Why is Rishikesh called Rishikesh

Rishikesh has emerged as a popular tourist destination for people across the globe. Surely, being the “Yoga capital of the world”, it is meant to remain the center of attraction for people from all walks of life. This city will not leave you enchanted only with its temple and shrines, but this treasure trove is full of diverse factors that will make you visit this place again and again. So, a lot is known and heard about this beautiful city which is lodged between the gigantic Himalayas. But do you know the specific story behind the name of this city?

So, Hold on and let us unravel all the facts behind the naming of this Yoga Capital- “Rishikesh”.


If we break down the term, it says Rishi’s (Saint’s) hair. Rishikesh was formerly the epicentre of Tapasya ( penance). Even, Lord Ram came here for penance after killing Ravan, and they crossed the Ganga, which is why we have Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula here.
So, being a Taposthali for searchers – Rishies – who used to practice their Tapas along the Holy Ganges and had long jatas or Kesh (hairs), this city acquired the name “Rishikesh”


Rishikesh is also spelt as Hrishikesh. This name refers to Vishnu appearing to Raibhaya Rishi as Lord Hrishikesh as a result of his austerities. According to the mythological legend, Lord Vishnu, in the avatar of Hayagriva, vanquished the demons Madhu and Kaitabha in the Satya Yuga. When the Lord walked into the jungle to do penance after slaying them, he came upon Rabhya Rishi meditating. According to the Skanda Purana, as a reward for the Saint’s spiritual practice, Vishnu appeared to him in the shape of Lord Hrishikesh and blessed the Rabhya Rishi, saying, “As long as you have practised Supreme austerity by controlling your senses, let Hrishikesh identify the area.” And this is the reason that still in Kalyug (The present era), this city is known as Rishikesh.