It was the perfect season to visit Rishikesh in November as the weather was very pleasant, not too hot, not too cold. It was cool sunny morning, after spending two days at Haridwar, I left for Rishikesh by Road. Its an hours drive from Haridwar, jungles and farms on both sides of the road making your drive more satisfying and less stressful. As you enter Rishikesh town, it feels a bit crowded and haphazard but the moment the holy Ganges is visible by the side of the road after crossing the main town on Badrinath Road, the overall psyche changes. There is the feeling of calmness and immense peace on watching the river flow.
The river at Rishikesh is clear clean and wide.For crossing the river are two bridges at different places. The Ram Jhula and the laxman Jhula. One also have the option of taking a shared boat to cross the beautiful river.
Inspite of accomodations available on the hill side, I preferred to stay by the river side across Laxman Jhula. As far as backpackers are concerned, even domestic tourists prefer this side of Rishikesh for its peace and its distance from the comparatively crowded Ram Jhula area.
One can easily walk down in the evening to Parmarth Ashram to attend the evening Aarti (the Evening Prayer) which is worth visiting if you happen to be in Rishikesh.
After attending evening Aarti at parmarth Ashram Ghat, the next morning I had a typical Indian breakfast at Geeta Bhawan and headed for the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Ashram for which I was curious about.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was among the pioneers who introduced yoga to the western world. The ashram though abandoned now, was visited by famous personalities from east as well as west during the good old days. The most prominent of the disciples were The Beatles, who came in late sixties to learn Transcendental Meditation. Interestingly it was the most productive period for the band as they have confessed many times in media.
The Ashram is walking distance from the Ram Jhula and any shopkeeper can tel the way to the ashram.
Though Rishikesh can be visited throughout the year, the month of May – June are quite hot and December- January too cold.
The holy town of Rishikesh is also famous world over for the International Yoga Festival held annually at Parmarth Ashram, jointly organised by various other government agencies.
Rishikesh is easily accessible from Delhi by road as well as by Train in about 6-8 hours.