The hippie culture that rose to popularity in the 1960s, began as a counterculture, mainly in the UK and the USA. People who didn't abide by the norms of society and chose to appear as they wished, with long hair and vibrant clothes while accessorising with beads, came to be known as hippies. This culture was spread since they travelled throughout the world, living a free-spirited life.
Although we don't live in the 60s anymore, hippies exist till date. Since India is a country full of small, unexplored and quaint towns, they saw potential in certain regions and now these places have become famous for being home to hippies from all over the world.
Read about these 7 places in India, where you can experience the hippie culture.
Wish to visit somewhere less crowded but as hippie as Goa? Then, Gokarna should be on your bucket list. Situated in Karnataka, Gokarna is known for its famous Mahabaleshwar Temple. However, Gokarna is not only about history and religion. In fact, it’s all about miles of tranquil pristine beaches and spiritual discovery.
The yoga capital of the world has much more than just that; this place will be what you want it to be. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, this place in Uttarakhand is where you should be if you just want to chill out and let go of the world. This place has many faces to it – yoga ashrams and cafes sprouting side by side, every other day. Mostly rife with foreign tourists, Rishikesh is where you’ll see hippies smoking with the ‘cool’ holy men; that’s Rishikesh for you.
Colourful and spiritual, this land is one of the oldest hippie destinations in India. Being one of the holiest spots, the region has become commercialised, though the charm remains. The idea of moksha (liberation) is visible in the endless lines of saints and sadhus smoking their chillums; they’ll even offer you one if you get friendly with them! You’ll find hippies smoking and strumming their guitars and the‘Hare Rama, Hare Krishna’ chant is heard commonly through the wisps of smoke rising from the chillums.
The name itself sounds like the magical world that is enclosed from the world in this tiny town situated in Uttarakhand. It is frequented by the hippie crowd for its Crank’s Ridge, a hill located just above Almora. Also known as the ‘Hippie Hill’, this place has the old world charm of the 60s and 70s, which explains why the place is so loved by the nirvana seekers. This mystical hamlet is a must visit for the times when you decide to take a trip to self-discovery, or just ‘trip’ for that matter.
Forget the beaches and head to the beautiful and pristine land of the Himalayas. Kasol is Himachal’s well-kept secret, a hidden paradise with picturesque landscapes and breath taking views. The Parvati Valley should be your hamlet if you want to be a part of the rave circuit. Babas smoking ‘pot’ in chillums is a common sight here. Bus up to the hills, enter any cafe, put on your favourite EDM and trance beats and bring the place alive. Oh, and don’t forget those herbs! Try visiting Tosh if you have an extra day or two.
The Golden City as it is known is famous for its rich heritage and culture. You can actually live like royalty inside the fort and experience the (in)famous Rajasthani lifestyle. Yes, I know that’s not what you want to really do. Where you really need to go is the desert. Infinite, warm yet serene, it gives you a different kind of high altogether. So, wade through the sand dunes, lie down and drown in the sky full of stars.
Kerala is not just known for its backwaters anymore. Varkala is probably the newest addition to the frequented Indian places for the hippies. This place still offers unparalleled privacy to the hippie culture, unheard of these days. Water, water everywhere, lots of beauty to drink.
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