While in Rishikesh, of course I followed in the Beatles footsteps like every other traveler in India, and stayed at an ashram.
There are SO many to choose from. We across Ram Jhula to Swarg Ashram (an area, not the actual ashram). You could waste days searching for the perfect one so instead, we just went for it with the first one we could afford.
When you cross the bridge and turn right, and walk all the way down, you’ll come to Sri Ved Niketan, a hugely popular ashram near Parmath (another popular ashram where the Ganga Aarti takes place).
Sri Ved Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh
- 200 rs per night, we only stayed here 2 nights
- 100 rs per class because under minimum stay
- If we had stayed the minimum of 3 days we could have gotten FREE classes
- Large empty courtyard, huge meditation center, kitchen
- Yoga was two times a day, as were meditation classes
- Class attendance was not mandatory
- Curfew was 10 (typical at ashrams)
- No mingling with the other sex allowed
- Chakra and mantra teaching available
- No Wi-Fi, A/C, or hot water
- Basic room, hard beds, not clean
- Front desk was fairly rude & that has been noted on other reviews as well
- Was a little run-down & wasn’t really relaxing like I’d hoped
- Contact: email@example.com, +91 135 2430279
there are different room variations, this is the cheapest option
The Daily Yoga
I had been in India about two months at this point, and was starting to be very frustrated with Indian men. The waiter would fart as he served me dinner, the salesman would burp in my face, they were peeing in the streets in front of everyone. I would see men doing nothing but squatting on the street chit-chatting with chai, well women were hard at work. Better yet, the fifth guy that day would cut me in line and I’d have to hold back from losing my cool. I always talk about my love/hate relationship with India and as always I fluctuate. The LAST thing I wanted was an patience-testing little Indian man who hadn’t figured out his plurals to yell at me at 5 a.m. (now, I will say at least he can speak English- I can allow speak a few words of Hindi).
Our yoga teacher was as funny as he was annoying.
“point your feeeeeeeets”
“suck it in .. your belllllllly”
As he grabs my wrists to pull them tighter behind me to a position that is killing my arms, I almost want to walk out of class.
location was IDEAL with a nice courtyard that was empty and prime spot on the river
It’s not your typical yoga, but it was repeated positions, over and over and over and over… holding them for 3 minutes at a time, then repeat. Throught two hours, we would have done maybe six moves. Then it was hand stand time. I did get damn good at those in Pushkar. On the website the yoga style is called “similar to Bihar School of Yoga” with asanas and pranayama. Now sure what that is, but we didn’t do any warm up or sun salutations here. I have to say, the yoga was strange and very advanced. I do pranayamas at yoga now, which I love, and it wasn’t like this class, so not sure what it’s all about.
My Final Thoughts
All in all, the ashram experience was okay for a couple days, and is good for those on a budget. If I go back, I will try somewhere else, unless of course I become more broke than I was then, in which case I’ll be right back here.
Whether you pick this ashram or another, it’s an experience you don’t want to miss.
Book an Ashram for Yoga Retreats in India
There are a lot of crappy ashrams and retreats that are not legit. You need to do research because a true yoga retreat is not going to be cheap.
Click this link for the top listings for yoga retreats in Rishikesh and read all the reviews. You can use this link to see the top yoga teacher training courses in Rishikesh. This is the most legitimate site for yoga classes and Rishkesh is one of the best places to take one.
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Considering this yoga session, our yoga teachers in the TTC we did were fabulous? Leave alone touching the students, they never encouraged going beyond 70% of your ability to ensure you were injury free.
Ashram looks nice but somehow whenver we get to rishikesh it is always too crowded
that’s the way it should be, with good yoga teachers like that! I am taking it from a friend in goa now and love it!
Hahaha I can totally picture the teacher “suck it in..your belllly” :D
Even if it was not perfect like in movies, you did it!
I hope I will have the chance to try it as well. * Saving money for trip to India* :)
Cheers from Sweden!
Good luck saving!!
Haha, I imagine the belly query. :D May I ask what are your plans after India? If traveling, which direction?
well I think i’ll be here a couple years maybe, it’s really up in the air! I have to consider where my BF works and right now that is india!
I’m semi-new here so I’m fascinated with your experiences with Indian men. What’s up with men peeing in public places? I’m in Colombia and I’ve seen more men peeing on the beach or in the street, and they’re totally unconcerned with the idea that everyone can see. It’s kind of hilarious!
Hahahah so funny that it happens there too!
Experiences with India men…. oh well, we could write a whole book about that, isn’t it?
I’ve heard Rishikesh was to commercial, that’s why I decided to avoid it. But I’ve stayed at Amma’s ashram and gt a hug from her, lolol
lol a BIG book!!! haha .. it is a little commercial, and i’m so jeally you got a hug!! I’m dying to get down there!!!
Had you planned to only stay 2 nights? Or did you leave early out of frustration? lol
I had only planned 2 nights as we didn’t have a lot of time, but if I had loved it I would have rearranged and stayed longer.. I didn’t love it that much lol
This sounds like something I would probably not enjoy :) But I bet there are others (I’m guessing with a higher price tag) that I might be into!
haha yeah it’s an interesting place… lol
ooh looks like it was pretty intense- I’d love to go to an ashram but I think it would be a huge challenge, and I think I’d find it hard to deal with the ‘not clean’ stuff, but that’s travel really. Still, it looks like you had an incredible experience :)
yes, I didn’t stay long and I don’t think I would have enjoyed staying too long!
have you tried phool chatti ashram? read a feed from a few US-UK backpackers and seemd Ok
Haven’t tried it. Thanks for the tip.
Your post is uplifting & flowing like the ganges & a bit funny too :). I look forward to my trip to Rishikesh next week. I guess, Lakshman Jhula is the ideal place to stay. Or is there any better ashram you’d suggest?
Yeah, I think it seemed like the best place. I’m not sure of any other ashram information, unfortunately.
Ha ha, I can’t believe you stayed in that place, you are really a hard core backpacker or I’m way too spoiled but when I took a look at their rooms some time ago I just said to myself, “no way!” Maybe I should try it once, just to practice some tapas :-)
hahaah well, it was a couple years ago now. I wouldn’t stay there again I don’t think!
HI RACHEL, I AM AN INDIAN BY BIRTH AND WANT TP PACK MY BAGS TO TRAVEL THE WORLD. BUT NOT SURE ABOUT HOW TO KEEP EARNING WHILE TRAVELLING TO FEED MY EXPENCES. PLEASE GUIDE ME.
I am Vivek from Rishikesh. I belong to Ved Niketan Ashram and I grew up in this ashram with Yogic life. I have been worked with Army School, Park Hyatt, Goa and now working with Raffles, Seychelles. I am a Yog teacher as well as an Aesthitician. Rachel I am happy that you are living in India from a long time. As your posts mostly show the bad image about India, I think there is also a very positive concern about this country which is not available anywhere in this world and all the aspirants who are tired from their stressful life get relax after coming on this holy city Rishikesh. Please do not take me wrong and whatever you posted about specially Indian men that’s 100% true but there are a lot of great personalities who were born on this land. And I think it happens everywhere that the women are harassed by men and I think this percentage is more in Western countries. I really d’nt wanna argue but I wanna suggest you if you love India and its culture so please see towards its greatness which I think you also did not feel anywhere. Namaste.
90% of my almost 400 posts are positive about India, so clearly you haven’t spent any time on my blog. This blog promotes India in a huge way and many girls email saying they’ve decided to come to India thanks to this website. I have been here for years and wouldn’t be if I didn’t like it. You don’t want to argue you say, but unfortunately you are ill-informed.
I’m so sorry about this misconception. I did not read all of your messages fully but I was little bit upset about other people’s comments. If it could be possible please forgive me. I really d’nt have words to say you sorry. But I am apologized. Thank you and have a beautiful time in Goa. Also thanks to promote a good environment about India here. Namaskar.
I have stayed at the Ved Niketan for over a month and some of the rooms are 2x as bad as yours. I guess the monkeys have gotten out of control, so now they have the hallway fencing which is just a recent addition. I always worried about spiders in my room, India is full if them and they are big. The only other ashram that I know of that is cheaper is the one across the street from the Trayambakeshwar temple near the Laxman Jhula bridge area. The ashram is cheap because all day long until the temple closes in the evening the temples bells are always being loudly rung. The temple has bells within everywhere. The ashram rooms are not as bad as the Niketan’s but they are a little smaller, seem newer and have much fewer spiders.
I have done Yoga classes there in 2010, as Yoga Teacher (22 years) and the teacher and the class was so traditional and advanced enough.
In fact, those are good Yoga Teachers, for for sure not for any begginer as they will discribe badly about the severity of teaching.
Ha ha sounds like a good experience! We really need to get back to India, we missed Rishikesh last time.
Definitely, give it a go!
I have stayed in Ved Niketan couple of times and must say they are quite traditional and havn’t changed over time. Just basic facilities and a very big courtyard & meditation centre which you also noted, away from crowded place like Lakshman Jhula makes it a cool place.
All in all a quiet and affordable place.
Good to hear! Thanks for sharing.
May i know the name of yoga teacher.
“Starting to be very frustrated with Indian men…” welcome to my world! Would be a good topic for a blog (wink,wink). I’m heading to Rishikesh for 1 month of beginning yoga soon. I’m nervous about it! LOVE your blog!
I hope you find a great place to stay. I find that that can make all the difference and this place wasn’t the best!
You may want to take a look at this travel advisory that was recently published regarding the long history of corruption behind Ved Niketan. It is very interesting. It seems there has been a slow and steady attempt at property theft by Indian “land mafia” since Vishwaguru’s death in 2007. You can read the article here:
Hi Rachel,I really like your writing and your perspective of being human .
So I am moving to Goa this May and planning to start a Backpackers Hostel there. Which Place would you recommend for a hostel as I have theme based on spiritual arts and writings. More of Chill ambience spirited beach. it’ll be a help for me to get a place, I have plans for.
And also if you can help me find a yoga and meditation teacher there. I am enlightened.
I am traveling to Rishikesh for spiritual upliftment and I found your blog really helpful for it gave me a llot of encouragement! But I am looking for places I could stay in RIshikesh – can you help or suggest me please?
I stayed at Ved Niketan back in 2013 and the experience was pretty good. I guess the teachers change quite often so it depends a lot on who is there, but I liked the atmosphere of the place.
Yeah definitely – it’s been ages as well since I was there so I’m sure things have changed quite a lot!
I am planning on a trip to Rishikesh –> Jaipur –> Udaipur alone. Well a friend pulled out of the trip last minute so I guess I’ll be going alone. I have been to Delhi and Varanasi before with my sister, her indian mother in law and my brother in law’s younger 16 year old brother. It was an amazing trip and I do like India a lot but there was a moment in Varanasi that I was actually terrified as I was in a sea of indian men accompanied by the young brother and I knew that if anything untoward were to happen, there is nothing I or the boy could do to prevent it. Well… nothing actually happened, but it was just vivid scary moment that stuck with me.
In any case, I’m quite confident that I’ll be fine in Rishikesh. But I’m taking the train down from Delhi to Jaipur and to Udaipur. In terms of traveling alone, do you think that will be ok? (we flew from delhi to Varanasi last time, so I have no experience taking regional train in India and don’t know what to expect).
Would love to hear your thoughts!
P/s: I’ve read a few of your other posts on Rishikesh and have took notes on what to bring and how to prepare for that trip, so thank you for the tip!!!
Ved Niketan is amazing ….and the people you meet there are the best…not Americans at all…a lot of Germans, French and Russians…