Soul Searching in the Ashrams of Rishikesh | Part 1

Rishikesh is a worldwide popular destination known for its spiritual importance. It has emerged as a hotspot of yoga activities that also gave it the title of “Yoga Capital of the World”. There are numerous ashrams in Rishikesh that are best known for their yoga and meditation practices. People from all corners of the world visit these ashrams to seek rejuvenation from the daily hustle and bustle of life.

Let’s discuss some of the renowned ashrams in Rishikesh that are visited by a countless number of travellers every year.

 

SIVANANDA ASHRAM

Legacy and History

When it comes to the service of humanity and wellness, the Sivananda ashram in Rishikesh tops the spot not only in Rishikesh but all over India. Instituted by Swami Sivananda in 1936, the credit for the flourishment of yoga in Rishikesh undoubtedly goes to the Ashram. Swami Sivananda, who was born in Tamil Nadu in 1887, displayed spiritual tendency from an early age. His aim to serve humanity led him to qualify as a doctor in Malaysia. However, after serving for many years, he returned back to India and wandered several parts of the country for his social cause.

In the year 1924, he settled down in Rishikesh and practiced intense austerities under the guidance of his guru Swami Vishwananda. He spent many years attaining perfection in the art of meditation. Then he visited many places across India and Srilanka teaching yoga asana, kriyas, meditation, pranayama, and Sankirtan. His main aim was to cultivate spiritual growth so that a person can attain the path of self-exploration. Thus in 1936, he laid the stone of Sivananda Ashram to flourish the authentic art of yoga.

The focus of the Ashram

Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh was instituted with an aim to promote spiritual development with mental and physical well-being. The ashram helps in finding the most extensive way of staying healthy and strong by yoga asana, meditation, and other related mental and physical exercises. It aims to spread the teachings of Vedanta and yoga in India. With the teachings of Swami Sivananda, the ashram is committed to creating an amalgam of yoga paths into Yoga of Synthesis that includes Love, Serve, Meditate, Give, Realize, and Purify.

Aims & Objectives

Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh is a non-profit organisation founded by H.H. Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati Maharaj in the year 1936 to promote spiritual and yoga knowledge. Ashram aims to serve humanity by eradicating human physical, mental, and spiritual flaws. It helps in providing the teaching of Vedanta and Yoga in its factual form. The main objective of Ashram is to change individuals before changing the world, and according to Swami Sivananda, this can only be achieved with the art of yoga and meditation. It is an epicentre of spiritual growth and well-being in the world. Sivananda Ashram’s prime focus is to flourish the classical yoga teachings and combine the various paths of yoga to achieve physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Location

Sivananda Ashram is situated near Ram Jhula, around 3 km from the main Rishikesh city. The Ashram lies in the boundary of Tehri Garwhal district of Uttarakhand. The distance of Sivananda Ashram from the Rishikesh Railway station and Jolly Grant airport is 6 km and 20 km, respectively.

Amenities and Activities

– Neat & Clean Rooms fitted with all modern amenities.

– Authentic Indian Ashram stay with the stunning view of River Ganga and mighty Himalayan Mountains.

– Daily Yoga and Meditation Classes.

– Morning and Night Satsang.

– Evening Yoga Classes for Women.

 

YOG NIKETAN ASHRAM

Legacy and History

Yog Niketan is one of the oldest Authentic Indian Ashrams in Rishikesh. The foundation stone of Yog Niketan was laid by Yogacharya Swami Yogeshwarananda Saraswati Maharaj Ji, also known as Vyas Devji, in the year 1964, on the banks of the free-flowing river Ganga. The Ashram is instituted in the naturalistic environment of Rishikesh, where the splendid view of majestic Himalayan Mountains and holy river Ganga impart the calm and natural atmosphere. As the name suggests, Yog Niketan was founded with an aim to spread the authentic knowledge of spirituality and yoga in every corner of the world. Rishikesh as the perfect place for yoga learning helps in enhancing the spiritual, physical, and mental growth of humans, thus supporting the noble cause of Ashram in Rishikesh.

Swami Ji at the age of fourteen left his home in search of self-realization. He left for the Himalayan mountains to practice the paths of self-exploration and realization listed in the Hindu Scriptures. He spent his entire early life learning and understanding the art of yoga that helps in the complete overhaul of the body. He gained knowledge from great ascetics and shared it with others for the sake of humanity. On 23rd April 1985, Swami Ji left his body.

The focus of the Ashram

Swami Yogeshwarananda Saraswati Maharaj Ji founded the Ashram with an aim to spread the authentic and traditional knowledge of yoga. According to Swami Ji, yoga is the only way to achieve the path of self-realization with calmness and happiness. The Ashram is situated in the lap of nature that boosts yoga practice and learning. Yoga practice is the ultimate path to complete wellbeing. The Yog Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh focuses on deepening your meditation practices, improving yoga practices, getting rid of stress, boosting your willpower, balancing your mind & body, and immersing yourself in a spiritual atmosphere.

With the various paths of yoga, the Ashram helps in reducing stress, tensions, and anxiety that in turn results in an enhanced sense of peace and clarity of mind. Moreover, continuous yoga practice helps in increasing the flexibility and strength of the body. The Ashram is committed to developing inner awareness through yoga and meditation practices. The main aim of Yog Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh is to boost the willpower that makes you mentally and physically strong. By joining the ashram’s yoga program, one can maintain a balance between body, mind, and soul that leads to a balanced life and establish a connection with your inner self. One can join Yog Niketan’s Yoga Teacher Training Course for yoga learning and creating a career path in yoga.

About Ashram Space

Yog Niketan Ashram is situated in the Tehri Garwhal district of Uttarakhand on the banks of river Ganga. It is located near Ram Jhula at a distance of around 3 km from the main city of Rishikesh. The distance of Yog Niketan Ashram from the Rishikesh Railway station and Jolly Grant airport is 6 km and 20 km, respectively.

Amenities and Activities

– Neat & Clean Rooms fitted with all modern amenities.

– Authentic Indian Ashram stay with the stunning view of River Ganga and mighty Himalayan Mountains.

– Sadhna or meditation hall to deepen your meditation practice.

– Yoga hall cum Samadhi for mornings and evening yoga session.

– Library with a well-stock of spiritual and yogic literature.

– Sattvic and organic food prepared in our neat and clean kitchen.

 

PARMARTH NIKETAN ASHRAM

Legacy and History

Dedicated to the service of humanity, Parmarth Ashram was established in early 1940 by Pujya Swami Shukdevanandji. Swami Ji moved to Rishikesh from Shahjahanpur to meditate in the lap of the Himalayan mountains. The spiritual atmosphere created by the holy river Ganga and the natural environment all-around forges the best place to meditate and connect with the utmost power of the world, God. Swamiji built rooms, Satsang hall, and Bhojanalaya for the people who came here to listen to him. He then named the ashram Parmarth Niketan where simple small huts were built in the abode of nature to facilitate meditation and spiritual well-being.

Over the past 80 years, Parmarth Niketan has renowned itself as the largest Ashram in Rishikesh. It is one of the famous spiritual institutions in India that renders joy, peace, spiritual communication, and inspiration for the people. The divine touch of the ashram helps pilgrims, travellers, and devotees to connect with God. Currently, Parmarth Niketan is headed and governed by H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji. With the motto of the Service of God and humanity, Swami Chidanand Ji has taken the ashram to a new height. The ashram has now become an epicentre of spiritual well-being in India. Swamiji started various yogic, spiritual, and environmental initiatives so that he can contribute to the bright future of humanity. Under his able guidance and leadership, Parmarth Niketan became the adobe of serenity, beauty, divine bliss, and grace.

The focus of the Ashram

Parmarth Niketan Ashram is committed to providing a safe, blissful, natural, and spiritual atmosphere to the people regardless of their caste, creed, nationality, gender, and race. Situated on the banks of river Ganga and in the lap of the green Himalayan Mountains, Parmarth Niketan Ashram is heaven for spiritual and yoga lovers. The ashram aims to provide a sacred, clean, and pure resting and accommodation environment to travellers reaching Rishikesh from any corner of the world. The atmosphere and simplicity of the ashram are ample for the complete spiritual, physical, and mental overhaul of a person. This authentic and traditional Ashram in Rishikesh offers a comfortable, cosy, and pocket-friendly stay in the divine atmosphere. With the Satsang and daily Ganga aarti here, the connection with the supreme power of the world becomes stronger.

Staying in the ashram makes you feel like diving in the ocean of sacred energies and peace so that one can heal themselves. The Ashram helps in building the divine connection and physical upliftment by universal prayers, daily Satsang, divine Ganga aarti, yoga classes, meditation classes, kirtan, ayurvedic treatment, and lectures programs. Moreover cultural, social, and spiritual programs are organised by various saints, spiritual leaders, and acclaimed musicians in the ashram premises. The ashram also works on intensive yoga programs, reiki, pranayama, acupressure, and stress management programs.

About Ashram Space

Parmarth Niketan Ashram is situated on the banks of river Ganga, in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. It is located near Ram Jhula at a distance of around 5 km from the main city of Rishikesh, but if you want to travel via a four-wheeler you have to cover a distance of around 13 km to reach the ashram. The distance of Parmarth Niketan Ashram from the Rishikesh Railway station and Jolly Grant airport is 6 km and 20 km, respectively. However, distance increases in case of four-wheelers as the Ashram is on the opposite side of the river Ganga.

Amenities and Activities

– Neat & Clean Rooms equipped with all modern amenities.

– Authentic Indian Ashram stay with the stunning view of River Ganga and mighty Himalayan Mountains.

– Western-style washrooms with hot water supply.

– Clean, pure and sacred atmosphere to pilgrims and devotees.

– Evening Ganga Aarti and Spiritual Programs.

– Musical concerts and Yoga Programs in the divine atmosphere.

 

SWAMI RAMA SADHAKA GRAMA

Legacy and History

Swami Rama Sadhaka Gram was built in the year 2002 in memory of Swami Rama by Swami Veda Bharati. It is basically an authentic and traditional Vedic Indian style Ashram that helps people in seeking spiritual upliftment. The ashram is dedicated to the teachings of Swami Rama that help in the spiritual and mental upliftment of a person. Away from the hustle-bustle, and pollution of cities, Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama is the perfect place to attain ultimate consciousness. Born in the year 1925, Swami Rama was the disciple of Sri Bengali Baba residing in the Himalayas.

Swami Rama from an early age liked to listen and gain the teachings of saints and yogis. Thus, at the age of 24, Swami Ji succeeded, Dr Kurtkoti, a great leader of spirituality, as the Shankaracharya of Karvirpitham. He used to choose the lap of the Himalayan mountains to intensify his yogic and meditative practices. Swami Ji also laid the stone of a charitable institute in Jollygrant as Himalayan institute Hospital Trust and Himalayan International Institute of Yoga science and philosophy. He was committed to serving humanity and shows the correct path of spirituality. With his research, he successfully combined the eastern and western traditions to extract the good essence out of it. Swami Ji unifies the science and spirituality of the east and west. Thus, the ashram helps in imparting the teaching of Swami Rama to people all around the world.

The focus of the Ashram

Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama primarily focuses on imparting the teachings of Swami Rama to awaken the senses of the person. Their main objective is to preserve and transfer the art of yoga and meditation in its factual form. The Ashram is very helpful in the spiritual upliftment of a person. Located in the lush green and calm environment, the place is suitable for people who wish to start the journey of self-exploration. The ashram revolutionized scientific thinking to establish a perfect relation between mind and body. According to the ashram, a person can attain the heights of spiritual enlightenment, if he or she can follow the path shown by Swami Rama.

Being the headquarter of the Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International (AHYMSIN), Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) make the knowledge of yoga and meditation available for people around the globe within the tradition of the Indian classical system. The ashram helps in carrying out research and publications in the field of Meditation, Yoga, and other branches related to it. It is a non-profit organisation that helps in the spiritual, mental and physical upliftment of human beings. In other words, you can say that Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama is the perfect place for a complete overhaul.

About Ashram Space

Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Ashram is situated near IDPL at a distance of around 3 km from the main city of Rishikesh. The Ashram lies in the boundaries of the Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. The distance of Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Ashram from the Rishikesh Railway station and Jolly Grant airport is 6 km and 20 km, respectively.

Amenities and Activities

– Neat & Clean Rooms equipped with all modern amenities.

– Authentic Indian Ashram stay with the stunning view of River Ganga and mighty Himalayan Mountains.

– Single/Double and family size occupancy.

– Yoga and Meditation Hall with a capacity of 200 persons.

– Meeting rooms, a video room, sound studio, and book store inside the ashram premises.

– Organic and Sattvic diet.

 

SHREE GEETA BHAWAN ASHRAM

Legacy and History

Shree Geeta Bhawan Ashram was established in the year 1986 with an aim to serve pilgrims and locals. It is a large complex instituted in the lap of the Himalayan mountains and the banks of river Ganga. With over 1000 free rooms under the premises, Geeta Bhawan is one of the famous ashrams in Rishikesh. Rishikesh as the gateway of the Himalayas and the spiritual centre of the world experiences a large number of pilgrims coming from all over the world. So, Geeta Bhawan was formed as the perfect hotspot for the devotees to dip in Maa Ganga and perform yogic and meditation activities in a naturalistic environment.

Shree Geeta Bhawan Ashram was initiated near river Ganga in Ram Jhula. At that time, there were a few ashrams and trusts that were helping the pilgrims, by providing free shelter. Then, Geeta Bhawan evolved as the perfect hotspot for people all around the world. Now it has established a different benchmark within the charitable societies to serve humanity. The foundation stone of Shree Geeta Bhawan was laid when religious tourism started to gain a peak in the late 90s.

The focus of the Ashram

Shree Geeta Bhawan Ashram’s trust was formed to provide adequate shelter and the best quality food to the people visiting Rishikesh for spiritual interests. The Ashram also serves people with the place to meditate and perform yoga. Moreover, the ashram is known for holding various spiritual and religious programs for the pilgrims visiting the holy land of Rishikesh. The Ashram is providing over 1000 rooms for your comfortable stay in Rishikesh. Shree Geeta Bhawan Ashram is listed as one of the oldest and most popular shrine complexes in the city. You can read the famous writings of Shri Gitaji and Ramayana on the walls of the ashram.

Geeta Bhawan Ashram is also having an ayurvedic department that prepares medicines from herbs and Gangajal by following Ayurveda. Inside the Ashram, there is a hall where you can practice meditation.

Geeta Bhawan also sells spiritual books under the banner of their sister company, Geeta Press and Publications. You can quest for various spiritual books in the book store of Geeta Bhawan. The ashram has a book shop, Laxmi Narayan temple, ayurvedic medicine shop (manufactured by Gita Bhawan Ayurved Sansthan), a cloth store, and a serene and clean place for Satsang and meditation.

About Ashram Space

Geeta Bhawan Ashram is located on the banks of the river Ganga in Ramjhula. The ashram lies in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand at a distance of around 5 km from Rishikesh city. However, if you want to travel via a four-wheeler, you have to cover a distance of around 13 km to reach Ashram. The distance of Geeta Bhawan Ashram from Rishikesh Railway station and Jolly Grant airport is 6 km and 20 km, respectively. However, distance increases in the case of four-wheelers as the Ashram is on the opposite side of the river Ganga.

Amenities and Activities

– Neat & Clean Rooms equipped with all modern amenities for more than 2000 devotees.

– Authentic Indian ashram stay with the stunning view of River Ganga and mighty Himalayan Mountains.

– Perfect Place for Satsang and meditation.

– Pocket-friendly stay in a spiritual and naturalistic environment.

– Best quality food at an affordable price.

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