Neelkanth Mahadev Rishikesh
Perched at a height of 1330 m, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is the place where Lord Shiva placed a venom (called Halahala), which was originated from the sea (Samudra Manthan), in his neck. The venom is perhaps the reason behind the blue throat of Lord Shiva, thus giving him the name of Neelkanth. The sacred shrine is located between the highly impressive Manikoot, Brahmakoot and Vishnukoot Valley, at the confluence of two rivers Madhumati and Pankaja. Somewhere like its colorful exteriors, interiors are equally exquisite. Above the entrance door, one can see shikhara decorated with sculptures of gods and demons, depicting the story of Samudra Manthan. The main sanctum of the temples is where a divine shivling (lingam) sits. The temple complex features a hot spring where devotees are seen taking a holy bath before visiting the temple. Also, there is a wish fulfilling banyan tree. Tourists who want to witness the fun and frolic side of the temple, one should visit here during the Maha Shivratri festival or Shravana, the fifth month of the Hindu calendar.
The temple is around 32 km from the Rishikesh and can be reached easily by bus or taxi. If tourists have some spare time, then they can visit a cave temple, which is 2 km uphill trek away from the main shrine.