Rishikesh: Abode of Yoga and Tapasya

The Gateway to the Himalayas, the Char Dham Yatra i.e. The Four Sacred Journey of Hindus ideally begins from Rishikesh. Rishikesh is a small pilgrimage town, 1745 ft above the sea level, in North India in state of Uttarakhand. Rishikesh has eternal beauty, imperial and divine and enhancing this place are temples, ashrams and saints where they do “Tapasya” and meditate which gives celestial aura to this small town. The place is mesmerized and blessed by the sacred river Ganges; it is where it comes down and then enters the northern plains. The place of natural splendor and spectacle of the River Ganges rushing through the Himalayan foothills is breathtaking and awesome sight.

Rishikesh City

The temples dotting the bank and sacred rituals are being carried out on banks, its divine site. The place is mentioned in Veda’s, the name Rishikesh is another name of Lord Vishnu, according to mythology of Hindus, Lord Vishnu vanquished demon Madhu here. The great saints and yogis are believed to practice penance and have done austerities here. There is a scared Lakshman Jhula which is a bridge built on River Ganges for crossing, but it has mythology story attached of Lakshmana crossing it with jute rope and has carried out penance here. Also Ram Jhula another bridge has been made for crossing purpose by Rishikesh people.

For you to visit Rishikesh there are number of bus and train services offered. And in Rishikesh you can take Auto-Rickshaws for traveling around. Rishikesh timeless enigma could be felt in number of places that you must visit in your journey of divine abode:

  • Lakshmana Jhula
  • Gita Bhavan
  • Lakshman mandir and Bharata Mandir
  • Neelkanth Mahadev Mandir
  • Trimbakeshwar Temple
  • Triveni Ghat (for ritual Bathing)
  • Parmarth Niketan- Ashram where you can get knowledge or Gyaan of Vedas Education and see the spectacular Aarti/Pooja

Swargashram

The name means Heavenly Abode, and justifying the name, it is a beautiful place in the picturesque location at the foot of Himalayas with River Ganges in west bestowing it, “ground zero” or the Spiritual domicile of Rishikesh which is concentration of ashrams and temples. The life here is simple, healthy and divine, a satwik environment. Rishikesh is the holy city blessed by many holy sages. The place has reverberating with the chants of Hare Rama Hare Krishna.

The Ganga allures the people for its healing bath, and Rishikesh is said to be place where the austerities will get you closer to salvation than any other place. The river is abounds in fish because of offerings of puffed rice are made to these creatures by the people in going good deeds and also eating of other creature is banned and no where you will find non-vegetarian food. There is freshness in the air, and rhythm of flowing water, the charming beauty of the region and the distant sound of bell chimes create an extraordinary memorable experience for those visiting this ancient pilgrimage town.

The place is known as World Capital of Yoga, with such serene, tranquil, calm and peaceful environment and all satwik food, it is an idyllic place to practice the Yoga a key to good health and long life and also the best stress buster. India has got tremendous amount of traditional Knowledge of Yoga and Pranayam and Ayurvedic along with its Vedic knowledge. All this clubbed together with give you a wholesome spiritual, mental and physical growth. Though the stress is unavoidable in this materialistic life that we humans lead, it has caused damaged to out wellbeing in physical and mental health. We sustain chronic and incurable disease, stressful life, restlessness, anxiety, fatigue, fast ageing and frustrations in our day to day life. We experience burnout and thus we have an extreme need to practice these yoga and meditation which will add discipline and balance to our chaotic lives. Yoga gives us the power to heal, and live life in optimism and dynamism. Rishikesh is best place in world for it has the perfect setting to do yoga and the experts of this practice are found here in numbers which teach you the skills, practice and art of yoga. Doing yoga in fresh air of mountains will detoxify you and set your nerves calm and meditating on the bank of Ganges will give your mind, body and spirit the peace and tranquility. There are numerous practices of yoga and all forms and styles are represented here. Major yoga centers are:

  • Braham Yoga centre
  • Yoga Iyengar Courses
  • Yogi Prakash Dabhekar
  • Tattvaa Yogashala
  • The Yoga Study Centre
  • Yoga Niketan Ashram

Rishikesh hosts an International Yoga Festival, which is held every year in the first week of February. All the Beatles fans must know about the eternal beauty of Rishikesh. In February 1968, The Beatles had come to India to visit the now-closed Maharishi Mahesh Yogis ashram which is now over taken by weeds and forest. The place inspired the Beatles to compose nearly 48 songs during their time of stay at the Maharishis ashram, amongst those composed songs many of them appear on their White Album. John Lennon has also recorded a song here, titled, The Happy Rishikesh Song. Many other artists, including Mike Love of The Beach Boys, Gyp Mills and Donovan have visited the Rishikesh to contemplate and meditate.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ayurvedic Centre in the Niketan Ashram sells Ayurvedic health products. Here they also organise classes in learning of basic Ayurveda medicine, herbs, potions and practises if there are number of students.

Rishikesh valley is an eco health resort, with a service of naturopath and Ayurveda health consultant with rejuvenating therapies which is blend of Ayurveda and natural care with healthy Food. Also calming and relaxing therapies of yoga and passive meditation.

In Rishikesh you can also buy an overabundance of religious paraphernalia, bronze Shiva statues and of other deities.

Rishikesh is the holy land and with the grandeur of scenic beauties of mountains and river Ganges. The place is ideal for getting yourself to learn yoga and medicinal practice of Ayurveda. The blessings of the sages and vibes of saints practicing austerities penance and tapasya the place will leave the visitors heart with calm and fulfilling experience of peace.

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Trekking Destinations in Garhwal Himalaya

Over 20 Of The Most Scenic And Awe-Inspiring Trekking Trails In The World

Himalayas of Uttarakhand are on the Nature’s utmost arresting and awesome gifts to the mankind which is covered with beautiful and ravishing white blankets of snow. It is a land sanctified with glistening glaciers, snowy peaks, rolling-meadows, jagged rock faces, gushing cascades, thick woods, and hospitable people with sumptuous cultural values. The most frequently visited region of Himalayas is Garhwal which is situated between the Punjab to the West and the Nepal Himalayas to the East and it is the best place to enjoy the pleasure of mountaineering, trekking, and rock climbing. You can also visit the holy temples of Gangotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath, and Yamunotri. There is a strong belief that on bathing in front of these temples and viewing the holy shrines can wash off all your sins of life. Therefore, you can add spiritual values to your trekking tour to this area.

Some Popular Treks:

1- Gaumukh Trek: The Source of the Holy Ganges
Places Covered: Gangotri – Bhojvasa – Gaumukh – Tapovan
Duration: 6 Days

Gaumukh Trek

The holy Ganges originates from the huge glaciers, Kedarnath and Badrinath, of the gargantuan peaks of Shivling which is the Matterhorn of India and it starts her voyage to the sea. You will often encounter with the Hindu pilgrims and holy men like Sadhus in their saffron grab and matted hair. Most of the people all around the India visit to this sacred place one in their life.

2- Kuari Pass
Places Covered: Auli – Gorson – Tapovan – Kuari Pass – Ghat
Duration: 5 Days

Kuari Pass Trek

The trek over the Kuari Pass is located on the outer edge of Nanda Devi Sanctuary which is described beautifully by Eric Shipton in his book “A Vision of Such Beauty Is worth a World of Striving”. It was popularized by Lord Curzon when he was the British Viceroy of India. It acts as a substitute of the legendary trek that passes through the Rishi Gorge to the Inner Sanctuary as it is closed to all the trekkers and climbers due to the ecological reasons. Along with the fun of trekking and rock climbing, you can feel the closeness of nature by viewing the beautifulness of the peaks in and around Nanda Devi Sanctuary.

3- Valley of Flowers & Hemkund Sahib
Places Covered: Joshimath – Govind Ghat – Ghangria – Valley Of Flowers – Hemkund -Joshimath
Duration: 10 Days

Valley of Flowers Trek

The Valley of Flowers was discovered by a British mountaineer and botanist in 1931, when he lost his way and found this luxuriant valley of wildflowers. Therefore, he named it as the Valley Of Flowers. On your visit at efflorescent time that is between July to September, you can enjoy the pleasure of viewing more than thousands varieties of ferns, herbs, and the appealing flowers blooming in this thriving Valley of Flowers.

4- Roopkund – (The Mystery Lake)

Rupkund Trek

Places Covered: Gwaldam – Deval – Wan – Bedni – Baguabasa – Rupkund
Duration: 9 Days

Adventurous people are always on the lookout for some exciting route to trek upon. Those who wish to trek to the skeleton lake make their first move towards Lohajung. The destination is accessible by road. Next step is to climb over the hillock of Wan. At Ran Ki Dhar one can camp during night. Bedni Bugyal is the next stop. This place is like a pasture land. One can visit the two temples which are in the vicinity. A small lake can also be seen here. From here one goes uphill to Bhaguwabasa. Last stop is Roopkund.

5- Khatling Glacier

Khatling Glacier Trek

Places Covered: Ghuttu – Gangi – Reeh – Bhelbagi – Khatling Glacier
Duration: 9 Days

6- Kedartal Trek

Kedarnath Trek

Places Covered: Gangotri – Seema Kharakh – Kedartal
Duration: 6 Days

Famous Holiday Destinations in North India

North India is enthralling destinations here are many exotic destinations to explore. Great Himalaya is main destinations for every travel who want visit North India, Rajasthan is another hot destination, and Delhi is a historical city. Here is detailed information about North India great places.

Historical Delhi

Historical Delhi

Scoff aside all that you hear about the ‘Switzerland of India’ and book your tickets for Kashmir. While the rest of India is reporting rising levels of mercury, snow greets you in Gulmarg, even at this time of the year. Kashmir is every poet’s object of love, every traveller’s dream. Visit the sprawling apple orchards, picturesque Cheshmashahi Gardens or the tranquil Dal Lake. Stay like a prince in the house boats, take a ride across the valleys in ropeways suspended in almost thin air!

Vaishno Devi Temple

Vaishno Devi Temple

If you have time, you may visit the holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in Jammu. The journey may be difficult, but the view on the way is breathtaking. You may take a ride on the helicopter service if you wish.

The Himalayan Range borders the northern edge of India like a fortress. The significance of this mountainous range is reflected in our mythology, climatology and much more. Many a popular tourist destination, trekker’s paradise, family getaways, architectural hubs are scattered all across.

zanskar valley leh

Zanskar Valley Leh

Visit Leh and Ladakh for an experience of a lifetime. You would literally be on top of the world, because Leh is the highest habitation in India. The road gets choked due to snow, so you must make the most of it while the access to this paradise is still available. You may love to ride to Leh or Ladakh on your bike, but your bike is a powerful one.

A popular hill station that comes to one’s mind when Himachal Pradesh is mentioned is Shimla. As one tells you how beautiful the city had been once upon a time, you may have heard that too much tourist influx has resulted in rapid development and the views are lost. Well, don’t go by these rumours. Being the state capital, Shimla is indeed an activity centre, but it is a wonderful place to visit as well. During the British Rule, the capital was shifted here during the summers. Today the Hon’ble President of India visits Shimla once every year for a break from her responsibilities.

Khajjiar, Dalhousie

Khajjiar, Himachal

There are number of tourist destinations around Shimla, the latest addition to which is the 108 feet high statue of Lord Hanuman at Jakhoo temple. Inaugurated in 2010, the statue faces the town below and can be seen from anywhere around.

Amritsar is famous for the beautiful Golden Temple, the holy gurudwara of the Sikhs. The shrine sprawls over a large area, and has a huge water tank in the middle of it. In the centre stands the grand golden structure. The serenity of the view sooths your psyche, and the religious part of your soul receives a strong impetus. You may take a dip in the holy waters, but be careful of the large goldfish that swim around freely. The complex is impeccably clean, and common man is encouraged to participate in the daily functions of the Gurudwara.

wagah border amritsar

Wagah Border Amritsar

At a stone’s throw away distance is Jalianwala Bagh, a historical site where a massacre hand taken place during the pre-independence days.

Best time to visit the Char Dham

Char Dham of Uttarakhand

Move eastward along the Himalayas and you would come across Uttarakhand, a state that was carved out of Uttar Pradesh only a few years back. Many hill stations are speckled across the city, the most famous of them being Mussoorie and Dehradun. The ropeways across the valley are exciting attractions for the children. Mussoorie is a hill station very similar to Shimla, but it has an air of tranquility around it. Visit the mighty Kempty Falls down the hill, which is one of the largest waterfalls in this region. Another destination that is gradually gaining tourist footfalls is Lansdowne. A serene town, it’s ideal to recharge your batteries here. Uttarakhand also known for its famous spiritual destination such as Haridwar, Rishikesh, Panch Kedar, Panch Badri, Jageshwar, Kainchi Dham, Panch Prayag & Chardham Yatra (four abodes of God).

Historical Rajasthan

Historical Rajasthan

If you can endure scorching heat during the daytime and cold nights, delve into Rajasthan. This state is famous for its architects, historical sites, forts, palaces, and beautiful cities like Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer,  Ajmer, Barmer etc. Hill stations such as Mount Abu, temples like Dilwara Temple have continued luring travelers from across the globe along with its rich tradition and culture.

There’s much more to see in North India. The frontrunner is Taj Mahal in Agra, which features as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Mythology laden towns of Mathura, Vrindavan, Varanasi and Allahabad are prime attractions of Uttar Pradesh. Last but not the least, this coverage on North India would be incomplete without a special mention of the national capital, Delhi. Historical monuments are scattered all over this megalopolis, which stands in quiet testimony of the grandeur of the Mughal Rule.