Rishikesh, India is known as the yoga-capital of the world.
When I went to India for the first time, two years ago, Rishikesh was my number one destination. After missing my connection-flight in Istanbul to India I was running towards the train station in New Delhi to catch my train. And I would have made if it wouldn’t have been for a scam that sent me up to Kashmir. During whole of my trip and even back home I couldn’t help feeling that I missed out, Rishikesh had been my dream for so long.
So when I once again came back to India this spring to do my final bachelor-thesis I sent an e-mail to my teacher telling her how much it meant to me that my thesis would be good, but…. I´m in India and I´m going to Rishikesh!
I went. I loved it. And I didn´t do any yoga whatsoever!
I will go back there again to do a teacher training course but this time my plan was to get a feel for the place. And I discovered that Rishikesh is more than yoga. It is beautiful, relaxing and peaceful although not quiet. Most times of the days you will hear chanting or singing from a nearby ashram. The shopping is good and you will find many nice little cafés around.
So what to do here except yoga? Here are some tips!
Visit one of the many ghat´s (stairs leading down to Ganges) and take a morning swim in the holy river.
Go to Parmarth Niketan for the Sunset Ganga Aarti, which is a beautiful ceremony filled with song and prayers by and for the holy river as the sun sets.
Take a walk and visit on of the waterfalls outside Rishikesh. It is not very big or special, but it is beautiful and peaceful as well as it is a nice walk in the forest.
Rent a scooter or walk around in the outskirts of Rishikesh and you are bound to find you own private beach!
Go rafting on Mother Ganges! A great way to spend a couple of hours where you except for rafting also get to go in for a swim, or if you anything like me float around for ages on the holy river, watch the Himalaya Mountains pass by and enjoy the stillness.
Watch the sun set from a café while zipping a oreo-shake. Priceless!