Rishikesh is a city and a municipal board in Dehradun district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is located in the foothills of the Himalaya in northern India and attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists each year, from within India, as well as from other countries. Rishikesh is a vegetarian city by law, as well as an alcohol-free city.
Rishikesh has also banned use of plastics bags by shopkeepers and vendors. It is also known as the gateway to the Himalayas and is located around 25 kilometres north of another holy city, Haridwar. Hrsikesha is a name of Vishnu that means 'lord of the senses'. The root words Hrishik and ish join together to make Hrishikesh. Hrishik means Senses and ish means master or Lord. Hence the word means Lord of Senses or Lord Vishnu.
The place gets its name after Lord Vishnu who appeared to 'Raibhya Rishi', as a result of his tapasya (austerities), as Lord Hrishikesh. In Skanda Purana, this area is known as 'Kubjamrak' as Lord Vishnu appeared, under a mango tree. The name Rishikesh is loosely applied to an association of five distinct sections encompassing not only the town but also hamlets and settlements on both sides of the river Ganges.
Rishikesh, sometimes nicknamed "the world capital of Yoga", has numerous yoga centres that also attract tourists. It is believed that meditation in Rishikesh brings one closer to attainment of moksha, as does a dip in the holy river that flows through it.