Journey To Neelkanth Mahadev Temple From Rishikesh To Get Easy, Uttarakhand Government Invites Bids For 7-Km Ropeway Project
The dream of a ropeway from Rishikesh to the Shri Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is now expected to be a reality soon.
The Uttarakhand Metro Rail, Urban Infrastructure and Building Construction Corporation (UKMRC) last week invited bids from private parties to build, maintain and operate a ropeway project from ISBT Rishikesh to Parvati Mata Mandir via Triveni Ghat and Neelkanth Mahadev Mandir in the holy city of Rishikesh.
The “ISBT Rishikesh-Triveni Ghat-Neelkanth Mahadev-Parvati Mata Mandir Ropeway” shall be developed on PPP model under design, build, finance operate and transfer (DBFOT) basis with an investment of Rs 465.69 crore.
The 6.48-km-long ropeway will start adjacent to ISBT Bus Stand, Rishikesh with upper terminal stations at Neelkanth Mahadev, near Neelkanth Mahadev Temple and Parvati Mata Temple at the end.
It will also have an intermediate station at Triveni Ghat, 500 metres away from Triveni Ghat Arti Point.
The proposed alignment is passing above the iconic Rishikesh-Lakshman Jhula Road along Chandrabhaga River and crossing Ganga River and Rajaji National Park and non-forest area.
According to the bid document, the ropeway has to be based on mono cable detachable gondola (MDG) technology. The ropeway will have a design capacity to carry 2,000 peak hour peak direction traffic (PHPDT) with a minimum operation time of 16 hours per day.
The concessionaire shall construct the ropeway project in 730 days form the appointed date and will have the exclusive right, to operate and maintain the project for a period of 30 years.
Set against the backdrop of the Himalayas and with the pristine Ganga flowing through it, the ancient town of Rishikesh is one of the major tourist and pilgrimage hubs in northern India, where people from across the world arrive in search of peace.
The proposed ropeway has been planned to connect ISBT Rishikesh with Neelkanth Mahadev and Parvati Mata Temple as well as Triveni Ghat, the three important religious places in and around Rishikesh.
The first proposed station on the ropeway is Triveni Ghat — it is the most well-known bathing ghat (stepped banks of a river), where most pilgrims take a holy dip before they visit the temples of Rishikesh.
An amazing sight here is the evening aarti, a ceremony accompanied by lights, drums and chanting, with the entire ghat lit with flickering lamps.
The second stop is the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Situated at an altitude of 1,330 metres, the temple is surrounded by dense forest and is adjacent to the mountain ranges of Nar-Narayan. The temple lies amidst the valleys of Manikoot, Brahmakoot and Vishnukoot and cradles on the confluence of Pankaja and Madhumati rivers.
According to Hindu mythology, this is the place where Lord Shiva consumed the poison that that had emanated during samudra manthan. He stopped the poison in throat, due to which his neck turned blue. Thus, Lord Shiva is also known as Neelkanth, literally meaning 'The Blue Throated One'.
The temple celebrates two fairs that are held annually on the occasion of Maha Shivratri (February/March) and Shraavana Shivratri (July/August) during which the devotees (Kawarias) trek from Haridwar to Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.
Parvati Mata Mandir — the last terminal of the ropeway — is around 2 kms from the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.
The dedicated personal rapid transit system will not only make the journey comfortable and time saving, but it will also be eco-friendly and energy efficient.
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