Rishikesh | World capital of YOGA | Town on the banks of GANGES

Rishikesh yoga capital of world

Rishikesh, as the title says, is the world yoga capital. It is situated at a height of 372m above mean sea level in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. Rishikesh is well known for its yoga ashrams, Ganga Aarti, River Rafting and many other things. Rishikesh is named after Harishikesh – avatar of Vishnu.

My friend and I planned that we will go to Rishikesh as soon as I will come back from Goa. But the day I came back from Goa my annoying friend got sick and he said he need at least​ one week to recover. Like this our plan got postponed several times and in between I climbed the third highest peak of Solan district (Himachal Pradesh), but he was still postponing. Finally we decided that we will go on 24th of March and one mutual friend of ours also agreed to accompany us.

We reached Rishikesh late in the evening and our first task was to find the cheapest room. We found the room and immediately rushed towards Lakshman jhula, I don’t know why but we rushed, came back and slept.  It is believed that Lakshmana crossed river Ganges on jute rope between these place where this bridge is built. This bridge was completed in 1929 and was constructed by U.P.P.W.D.

Lakshman Jhula rishikesh

Next day we had breakfast, inquired about river rafting and cycling. We hired bicycles and headed towards Shivpuri. The owner of the cycles gave us a map of the nearby location that we can go on cycles in one day. Day progressed and we found out that we cannot reach all the places mentioned in the map as we were amateur and riding cycle for the first time.

Travel blog rishikesh

Map to rishikesh

We reached Shivpuri, lifted cycles on the shoulders and descended down towards the river bank. We took our cloths off​ and jumped into the river. After such a tiring bicycle ride of approximately 16-17 kilometers when that cold blue water of Gangotri touched my skin made me fall in love with nature more. Water had an relaxing effect and I felt energized. But that energy vanished away immediately after seating on the seat of the cycle. F*** was the word which traveled a long distance from my ass and reached my mouth depicting the pain in the ass. After that I barely sat on the seat till we reached back.

firefox cycles at rishikesh

Day two began with a urge for doing some thrilling task, so we decided to go for white water river rafting. Booked our 3 seats in a raft of 10, and we were the only ones who booked that raft that day. Our instructor who was from Uttarakhand gave us instructions in English in a British accent which was hard to understand so I just said yes everytime he asked “understood”. It was a breathtaking experience with plenty of rapids having weird names, I don’t remember all of them but some of them were golf course, hello baby, double trouble, return to center. After rafting we were roaming along the banks of Ganges and suddenly we came across some foreigners playing music on the mini Goa beach. The music was so soothing that it relaxed my mind and took me to whole other level of satisfaction. I just wanted to sit there till they sing their last word but we had some other plans so we rushed to attend famous Parmarth Niketan Ganga Aarti which added a religious touch to the wonderful adventurous day.

meditation at ganga

Till now my rating was:
• Rishikesh 7/10
• Rishikesh trip 7/10
After last day:
• Rishikesh 10/10
• Rishikesh trip 10/10
Last day was kept specially for Beatles ashram. The Beatles visited Rishikesh in 1968 to learn Transcendental meditation from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Beatles met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in London in 1967 and also attended his meditation seminars, they were are attracted to his teachings that they came to Rishikesh with their families to learn more about Transcendental meditation. They wrote some best songs of their life in Rishikesh and came into limelight after that. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ashram was later named The Beatles Ashram.
Riverrafting in rishikesh
River rafting in Rishikesh
River rafting under lakshman Jhula
Lakshman Jhula
cliff diving in rishikesh
Cliff diving in Rishikesh
Officially ashram is under custody of forest department Uttarakhand. Entry tickets have different rates for students INR 75 for others INR 150 and for foreigners INR 600. After having a look at the ashram, the graffiti, the meditation domes, preaching hall even the foreigners might think that the place was worth spending money on.
meditation cells at ganga
Meditation cells
Ashram for foreigners in rishikesh
Aashram in Rishikesh
Meditation dome in rishikesh.
Meditation dome with a graffiti
 Wall art in rishikesh
Now, to add colors to the adventurous trip we decided to hitch hike. Firstly two of us hesitated but at last agreed to the plan. We reached Rishikesh bus stand and then split in different directions. Our first destination was Dehradun. The person who first helped me was “KHAN” and believe me he was not a terrorist. He tricked me to help him but still dropped me close enough to my first sub station Nepali Farm. It took me 8 lifts to reach Dehradun and FOUR of them were engineer’s and none of them was working. I was the last one to reach Dehradun. From Dehradun we decided to continue till we reach Paonta Sahib, this time I reached second. This way we covered approximately 100kms by hitch hiking, which felt like a adventure sport in itself.
originally posted in wandereravi.blogspot.com

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