Rishikesh is fondly called the Yoga capital of India. With Ganga in the backdrop, this place is a gem in itself. There is smething in the air that gets to you that makes you feel calm and relaxed, such is the aura of the place! You would find spiritual seekers, yogis, trainers, teachers, pandits etc. from all walks of life. Foreigners come here, live like locals, imbibe the spiritual and ayurvedic life and go back home enriched and soul rich. Come lets explore why is Rishikesh on almost every foreigner’s list:
1. Yoga and Meditation
There are a lot of ashrams with different programs running throughout the year. Foreigners generally enrol for Yoga, Yoga teacher training programs, meditation courses before hand. Then there are courses according to duration of stay as well for both the foreigners and locals.
2. Ayurveda and Spa
People come here for various types of ayurvedic healing, reiki and energetic healing and then there are Spa of all kinds to relax and cleanse your body. Foreigners are far more aware of the ayurvedic side of Rishikesh and come here to rejenuvate their inner self.
3. Adventure sports
Rishikesh is also predominently known for water sports. Experience river rafting, camping, hiking, bungee jumping that these companies offer to locals and foreigners. It will certainly charge up for adrenaline!
4. A glimpse of India
This quaint town has a history to know, culture and diversity to experience, adventure sports to enjoy, scenic views to savor, and Yoga and other ayurvedic retreats to cleanse your soul. What else one would want?
5. Cafes overlooking Ganga (majorly Lakshman Jhula)
Lakshman Jhula is flooded with petite cafes overlooking Ganga which gives a mesmerizing view. Come, sit, enjoy free wifi and repeat! That’s an everyday rountine here with foreigners. You would find lip smacking Italian, Israeli, Lebanese, Mexican food in these cafes. Some cafes have small bohomein cloth shops, junk and antique jewelry and tattoo shops attached to them where you can shop and buy cheap stuff.
6. Spirituality and Devotion
Going through the streets of Rishikesh, you would hear mantras and devotional songs sung by both Indians and foreigners in every nook and corner. They chant of the Shambu, the Great Lord Shiva and it feels so divine that words fall short to express. People love Shivay for all reasons and come to Rishikesh to experience it. Evening aarti at Parmeth Ashram, Triveni Ghat and others sways your heart in delight and devotion.
7. Music and Dance
People who visit India generally come on a long holiday, so they try to make the best out of it. Rishikesh is full of dance/Kathak classes, vocational singing classes and music classes. People love the culture and diversity of our country and take that piece of learning with them. A good lot of people who come here for a long stay learn hindi and speak fluently giving we Indians a competition!
I don’t think any foreigner who came to Rishikesh was ever disppointed! Do let me know of your views about Rishikesh. Until then “Om Namay Shivay”