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Aarti

Rishikesh literally means Lord of senses. It is situated on the banks the river Ganges, surrounded by Shivalik range of the Himalayas on the three sides. It is believed that when Raibhya Rishi undertook rigorous penance, God appeared in the form of “Hrishikesh” and henceforth the place came to be known as Rishikesh. It is the starting point for Hindu Char Dham pilgrimage, including Yamunotri, Gangotri, kedarnath and Badrinath. It has been the undisputed Yoga capital of the world for centuries. People from all over the world come to this divine place for cleansing their mind and soul. They spend time in meditation and practicing Yoga. It is one of the best places to visit for people seeking peace of mind.

Shiv

In 1968, The beatles traveled to Rishikesh, India to attend an advanced Transcendental Meditation training session at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. This period of visit to Rishikesh was one of their most productive periods. Their interest in Maharishi changed western attitudes about Indian spirituality and encouraged the study of transcendental meditation.

Yoga

The Ashrams in Rishikesh organize meditation camps for reducing stress and other medical problems. It is also home to international Yoga festival held in early February every year.

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A few well-known ashrams in Rishikesh are –

Parmarth Niketen

parmarth

Situated on the banks of holy Ganges, It is one of the top yoga centers in India and the biggest ashram in the area. It has a thousand rooms with various rates starting from 300 rupees per day depending on the standard of accommodation and view. Two yoga classes and three meals daily are included in the price. The ashram runs an extensive program of beginner yoga, Vedic heritage and spirituality, and teacher training courses.

Sivananda Ashram

Sivananda

This ashram was founded by Swami Sivanand and is run by Divine Life Society. Free Yoga and meditation classes are offered daily. Free of charge accommodation with food is available to serious spiritual seekers who need to apply at least a month in advance. Teachings here are based around the five points of yoga – postures, breathing, relaxation, meditation and diet.

Omkarananda Ganga Sadan

Ganga Sadan

It is home to Patanjala Yoga Kendra yoga center. Iyengar Yoga classes are the speciality here. It has its own ghat and daily aarti is performed. Daily (except Sundays) yoga classes are open to everyone but reservations need to be made months in advance for the intensive yoga courses. Lectures on the Bhagavad Gita are also offered.

Sadhana Mandir and Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Ashram

Sadhana mandir

It has a serene garden setting on the banks of the Ganges river, but away from the hustle and bustle of Rishikesh. Various residential programs are offered and require reservations at least two weeks in advance.

Sanskriti Yogpeeth

Sanskriti

Sanskriti Yogpeeth is relatively new and modern — it was founded in 2010 — and is located in the happening Swarg Ashram area. Rather than being a typical ashram, it markets itself as a “yoga hotel”. There are 21 rooms with attached bathrooms, hot water, and even room service! Expect to pay $400 per person for one week, single occupancy, with all meals provided. On offer are daily Hatha yoga classes (morning and evening), seven or 15 day yoga retreats, Indian dance and classical music, philosophy of Yoga, and Ayurvedic massage

Pooja related items can be easily found in here at reasonable rates. Rudraksha, Lord Ganesha idols, Nataraja statues, religious books and mythological sculptures are a few of them.

Temples at Rishikesh attract thousands of pilgrims every year. All these places have great religious importance in the Hindu culture.  The place is well known for Yoga centers as well.

The most prominent festival here is Basant Panchami (Spring festival). It is celebrated during February-March.

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Rishikesh is the ideal destination for pilgrims as well as for those who want to delve deeper into meditation, yoga and other aspects of ancient practices.

For more information –

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