Rishikesh, also known as Hrishikesh is a city, municipal corporation 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 approximately 25 km (16 mi) north of the city Haridwar and 43 km (27 mi) southeast of the state capital Dehradun. According to Census of India, 2011 Rishikesh had a population of 102,138 making it 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 to Hindus. Hindu sages and saints have visited Rishikesh since ancient times to meditate in search of higher knowledge
It has been reported that large numbers of tourists visiting Rishikesh from India and the world have been consuming drugs and alcohol and appearing partially naked at beaches, leading to complaints that the spiritual environment of the area has been affected.
The name Rishikesh is loosely applied to an association of five distinct sections encompassing the town and hamlets and settlements on both sides of the river Ganges. These include Rishikesh itself, the commercial and communication hub; the sprawling suburb Muni Ki Reti or the "sands of the sages"; Sivananda Nagar, the home of Sivananda Ashram and the Divine Life Society founded by Swami Sivananda, north of Rishikesh; the temple sections of Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula, a little further north; and the assorted ashrams around Swargashram on the eastern bank. The Ganga Arti performed at dusk 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. Over the years, it has established itself as the yoga capital of the world. From the US, Europe and China and Australia, serious yoga students come to learn asanas and kriyas.
Rishikesh is at 30.103368°N 78.294754°E. It has an average elevation of 372 metres (1,220 ft).
The Tehri Dam is just 86 km (53 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.Rishikesh is famous for ayurvedic treatments. Many ayurveda centres are run, where classes are given by ayurvedic doctors. According to Köppen-Geiger climate classification system, its climate is humid subtropical (Cwa). Despite the pollution of the Ganges, the water in Rishikesh is relatively unaffected by the pollution as the major polluting points are down the course of the river in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh.