If the world of yoga had a capital, then it would have to be Rishikesh. This is the number one destination for fans of yoga coming to India to deepen their practice in the land of its birth. Many yoga students come to Rishikesh to spend time in one of the many yoga ashrams located in and around the beautiful and tranquil surroundings of this sacred place on the banks of the holy Ganges river in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. From Ashtanga to Iyengar to Kundalini, there are many yoga classes and retreats to choose from in all major yoga styles.
Yoga enthusiasts from all over the world come to Rishikesh, some every year, to study yoga intensively for months at a time, deepening their practice and experience of yoga while recharging their spiritual batteries. Newcomers will find many yoga schools offering introductory classes which last from a few days to several weeks. For those who want to take their yoga training a step further, many yoga schools and ashrams in Rishikesh also offer yoga teacher training.What we know
The airport closest to Rishikesh is in Dehradun, 35 kilometres (22 miles away).
Since Rishikesh is a holy place of pilgrimage, meat, fish, eggs and alcohol are not readily available.
For stays of less than 6 months, a tourist visa is sufficient. Longer stays require a student visa.
To deepen your yoga practice in the birthplace of yoga and learn directly from renowned teachers.
To have the unique experience of staying in a yoga ashram.
To learn about Indian culture and Hindu religion which are intricately linked to yoga.
Rishikesh has a very special spiritual vibe, making it an inspiring place to immerse yourself in yoga.
Yoga fans are spoilt for choice: there are many yoga ashrams and schools to choose from here, offering classes in a variety of styles
The beautiful natural setting of Rishikesh also makes this a popular destination for those who love spending time close to nature.
Most visitors go to Rishikesh between the months of March and April, and September to October, which are the ideal times to come here to study yoga. May and June are the hottest months in Rishikesh, but because of its location at the foothills of the Himalayas, the weather is noticeably cooler than other parts of India at this time so it can provide a good escape but would perhaps be too hot for a vigorous yoga practice. The monsoon rains arrive in July and last until the end of August – this is probably not the best time for a visit. After the monsoon, the lush landscapes are painted a brilliant green, so the months of September and October are ideal. Winter starts by November and temperatures can drop down to a few degrees above zero, so warm winter clothes are a must if you plan to come during this time. Temperatures start to warm up again from March.
Literally meaning ‘the place of sages’, Rishikesh is a very unique place where a special kind of energy resonates. This sacred place is situated in a stunning location on the banks of the holy Ganges river in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand. Rishikesh is a long-time destination for pilgrims, spiritual seekers and of course, yogis. Many visitors often combine a visit to Rishikesh with a trip to the sacred city of Haridwar which is just 20 km away and one of the seven holy pilgrimage centres of India.
Rishikesh’s many well-known yoga ashrams are located in tranquil and beautiful surroundings, with most of them situated north of the main town. Rishikesh itself is a small and charming town which is easy to explore on foot. Two suspension bridges – Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula – extend over the Ganges linking both banks of the river to the town. On either bank there are many holy temples and shrines as well as shops, restaurants and cafés catering to visitors.
A must-do while in Rishikesh is the Ganga Aarti, an elaborate ritual using fire as an offering to the holy Ganges, which takes place every evening at dusk near the Parmarth Niketan ashram.
Rishikesh hosts a week-long International Yoga Festival during the first week of March every year. This is one of the biggest gatherings of yoga enthusiasts in the world.