Rishikesh is an important city of Uttarakhand and is known for its cultural and traditional significance. Surrounded by many other prominent religious sites, this place is situated at the foothills of the great Himalayas. It is home to several revered shrines like Sivananda Ashram and Swargashram, which have a unique historical aura about them. Visitors flock from faraway places to take part in the Ganga Aarti, which is performed in the evening at the popular Triveni Ghat over here. Lush green cover and mountainous environs make this place a famous tourist destination. Rishikesh packages are availed by a large number of travellers and devotees, who wish to visit the tranquil locations of the city.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
Among these religious places, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a prominent one, which receives thousands of visitors and devotees each year. Located on a hilly area over Swargashram, this site offers splendid views of the hills. It lies in the vicinity to the Nar-Narayan ranges and is considered a revered shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. This place is a natural heaven for people who come here for the purpose of sightseeing as it is situated amidst three beautiful valleys and at the meeting point of rivers, Pankaja and Madhumati. Located at a high altitude, this shrine welcomes a large number of visitors round the year.
Even the route going towards the temple is delightful as people get to behold steep roads leading to the hills, flowing rivers by one side and mountainous terrain on the other. These streets are quite narrow and proper knowledge coupled with careful driving is required while passing these areas. People, who are not habitual of driving on high altitudes, must park their vehicles at taxi stand of Ram Jhula and hire a cab for the rest of the journey. The temple is at a feasible driving distance from there and people can also walk to reach here. Despite the minor difficulties, the whole journey is quite enjoyable.
History and Architecture
A spiritual aura can be found within and around this pilgrimage, which provides visitors with engrossing mythological stories and legendary folklore. There is an interesting old story behind construction and development of the location. According to the Puranas, it is the place where Lord Shiva drank the poison, which was obtained after Samudra Manthan. The poison was so toxic that it turned his throat into blue colour. Thus, the shrine has derived its name from Lord Shiva, who was popularly named as Neelkanth, which means blue throat.
The scene of Samudra Manthan is depicted on the top of the temple in an explicit manner. The exteriors of the complex are brightly colored and ignoring them is just not possible. The interiors are equally amazing with a huge statue of Goddess Parvati, positioned at the entrance. The arena around the sacred lingam is made of shining marbles and intricately done statues of Dwarpals or the guards. The complex around the place also features a Peepal tree, on which devotees tie threads for their wish fulfillment. On a Rishikesh tour,a visit to this and other sacred shrines of the city are a must.