Blogs from Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India, Asia


Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh March 31st 2020

ishikesh HotelsMap This holy town got its name from the Sanskrit name Hrishikesha – which means “Lord of the senses”. Several rishis and saints have lived here due to its aura and spiritual significance. The holy Ganga flows through the entire town purifying the entire town. There are temples which are hundreds of years old and yoga centers throughout the town. Apart from being a spiritual town it is also the “International Yoga capital of the world”. Being the Yoga capital, the town is filled with multinational people and yogis, and thus wonderful international food joints. ... read more

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh January 5th 2020

A trip to Uttarakhand was in my mind for a long time but the chance never came. Until December of 2019. It was always meant to be a solo trip. The kind of one where you do soul searching and try to understand the great mysteries of life. The starting point for my journey was the beautiful yet chaotic town of Dehradun. My stay there was short. A local friend helped me with the accommodation and offered a ride to Rishikesh. I politely declined because I wanted to experience this all by myself right from the start. After a night's stay in Dehradun, I took an early bus to Rishikesh. The journey was beautiful and freezing and I reached the bus station of Rishikesh at about 8 a.m. There was not much crowd at the station, ... read more

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh March 21st 2019

We took the night bus to Rishikesh from Delhi. It took about 10 hours, so we arrived there early in the morning. We went to a guesthouse and first slept for a few hours. The bus ride wasn't really comfi so we needed a bit more sleep. Once we woke up we went for a walk through the town. We crossed the bridge, sat on the stairs next to the Ganga river. There I called mama because it was her birthday. Meanwhile, behind me a monkey was eating a papaya and in front of me there was a calf begging food to other people on the stairs. It was pretty funny. After I finished calling her, we walked through a street on the other side. We got sugarcane juice, which is really delicious. It's super refreshing ... read more
Sugarcane juice machine
On the bridge

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh February 28th 2019

It's a bold blog title, I know. Especially to describe the 'home of yoga' and a spiritual mecca of sorts, ever since the Beatles visited the ashram of Maharishi in the 60s. However. One can find God (if indeed that is what one is seeking) or Enlightenment, or the simple pursuit of peace in any place. Does that detract from the beauty of Rishikesh? For me, yes. It has become something of a commercial hive of activity, both for those with an authentic search and for those wanting to buy cheap yoga pants or acquire a yoga teaching qualification to take back to the West. Perhaps the gap between my visit and the writing of this post has enabled the wisdom and the perspective to percolate. And it is just that: a perspective. My perspective. So ... read more
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Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh September 26th 2018

My plan B worked out well with a lovely room, peace and quiet and a gorgeous manager! I seemed to spend hours just wandering along the shops , stopping for a coffee or lime soda and not really buying anything. Sounds great! The frustration came when each time I went to a drop in morning yoga class there was no teacher. This happened a few times. I began to think that I wasn’t in Rishikesh to do yoga. I managed 1 class. Then it started to rain and it rained for 2 days - really heavy, drenching rain. After that the ground was filthy - dirty feet, splashed trousers but oh so good to get out in the fresh air. I met up with one of the girls from the trip who stayed on like me ... read more
Procession for Ganesha
5.30 every morning!
Swami Chidananda leading the chanting at the fire puja

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh September 21st 2018

Survived the overnight train journey albeit grubby, sticky and hungry. So breakfast in Rishikesh was great after another hour by road. Just a few hours to look around nearby before we wandered down to the Ganges to cross the famous Lakshman Jhula bridge. Made our way through endless little shops, streetfood,cafes, cows and dogs to Parmarth Niketan Ashram for the nightly Ganga Aarti cermenony on the riverbank. The guru Swami Chidananda and various students and followers chant. It was chanting, music, clapping and mixing with Indians who grabbed the lamps like it was life or death! I knew one of the chants so could join in. The next day we went up the mountainside to camp! The idea being that everyone could swim in the Ganges. The campsite was very civilized and the food good. I ... read more
Lamps passed round the crowd
The joys of camping
Mother Ganga

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh January 17th 2018

' goes on, braah. La-la, how the life goes on!' This blog could have been titled 'Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey' or possibly any of the other tracks on The Beatles 'White Album'. Most of them were composed during their encounter with transcendental meditation here in Rishikesh during March and April of 1968. But, yes, 'life goes on' today much as it was when Paul McCartney wrote Ob-La-Di... all those years ago. Backpackers still flock here in search of 'enlightenment' and the town remains preoccupied with meditation and yoga. It's a kind of spiritual Disneyland for Westerners. Indeed, some of the tourists we encountered during our short stay - and they were here in vastly greater numbers than in Haridwar - apparently thought it was still the '60s or '70s. Their ... read more
The Ganges looking north from Lakshman Jhula
Downstream from Lakshman Jhula
On the road to the evening aarthi

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh January 16th 2018

Return to India 3 Meditating in Rishikesh 16th January 2018 Continuing the travels of two somewhat elderly brothers, David (of ‘the grey haired nomads’) and the much younger, Mike, (aka, ‘keep smiling’) getting to know each other rather better as they travel through the north of this fascinating country. Rishikesh, Devprayeg and Allahabad It’s only about an hour from Haridwar to Rishikesh, our taxi winding in and out of traffic on the switchback road. Way back in the ‘60s a group of guys headed this way with their wives and girlfriends seeking to dispose of some of their cash and searching for a new way of life. They came here to attend an advanced course in Transcendental Meditation at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram. You’ll know who I’m talking about: The Beatles, of course. Me? I’m ... read more
The Ganges
Aarti at Rishikesh
Devprayag from the road

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh November 15th 2017

Despite the Silent Retreat having finished, we started the day out at 7 am in the morning and continued our practice of Babaji Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) and meditation. It was amazing to do it with the whole group each morning at the Ganges. The fresh air was chilly but the exercise kept us warm and we definitely woke up ;-). Our next destination was Rishikesh. The travelling began with a visit to the famous Chandi Devi Temple which is located in Haridwar but was on route to Rishikesh. The Chandi Devi Temple was installed by Adi Shankaracharya, an early 8th century theologian and philosopher. The temple is on a hill and a typical indian gondola takes you up there. Well, we all had fun to jump into the gondola and the view over the surrounding ... read more
us in Rishikesh
Paramahamsa Vishwananda performing abishekam in the Shree Giridhar Dham Ashram in Vrindavan
Rishikesh at sunset

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh October 18th 2017

This morning I start the day with a yoga session on the green deck looking out onto the mountains as the sun rises, the only thing disturbing the peacefulness is the relentless honking of the horns on the road below, which starts at first light. ‘Blow your horn’ is written in big letters on the back of all trucks and buses so I guess everyone is just following orders. For breakfast I don’t eat so much this morning as I am starting to fill up! I have a 'vada pav' which is Mumbai street food and is a fried potato mixture in a little bun, its absolutely delicious and the nearest thing to British food, I am able describe it as a spicy chip butty. Shenton decides to go for porridge but the bowl he has ... read more

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