Winter is here and it’s almost time for you to go for your yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India. You have been waiting for such a long time for this lifetime opportunity ever since you began understanding yoga on a deeper level. Your dream of going to the Yoga capital of the world, the holy land of Rishikesh is soon going to be a reality.
Rishikesh is a globally renowned town, situated on the foothills of the Himalayas. Its name especially rose to fame when the Beatles visited their guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the year 1960, and spent a number of months there, getting inspiration from beauty of the place.
It, of course, is not a matter of doubt that Rishikesh is a destination of alluring beauty, attracting large number of tourists to its bosom every year. The name itself translates to mean “City of Saints”, which is true as the place is filled with holy men, temples, and shrines. The holy Ganges flows through this lovely city through the Mountains of Himalayas adding to its pristine view. Believed to be the destination for meditation and yoga for the Divine bodies, the place is also known as “Tapo Bhoomi”.
Now, it’s your turn to be a part of this magnificent spiritual destination, to embark on a new journey of finding your spiritual self. However, you have never been here before. So, it is obvious that you would not be aware of the routes, climate, or types of clothes you must carry along to suit the weather.
You wonder, “Will it be right for me to take more warm clothes or just taking a few will do?” “which is the nearest airport to the city?” “How do you reach your training centre?” and many more questions that confuse you.
So, to make things easy for you, here is a guide for you when you are travelling to Rishikesh for your yoga teacher training course. Keep these tips in hand from the beginning of your journey to the end and you will have just the right plan made for your trip.
How To Choose The Best Yoga Retreat/Yoga Teacher Training Course In Rishikesh?
Rishikesh is home to numerous ashrams and yoga retreats. You have various options to choose from. But how do you know which is best? To know the best yoga retreat or yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, you need to do your research well and check the facilities that these retreats offer and whether they meet your requirements. Other than that you need to ensure that the yoga teacher training course is yoga alliance certified and will prove useful to you when you go back and start your own studio.
Internet is the best place to look for information. Browse through each and every retreat’s website carefully and check for reviews from previous visitors. If the retreat is certified, they will have it mentioned on their website. Other sources of getting genuine information are your yoga circle of friends who might have been to Rishikesh before to obtain their certification. Ask them about the best places to opt for and for references whom you can contact if there are any questions or doubts in your mind.
Do you require to get internet access and does the ashram provides free Wi-Fi? Do you need to carry yoga tools or will it be provided for? How is the food and what will be served? Will they make accommodations for vegans? The list of questions goes on. Call them if you need to. Any signs of confusion that you hear is a sign that it is not the right training centre for you.
Weather in Rishikesh During Winter
Winters in Rishikesh start from October to the second week of February. Temperatures in Rishikesh during the winter months can drop to a minimum of 8 degrees, while the highest recorded temperature can go up to 20 degrees. It is mostly cold towards the evening, but during the day you can enjoy the warmth of the sun as you practice the art of yoga in your chosen ashram.
Sometimes, the city also experiences mild rainfall during winters, which makes the weather more cold. Irrespective of it all, winter is one of the best seasons to choose your yoga teacher training in Rishikesh since you can enjoy solitude, less noise, and the warm rays of the sun at the beach. January is the chilliest month in the city during winters.
Essentials to Take Along
Since its winter, logically speaking, it is going to be cold, especially since the city is located at the foothills of the Himalayas. So, remember to pack your warm clothes to keep you warm when temperature drops. Carry along a coat, a jacket, and a thick sweater to save you from the cold at night. Also remember to include some mufflers, woollen socks, warm leggings, a cap or two, and thermals in your luggage. Sneakers and boots are the best footwear to carry along to keep your toes warm.
Other essentials that you should carry along are moisturisers and sunscreens as the sun rays can still cause a sunburn even if it’s not hot. If you want, you can also carry along your ear muffs for keeping your ears warm.
A word of advice here is to only carry what is needed during your stay at the ashram for your Yoga teacher training in Rishikesh so that you can easily carry your luggage around when moving into your ashram or while leaving. Also, most ashrams are only accessible on foot and you might have to carry your luggage all the way there. If it’s too heavy, it will tire you.
How to Reach Rishikesh?
There are great number of options from which you can choose to reach your yoga destination, Rishikesh. Let’s have a look at the three most opted travelling routes for Rishikesh more closely below.
Travelling by Flight
Whichever part of the world you might be travelling from, you can choose to travel to Rishikesh from Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Varanasi, Srinagar, or Shimla. Your starting point will depend on whether you want to visit some of India’s well-known places prior to reaching your destination for your yoga training classes. However, if you are planning on going there directly, you can book a flight to Delhi, one of the most accessible metro airports to Rishikesh.
When you book a flight from any of the airports to reach Rishikesh, Dehradun’s newly renovated airport, Jolly Grant Airport is in the closest in proximity of about 15 kms from your destination. Flights for Dehradun airport have increased in the present time and are available from 6 in the morning to 7 in the evening, making your journey faster and more affordable.
A notable point to be kept in mind is that, since it’s winter time, choose to travel during the afternoon to avoid being trapped at the airport for hours due to dense fog. Also, start off at least 3 hours early to the airport early to avoid being caught in bad traffic and having enough time to relax once you reach the airport.
Travelling by Road
Delhi is your nearest destination, if you choose to travel by bus or by car to Rishikesh, at a distance 230 kms. It is also a good option for yogis who want to experience and view nature closely on their journey. If you choose to travel by car, you can book one from the airport itself to save you any hassles, especially if you travelling to India for the first time.
Book a cab that is registered with the airport for an affordable bargain on the rates. You can find a cab with Uber or OLA mobile app in around USD 60. If you choose to travel by bus, book one from a good travel agency. A normal bus with no air conditioning should cost you between 200- 300 rupees (USD 4-5).
However, air-conditioned buses cost more, around the range of 450-700 rupees (USD 5-12). The journey to Rishikesh by car will take you about 4-6 hours, while by bus you might take about 5-7 hours, all depending on the traffic conditions. But then, since winter is not the peak season for Rishikesh, the place is less crowded and easier to access even by road.
Travelling by Train
Rishikesh is accessible by train from Haridwar and Delhi. The trains that can be accessed from Haridwar are only three in number, whereas from Delhi the options are more. Furthermore, the trains from Delhi are much faster than those from Haridwar. Again, since the trains are very busy in India, trains usually full and you need prior reservations to get a seat. So, unless you are travelling in a group, it is best to avoid this option altogether.
Travelling Around Rishikesh
It is not hard to travel in Rishikesh owing to the great availability of rickshaws, buses, and train stops to help you commute from one area to another. The city also offers its visitors the convenience of booking private taxis, which is a cost-effective option for groups of people travelling together.
Going around the city is safe but it is still recommended to be aware of scammers and con-mens who try to thug tourists just like any other part of the world. For example, stay away from local guides and sadhus who offer you one-on-one services. When you travel at night, carry a torch along as it becomes pitch dark after sunset. Other than that, also watch out for food stealing monkeys, who get aggressive and sometimes even attack you if you have food in hand.
Some of the places of attractions that you can visit here are the Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula. Some of the prominent places and temples you must visit here are the Triveni ghat, Bharat Mandir, Gita Bhavan, Swarg Ashram, Parmarth Niketan, and the Trayambakeshwar Temple.
If you are an adventurist by heart, Rishikesh also offers numerous activities that you can indulge in like White Water Rafting, Rock Climbing, Cliff Jumping, Kayaking, Trekking, Bunjee Jumping, and jungle excursions. You can also take a holy dip in the holy Ganges to receive a bountiful of blessings.
Rishikesh is a yogi’s true calling for finding and connecting to their spiritual self. It is the land of meditation, spirituality, nature, and home to the Gods. Doing 200 hour yoga teacher training course in Rishikesh is an opportunity of a lifetime and you should not miss it. Especially if you are able to find the right kind of training center, with the right kind of facilities. Find a school that assures you that everything else will be taken care of for you.
So, when you are getting ready to visit the world’s yoga capital for newer depths of learning, keep all these points in mind and do your own research. Everything will go smoothly once you have devoted your time to research and organize. Wishing you spiritual dust and an enchanting journey to finding your true inner self. Bon Voyage.