From the moment I arrived India, I knew I was in for a treat. With only one month to play with, I spent my time learning to teach yoga in Northern India in a little village widely known for its holistic expertise and spiritual pull. Rishikesh lies at the foothills of the breathtaking Himalayas and is commonly known as the ‘gateway to the holy Ganges River” or ‘birthplace of Yoga’.
According to Lonely Planet, ever since the Beatles rocked up at the ashram of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the late ‘60s, Rishikesh has been a magnet for spiritual seekers. Visiting the abandoned ‘Beatles’ ashram turned Tiger Sanctuary was a highlight of my experience. The artistic graffiti covered buildings are a photographer’s playground!
I was lucky enough to reside right on the stunning Ganges in Ram Jhula (Rishikesh region where all the ashrams are located). I miss those dreamy sunrises meditating on my balcony overlooking the river!
Days in Rishikesh were filled with yoga, cafe crawling, artisan market shopping, swimming in the river, white water rafting, exploring & sipping superb Indian chai (my favourite was with coconut milk!).
One of the many reasons I love Rishikesh is for all the funky vegetarian cafes and restaurants. Ain’t no McDonalds here. People from all over the world sit for hours playing music, laughing, making jewellery and spreading contagious happiness. These people may have met years ago or only an hour ago, with the vibrant energy filling the room its hard to tell the difference.
Each evening as the sun sets and the orange sky reflects beautifully down onto the Ganges; hippies, musicians, locals, backpackers, cows, monkeys, cats, dogs, and whoever else is around all gather to dance to a random band of bongo drums, guitars and Indian flutes.
There truly is a special energy flowing through Rishikesh I haven’t experienced anywhere else and doubt I ever will. Here’s a sneak peak…
For more images click here: http://wallflower-diaries.com/spirit-rishikesh/