The 15 Most Popular Yoga Destinations in India

Through meditation and various body poses, the ancient Indian science of Yoga seeks to make practitioners disciplined and ultimately lead them to moksha or eternal salvation. In recent times, it has become so popular that its practice is bringing lots of tourists to India. There are hordes of places in the country where vacations can be planned to practice and learn about this science. The following is a list of the top 15 Yoga destinations in the country:

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Without a doubt, Rishikesh in the Indian state of Uttarakhand is the biggest Yogic centre in the entire world. It is the foremost destination that travellers come to during their vacation trips in India for a wholesome relaxing and divine experience. Visitors can come here directly by train from New Delhi or take trains first to Haridwar, followed by a short bus journey.

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Many Yoga sites here are located by the Arabian Sea, while some are nestled deep in pristine palm forests, providing a perfect setting to indulge in meditative activities. So while visitors are enjoying their beach holidays, they can also consider taking classes in these places for a really good time.

Mysore, Karnataka

Mysore is known for a distinct type of this discipline that developed here. In this form, the duration of the sessions and the difficulty level of the asanas depend on the expertise of students. People can plan their tours to the city easily as it has good transport connectivity with other places in India.

Pune, Maharashtra

Many notable practitioners have their teaching centres here and hence, Pune too is known for its Yogic culture. The best thing about the city is that besides yogic ashrams, there are many other attractions to visit for tourists. Its places of interest include medieval forts, museums, hills, temples and public parks.

Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

Those who want to learn about the Buddhist influence on Yoga and its influence on the religion can plan their vacations in Dharamshala. Peace is the dominating philosophy associated with the science here and the backdrop of high mountains makes it even better.

Goa

Goa is famous worldwide for its beaches, which make romantic and family trips here highly sought-after. While travellers are enjoying their time together in the state, they may turn to any of the resorts that provide lessons in Yogic practices. Dabolim Goa International Airport has seasonal flights from and to many international cities apart from the regular services to Indian cities.

Coonoor, Tamil Nadu

A popular Yoga destination in Tamil Nadu is Coonoor, which is located in the Western Ghats, thus providing sheer tranquillity for its practise. Holidays in Coonoor may also be utilised to see its natural beauty, trekking through the hills or visiting the nearby hill station of Ooty.

Narendranagar, Uttarakhand

Another such famous destination in Uttarakhand is Narendranagar. It is located in the foothills of the Himalayas and so the climate here is cool, but not extremely cold and perfect for indulging in this activity. As it is near to the holy twin-towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh, pilgrimage tours to these places may be modified to include Narendranagar, as well.

Chennai, Tamil Nadu

A great destination to visit during vacations in South India to purify the body, mind and soul, is Chennai. Post touring the capital city of Tamil Nadu or after playing some beach volleyball, a relaxing meditative session at the Yoga ashrams or resorts here sounds like a remarkable plan.

Bengaluru, Karnataka

Bengaluru, the IT hub of India, is a raging urban centre with loads of attractions to visit. The presence of institutes of famous Yoga preachers and spiritual leaders makes it a good place to learn about and practise it.

Munger, Bihar

Trips can be taken to Munger to learn in detail about the Bihar style of the Yogic science, along with practising it with experienced gurus. Various institutes here educate visitors about monastic life and advanced stages of the practice.

Mumbai, Maharashtra 

Mumbai, the financial capital of India, is also the place where the first organised Yoga centre in the world was set up. Loads of international tourists come here during holidays and head to any of such centres and practise it.

Haridwar, Uttarakhand

Haridwar holds roughly the same importance as Rishikesh when it comes to this culture. The Ganga River flows through here and its banks become the perfect spots to indulge in this meditative and spiritually cleansing activity.

Kashmir

The Kashmir region is surely famous for its natural beauty and ski resorts, but another thing that it is known for is a type of Yoga with its roots in Shaivism. There are numerous institutes in the region, where travellers may enrol during their tours in the state to learn in detail about it.

New Delhi

Being the capital of India, New Delhi has also become an important destination from the perspective of this science. There are numerous institutes here that provide lessons and practise in this discipline. The Indian Government too has established various centres for the practise, research and promotion of this art.

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Temples of Rishikesh and Stories Related to Them

Rishikesh, situated in the Uttarakhand state, is a perfect location to play and pray. The state itself is dotted with numerous temples, some them are highly significant for the followers of the Hindu religion. Similarly, Rishikesh, lying on the foothill of the Himalayas is called as the Yoga Capital of the World. It is believed that devotees used to come to this secluded to worship their gods peacefully.

However, it is emerging as one of the best destinations to enjoy adventure sport like trekking, water rafting and mountaineering. Rishikesh is modified version of Hrishikesh, which means the one who has conquered all the senses. This town received its name from saints and Yogis who came here for meditation in order to attain salvation. This place is dotted with tourist attractions that have great significance in the Hindu mythology, and are backed by interesting facts. Here are some of the myths associated with this holy town and different attractions.

Name

The first one is related to its name; it is believed that Hrishikesh is another name for Lord Vishnu. As per legends, Lord Vishnu killed the demon Madhu. However, there are few reports claiming that Lord Ram sought penance at this place on advice of the sage Vashishth after killing Ravana. There is other group which believes that Lord Vishnu appeared in front of the Rabiya Rishi at this place after completion of his penance. All these claims are backed by some or the other incidents mentioned in mythological books.

Lakshmana Jhula

One of the most popular attractions of the region, Lakshmana Jhula, has its own interesting story. This iron suspension bridge was built in the early 19th century during the British reign. It is built over the Ganges River; picturesque scene of the majestic mountains along with the water flowing below the bridge is unique in nature. It is believed that Lakshmana – younger brother of Lord Ram – crossed the river with the help of jute ropes at the same site. Tourists can behold the beauty of the spectacular views from this bridge or can head towards the Ram Jhula near this landmark.

The Triveni Ghat

This site is said to be one of the holiest sites in India, where three rivers – Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati meet. This confluence point is visited by millions of tourists every year. As per Hindu mythology, a dip in the waters of this place washes away all the sins. The beauty of this place is worth watching in the evening, when the settling sun changes the colour of water. Apart from this the sound of Vedas and Mantras chanted by devotees as well priests add to the charm of this pace. Priests perform pujas by making leaf boats, using flowers, travellers can get a complete picture of the rituals followed during these events.

Bharat Temple

One of the oldest temples of the country, Bharat Temple was built back in the 12th century. It is said that Adiguru Shankaracharya dedicated this temple to Bharat – the younger brother of Lord Ram. The main attraction of this place is Saligram of Lord Vishnu. This idol has been carved out of a single stone. Apart from this, the Shri Yantra in the inner canopy was installed by the Guru himself. Archaeologists have found old coins, pots and many other things at this place which prove that the existence of this shrine is quite old. Travellers can hop to the 13th storey of the temple to capture view of the temple in the most explicit way. They get an excellent view of sculptures of gods as well as goddesses on this floor of the temple.

The Neelkanth Temple

As per Hindu mythology, the gods and demons churned out the sea and a pot of Halahala (venom) and nector (amrita) came out. It is believed that Lord Shiva drank the pot of venom at this place, which turned the colour of his neck into Blue. This is the reason behind name of this temple Neelkanth – the one with blue neck. People who want to see the Ganga Aarti can go to the Parmarth Ashram. A giant hawan and aarti is organised at the Parmarth Ghat every evening that attracts hundreds of devotees.

Lakshman Jhukla- the Epitome of Rishikesh

The presence of revered pilgrimage sites is the reason why India has a prominent place in the list of significant religious destinations of the world. There are several hundreds of pilgrimage sites of different faiths that are known to receive hordes of devotees every year. Abundance of natural landscapes is an added advantage that further increase the popularity of these sites worldwide. A trip to this country includes Rishikesh, which is a beautiful city in the hill district of Uttarakhand. Popularly known as the Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas, it has a rich history with reference in a number of mythological tales. Apart from beautiful landscapes and ghats, people can visit the famous Lakshman Jhula – a prominent place for travelers visiting Rishikesh.

 

Lakshman Jhula

 

Lakshman Jhula – a well-known landmark of the region – is actually a hanging bridge made of iron built over the sacred River Ganges. Watching pleasant views while walking over it is a memorable experience for every visitor who walks over it. These include pleasant vistas of the sunrise and sunset, which can be enjoyed from here as it is located at an elevation of about 70 feet from the river. This long bridge is believed to have played a vital role in the epic of the Ramayana. As per mythology, Lord Lakshman, who was the younger brother of the legendary King Rama, used the site for crossing the river. At that time, it used to be a suspension bridge solely made of jute. After that incident, the place became famous by His name, making it more respectable. In the course of time, jute eroded and a new iron bridge was built at the same place. It falls along the old route to the sacred sites of Kedarnath and Badrinath. This site has gained so much prominence in the last few years that several market hubs have been developed around it, making it a frequent and lively area.

 

Devotees come here in large numbers as there are several shrines and temples located around it. Frequent vacationers are of an opinion that a trip to Rishikesh remains incomplete if the temple called Tera Manzil is not visited. It is a 13-storey pilgrimage, where numerous pilgrims gather to pay homage to the main deity. People can also take out some time to visit the nearby Lakshman Temple and Risha Kund, which is believed to have been sanctified when Lord Rama and His brother took a bath in it. Another reason behind the popularity of the place is the serene and peaceful environment that prevails here. During festivals and other auspicious occasions, it gets filled with chantings of mantras and the cheerful vibes brought by visitors. Markets around it can be ideal spots for souvenir shopping as devotees can buy items like idols of gods and goddesses, holy books and local jewellery. Rishikesh trip finally gets complete by relishing the delectable street food offered here in a number of small stores.

A Tour to The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple In Rishikesh

Rishikesh is an important city of Uttarakhand and is known for its cultural and traditional significance. Surrounded by many other prominent religious sites, this place is situated at the foothills of the great Himalayas. It is home to several revered shrines like Sivananda Ashram and Swargashram, which have a unique historical aura about them. Visitors flock from faraway places to take part in the Ganga Aarti, which is performed in the evening at the popular Triveni Ghat over here. Lush green cover and mountainous environs make this place a famous tourist destination. Rishikesh packages are availed by a large number of travellers and devotees, who wish to visit the tranquil locations of the city.

 

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

 

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

Among these religious places, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a prominent one, which receives thousands of visitors and devotees each year. Located on a hilly area over Swargashram, this site offers splendid views of the hills. It lies in the vicinity to the Nar-Narayan ranges and is considered a revered shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. This place is a natural heaven for people who come here for the purpose of sightseeing as it is situated amidst three beautiful valleys and at the meeting point of rivers, Pankaja and Madhumati. Located at a high altitude, this shrine welcomes a large number of visitors round the year.

 

Even the route going towards the temple is delightful as people get to behold steep roads leading to the hills, flowing rivers by one side and mountainous terrain on the other. These streets are quite narrow and proper knowledge coupled with careful driving is required while passing these areas. People, who are not habitual of driving on high altitudes, must park their vehicles at taxi stand of Ram Jhula and hire a cab for the rest of the journey. The temple is at a feasible driving distance from there and people can also walk to reach here. Despite the minor difficulties, the whole journey is quite enjoyable.

History and Architecture

A spiritual aura can be found within and around this pilgrimage, which provides visitors with engrossing mythological stories and legendary folklore. There is an interesting old story behind construction and development of the location. According to the Puranas, it is the place where Lord Shiva drank the poison, which was obtained after Samudra Manthan. The poison was so toxic that it turned his throat into blue colour. Thus, the shrine has derived its name from Lord Shiva, who was popularly named as Neelkanth, which means blue throat.

The scene of Samudra Manthan is depicted on the top of the temple in an explicit manner. The exteriors of the complex are brightly colored and ignoring them is just not possible. The interiors are equally amazing with a huge statue of Goddess Parvati, positioned at the entrance. The arena around the sacred lingam is made of shining marbles and intricately done statues of Dwarpals or the guards. The complex around the place also features a Peepal tree, on which devotees tie threads for their wish fulfillment. On a Rishikesh tour,a visit to this and other sacred shrines of the city are a must.

 

Healthy and Spiritual Holiday Trip to Rishikesh

Rishikesh is a beautiful Indian city, which lies in the hilly state of Uttarakhand. It is situated at the foothills of the mighty Himalayas and is regarded as a gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas. As the venerated Ganga River flows through the heart of this city, it holds a sacred status amongst Hindus. Several small and big temples lie along the ghats of this holy river and lend a religious aura to the overall ambience of the region. This place has been long associated with the Hindu mythology as it is supposedly the site where Lord Rama did penance in order to atone for the sin of killing the demon king Ravana. In the past few years, it has earned a considerable amount of fame for the umpteen of opportunities for rafting and adventure sports. Not only this, but the presence of yoga and spiritual ashrams in the region make it a favourite haunt of those looking for a divine and serene experience. Every year, thousands of international travellers come to this place for spending some moments of repose in the peaceful ashrams located here. By opting for a Rishikesh package, tourists can explore their spiritual side while getting acquainted with the ancient Indian science of yoga.

Yoga Centres

There are many yoga centres in Rishikesh that aim at preserving and promoting this centuries-old art and science. Sprawling across large areas amidst the tranquil environs of this salubrious region, these ashrams provide proper training in this ancient and healthy technique. Some of these are even counted amongst the top yoga centres across the world. Training provided here ranges from beginner to expert teaching courses. The best thing about learning this science of holistic healing in these peaceful centres is that people get a chance to gain the benefit of good health in healthy surroundings. Not only learning, but they also provide accommodation facilities, which are far more affordable than resorts and hotels in the region.

Spiritual Ashrams

While the yoga centres in Rishikesh are dedicated towards teaching this health-benefiting technique, its spiritual ashrams have a completely different approach. It is widely believed that anyone who meditates in the sacred surroundings of this place is bound to achieve salvation. There are many such centres in the region that portray meditation as a medium to attain the same. Headed by popular spiritual leaders and revered personalities, these ashrams earn a considerable amount of global recognition. The popularity of such establishments can be understood by the fact that The Beatles – the iconic English rock band – visited one of these in the 1960s. Many other international personalities have not only been to these ashrams but also spoke about the positive effects they had on their lives.

 

Usually every Rishikesh tour package is inclusive of trips to the yoga and spiritual centres of the city. Coming to these peaceful establishments is the best way to have a healthy and spiritual holiday experience in the pristine lap of nature.

 

Rishikesh Camping and Sightseeing

Nestled in the foothills of the Great Himalayas, Rishikesh is a popular hill station situated in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Popularly known as The Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas, this city is bounded by Pauri Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal and Haridwar. During a Rishikesh tour, people get an opportunity to witness the rich cultural and spiritual legacy of India, in addition to the breathtaking topography of the region. People also go to this destination after their marriage for honeymoon packages. This gives them the chance to seek divine blessings for their married life.

Kailash Ashram Brahmavidyapeetham

Kailash Ashram Brahmavidyapeetham

Sometimes referred to as the World Capital of Yoga, this place is a hub of yoga centres, attracting hordes of people from different parts of the country. This serene destination is also home to the Kailash Ashram Brahmavidyapeetham, over a century-old Vedic institution. Prominent saints, including Swami Rama Tirtha and Swami Vivekanada attained knowledge here.

 

An extraordinary blend of tranquillity and liveliness, this place is a must-visit destination. The beautiful landscape of this place features high hills, verdant forests, expansive shorelines and pristine water bodies, including the sacred Ganga River. This place is in true means an ideal getaway for nature patrons, adventure enthusiasts and peace seekers. Tourists can enjoy flavours of it all – meditation, calmness, adrenaline rush and divinity. Home to popular places of religious significance, such as Ram Jhula, Lakshman Jhula and Tera Manzil Mandir, this location is thronged by devotees all-year round. It is believed that by taking holy dips in river Ganges, people can get rid of all their sins committed in a lifetime.

 

Camping at Rishikesh

 

The best places to stay when visiting this exquisite destination are the campsites. The experience of living in camps amidst spellbinding natural environs is amazing. The beauty of rolling hills covered with verdant forests and the clear sky atop, captivates the minds of onlookers. Many camp sites are located on river-fronts, where tourists can enjoy leisurely strolls on the sandy stretches. They can laze around at the huge rocks near the shore and let the purity of the enchanting natural beauty seep in. The camps are simple tents provided with clean beds and no urban amenities. Travelers feel so close to nature that they forget the heckles of city life.

 

Scrumptious delicacies and freshly brewed beverages are served at canopies set near tents. There are common tent bathrooms, which are clean and hygienically maintained. This place is not only a treat for nature lovers but also a delight for peace seekers. The divinity and purity of this land serve as ideal meditation sites. People from the state and beyond opt for Rishikesh tour packages and come down to meditate and practise yoga over here. There are a number of yoga centres in the city that teach traditional yoga postures and meditation therapies.

 

Additionally, this destination offers an array of enthralling activities, such as rafting, banana boating, still-water diving, rapid-water diving, aerial river crossing and cliff jumping. These activities are conducted by well-trained professionals, who provide proper training to people and make them ready for the activities. All adventurers are provided with life jackets and other required equipment to avoid any mishaps.

Sightseeing and Adventure Sporting in Rishikesh

Rishikesh

Rishikesh

Rishikesh is a place where a stay, according to popular beliefs expressed in several spiritual books, means a way to reach out to god. Over years, not much has changed about spiritualism associated to it. In fact, things have been further simplified as travellers who desperately want to explore this part of the world can easily plan out their journey by self. They can also search for deals on travel portals to get a suitable Rishikesh package.

Interesting Vacation Tour

In Rishikesh, tourists get to see and admire ashrams, temples, flowing river and plenty of other things. In fact, each visit is totally a different experience to get away with and cherish until another trip made. With so much in offer on a vacation tour, travellers simply wonder, what to say other than simply calling it a paradise that is to be visited time again and again. This unique tourist spot has something or other for every visitor, which means even the most sombre mood will feel delighted by numerous panoramic views around. The bountiful greenery and emphatic sounds of flowing stream along with serene mountain views make for a unique mix that is hard to come by at one place.

This city is situated at the foothills of the Himalayas and hence, often termed as the gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas. It is one of the popular holiday destinations for travellers coming down to the Dehradun district, Uttarakhand. To be more precise about the location, it is 43 km south-west of Dehradun and surrounded by districts Tehri Garhwal, Pauri Garhwal and Haridwar. The best thing about this city is that it can be visited all throughout the year. However, those fond of rafting should plan their tour from mid-September to April.

Activities on Offer

This region, also called as the world capital of yoga, boasts of a number of yoga centres like Himalayan Yoga Gurukul and Rishikesh Yog Peeth. According to the Hindu mythology, all those who meditate with pure heart stand a chance to attain moksha (salvation). As a matter of fact, the holy Chardham Yatra gets its onset point from this city itself. Still more, it can be called as an ideal place to study and practice Ayurveda, meditation and spa therapies. Adventure aficionados will find this place even more exciting as there is so much to enjoy and feel passionate about. Outdoor sports like camp, river rafting, rock climbing and cliff jump are major activities to indulge in for visitors.

Some great places to visit in this amazing city are Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula across the river Ganges, Bharat Mandir, Rishikund and Geeta Bhawan. Neelkanth Mahadev is yet another place of interest where a large gathering of devotees is a common sight throughout the year. A visit to Vashishta Gufa, Tera Manzil Temple, Kaudiyala, Lakshman Temple and Kunjapuri Devi Temple must also be in the list while scheduling a trip. While there is more to explore and be excited about, Rishikesh can indeed be called as one of the most popular holiday destinations in India.