (Hindu scriptures) were originally revealed.

tourists in rishikesh

For these, and many more reasons, including breathtaking scenery, adventure sports such as rafting, hiking in the Himalayan foothills, fabulous food, and lovely, friendly people, Rishikesh is an extremely popular place for both family pilgrimages and just plain holidays.  People come from all over India to enjoy everything Rishikesh has to offer tourists, as well as for sacred pilgrimage and bathing in the Ganga…all at the same time!!  No matter when you are there, you will always see hordes of local tourists, and during Festivals, it is sometimes so crowded you simply cannot walk.  And of course, this is in addition to all the foreign tourists who come to relax, do Yoga, spend time in the numerous ashrams, meditate, or just chill out after frantically traveling through the “rest of India”!!

a day with friends in rishikesh

Hope you enjoy just a few photos of local tourists, as they are so more interesting and colorful to look at than foreign tourist.

tourists on Laxman Jhula

tourist crowds

Can’t be a tourist without a camera!!

Family Outing including Sacred Dip in the Ganga






8 Responses to Faces of India Part 8 – Colorful Local Tourists

  1. I remember going to Rishikesh as a 9th grader! And that was a long time ago…Time stands still near the Ganga in spite of the large number of devotees that pass through it:) Great pictures and description, Jane!

    • Jane says:

      thanks for the lovely comment Peri…time stands still, but also doesn’t. Rishikesh has changed alot since even I began going in 2007…but yes, some things do stay the same. Especially the “feeling” of the place…the energy…it is truly special. Glad you enjoyed the photos…hopefully one of these days you will get back for a visit. 🙂

  2. Sanjay says:

    Awesome pictures Jane,
    Last week I returned form a long overdue visit to India/Rishikesh.
    The place has changed a lot in 15 yrs. The timing (Monsoon) was cruel too.
    Pundirs say hello to you.

    • Jane says:

      Sanjay…I really appreciate your comment. And happy that you finally got back for a visit…but yes, monsoon can be difficult. I’ve been in India a couple of times also during monsoon. And everything changes over the years…that’s part of the way the world works. but as I said above, there is something about the “feel” of Rishikesh, the energy, which seems to stay the same. At least for now. And a special thanks to you for the regards from the Pundirs. 🙂 I will be back in just one month (for a very short trip), and really look forward to seeing all my friends again. 🙂 Hope you continue to enjoy the Journal posts. 🙂

  3. Jane says:

    love that comment peri: “Moving ahead while time stands still:)”…that is the perfect way to describe India. Will have to use that as the title of a post one day!! 😀

  4. calcutta travels…

    […]Faces of India Part 8 – Colorful Local Tourists « India 2008-2012[…]…

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