Rishikesh – the holy place where the chants of Hindu prayers will excite your soul, the glistening of the river Ganges will enchant your eyes, the thrilling adventures will push off your adrenaline out, and the picturesque backdrop will refresh your senses. The place is a fusion of fun and piousness, which is why the city holds two names- the Adventure Capital of India and the Yoga Capital of the World. Despite being a small town, Rishikesh has endless reasons for being one of the most bustling towns all over the nation. To know more, let’s move on to the unknown facts about Rishikesh and things for you to explore.
Known as the yoga capital of the world, Rishikesh is the foremost destination when it comes to practicing and learning yoga. It is known as Tapobhumi, which means the place for meditation and yoga of the Gods. For ages, the saints and sadhus have been intensifying their yogic wisdom. Many spiritual leaders and yoga gurus such as Swami Sivananda, Guru Vashishtha, Jatawale Baba, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar have taken this place to practice their spiritual awakening.
Since Rishikesh has such a deep spiritual heritage and rich lineage of yoga, it is a hub of popular yoga ashrams, yoga retreats , and yoga teacher training schools.People searching for a yoga teacher training school in India often put Rishikesh as their favored destination primarily because of the fame it enjoys as a hotspot for learning yoga from the roots.
The yoga capital is a delightful place to explore and wander on foot. The charm of the place, the beautiful colors in the surroundings, and the music will awaken your mind and soul. After crossing the very famous Bridge, Lakshman Jhula, you will come across the Triveni Ghat. The ghat is the meeting point of three of the holiest rivers in Hindu Mythology that is Ganga, Saraswathi, and the Yamuna and also believed to be the most spiritual place in Rishikesh. In the morning, you will witness the people praying, offering milk to the river, practicing Surya Namaskar, and feeding the fishes. And by the evening, this ritual turns into a tumult of colors and magic as hundreds of people gather here to be part of the Maha Aarti. You will see tiny lamps floating on the beautiful river, priests carrying huge fire lamps while continuously chanting the prayers.
Bungee jumping is yet another fun activity to be part of in Rishikesh, and also the highest in India (83 meters). Feel your lungs screaming and heart pumping as you jump off the cliff into nothingness but the lush greenery. The safe and sound jumping has an age limit of a minimum of 12 years and opens from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.
Another important fact about Rishikesh is that being a holy land and an important pilgrimage center in India, it has completely banned alcohol and non-vegetarian food. Even the cafes and restaurants don’t serve non-vegetarian foods or alcohol.
Apart from dipping in the spirituality of Rishikesh, be a part of the totally different side, which is the adventurous side. People from all around the world come to Rishikesh to experience the adventuresome river rafting because a trip to Rishikesh is incomplete without undertaking this enthralling activity. The best time for rafting is all months except the monsoon season. The town had five grades to offer that are divided into basic, standard, and expert.
Interestingly, as compared to other states, the literacy rate in Rishikesh is approximately 86%. As part of a developing state, it has countless yoga schools that attract tourists from all around the world. The government has also established AIIMS, which is the sixth most popular Apex Health Care Institute in India. It has helped many postgraduate and graduate students to attain their medical education.
If you are escaping to a spiritual town, then why not eat pure and healthy food? Rishikesh is also famous for its diverse vegetarian dishes that are freshly sourced and delicious. The one thing you will definitely love about the place is its dedication towards yoga and vegetarian food. There are a lot of cafes and restaurants that serve authentic Indian vegetarian food of different varieties. You’ll be spoilt for choice once you taste the delicious cuisines served here.
When it comes to Rishikesh historical facts, the Beatles Ashram certainly deserves a mention. It is one of the peaceful places that attract most of the tourists to its purity and calmness. The ashram got worldwide famous in the 80s when the legendary pop band, the Beatles visited this place. Just after that, the place got famous for yoga and meditation by the name of ‘Beatles Ashram’. Today, the ashram is the coolest and hippest place to hang out with friends. And the decorative graffiti walls will give your selfies an aesthetic look. Beatles ashram is one of the best offbeat places to explore in Rishikesh.
Apart from yoga and fun activities, Rishikesh also offers wildlife, where you can have a personal encounter and up-close moments with a wide array of flora and fauna. The Bengal tiger and Asiatic elephants are an alluring attraction for the tourists. You can also take a jeep safari to closely experience the living world of Rajaji National Park.
If you are prone to god’s prayers and classical music then, Rishikesh has it all set for you. There are various places like schools, temples, and ashrams where classical music sing-alongs take place. Tourists visit the place to calm and relax their nerves by listening to the continuous chants and classical music played by professionals and locals. The heritage instruments used here represent the amazing Indian culture and music.
Don’t make your trip unfulfilling by not visiting the temples in Rishikesh. With a range of temples, the place lets the tourists get a clear sight of the traditions and culture being followed in the city since ages. The holy feeling that you will get by touring a temple is compared to no other place. The continuous chants, instruments playing, and the spiritual vibe will take your heart away.
Rishikesh is also famous for its 133 years old Kailash Ashram Brahmavidyapitham, which is dedicated to promote and preserve the classical Vedanta, studies of the ancient times. Many inspiring leaders like Swami Rana Tirtha, Swami Vivekananda, and Swami Sivananda have also done their education form this place.
Festivals in Rishikesh means music, food, dance, and colors, gatherings of locals and tourists, and celebration. The most famous festival of Rishikesh is the International Yoga Festival that is held each year in March. Other lively festivals are The Kumbh Mela festival, The Makar Sankranti, and Baisakhi Festival which is celebrated in with enthusiasm and energy.
Take hold of the sky and the land of God from a totally different phase as glide through the clouds and the mountains in Rishikesh. Paragliding is among the popular activities to try with friends, family, and loved ones. You can enjoy this sport at any time of the year except for the monsoon season, which is from July to September.
India is the homeland of Ayurveda, and Rishikesh is nothing lower than a blessed grail when it comes to the most trustworthy Ayurveda and yoga practices. There are various types of Ayurvedic massages and treatments that allow your body and mind to find utter tranquility. You can enjoy the practice at any time of the year in several Ayurveda retreat centers and ashrams that offer the best combination of Yoga and meditation with Ayurvedic treatments and therapies.
More than just being a place, Rishikesh is an experience that gets inside you and charms you so much that eventually you come back to its lap.