"Rishikesh" Top 5 Page for this destination Rishikesh by David&Pauline

Rishikesh Travel Guide: 106 reviews and 311 photos

Back to the Sixties

We never really believed in time travel, until we found ourselves transported back to 1967, the moment we arrived at High Bank auto rickshaw stand and hiked the last mile across the Lakshman Jhula Bridge into a place where time has almost stood still. Motorcycles and the odd shared jeep are the only motor vehicles allowed into Lakshman Jhula and Swarg Ashram, the pilgrim centres of Rishikesh. What were probably Milk Bars in the sixties are now Internet Cafes but the shops are selling more or less the same things, as the first wave of hippies would have bought in 1967. The new wave of designer hippies, mostly from Israel and France, look very well off and enjoy posing but the sixties visitors were pretty much an elite too. At least Rishikesh is no longer the exclusive holiday destination of pop stars and Hollywood soap actors. What was unobtainable for Pauline and I in 1967, is now quite easy on the pocket. It?s a fine world we live in, we never thought we'd get here and if we did, we were sure we'd be disappointed, not a bit of it. We'd been given our youth back and Sam, who's the age we should have been, had the chance to see the beauty this place has to offer. Our challenge was to survive eight days in an alcohol free town and did we miss it? Certainly not, we were high on the atmosphere here all the time and blown away by some of the finest vegetarian food we have ever tasted. Forget a couple of weeks on a so-called health farm in the wilds of Wiltshire, for the same amount of money you can come to Rishikesh. Detox here, tune in to the temple chanting and turn on to one of the most relaxing spots on Earth. Welcome back to 1967!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:This is one of the most relaxing spots on Earth, no real hassle, and even good banter from the few beggars. Rishikesh is the town of holy men, most of whom are on an inward journey and don't even ask for alms.
  • Cons:Some of the Sadhus are nothing more than Indian hippies, dropouts from an increasingly materialistic society, who survive on selling bhang to part time dropouts from long established, materialistic countries.
  • In a nutshell:A spiritual haven. Somewhere to cleanse mind and body.
  • Last visit to Rishikesh: Aug 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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