Villages, temples, mountains, historically significant monuments and even Yoga ashrams- the list of unique things to do and visit in Rishikesh is endless. Such is the charm of this mystical place that every other town pales in comparison to it.
The Jhilmil cave nestled in the quaint town of Rishikesh is just another wonder that adds allure to the ever-growing list of charms that Rishikesh encompasses within itself.
This enchanting cave is a naturally occurring phenomenon and is located only about 4 km from the beautiful and holy NeelkanthMahadev Temple. While the sacred temple receives a horde of visitors every single day, many miss these wonderful caves that are only a stone’s throw away. Away from the flock of tourists and the maddening crowd, these charismatic caves are located on the off beaten path, only to be discovered by true explorers looking to broaden their horizons.
The name of the cave is derived from the name of a Sadhu who is said to take his Samadhi in this very cave. This cave is usually frequented by Sadhus who come here for a short spiritual getaway. Being away from the crowd and right amid the great wilderness, there is no doubt that this is the perfect place to shun away from the busy world and practice a little introspection followed by a spiritual awakening.
The Jhilmil cave is not the only one that exists in the area. There are three caves in all, all of which are located in the same area. The beauty of these caves is that they are all of different shapes and sizes. But, what makes Jhilmil cave the most mystical is the fact that it is big and the aura inside the cave itself hints at a spiritual awakening. You feel at peace inside the caves as if a whole burden has been lifted off your body.
If come in the morning you will find Naga Sadhus performing transitory rituals, as the chants from their prayers echo inside the caves. Even today many Sadhus and monks have taken permanent residence in this cave, and continue to live a simple and humble life here.
This cave is the best place to relax and get some much-needed peace after visiting the crowded temples of Rishikesh. If you are walking down here from the Neelkanth Temple, then you will also come across a wonderful Parvati Temple which is devoted to Goddess Parvati. You can stop here before continuing.
It is believed that the caves were initially founded by SaraswatiNijanand Swami Ji. Over the years it has been noted that many famous and highly revered saints and Sadhus had made this their temporary abode to practice art. Because of this, the caves acquired a spiritual ambience, which can be felt to date. The atmosphere inside the caves will make you imagine a time when the bare-bodied Sadhus would sit in silence, with their legs crossed as they would delve into a spiritual realm.
How To Reach The Caves
If you are keen on visiting the Jhilmil Caves, then there are two ways to do so. One way is by a vehicle of your choice. You can drive through the rough motorable road from Rishikesh, and then from Neelkanth you there is another motorable road for about 20 km which you need to find.
While this is one way you can come here, the other way is more spiritual and enchanting.
The second way you can reach here is by trekking through the beautiful city of Rishikesh. The trek to these caves is truly a magical experience which will surely rejuvenate you in every possible way.
You need to go through the popular Ram Jhula in Rishikesh and keep moving forward. The trek takes about five to six hours and is relatively easy and comfortable. You must ensure that you go early and come back before the sun goes to sleep. The simple reason for this is, that the way to the caves is through the Rajaji National Park.
The National Park has both leopards and tigers that come out after the sun comes down. Thus, to avoid any such altercations you must be back before the night falls.
The route through the National Park is easily the most enjoyable part of the journey, and you will find yourself reveling at the beauty of your surroundings.
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