If you ask me what I think of India, I would answer without hesitation that I’m so in love with this country. For me India is the land of magic. There is always some kind of surprise around the corner wherever you go. It was in India, I went through a spiritual transformation and I am forever grateful for that. The more I get in touch with my spiritual side, the happier I am. I found meaning in everything I do, I connected easily to my environment, I glide through life’s challenges with grace. My whole life changed.
If you ever plan for a spiritual journey to India triggered either by curiosity or by your calling, I would recommend a visit to two holy cities: Rishikesh and Varanasi.
Rishikesh is a city in Dehradun district of the Indian state Uttarakhand, located in the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern India. It is known as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’. From New Delhi, you can either hire a private taxi or take local bus to Rishikesh, the journey takes around 6- 8 hours depending on the traffic situation. The cost for a private taxi is around 3500 INR and a bus ticket costs around 300- 400 INR.
If you love yoga and look after to be more spiritual, then this is a place for you. Every year, yoga practitioners from all over the world coming to Rishikesh to deepen their knowledge and to meet like minded people. In Rishikesh, I stayed at Anand Prakash ashram, this is one of the most famous yoga schools in the district with world’s renowned teachers. Everyday I rised at 5.30 Am to take yoga class and my daily meals consisted of purely vegan food. The first few days were really challenging but soon after my body adapts to the new diet. Truth to be told, even though I love meat but I need to admit that my body and soul feel much better with vegan food.
The curiosity brought me to the Holy City of Varanasi, a North India city on the banks of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh. From New Delhi, the train takes around 17 hours and the ticket costs around 400- 700 INR. People come to Varanasi for extraordinary spiritual experiences.
The most important sightseeing attraction is the Ghats located on the banks of the Ganges river. The Ghats in Varanasi are world-renowned embankments made in steps of stone slabs along the river bank where pilgrims perform ritual ablutions. The ghats are an integral complement to the Hindu concept of divinity represented in physical, metaphysical and supernatural elements. While in Varanasi, I decided to take a boat ride along the Ganges. That early morning, I was showered with many new experiences: religious celebrations, pilgrims perform ritual ablutions, body cremations, sounds, colors, cows, people. Yes, A picture of chaotic but still, nothing was out of the ordinary.