Last year when I published my 2017 bucket list on Dünya Kaç Bucak? , I insert Rishikesh also. Yes, Yoga Capital of the World: Rishikesh. However, I wasn’t planning to go there honestly. As a person who has experienced the things happen for the good for all, I am not surprised that this wish also came true without any effort. Because of the reasons that led me to India, I have also made the trip to Asia which was always in my heart. Life is full of surprises, ha?
I will write other posts on spirituality for sure. But in this article you will find what a traveler can do in Rishikesh, the becoming popular, North Indian city located nearby the holy river Ganges and footsteps of Himalayas is becoming more and more popular.
What should we expect from Rishikesh?
Yes the yoga center of the world is literally Rishikesh. There are numerous ashrams around Rishikesh, and Yoga Teachers Training course taking place in every corner… Especially when the world famous spiritual teachers have events, Rishikesh hosts thusands of yogis. I have come for one of those and stepped into this fascinating place where many Rsis (enlightened sages) enlightened and left their energies. Unlike many cities in India, Rishikesh is so modern. As a solo female traveler, it’s safe here.
There are dozens of hostels, and instead of Airbnb, local guesthouses work properly. Here it is possible to stay overnight for150 rupees, also for 2000 rupees. The exchange rate is approximately: 100Rs = 5.5TRY = 1.5USD. For a bugdet friendly and comfortable accomodation, paying around 500Rs per night for a clean room is ok. Although eating and drinking is expensive compared to the local areas, it is very cheap comparing to other currencies. You can spend hours only drinking a Masala Chai for 50cents and read your book, listen some live music and watching the Ganga. And the Indian food is tremendous! Although in Rishikesh they are not the perfect examples, don’t come back without eating Palak Paneer, Malai Kofta, Thali, Chapati, Naan, Masala Dosa, Veg Biryani, Kitchari. Desserts are a super delicious too!
Indian cuisine is for gourmets. Maybe I tasted 20 or more different kind of desert here. But in Rishikesh there is not many Indian Sweet Shops. Here you can taste wonderful delicacies of Pumpernickel German Bakery which are European style. Don’t leave Rishikesh without watching sunset from Ram Jhula Beach, doing acro yoga at the beach, attending the Ganga arati at the end of the day, dipping into Ganga, trying a couple of yoga classes, visiting the Beatles Ashram, going to the waterfall, attending the music circle at the beach, meditating in Vashishta Cave, talking to the Sadhus in the streets, drinking fresh coconut and sugar cane and cheap shopping. If you go the season for spiritual teachers, then you can enjoy the best side of Rishikesh.
How to get to Rishikesh?
When I started saying hello every step I took, I said yeah it’s time to go:) Well, when it comes to how to get to Rishikesh, it’s a long story my firend. I came there from New Delhi airport by sharing taxi with somebody else. It’s not like the idea of taxi in cities as in Europe. Rishikesh is 200kms away from Delhi and with traffic and beacuse of the bad conditions of the roads, it takes hours! Here 5-6 hours is short as an amount of time. It took us 9.5 hours unfortunately. But normally it takes 5 to 6. I made a friend during this trip, so I am grateful for it. It cost us 3500 Rupees after some bargaining.
There is train option also, until Haridwar, from there you can take tuktuk or bus to Rishikesh center and take a tuktuk to Ram or Lakshman Jhula again. Or you can take a bus from Delhi to Rishikesh bus station and then take a tuktuk to the main places.
There is also a flight option like from Delhi to Dehradun and from there again bus or taxi.
Train and bus of course are cheaper than the other options. But they are really difficult. After taking an indirect flight from Istanbul to Delhi, I chose taxi. But I made this decision beforehand, so when I got there the driver was waiting for us and we made the deal already. So maybe for the spontaneous rides, they charge more.
Here in India, don’t let the traffic and the time you spent for transportaion make you angry. Just get use to it int the first place. Otherwise, it makes you drive crazy. And be vigilant and bargain hard. In this world where there is no traffic rule, you need to pay attention to the irregularities and crazy cars and tuktuk drivers. And of course a pig, a cow or monkeys who can come out instantly.
So if you need any help or directions, just leave a comment. It’s time to write about the other stops… Chiao!
*Sadhu : The person who has taken himself out of the earthly affairs or who has practiced yoga (yogi)
For other travel destinations: http://www.journalofayogini.com/kategori/travel-with-me
For yoga and wellnes posts: http://www.journalofayogini.com/kategori/yoga-wellness
And for more about India, visit travel guide to Goa and 11 Top Things to do & Places to Visit in Varanasi, India.