The human adventure expresses itself in ever-more diverse ways, with all kinds of boundaries that separate people dissolving all the time. More people travel now than ever before. It is a 'rite of passage' for many; it has become a way of life for some. People carry with them their ideas, their experiences, their culture. A great deal of sharing happens "on the road", and that is part of the point. So many travelers nowadays have a special talent or knowledge- some carry music instruments and look for chances to play with or for others. Others draw, paint, take pictures, write, or do something else very well. Some quiet types play the passive observer, the 'witness', as it were. But everyone has their own viewpoint and therefore something valid to share, and conversation is the main medium of exchange.
We wish to connect people through their various experiences of this special place, here online and through the magazine which has been published in its first edition for 2014. You are invited to take part as you like- by sharing with us any information you feel can be included on this site - a volunteer program, event, teaching, or whatnot -, by contributing an article you have written, or by simply attending some event you have heard about here.
Rishikesh is a small and friendly city in Uttarakhand, just 25 kilometers north of Haridwar in the foothills of the Himalayas of northern India. The main attraction here is the River Ganges, known in India as the Ganga. It is a holy city for Hindus (as is Haridwar) every year receiving many thousands of pilgrims. Rishikesh is the historical starting point for traveling to the four sites that form the Char Dham pilgrimage — Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri, and so it is known as the "Gateway to the Himalayas."
Rishikesh has become a meeting point for all types of people from all countries of the world. Many come here to study something, and there are many things here to study, or to attend Satsangs, but some come just to hang out and enjoy the peaceful vibrations. The vibe on the street is ultra-relaxed and friendly, and visitors often stay much longer than they had intended. Rishikesh has always been a spiritual centre, a crossroads for encounters on a higher level than the mundane, and perhaps because of this legacy a certain clarity of thought may still be perceived here today. For a little more historical background info, click here to read an article from our magazine.
The best time to visit Rishikesh is after mid-February when the routes to the north open up and a trek is possible to the upper reaches of the Himalayas, until November when it starts to get cold. But be aware of the very hot weather that comes starting mid-April or so, and the monsoon which runs from July to September. If you don't mind a little rain, the monsoon can be a good time to visit, and experience the place as it is without all the tourists. For white-water rafting, the main seasons are from September to middle of December and from mid-February till April, when the weather is generally more mild. The scenery around Rishikesh is quite beautiful. The hills are green, and vegetation is lush. One can walk on the sandy beaches and experience the beauty of the river and the mountains. The air is crisp and devoid of the pollution that permeates India's larger cities.