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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, or write very well. Some quiet types play the passive observer, the 'witness'. But everyone has their own viewpoint and therefore something to share.
Rishikesh has become a meeting point for all types of people from all countries of the world. We wish to connect people through their various experiences of Rishikesh, here online, and through the magazine which has been published in its first edition for 2014. We focus on the arts, but touch on many other aspects of life here as well.
Rishikesh is a small and friendly city in Uttarakhand, just 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 receiving many pilgrims, and is located about 25 kilometres north of another Hindu holy city, Haridwar. Rishikesh is the historical starting point for traveling to the sites that form the Char Dham pilgrimage — Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri, and so it is known as the "Gateway to the Himalayas."
Rishikesh is one of the names of Vishnu that means 'Lord of the Senses', its name deriving from Lord Vishnu appearing to Raibhya Rishi in a vision as a result of his tapasya (austerities) as Lord Rishikesh In Skanda Purana, the area known as 'Kubjamrak.' For more info, click here
The best time to visit Rishikesh is between Feb and November,when the routes open up and trekking is also possible in the upper reaches. For white-water rafting, however, the main season is from September to middle of December and from middle of February till April.The scenery around Rishikesh is quite beautiful. The hills are green, and vegetation is lush. One can walk on the beaches, and experience the beauty of the river and the mountains.The air is crispy and devoid of the pollution that permeates in other Indian cities.
Spirituality in Rishikesh
Picture courtesy : beatlesbible.com
A long time ago, the Beatles put Rishikesh "on the map". The year was 1968, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his TM movement- transcendental meditation - was all the rage. Meditation of all kinds was the "in thing" to be doing. The Beatles famously spent a couple of weeks with him at his place. Abandoned in 1997, it is now back under the control of the state forestry department, but the shells of many buildings, meditation cells and lecture halls still stand, including Maharishi's own house and the guesthouse where the Beatles stayed. This historical ashram is now monitored by security guards; no one is allowed to enter the premises.
The Maharishi died at age 90 in the Netherlands, The Beatles Cathedral Gallery was a community art project dedicated to the artistic re-activation of the Satsang Hall in the abandoned ashram. The project launched in April of 2012, only to be shut down two weeks later.See Gallery