Exploring Rishikesh: The Birthplace of Yoga

Exploring Rishikesh: The Birthplace of Yoga

Ask any Yogi, beauty lover, or adventure junkie to name their dream destination in India, and you will most likely hear Rishikesh -- the yoga capital of the world. Since ancient times, Rishikesh has been sheltering sages, saints, yoga aspirants and philosophers who wish to gain enlightenment about the science of yoga.

It is a region that embraces the Himalayas and holy Ganges. Flourished with spiritual aura and timeless beauty, Rishikesh beckons people from all across the globe to come and explore its spellbinding flavors.

Land of Yogic Enlightenment

Eminent as the yoga capital of the world, Rishikesh fulfills the aspirations of yoga seekers in an idyllic manner. Since yoga was born in this land, the culture, food and daily practices are deeply steeped in the principles of yoga. So much so that one can have a glimpse of yoga ashram, sadhus with mala beads and a group of yogis in glorious Tadasana at every nook and corner of this holy town. 

A study group by the Ganges at Muni ki Reti near Rishikesh. Image: Ajay Tallam

Owing to the sacredness of the place, Rishikesh boasts the highest number of certified yoga schools offering yoga teacher training programs, retreat packages and more. The teachers at the yoga schools in Rishikesh have adopted yoga science in a traditional manner, which is reflected in their teachings and the lessons imparted. Rishikesh is certainly an ideal place to garner the wisdom of yoga in an authentic manner.

Splendour of Mother Nature

Rishikesh is a place drenched in natural opulence and charm. Nestled in the lap of the misty Himalayas and engulfed in the sacredness of the Ganga, Rishikesh attracts the attention of travellers from all over the world. The benevolent climate, protected flora and fauna, and lush green vegetation add to the grandeur of the place.

Old meditation huts in the forest near Rishikesh. Image: Eran Sandler

The cascading Neel Garh waterfalls and the calm flowing Ganges uplift the soul in a charismatic manner. Waking up to the sounds of chirping birds and getting a chance to spend the day in the caress of Mother Nature heals the body-mind. Rishikesh offers you the opportunity to pause, admire and connect with the beautiful surroundings.

Spiritual Magnificence

Arguably, Rishikesh is the most spiritual of destinations in India. To witness the spiritual magnificence of Rishikesh, visit Triveni Ghat for Ganga Aarti. The Aarti is performed to honor the mother Ganges. In the Aarti, oil lamps are sent floating in the Ganges, Satsangs are organized, and Sanskrit shlokas are recited that transform the entire atmosphere into a devotional exuberance.

The Lakshman Jhula bridge over the Ganges at Rishikesh. Image: Meg and Rahul

The countless temples and spiritual spots across the town also give you a feeling of tranquility and divinity. You can attend celebrations at these spots to experience their holiness. It would not be wrong to say that Rishikesh’s heart reverberates with spirituality.

Taste of Ayurveda and Wellness

As Rishikesh is a yogic and spiritual hub, the food of Rishikesh is harmonious for the health of the body, mind and soul. Rishikesh is a vegetarian town serving delicacies that are sattvic and prepared from fresh farm produce. From street vendors to cafes to fine dining restaurants, everywhere you can savour tasty vegetarian dishes garnished with chosen Ayurveda herbs and spices.

Shops and massage schools in a Rishikesh street. Image: Anandoart | Dreamstime

At Little Buddha cafe, Amrit Ganga cafe, Honey Hut, and others, you get to taste mouthwatering dishes along with panoramic views of the town and the flowing Ganges. Most of the eateries in Rishikesh offer vegan food and other diverse cuisines.

Embrace Relaxation

Rishikesh is well-known for its sacredness, beauty and relaxation. The town of Rishikesh is bustling with numerous spa centers and Ayurveda schools where you can undergo relaxation therapies to rejuvenate yourself. The treatments and therapies are carried out by skilled masseurs extending a healing touch. Undergoing relaxation therapies in Rishikesh’s calm atmosphere is a feeling of Ananda (bliss).

From beauty to adventures like hiking and river rafting, Rishikesh has much to offer visitors. It’s a destination where you will spend unforgettable moments. So, come to Rishikesh and attain the gift of yoga wisdom, peace and divinity.

Header image: Mo Bei | Dreamstime

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