Rishikesh News Updates
Rishikesh News Updates
Beyond being a hotspot for yoga, many tourists also come to Rishikesh for the famous satsang gatherings. What are satsangs? Basically it is a gathering of like-minded, spiritual people to listen to an expert speaker talk about topics in spirituality.
In Rishikesh, the main satsang season runs from October till March when the climate is cooler and dryer. There are a few famous satsang speakers who do annual sessions or are based part of the time in Rishikesh:
Shanti Mayi speak at the Satcha Dam Ashram near Laxman Jhula - she caters mostly to the English speaking crowd.
Mooji currently draws the largest crowd, usually in February or March. He speaks at the Swami Swatantranand Ashram in Rishikesh market area.
Sri Prem Baba is a spanish speaker. His satsangs are concurrently translated into English. He speaks also at the Satcha Dam Ashram in a different hall as Shanti Mayi. They both sometimes have sessions at the same time.
Most satsangs end or begin with kirtan singing which is very enjoyable. As with the talks, it really depends on what you are looking for. All the 3 speakers above have their own youtube channels and websites where you can also listen to them for free. Maybe try them out online first to decide who suits you?
Booking a guesthouse when any of these 3 speakers are in town, especially Mooji, is often very difficult as they have all been pre-booked by their followers. If you know you want to go to Rishikesh during the satsang season, do book your room ahead of time. Rooms can also become more expensive then. Restaurants do become full and waiting time is long. These speakers do command a crowd into town! And this is on top of the usual yoga crowd!
Check out here for more details on the satsangs.
Indians speak of the market very often. Not just the housewives but also the men. Why? Because the market in small towns like Rishikesh simply means the main city area with plenty of shops selling everything you need.
When locals in Rishikesh speak of the market, they refer to the main Rishikesh city area, not those at Laxman or Ram Jhula areas. So where is this? It is about 3km downstream from Ram Jhula on the main road side. This means you can either walk for 30-45 mins or take an Autorickshaw anywhere along the road, just flag them down and they costs about 10-20R each way. Read more about the local transportation here. The market area is pretty big, so it would be better if you can tell the driver where to stop, else just stop and wander around once you see the start of all the shops. Here you can get anything from household items like electronics, cleaning tools and towels, to food items, clothes and saris. There are also plenty of hardware shops if you need one. Some shops will also sell yoga items, such as ropes to make yoga belts, etc. There are also plenty of ATMs (when the ones near your guesthouse do not work) and a few banks in the market area. More information on the main Rishikesh market here.
The markets that most tourists know about are the ones in Ram Jhula and Laksman Jhula. In Ram Jhula market there are shops selling religious items, religious books in Hindi, bookshops, provision shops, clothes shops selling more touristy apparels, shops with lots of yoga related items, jewellery shops, tourist cafes and restaurants. It is slightly smaller and more traditional than the one over at Laxman Jhula. Find out more about the Ram Jhula area here.
The Laxman Jhula market is a little more hip. There are some really nice cafes and restaurants along the Ganges, plenty of shops selling yoga clothes and other items, mini-markets for food and other yoga things, more upmarket boutiques selling indian/boho/ hippie clothes and home decorations, indian and tibetan jewellery shops, bookshops and just about anything that might interest a tourist. The Laxman square (on the German Bakery side) has also quite a few more upmarket looking shops selling ayurveda products and a couple of Fab India inspired shops (Fab India is also on that side!). So if you want to join the more hip crowd and have more shopping options, Laxman Jhula market is the better option. Find out more about the Laxman Jhula area here.
So you do have more than enough places to shop and eat in Rishikesh, just make sure you bring enough suitcases to carry the stuff home!