If your heart draws you to India-- the land of vibrant living traditions, eternity and spirituality, then travel to Rishikesh-- the throbbing heart and soul of India. Eminent as ‘Yoga Capital Of the Globe’, Rishikesh is adorned with traditional divinity and peacefulness. Perched on the foothills of the glorious Himalayas and encircled by the sacred river Ganges in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, the town serves as the perennial magnet to all the yoga and spirituality seekers, and adventurers across the globe.
The exquisite setting of the main town, the glory of the humming river Ganges, the mysticism of lush-green Himalayan hills, the soothing breezes, and the breathtaking escapades define this holy city at its best. Referred to as a gateway to Garhwal Himalayas, the town of Rishikesh enchants the visitors with its natural beauty and innate piety. It is the ultimate passage to the pilgrimage of the Hindus, the Chardham Yatra, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. The town of Rishikesh offers contrasting possibilities of tranquil holiness and adventurous activities.
Here is a list of things to explore and experience in the holy land of Rishikesh, India:
1) YogPeeth: Yoga and Spirituality are deeply enrooted in the land of Rishikesh. Rishikesh is home to many ashrams, ayurvedic centers, yoga schools and ancient caves that give a golden chance to commence on the spiritual odyssey. Meditate at Vashishta Gufa, dwell in authentic Yoga and Ayurveda teachings at renowned yoga schools, practice the traditional art of natural healing, and so much more in this holy town.
2) Temple Hopping: Magnificent temples like Bharat Mandir, Neelkanth Mahadev temple, Trimbakeshwar temple, adorn the town of Rishikesh. In Rishikesh, every temple is famous for different reasons like Aartis, Mantra Chanting, Agni Ceremony, Beautiful Art and Architecture, and History. Experience peace and holiness with the melodious sounds of hymns and temple ringing bells.
3) River Rafting: Rishikesh is often touted as the adventure capital of India. The benevolent nature, the fast-flowing water of Ganges is perfect for combating the electric rapids while river rafting. Sailing on the rapids on a rubber boat is an adventurous activity filled with excitement that is gaining momentum in the Indian adventure sports scene. And for the daredevils, there is an option of jumping 25 feet from a ledge into the water. In order to satiate your thirst for exciting sports, you can go for combo rafting trips which involve overnight camp by the riverside with an amazing campfire. A fantastic activity which is sociable as each raft accommodates six-to-eight people at a time at pocket-friendly prices.
4) Bungee Jumping: Feel the adrenaline rush by jumping off the heightened structure which can be a cliff, building, or a vertical rail. Experience the thrill of diving in the air from a height of 80 plus meters. If you an aerial adventure junkie then do place bungee jumping on your bucket list of to-do things in Rishikesh
5) Cross the Laxman Jhula: Feed the history enthusiast in you by visiting the Lakshman Jhula-- one of the prominent landmarks in Rishikesh, India. The historical context says that Lord Lakshman crossed the sacred river Ganga through a jute rope which was later converted into a bridge. Take a stroll on the bridge suspended over the Ganges River and experience its holiness. One can find several vendors near the bridge selling religious objects and ornaments. Make your trip to Rishikesh more exciting and memorable. Know and find out the things to do, see, and experience in Rishikesh, India through this blog.
6) The Beatles Ashram: The beloved and celebrated music band, the Beatles, visited the town of Rishikesh to learn the art of transcendental meditation from Yogi Maharishi Mahesh which gave this town global recognition. Therefore, for all the music buffs and the die-hard fans of Beatles, visiting this Ashram is a must. The ashram is in shambles, but the beauty lies in the history trapped in the nook and corner of the ruins. Walk through the shrubbery into the meditation pods with graffiti-covered walls while the images of Great Rock Band Beatles dwelling on the ashram life flash through your mind. It is also the spot where they formulated a lot of songs for their White Album.
7) Attend Dazzling Ganga Aarti: The confluence of three sacred rivers: The Ganga, Saraswati, and the Yamuna- The Triveni Ghat is the most acclaimed spiritual bathing spot in Rishikesh. Dotted on the banks of River Ganga, the ghat is crowded by thousands of pilgrims, saints, seers, etc., who visit the place to dip in the holy river and attend the mystical gathering (Aarti) performed every day during the evenings. Get allured by the dazzling site of Triveni ghat lit up with illuminated lamps that are sent floating in the river Ganga after the aarti, and feel the innate calmness and spiritual effects in the environment during the ceremony.
8) Savor the multi-cuisine: Treat your taste buds with an assortment of delicacies which are delectable and equally wholesome. The town of Rishikesh is famous for sattvic food, prepared from fresh sources, Ayurvedic herbs, and indigenous spices. Several people perceive sattvic food to be bland but astonishingly, the yogic diet served is healthy and appetizing that you shall find yourself licking your fingers after the consumption of food. Overlooking the giant panorama of Ganges, there are some cafes in Rishikesh providing Ayurvedic food at pocket-friendly prices, with continental food choices for the travelers. The Buddha cafe is one of the most popular places in Rishikesh, India. The unique structure, tree-house look, international menu lures the customers to this place. Also, pizzas served here are huge sizes that satiate your tummy.
From eternal spiritualism to enthralling whirls of Ganges, thrilling indulgences to bountiful of naturistic places, Rishikesh is truly a gem of a place worth visiting.
Author Bio: Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India. He loves writing and reading the books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas. For more information about him visit his website.