Rishikesh Tour: Exploring A Spiritual Paradise

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The Spiritual Power Of Chanting Gayatri Mantra (गायत्री मंत्र)

By Rishikul Yogshala

February 12, 2020

A soothing view, a serene delight, an alluring charm to admire,
The emerald of forests, The amber of the Sun, and the sky's brilliant sapphire

Embellished with tradition and the burning lanterns
This is a place with a sense of calmness that inspires.

Rishikesh, a spiritual paradise through which the holy Ganga river flows, is a central tourist and pilgrimage town in northern India. It attracts people from across the world who come here with the singular purpose of finding peace. Despite being a small town, Rishikesh is always bustling with people and a continuous stream of activities keeps happening around the clock.

History Of Rishikesh

Rishikesh is well known as “The Yoga Capital of the World,” as the ancient practice of Yoga found its first roots here. Rishikesh serves as a sanctuary for yogis and saints who can be seen doing meditation and yoga at the ghats of the Ganga river in the early mornings.

It is a mythological belief in the Hindu religion that Lord Rama came here to seek atonement for the act of killing Ravana.

Another legend says that Rama’s younger brother Lakshman crossed the Ganga using two jute ropes, which marks the presence of the Lakshmana Jhula that still exist to this day, spanning across the Ganga river.

Curious to know more? Let’s move on to some unknown facts about Rishikesh that will surprise you and some activities that will lure you to this divine and enchanting destination.

Exploring Rishikesh

Welcome to your virtual Rishikesh tour, a trip that will open the doors to a spiritual paradise!

Yoga Capital Of The World

Rishikesh is the tapobhumi of the saints and yogis since ancient times, a place for unhindered severe meditation and intense yoga practices. It is a home to numerous ashrams and yoga institutions.

Every year, the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board organizes the International Yoga Festival, which draws several devotees and Yoga enthusiasts to join and celebrate this age-old practice together.

Many spiritual leaders and yoga gurus such as Swami Sivananda, Guru Vashishtha, Jatawale Baba, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar have chosen the mesmerizing surroundings of Rishikesh 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.

If this written portrait of Rishikesh inspired you enough to explore the magnificent landscape of Rishikesh in reality and embark on a highly fulfilling and calming journey towards becoming a Yoga teacher, do check out Our Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh!

The Ganga Aarti

A spiritual region is incomplete without a worshiping place. And every worshiping place becomes memorable with a special prayer.

Rishikesh is incomplete, too, without its divine Ganga Aarti held each day at the Triveni Ghat, a junction where the three holy rivers—the Ganga, the Saraswathi, and the Yamuna—converge.

The ritual begins in the morning as people pray, offer milk, perform Surya Namaskar, and feed fish on the ghat. This morning scene transforms into a breathtaking spectacle in the evening, as the golden hour from the setting sun bathes the scene in warm light. Slowly the entire ghat gets illuminated by burning lanterns floating on the river. Priests hold blazing fire lamps while chanting prayers, as hundreds of people gather here to be a part of the Maha Aarti.

Rishikesh Ashrams

The most striking aspect of Rishikesh, which breathes spirituality and calmness into it, is its ashrams and holy temples.

Among the Rishikesh ashrams, one of the most popular is the Beatles Ashram, which gained worldwide popularity in the 1980s when the legendary pop band visited the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Ashram to learn transcendental meditation in Rishikesh. Soon after, the place became well-known for yoga and meditation by the name ‘Beatles Ashram.’

It is one of the most peaceful places that attracts tourists to its purity and tranquility. It is an incredible spot to hang out with friends, with the ashram walls adorned with decorative graffiti offering an aesthetic backdrop for your selfies. The Beatles ashram is one of the best offbeat places to explore in Rishikesh.

Rishikesh is also famous for its 133-year-old Kailash Ashram Brahmavidyapitham, established by Swami Dhanraj Giri in 1880. This ashram is dedicated to promoting and preserving the classical Vedanta studies of ancient times. Many inspirational leaders such as Swami Rana Tirtha, Swami Vivekananda, and Swami Sivananda recieved their education in this revered place.

Temples and Traditional Sing-Alongs

A spiritual place can never be devoid of a divine place of worship. The temples in Rishikesh are its soul that carefully preserves its traditions and culture. They radiate an ancient aura, a profound spiritual sensation, comparable to none. The ongoing chants, the playing of instruments, and the soothing ambiance will transport you to a state of immense serenity.

Tourists visit these places to calm down and relax their nerves as they dwell, listening to the traditional classical music played by professionals and locals. The heritage instruments used here represent India’s beautiful culture and music.

Adventure Sports In Rishikesh

Bungee jumping

You heard it right! Bungee jumping, the well-known extreme adventure sport in Rishikesh, is one of its specialities, with the highest jump of 83 meters in India.

Gather some friends for your Rishikesh tour and get ready for a thrilling freefall. This gripping adventure sport in Rishikesh will help you conquer your greatest fears and create unforgettable memories, as well as strengthen your friendships.

Bonus Fact: Rishikesh also owns the longest flying fox in Asia, with a length of 1 km, speeding at 140 km/hr. Another exciting adventure sport in Rishikesh that is worth giving a go.

River Rafting

When you see a river and a rafting boat, don’t think twice and go river rafting!

Can you please take your eyes off the scenery for a while and dive into this thrilling adventure sport of river rafting?! Your Rishikesh tour will definitely be incomplete without taking the salty taste of the river. Don’t regret it later! The best time for rafting is all months except the monsoon season, so keep that in mind.

Paragliding

Enough walking through the Rishikesh landscape; how about we glide over it, up and above the clouds and mountains? Curious to know how? Through Paragliding! One of the most popular aerial activities to try with friends, family, and even alone. You can enjoy this adventure sport in Rishikesh at any time of the year except for the monsoon season (from July to September).

Feel your lungs screaming your heart pumping, and satisfy your adrenaline appetite as you engage in these extreme activities amidst the lush green landscape of Rishikesh.

Alcohol-Free, Authentic Pure Vegetarian Indian Cuisine

A spiritual and pious region like Rishikesh has no place for irreverent food and activities. Hence, it completely forbids alcohol and non-vegetarian food.

The dining places you will find in Rishikesh purely serve authentic, healthy, vegetarian Indian cuisines with the addition of ayurvedic herbs and spices. There are numerous cafes and restaurants with a diverse variety of Indian food that will spoil you for choice once you taste the flavorful food served here!

Finest Healthcare Services

As part of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India has established six healthcare facilities, one of which is the AIIMS Rishikesh.

AIIMS Rishikesh, one of the leading medical institutions in India, serves as the epicenter of research and innovation in the medical field. It offers a wide range of medical and healthcare services to patients, involving specialized treatment, surgeries, diagnostic services, and preventive care.

It has delivered several highly skilled and competent medical professionals to the nation.

Ayurvedic Therapies and Massages

India is the birthplace of Ayurveda, known for its authentic and trustworthy Ayurvedic and yoga practices. Rishikesh stands as one of the most spiritual places, preserving the ancient Ayurvedic traditions that originated here. In Rishikesh, you can experience a variety of Ayurvedic massages and treatments, helping your body and mind find balance and peace.

Ayurvedic courses are available year-round that you can enjoy at numerous Ayurveda retreat centers and ashrams. Speaking of Ayurveda, our 7 day Ayurveda Retreat In Kerala offers the best Ayurvedic experience involving soothing therapies and massages designed to rejuvenate and relax your body entirely.

Wildlife

Rishikesh is nestled amidst lush forest and abundant wildlife. The ‘Rajaji National Park and Tiger Reserve’ stands as one of the most alluring attractions of Rishikesh that promises a thrilling adventure where you get a chance to encounter a wide variety of flora and fauna up close.

Spotting a Bengal tiger and Asiatic elephants is a visual delight for tourists. Through a jeep safari, you can intimately experience the exotic and magnificent wilderness of the Rajaji National Park, becoming one with nature as you wander alongside both the gentle and fierce animals, all freely roaming in the expanse of their forest habitat.

Festivals

Festivals in Rishikesh means music, food, dance, colors, gatherings, and celebrations. It stirs the whole city with liveliness and joy.

Rishikesh hosts various festivals, the most renowned being the International Yoga Festival, held every year in March. Amidst the magnificent Himalayas, along the banks of the Ganga river, at Paramartha Niketan in Rishikesh, numerous yoga practitioners and enthusiasts join together to participate in this grand festival immersing themselves in deep spiritual tranquility.

Several Local Festivals like Kanwar Mela. Kumbh Mela, Makar Sankranti, Basant Panchmi, and Ganga Dussehra are held here with great vigor.

As the majority of Rishikesh’s population is Hindu, several Hindu festivals, including Holi, Diwali, Dussehra, and Navratri, are celebrated with great enthusiasm, even by non-Hindus.

Wrapping Up Your Rishikesh Tour

Rishikesh is more than just a place. It’s an experience that lingers within you long after you are gone. Its pleasing memories will beckon you to return to this serene place.

So when that inner calling arises, find yourself once again in the embrace of nature and the tranquil surroundings of Rishikesh. Remember, the Land of Gods keeps its gates open for its admirers at all times.

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