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. Today it styles itself as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, with masses of ashrams and all kinds of yoga and meditation classes. Most of this action is north of the main town, where the exquisite setting on the fast-flowing Ganges, surrounded by forested hills, is conducive to meditation and mind expansion. In the evening, an almost supernatural breeze blows down the valley, setting temple bells ringing as sadhus (‘holy’ men), pilgrims and tourists prepare for the nightly ganga aarti (river worship ceremony). You can learn to play the sitar or tabla; try Hasya yoga (laughter therapy), practise meditation or take a punt on crystal healing.
Rishikesh is very popular for its rafting on the River Ganga (Ganges). September-November and March-May are ideal for rafting. The rafting goes for several kilometres, and the path is interspersed with rapids, ranging from Level 1 to Level 5, in order of difficulty. At the end of the trip, you have the option of jumping some 20 feet from a ledge into the water. There are several local travel agencies, offering these rafting trips. The package usually includes an overnight camp on the banks of the river, with a brilliant and moderate trek among the hills in the morning. If one has time, courses in rafting are also offered.
Bungee jump, Camp Gold Coast, Camping, Cliff jumping, Majestic Tour India, Rappelling, Rock climbing, Team 4 Adventure, Trekking, White water rafting are some of the major Adventure activities you can do in Rishikesh.