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The power of Omm

sunny 38 °C

Perched on the banks of the river Ganga, ‎still fresh from it's glacial origins, Rishikesh has been famous for yoga since the Beatles visited an ‎Ashram here in the 60s. I've tried quite a few yoga classes back home and have never really been ‎able to get into it but the classes we tried here were amazing. Whether it's the teaching, the setting, or ‎if we just got lucky, I'm note sure but I'll definitely be buying a yoga mat when I return.‎

Rishikesh isn't just about yoga though: it's a popular place to try rafting and an important pilgrimage for ‎many Hindus for whom the Ganga river has an important spiritual significance. Sunset is a magical time ‎here, when you can watch worshippers set burning wildflowers adrift down the Ganga amidst ‎traditional chanting and bell-clanging.‎

Oh, and if you're a westerner. be prepared to have your photo taken, a lot! Since we've been here we have had literally dozens of Indian families request a photo with us, a car slow down to take video footage of us, and another car stop so that the Indian ladies inside could shake our hands! A lovely reminder that I stick out like a big, pink. yellow haired thumb.

Where we stayed: [/b]
Swiss Bhandari Cottage - 250rs/night. Perched high up on the hill, a good twenty ‎minute walk from town, this is a great budget option. The staff may be mono syllabic and sure, it's a ‎walk to the action but with a cool breeze and wide verandas is a perfect spot to chill out and get away ‎from it all - and it's dirt cheap. ‎

Where to eat:
There are plenty of places to choose from. Nearly every restaurant here has a 'German ‎bakery' near identical menus offering a combination of Indian and western fare. The Little Buddha ‎Cafe has a roof terrace overlooking the Ganga. The food's hit and miss but it's worth it for ambience ‎and location alone.‎

What to do:
There are literally dozens of yoga centres here, from beginner drop-in classes, to teacher ‎training courses and month long retreats at one of the many Ashrams. Our favourite was actually the ‎one organised at Swiss Bhandari cottage - a combination of Hatha and Ashtanga yoga, the class lasts an ‎hour and a half.Reiki and Ayurverdic massage are also available and rafting is hugely popular.‎

Posted by Jules79 03:58 Archived in India Tagged backpacking

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