Ram Jhula is one of the most iconic places in Rishikesh and if you are planning a pilgrimage to the city, or just visiting for a holiday, you must stop by this iconic bridge. It is a suspension bridge, built entirely out of iron and the length of the bridge is around 450 feet. It was constructed in the year 1986, by the PWD. The bridge is located over the holy Ganga river and it connects Sivananda Nagar in Muni Ki Reti, in the district of Tehri Garhwal in the west to Swargashram in the district of Pauri Garhwal, in the east.This bridge can be found in the state of Uttarakhand, approximately 3 kilometres away from the main town of Rishikesh. It is a comfortable walking distance from Rishikesh, and if you like long walks in the midst of stunning scenery then you can walk the length of the bridge as well. People can also traverse the bridge with bikes or cycles. A number of holy ashrams and Hindu religious centres and temples can be found lining the side of the bridge. These ashrams encompass the true essence of Rishikesh, with their peace, hospitality and piety. Another well-known bridge in the area is the Lakshman Jhula, which is lengthier than Ram Jhula and is situated 2 kilometres upriver, on the banks of the Ganga. One of the most memorable experiences you can enjoy at the Ram Jhula is overlooking the holy city of Rishikesh from the bridge itself in all its natural and historical glory, surrounded by the river and the mighty mountains. History of Ram JhulaThe famous Ram Jhula was initially a bridge made of very strong jute ropes, tightly intertwined to give it strength and to help it bear the weight of passers-by. It did not have any pillars to provide structural support in the beginning. Later, it was re-constructed with iron in the year 1986 by the PWD under government supervision. Since it is located in the spiritual and holy city of Rishikesh, the name of the bridge is derived from the Aryan King- Lord Ram- the protagonist of the epic Ramayana. The other famous bridge on the river is the Lakshman Jhula. The story goes that in the era of Ram’s reign, Lakshman had crossed the Ganga with the help of two ropes. To commemorate this mythological event, the Lakshman Jhula was constructed with ropes, in the year 1889. Therefore, a gesture of sibling love and camaraderie between the two brothers- Ram and Lakshman, the second bridge was named ‘Ram, indicative of the divine bond between the two brothers. About Ram Jhula MarketKeeping in mind the vast number of tourists and pilgrims who visit the place every year, there are innumerable shops and markets near the starting and ending point of the bridge. The Ram Jhula Market can be found in the point where the bridge ends, where you can find shops selling everything imaginable- from groceries to mementoes and religious tokens. You can find religious sculptures, statues and framed pictures of different gods and goddesses, dress materials, jewellery and other artefacts available in the markets. One can buy authentic semi-precious stones and gems at reasonable prices from here as well. Shoppers can choose from beautiful, ethnic, locally sourced handicraft items to bright and comfortable cotton clothes like sarees, lehengas and cholis, all at reasonable prices.