Located in the state of Uttaranchal, Rishikesh is the centre for all manner of New Age activity and Hindu belief. It is here in Rishikesh that the holy river Ganges leaves the mountains and joins the plains for the long journey east to the Bay of Bengal. The whole area is considered sacred for Hindus, as it is believed that meditation here leads to the attainment of salvation. Rishikesh has attracted poets, artists and mystics for thousands of years. Hindus regard it as highly as Muslims regard Mecca. Meat and alcohol are forbidden, and inhabitants display a public air of sanctimony.
Gaining instant fame in the 1960s as the site where ‘The Beatles’ met their guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the guru whose Transcendental Meditation Centre still markets his spiritual programs, Rishikesh is an ideal place to meditate and study yoga. Pilgrims clad in loincloths tread the town’s streets or pitch camp on the banks of the sacred Ganges, which sweeps majestically through the town and out onto the great Indian plains. Head for Triveni Ghat to watch pilgrims participate in the daily worship ritual known as Aarti.
Rishikesh is home to many ashrams, particularly Hatha but also Vivekenanda, Sivananda, Osho and the Bihar school of yoga. It is a different style of yoga to that of the West but the slow and spiritual atmosphere is well suited to the Indian style of yoga.
Rishikesh is an ideal base camp for trekking in the nearby Himalayas and white water rafting.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Rishikesh, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to India
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