Narendra Nagar, Rishikesh - Timings, History, Best Time to Visit

Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Rishikesh Railway Station): 16 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 2-3 Hours

Transportation Options: Cab / Auto

Travel Tips: None

At a distance of 16 km from Rishikesh, Narendra Nagar is a city and a municipal board in Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. Situated at an altitude of 1,326 m, it is one of the best heritage places in Uttarakhand, and among the must-include places in Rishikesh sightseeing packages.

The present town of Narendra Nagar came into existence in 1919 when Maharaja Narendra Shah of Tehri Garhwal moved his capital from Tehri to the picturesque location of Odathali or Narendra Nagar. The last Maharaja, Manabendra Shah took over the control of Tehri Garhwal in 1946, from Maharaja Narendra Shah. The province was eventually merged with the state of Uttar Pradesh shortly after India gained independence.

This town is famous among visitors for its mythological and historical importance. According to legend, sage Uddhava is known to have performed severe penance at this spot. Also, Purasara, the founder of astrology, has been known to conduct various experiments on the movements of planets and stars.

The small town nestled in the Shivalik foothills was chosen not only for its extraordinary scenic beauty but also for its proximity to the plains below. The town is well planned and the buildings are neatly placed and are a century old, many of these like the secretariat and the hospital are still in use. It is one of the major places to Rishikesh sightseeing places.

The Royal Palace and a Nandi bull are the main attractions of Narendra Nagar. In the early 1900s, Narendra Nagar became a popular destination with the British Viceroys of the time. The Palace was visited by former Prime Ministers of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, and spiritual leaders like Anandmayi Ma and Swami Sivanand as well as the last British Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten.

Narendra Nagar Palace is now home to Ananda - In the Himalayas, a destination spa. Crowning a picturesque ridge of the mighty Himalayan ranges, the palace is a symbol of the grandeur and splendor of the region's past. Original relief work still adorns the palace walls and two magnificent World War I cannons flank the royal gateway. Nandi Bull is the largest statue of Nandi located in northern India. This artistic statue was sculpted by Avatar Singh Panwar in 1960.