Rishikesh: city of yoga, ashrams and monkeys!



Rishikesh – the city of yoga, ashrams and mountains. It is another interesting and amazing place in India, that attracts many tourists and life seekers. Rishikesh became very popular after all-known band Beatles came here to study meditation. Now you can find a lot what to do here: from ashram classes/lectures, yoga, hiking, rafting to just enjoyment of mountain piecefullness.

Few interesting facts about Reshikesh:

1. Rishikesh is considered as one of the holiest cities in India.

2. It is officially forbidden to drink alcohol or smoke in cafes and restaurant. I did however see ashtrays in some restaurants.

3. Reshikesh is strictly vegetarian city, you would not find any meat around. Moreover, all cities on Ganga River are meat-free.

4. Beatles came to Rishikesh in 60th to study transcedence meditation in Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram. Today it is no longer a functioning ashram, and one can only find abandoned buildings instead.

5. Holy river Ganges runs through the city dividing it into two banks. The only way to cross the Ganges river is two narrow hanging bridges, Laxshman Jhula and Ram Jhula. Cars or rickshaws must drive relatively far away to go from one side to another. That’s why the city is full with scooters and motorcycles, which are allowed on those bridges.

6. Holy cows, monkeys, dogs, donkeys… All of these you can see walking freely in Rishikesh. There are 2 types of monkey I saw: kind of regular ones you see at the zoo and grey Himalayan ones (called Gray langur). The second ones are quite big and have black faces. Monkeys are very active in the morning and in the evening, and tend to steel something from unexperienced tourists. We were funnily one of those, when a monkey came to our room in the hotel and ate 3 bananas and 2 apples in 1 min.

7. Ganga Aarti Ceremony is held each evening on the banks of river at Parmarth Niketan ashram. Ganga Aarti is spiritual ritual that is performed in 3 holy cities in India, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Varanasi with lightning fire and worship.

8. In Rishikesh one can often see Sadhus. Sadhu, the holy men of India, is the individual who has left his wife and children to live the live apart or on the edge of society in order to seek his true designation. Sadhus are treated with great respect in India and one sees Indian people giving money to them. One has to be careful though, as many beggars nowadays dress up as sadhu in order to earn more money.






















4 Thoughts on “Rishikesh: city of yoga, ashrams and monkeys!

  1. laura on 7. January 2015 at 1:28 said:

    Hi there thank you for your blog.
    I am considering my first trip to India in feb with the plan of spending 6 weeks in Rishikesh. I have done some travelling alone but nowhere quite like India.
    Please can you tell me a bit more about it, is it safe ,easy to walk around as a single female, and without getting lost!? I really want to go but am very nervous. I unfortunately also have a fear of dogs and know there are alot walking the streets are they aggressive!? How about the monkeys are they just cheeky or something to worry about!?
    I plan on going to satsangs everyday in the area near to Jonk with Sri Mooji but we are responsible for all our own accommodation transport food etc.
    Any advices you have greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks.


    • Katharina on 3. February 2015 at 7:43 said:

      Dear Laura, I am sorry for the late reply, my system did not notify me about ur comment :( To your questions: India is pretty safe, especially Rishikesh! I have been 3 times in India and always felt save there. You should try to avoid big cities like Delhi or Mumbai, those are loud, dirty and could be unsafe. Try to fit to local culture in terms of the dress code, nothing short or too tight. Try not to walk around alone when it is dark, I mean this is the rule for every southeast Asian country. Don’t worry about getting lost, Indian people are friendly and always willing to help and show the way. If you get lost, ask the local for directions. Do not show them the map, as people there can not read them ;) Yes, there are many dogs and monkeys in India, but those are rather non-wild ones. Never had or seen anything bad happened. With monkeys one just have to be careful, coz they tend to steal stuff, especially if u carry something in ur hands. But otherwise they seem to be quite peaceful.
      So do not worry, everything will be just fine! Being nervous is natural though. India is a beautiful country but full of surprises for first comers. But if you are open and let it in, you would have a great time and you would fell in love with India! If you have more questions, write me!
      Let me know how did you like it! I am curious!

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