Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, Rishikesh is known as the 'Gateway to the Himalayas' and 'Yoga Capital of the World'. I recently visited Rishikesh and it has already become one of my favourite places.
Rishikesh is the land of spiritual sagas where mythical tales live on till today. So why would a big city (Mumbai) girl like me would have visited Rishikesh? Read on to know why!
1. Street Arts - Well for me, this was surely the highlight of my trip. I had never expected street art in a spiritual city like this. Taking the spirit of street art much further, Rishikesh Street Art is not just limited to streets but spreads across buildings, broken tin roofs, bridges and more. I was pleasantly surprised as I kept on discovering these master pieces at nooks and corners of the city.
2. Beatles Ashram - The Beatles quartet spent few weeks here in 1968 meditating and writing songs for the White Album. Although the buildings of the ashram are somewhat dilapidated, you can still feel the vibe. Inside those buildings, I was bowled over seeing the amazing graffiti art. The ashram has long been a pilgrimage site for fans soaking up harmonious vibes - but I think whether you are a Beatles fan or not, this place will surely get you hooked.
3. Food - Rishikesh is a meat and alcohol free city due to its spiritual and mystical environment. But there's no dearth of good food. There is a plethora of cuisines available - German, Italian, Tibetan, and of course Indian etc. Infact, I had the best Vegetarian food ever - Banana Nutella Pancake, Thukpas (Tibetan cuisine) and Momos in Rishikesh.
4. Adventure Sports - If you have been trying to satisfy your adrenaline rush, look no further. Rishikesh is the place to be. You can try out River Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Flying Fox, Cliff Jumping, Jungle Camping, and Beach Camping etc. I personally tried river rafting and was thrilled to bits - and that too not knowing how to swim! The rapids of icy cold Ganges are perfect for such adventure sports.
5. Yoga - No brainer, right? Rishikesh is home to some of the most eminent Yoga ashrams. Learning Yoga is one thing, but practicing Yoga at the banks of the mighty River Ganges takes you to another level. I can't even begin to explain how it feels. When the cool breeze is interspersed with chants for the holy Ganges and you are practicing right by the river. 'Heavenly' might be a word that fits aptly here.
Rishikesh is one of the places where the quest for inner bliss is constant.
If these reasons don't put Rishikesh on your bucket list, nothing will. Go explore Rishikesh right now!