Rain arrives early in the Himalayan foothills and stays till long, wrapping the slopes in a silvery sheen and emanating petrichor. The earth turns silent and absolutely still except for the rhythm in falling rain and so becomes your mind, serene and perfectly blissful. While you must be going over possible points of hazard and discomforts of the hills in the rains already, let us tell you, there would be more to Rishikesh in August than hibernating inside your hotel room. It’s a different mood, a different paradise, and so good to yoga for sure.
Gathering Clouds in a Serene Hillscape
You won’t find them clouds hanging so low all other times of the year in Rishikesh. In the monsoon, it’s a theatre of clouds playing all day long in the sky in azure, grey, and sometimes with a hint of crimson. If you are a photography enthusiast, it’s a gala out there in the rainy month for composing ethereally beautiful frames. Later in the day, the clouds come down and nestle in the nooks of the green hills and also spread over the river.
When you come to yoga amidst such a sublime hillscape, you only breathe in serenity and breathe out envy.
None of That Typical Hustle of a Tourist Hub
The yogic state is that of silence when the mind’s chatter stops and a deep pool of calmness forms within. But isn’t it a bother how all the beautiful places in the world are apparently always crowded and a peaceful spot to yoga amidst unsullied nature is just so hard to come by? This universal observation applies to Rishikesh, only not in the monsoon!
You are going to find none of the touristy hustle-bustle during August in Rishikesh. None of those travel agents and hoteliers who aggressively come on to the tourists, none of those crowding food stalls laid on common streets like it’s a fair and hundreds of vehicles parked outside every place and crowding up the narrow streets of the ancient temple town.
It’s the time when Rishikesh reveals in its true, antique beauty!
Possibly Smaller Classes at YTT
A waning of the tourist season reflects not just in the streets but also in the yoga scene. Rishikesh receives a lot less footfall from yoga teacher training applicants in the rain months. The reason? Who knows, perhaps it’s a general perception that rain makes trips messier. On the bright side, you can enjoy the courses in smaller, more close-knit groups at the usual cost.
Rain Walk to The Beatles Ashram
One of the quainter highlights of Rishikesh—the ‘Beatles Ashram’ or Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram in Swarg Ashram area of the old town needs a special mention as a monsoon tripping highlight. Off the beaten path, into the woods of Rajaji National Park, lie the blue remains of what used to be the ashram of one of India’s biggest 21st-century yoga luminary- Sri Mahesh Yogi. The supreme proponent of Transcendental Meditation in the West, this yoga personality enjoyed a huge following in his lifetime and the legacy still continues. His ashram in Rishikesh has however long been fallen out of use but still remains a pilgrimage for yogis for the colorful hippie vibe of the place.
Put on your flip-flops and a rain-hat and walk inside the forest on a cool, drizzly afternoon to absorb in the aura of this place. Honeycomb meditation-cells line the path and large, windswept verandas make a welcoming seating area inside forest undergrowths. A ‘cathedral’ of broken walls full with graffiti of The Beatles makes a neat place for a shoot. It’s where The Beatles stayed on their meditational tour in India.
The Holy Month of Savan
Savan is the month of Shiva in the Hindu calendar, spanning from July to August. It’s when an age-old pilgrimage from Haridwar to Neelkanth Shiva temple take place and the procession is quite a spectacle to behold!
The River Runs Wild!
Lastly, never will you find River Ganga, the holy vein of the country flowing through this town so vivacious and wild!
To know about Rishikesh in further detail, explore our Yoga Teacher Training In India.