Located in the foothills of the Northern Himalayas, Rishikesh is a type of destination where you heal your mind and body. It’s a divine pilgrimage destination, an adventurous place, and a city that invites inner peace. The atmosphere of Rishikesh can have you feeling like Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love; it’s truly uniquely its own. But if getting to be the lead character isn’t convincing enough, let’s dive deeper to know why traveling to Rishikesh should be on your bucket list.
To Go Through A Spiritual Awakening
You can easily fill pages and pages of a book if you want to write about the mythology of the land of Rishikesh. It’s the land on which Lord Rama is believed to have done penance for killing Ravana. It’s also the ground on which his brother Lakshman crossed the holy river Ganga. Going by Hindu mythology, many Gods walked the lands of Rishikesh and you’ll be walking those paths too.
The region is a place of religious importance and you can witness this spirituality during the Ganga Aarti (prayer ritual) that happens on the banks of the river each evening. Lamps are lit and prayers are chanted to the holy Ganga – a goddess of purification and forgiveness. The ambiance of temples, holy shrine bells ringing, sandhus and ashrams all together create an atmosphere of spiritual awakening.
To Take A Dip In India’s Holiest River
Rishikesh is home to Mother Ganga, the holiest river worshipped by millions of people in India. Those who seek tranquility and want to spend some time in contemplation sit by the turquoise blue river Ganges for company. The river bank is the perfect place to meditate and allow your stream of thoughts to flow (pun intended). If you wish to, you can also take a dip in the river. Many Hindu pilgrims take a dip in faith that it will cleanse them of their sins and bring salvation. Meditating by the river banks and soaking in the atmosphere could leave you feeling refreshed and find answers within while you relax your mind.
To Feel Like A Beatle
You seasoned classic rock lovers will know we’re not just referring to a bug. The legendary music band ‘The Beatles’, when spiritually exhausted with fame, tried to find answers by attempting Transcendental Meditation in Rishikesh in 1968. This was done under the leadership of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
With meditation and efforts to have a spiritual awakening, the band reportedly wrote 48 songs during their time there. Rishikesh was a great period of creativity with songwriting for the Beatles, and perhaps the region could be that for you too? Also, you can still visit the Beatles Ashram if you’d like to see where they set up quarters during their visit.
To Get A Dose Of Adrenaline
Many people are now coming to Rishikesh with adventure sports on their minds and let us tell you something we know, they don’t leave disappointed! For those who like to take in the scenery of Rishikesh on foot, you can go on hiking trails. Chandrashila, Roopkund, Kuari Pass and Gomunk are popular trekking trails to go on. On treks, you’ll capture unmatched views of rugged mountains and lush green meadows. You’ll also soak up sunshine on the trek which you’re probably missing when you work from home.
Now if you want your heart to get pumping and jumping, you can try extreme sports like bungee jumping, giant swing ride, flying fox, zip lining, and the most popular – river rafting! You get to whiz through the crisp air and capture beautiful vistas on such activities. You can also opt for rappelling, mountain biking and cliff jumping. As you can see, Rishikesh has no shortage of adventure sports. You can easily team up with an adventure company to soar through trees or battle rapid river waves, what’s it going to be?
To Eat Healthy And Wholesome Food
In Rishikesh, you’d primarily get vegetarian food which is good for your health and gut! Leafy greens form a big part of the cuisine here (green veggies, guys! Not talking about the other leafy green you have in mind, supposedly available in Rishikesh). Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula are the main streets to gorge on some mouthwatering vegetarian meals. You’ll also come across several art cafés and bakeries on these streets where you’ll find very interesting meals and people too!
Individuals from all the globe that have found a home in Rishikesh bring their cuisine to the region and this is the speciality of the meals here. All the introverts out there, just a heads up that you might also come across friendly strangers ready to chat and have a conversation over meals. This is just what the food culture is like in Rishikesh. Fresh fruit juices, detox juices, spicy Punjabi thali and Naan Khatai (cookies) are a few things you have to eat when traveling to Rishikesh.
To Coax Tension Out Of Your Muscles At A Yoga Retreat
Looking to stretch those muscles that have become sore from working at home? Or find a fix to increase your blood circulation? Some time at a yoga retreat in Rishikesh is all you need. You’ll find yoga enthusiasts from all over the world traveling to Rishikesh to learn and practice yoga. In the ancient times, sages and gurus perfected the art of yoga and meditation in Rishikesh.
It’s truly like a Mecca for yoga and you’ll soon realise that when you lose count of the number of yoga ashrams, schools, and retreats you see. So, be assured that you won’t have to look too far to find a place where you can join a yoga class. Also, what better location for yoga than the foothills of the Himalayas itself, with the serene Ganga river channeling peaceful vibes to you?
Traveling to Rishikesh definitely belongs on your bucket list if you’re searching for a mix of adventure and spiritual awakening. It’s also the perfect destination to stare in wonder at the mighty Himalayas, fixate your eyes on the flowing Ganges and eat some of the best vegetarian meals. The people of Rishikesh also contribute in a big way to the atmosphere. You can make some awesome friends and have great conversations about Rishikesh at our goSTOPS hostel; we’re at not one but two well-centered places to stay in Rishikesh!
Which Month Is Best For Rishikesh?
Anytime from October to May is considered to be a good time to visit Rishikesh. From May to June it gets pretty hot because of which there’s fewer tourists during these months. Most tourists avoid coming to Rishikesh during the monsoons (June to mid-September) because the rains could potentially bring certain sightseeing plans to a halt.
Why Should One Visit Rishikesh?
You can visit Rishikesh to get picture perfect views of the Himalayas and the pristine Ganga rivers. The destination also draws anyone who loves adventure sports like mountain biking, river rafting, bungee jumping, zip lining and much more.
What Is Special About Rishikesh?
The shrines, temples, the holy river Ganga and people coming from all over the globe in hopes to connect with their spiritual side makes Rishikesh special. It’s location is also very unique because you get to see the magical Himalayas and partake in extreme adventure sports. Lastly, it’s the yoga capital of India. It’s believed that yoga breathes and lives in here, so if you wish to learn more about yoga, meditation and ayurveda practices, go visit Rishikesh.
What Should I Take To Rishikesh?
Depending on when you visit Rishikesh, make sure you’re carrying sunscreen, a shawl/jacket and clothes that dry quickly if you take a dip in the Ganges. Also, carry a few respectable style outfits that can be worn to temples since there are quite a few holy places in Rishikesh. Ensure you have a waste bag in which you can throw your waste in it and avoid polluting the place.