Lakshman Jhula, a 140-meter suspended bridge over the Ganges at an altitude of 20 meters is situated about 4 km from the center of Rishikesh. The area around this bridge is also called Lakshman Jhula.
According to myths, the bridge got its name from the Hindu Lord Rama’s brother, Lakshman, who crossed the Ganges, building a bridge of jute ropes. In 1889, jute ropes were replaced with iron cables. Later, during a flood in October 1924, the suspended bridge was ruined by Himalayan streams. In the 1930s, the Lakshman Jhula bridge was rebuilt from iron and steel and was opened to the public in 1939. 2 km downstream, a similar bridge called Ram Jhula was soon built.
Lakshman Jhula is one of the most visited places in Rishikesh. At an end of the bridge you can see the famous 13-storeyed Tera Manzil Temple, also known as Trayambakeshwar Temple, beautifully decorated with idols of numerous Hindu gods and goddesses. In addition to its religious significance, the temple is also famous for providing a wonderful view of the surroundings.
Nearby you can see the Lakshman Temple, which is famous for its beautiful statues and pictures. The Lakshman Temple also plays an important role in Hindu mythology. According to legends, it was here, in Rishi Kunda, in the Lakshman Temple, that lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana took bath in the Ganges so as to wash off their sins after the murder of Ravana.
View of the Lakshman Jhula Bridge in Rishikesh
View of the bridge from Trayambakeshwar Temple
Local stores on both sides of the bridge attract tourists with their colorful display-windows. Many stores sell figures of Hindu gods and goddesses, prayer beads from Rudraksha seeds, handicrafts, precious and semiprecious stones and articles from them and from silver, books on Hindu culture, yoga, etc. There are many cafes and restaurants with local and international cuisine on both sides of the bridge.
The area around Lakshman Jhula is the center of life in Rishikesh – the cacophony of mantras, music, the Ganges, signals of motorbikes and voices of locals and tourists.
July 2019 Update: Lakshman Jhula Bridge is closed forever. Instead, a new bridge will be built.