You might be wondering where the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’ is.
Maybe you’ve already heard that Rishikesh – tucked away in Northern India – has claimed this unofficial title. Wherever you stand, you’re here to find out why it’s the best place for wellness travel experiences, right?
This is what makes Rishikesh one of the top spots to find a little bit of enlightenment.
The ‘Yoga Capital of the World’
Rishikesh has been dubbed one of India’s most spiritual centres for thousands of years. Because of this, it’s often referred to as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’. Situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges River and at the foothills of the Himalayas, Rishikesh is the destination for anyone looking to broaden their spiritual practice and seek a little bit of wellness. The location itself plays a key part in contributing to the positive spiritual energy, as the Ganges is also a pilgrimage site for many.
Above all, one of the biggest drawcards of Rishikesh is that these mystical lands look and feel very different from the rest of the country – from the cuisine found at the small restaurants to the crisp, clean mountain air, it’s a notable spot for both first time and returning visitors to India.
Why you should visit Rishikesh
Labelling somewhere as the best place for you to incorporate wellness experiences and mindfulness into your travels can be challenging. Why? Because it varies from person to person. But there are some pretty compelling reasons why Rishikesh should be on your list as a must-visit wellness destination. Here, you can connect the mind, body and soul in more ways than one.
Experience ashram life or join a yoga class
In Rishikesh, you can stay at an ashram for an extended period or join a single yoga or meditation class (there’s no shortage of ashrams and yoga centres to visit). The best part about weaving a mindful session into your travels (instead of locking yourself away on a traditional retreat) is that you can still hang with locals, and learn about the culture of India while adding a unique spin on your adventure.
Take part in a Ganges Aarti ceremony
With religion and tradition being closely intertwined in India, observing the ritual of Ganga Aarti is an insightful (and incredible) cultural experience to help better understand the importance of Rishikesh and the Ganges. In the evening, stroll along the river as the temple bells ring, and watch as the nightly fire ritual takes place.
Make the most of the great outdoors
Just an hour or so drive away from Rishikesh you’ll find Rajaji National Park. Here, elephants, deer, anteaters and leopards can be spotted on a safari tour. If you’re lucky, you might even see a roaming Bengal Tiger. While not specially a wellness experience in the traditional sense, try and tell us that sighting a tiger in the wild won’t make you feel better (and happier!) than you ever have before?
Go white water rafting down the Ganges
Wellness experiences come in all shapes and sizes, and we firmly believe that getting your body moving is another way to elevate your mood by doing something that makes you feel good. Proving that Rishikesh offers more than just spiritual encounters, the option to go white water rafting along the fast-flowing Ganges is an (unexpected) adrenaline-filled adventure.
Sleep under the stars
A camping experience is one of the best ways to feel a connection to nature. On our Mountains & Mystics trip, there’s one night in Rishikesh where you can enjoy a night with no distractions apart from the friendly conversation of your group and later, you can fall asleep under the stars.
Feeling good about adding a few wellness travel experiences to your next adventure? Take a look at our range of tours in India to learn more.