Rishikesh, in the state of Uttarakhand, is a great centre of Hindu faith and religion. Based on the banks of River Ganges, it receives visitors seeking spiritual solace from all over the country and the world. So instead of booking hotels in Rishikesh, you could consider staying at one of these ashrams if you are seeking a peaceful and relaxing vacation. It is also the place to be if you are a solitude-seeker keen on refreshing your mind and cleansing your soul.
Check the many ashrams which dot the town of Rishikesh. They have a lot to offer – from yoga lessons to meditation classes. Find one that sits best with your needs. The ashram settings are perfect – at the foothills of the Himalayas, and your spiritual quest will be answered in Rishikesh. Read on to learn more about the ashrams of Rishikesh and facilities they have to offer.
1. Parmarth Niketan –
This is near Swargashram. This ashram hosts the ‘International Yoga Festival’ every year in the month of February. It is attended by participants from all over the world. With over a thousand rooms on the campus, there is no dearth of accommodation here. There is a ‘Gurukul’ or school which runs here to impart the knowledge of yoga, meditation and different Hindu principles and practices. For enrollees, the price charged is inclusive of 3 meals and 2 yoga classes per day. Learn of philosophy and Vedic heritage during your stay. You can even visit the campus just to attend the classes by offering a donation. Tour the Parmarth Niketan Ashram towards the evening to witness the ‘Ganga Aarti’. It is a renowned programme here, given that the ashram is based on the banks of River Ganges.
2. Sivananda Ashram –
Located near Ram Jhula, the Sivananda Ashram conducts many charitable and spiritual activities. Established with the aim of providing spiritual balance, this ashram also lies on the banks of Ganges River. The five guiding principles of Yoga – meditation, postures, relaxation, breathing and diet are taught here. Meditation and yoga sessions that are free of cost are held every day. Food and accommodation are made free on an application before a month of arrival and also if you are a serious spiritual seeker.
3. Yoga Niketan Ashram –
The Yoga Niketan Ashram is based out of Muni-Ki-Reti, a known location in Rishikesh, above the Badrinath Road. There is a Yoga Hall here which is the venue of ‘asanas’ and ‘pranayams’ done every morning and evening. It follows the ‘Eight Fold Path’ of the Patanjali Yoga Shastra. Students who enrol here have to follow a rather disciplined schedule of meditation, yoga and discourse. Surrounded by abundant greenery, it is just the sort of place which reconnects you with yourself. Even if you do not enrol for a session, it is certainly worth a visit.
4. Omkarananda Ganga Sadan –
The Patanjali Yoga Kendra is based out of here. If you are looking for classes of Iyengar yoga, this is the place for you. The Ashram also boasts of a private ghat and conducts an evening ‘aarti’. Spend a few quiet moments here observing this wonderful spectacle. It could well end up as one of the most moving experiences of your life. Yoga lessons are held here every day. You can also attend classes on the ‘Bhagavad Gita’.
So forget about Rishikesh hotels and revive your soul when in this spiritual town. The ashrams here offer you peace and calm.