Rishikesh - About Rishikesh - Yoga in Rishikesh a
Rishikesh has been the centre of spiritual and religious activities since ancient times. This place situated on the right bank of the river Ganga is surrounded on all sides by beautiful hills. Rishikesh is the gateway for pilgrimage to Badrinath and Kedarnath.Rishikesh is also referred as the yoga capital of the world and it houses a number of ashrams offering yoga and meditation courses.
Yoga is also known as physical, mental and spiritual practices to get peace. Hindu spiritual monks such as Swami Vivekananda introduced Yoga to the western countries in 1980. Later Yoga was used as type of physical exercises which is also known as Hath Yoga. Some people believe that it is also effective to heart, cancer, schizophrenia and asthma patients. Some survey says Yoga practices for long period can improve muscular–skeletal and mental health improvements.
The history of Rishikesh states several mythical stories associated with this place. It was here in Rishikesh a famous saint named Raibhya Rishi performed penance on the banks of the river Ganga. As a reward for his strong penance God Vishnu appeared to him in the form of Hrishikesh and so the place was referred by the name Hrishikesh which later became famous by the name of Rishikesh.God Rama's younger brother Bharat himself has performed deep penance here; that is why even today there stands the Bharat temple after his name.
Rishikesh is beautiful town in the footsteps of shivalik range of Himalayas. In Rishikesh river Ganga enters in plain area leaving the mountains. Rishikesh is well known as "the world capital of Yoga". Rishikesh is full of diffrent kind of Yoga ashrams and Yoga centres where everyday Yoga classes are organized for the tourist and local people. Yoga in Rishikesh attracts thousands of people from all over the world every year. People believe that Yoga and meditation in Rishikesh brings ourselves close to the moksha (ultimate salvation) and it gives similar results as you will get when you take a dip in the holy water of river Ganga which flows throughout the city.
Rishikesh is also famous for rafting and camping and adventure. Mostly rafting starts in the month of March and ends in September. Rishikesh has so many famous ashrams such as Kailash Ashram which is 120 years old. This ashram is devoted to save and encourage the vedic studies in traditional way. Swami Rama Tirtha, Swami Sivananda and Swami Vivekananda are the few of the famous personalities which studied here.
From Ram Jhula one can take a boat on sharing basis or walk on the bridge to cross the river. Both sides of the bridge is always crowded with shops of cloths, holy beads, shawls, precious and semi precious stones, replicas of deities, astrological gems, Ayurvedic medicines and Vedic treatises as well as signs of marketing yoga, meditation classes and Ayurvedic massage. Other side of the bridge is known as Swarg Ashram area. So many big ashrams are here such as Swarg Ashram, Gita bhawan and Parmarth Niketan. When you cross the river temples welcomes you with their engraved deities and music shops greets you divine sacred ragas. In evening beautiful Ganges Ceremony(Ganga Aarti) is organized at Parmarth Niketan and Triveni Ghat. The Brahmin Pundits (priests) performs Ganges Puja (ritual worship) with Vedic hymns, sound of hands clapping and the drums (tabla). Hundreds of people come to witness this Pooja and offer leaf bowls which are filled with flowers and small oil lamps to the goddess. The small sparkling lights floating lamps, river Ganges and auspicious atmosphere creates such a magnificent view and feeling that can attract anyone to join the prayer even the visitors from outside India who can't understand the vedic songs.