Fun Things To Do In Rishikesh, India
Yoga, Meditation, Ashrams, Scrumptious Food, And The Beatles.
Rishikesh became recognized in the late 1960s when the most influential band at the time, The Beatles stayed at the Ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to study transcendental meditation.
A QUICK GUIDE TO LIFE IN RISHIKESH
***GUESTHOUSES & ASHRAMS***
There is no shortage of Ashrams, hotels, guesthouses to suit every budget. l don’t recommend a hostel when most guesthouses or Ashrams charge as little as 300-500R ($4-7) per night, not including food and yoga classes. Most places offer wifi, linen, and hot water.
I recommend Tapovan as it’s less noisy and has more options than the other two villages.
When I first arrived in Tapovan I wandered the streets looking for accommodation that suited my budget, and my spiritual and yoga goals. When I entered Vishnu Yoga Shala and Ashram with stunning views of Laxman Jhula bridge and the sacred fast-flowing Ganges I knew this Ashram would be my home for the next five weeks. The Ashram is small with around 8 rooms, a wonderful yoga and meditation hall, and a beautiful temple. I paid 500R per night and most afternoons took their Ashtanga classes (300R). In the evenings I often participated in Puja with the priests, fellow students and anyone from town. Most Ashrams don’t have a set schedule that you must follow unless you pay to participate in the teaching training programs or a spiritual retreat.
***YOGA & MEDITATION***
Ashtanga, Hatha, yoga therapy, teacher training, and numerous meditation studios are scattered all though Laxman Jhula, Ram Jhula, and Tapovan. Most places offer drop-in classes (200-300R/ $3-4) throughout the day and provide all the necessary equipment – yoga mats, blocks, straps, and blankets. I recommend trying different yoga and meditation classes as all the teachers have their own unique methods, adjustments, and philosophies that will enrichen your experience.
***KIRTAN PRAYER CHANTS***
Sing devotional, ancient chants accompanied by musical instruments in smaller venues scattered around Rishikesh. After a busy day, singing or listening to these mantras will quiet the mind and provide a soothing calmness. Ask at any hotel or yoga studio and they will know of current venues offering Kirtan prayer chanting.