Why Rishikesh is the Yoga Capital of the World
Rishikesh, the World Capital of Yoga, has been one of India’s holiest and most spiritual centres for thousands of years. Rishikesh is a magical city on the blue banks of the holy Ganges river and nestled under the gaze of the mystical Himalayas. Filled with temples and surrounded by emerald jungles, hidden waterfalls, and pristine nature, Rishikesh is a jewel of an entry into the deep Himalayas and a gateway for those seeking to go deep into their spiritual practice.
Rishikesh is the most ancient pilgrimage location in India. It is known as Tapo Bhumi, meaning the place for yoga and meditation of the Gods. Rishikesh is a peaceful temple town where the Ganges River flows clear and full of spiritual energy. Rishikesh is a holy pace that acts as the beginning of the path leading to the sacred places deep in the Himalayas. It is the perfect place for the spiritually inclined and for those who seek meaning. Spiritual people will find total peace and will be completely at home in Rishikesh.
Rishikesh translates to “city of saints”. Legend has it that the sage Rishi Raibhya sat on the banks of the Ganges and performed severe penance in the form of austerity and extreme yoga practices. Mythology tells us that he was rewarded when Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Rishikesh, thus giving the place its name. Over the ages saints have meditated and done saddhana at this peaceful spot beneath the soaring mountains and beside the flowing Ganges.
One of the most prominent religious leaders in modern times, Adi Shankaracharya, traversed this land in the 9th century. His pilgrimage to Rishikesh was later codified into a great pilgrimage circuit and thus gave a heightened sense of sacredness to this land of the gods. Ever since, Rishikesh has been a stepping stone and the first destination on lists of holy shrines and sites stretching across the lofty Himalayan Range.