If India is called the land of spiritualism, Uttarakhand is one big contributor towards it. Home to the holy Ganga and the 4 most sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites, it is commonly referred to as 'dev bhoomi' (the land of gods). Sages and saints since time immemorial have housed under the shelter of the mountains here. The world flocks here to master asanas and to seek out big answers and the ashrams gladly offer them room to rest. While you are at it, you'll also find a little bit of yourself, here in Uttarakhand.
Delhi to Haridwar
At the foothills of the Himalayas, Haridwar is everything its literary translation makes it out to be - 'gateway to the God'. Whether you're here for the supernatural 'Kumbh Mela' gathering every dozen years or the general mystic aura, there's no place that has a religious buzz quite like Haridwar does.
A 6 hour drive let's you check in early so that you have the evening free the aarti.
A complete religious and spiritual experience with a tour of the famous temples of Haridwar. This is also a fantastic opportunity for culture enthusiasts to witness the sincerity and intensity of religious devotion. Visit the Gauri Shankar Temple and Chandi Devi Temple that are amongst the most-visited temples in all of India.
The Gauri Shankar Temple, over 900 years old, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple comes alive during the religious festival of Shivratri as people throng the temple with their offerings to Lord Shiva.
The Chandi Devi temple, on a hilltop, provides matchless views of Haridwar town. The Chandi Devi Udankhatola is a ropeway leading right up to the temple, saving you a fairly exhausting 4-km hike.
Witness the evening aarti at Har ki Pauri ghat, on the banks of the Ganga, where hundreds of devotees gather every day chanting praises as priests hold huge large fire bowls to the sound of temple bells. Har ki Pauri is also the site where the annual Kumbh Mela begins.
Haridwar to Rishikesh and Yoga Session at Kunjapuri
Drive over to the highest point in Rishikesh, the Kunjapuri temple, for a yoga session in the clouds.
The mystic Kunjapuri Temple, with legends of Sati, makes for a numinous yoga experience. Whether a beginner or an expert, this yoga session is for all. Follow the instructions of our guru as you take that first step towards healthy untravelling.
Visit Vashistha Cave
Believed to be one of the meditating places of the great Sage Vashishtha Rishi, these caves emanate ancient legends and mystic divinity. Vashishtha was one of the Saptarishis (Seven Great Sages) in ancient India. A 25 kilometre drive from Rishikesh town, hike down from the main road for about 5 minutes once you reach. A great learning experience for children about ancient techniques for meditation and geography, our local expert will narrate stories around the cave and great sages of the past.
Rishikesh Ashram Tour
Take a walk through history and spirituality with the tour of Geeta Bhawan, Swargashram and Parmarth Ashram.
Geeta Bhawan, in the huge complex on the banks of the Ganga, serves as a unique library that preserves ancient Hindu literature. Browse through this unique library filled with ancient texts as you walk past walls covered with lessons from the Bhagavad Gita. Devotees, the world over, come to stay in this ashram at very low prices.
Maintained by the Swargashram Trust, Swargashram has become a melting pot of sorts for yogis and religious heads from across the globe. Join in the daily yoga sessions with experienced gurus or just spend time soaking in the atmosphere of healthy divine living in serene surroundings.
Parmarth Ashram is the largest ashram in this area with over a thousand rooms. Host for the annual International Yoga Festival (in the first week of March every year), this is 'the' place for any yoga tourist. With daily yoga and meditation sessions, morning prayers, satsang and lecture programs, Parmarth Ashram draws large numbers. The Ganga Aarti every evening is a vision in itself. Choose the activity that suits you or join in at the spur of the moment as you spend time here.
These ashrams are serene and peaceful; chances are you'll meet nirvana-seeking devotees from across the world.
Relive Beatle-mania as you visit ruins of the ashram where The Beatles spent time soul-searching in 1968. Walk through echoes of the hysteria that surrounded them at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's ashram that is now a part of the Rajaji National Park.
Our guide will let you in on legends surrounding the ashram and walk you through history here as you absorb the aura of Rishikesh.
Rishikesh to Delhi
From the lap of the mighty Ganga and the yoga capital of the world, you make your way back to Delhi.