Parmarth Niketan

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Rishikesh, India

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Parmarth Niketan Rishikesh Reviews

as7 as7
4 reviews
Parmath, Rishikesh International Yoga Festival Sep 07, 2009
Review of the Annual Week-long International Yoga Festival (attended March 2009). Festival fee includes room and meals, and Indians pay less than foreigners. Actually I did not stay at the Ashram, chose a hotel outside, because during this occasion you can't get a single room at the Ashram and have to share. But next year's festival I am definitely staying here because the rooms are actually great and sharing may not be that bad. Swamiji (who heads the Ashram) was a great man to meet and he can hold his own if you try to discuss possible contradictions in philosophies. There were well known yoga people from all over the world, David Frawley the most recognized name (at least to me since I have read a couple of his books). Crowd was very international (4 foreigners for every 1 Indian) and vibrant; many of them were yoga teachers and in physical yoga they can make others in the class look lame! So beginners beware! I was probably one of the ignorant ones when in came to knowing the names of and doing all the Asanas, but I have since been attending yoga regularly and next year's festival I will be up to mark. There were 2-3 classes on at one time, so you could choose what suited you best, and these included many good lectures. Food at Ashram was okay, but possibly a little too sobered down on spices, to match international taste. Most people came in groups, organized by the yoga group they are affiliated with at home. I was one of lone intruders! But got to meet a truly international mix of the more gentle-natured and health-conscious part of humanity. The Ganga (Ganges) being very clean here itself can make a trip to Rishikesh worth it anytime, though most people would not take a dip because water was cold. I was in the river a lot, got a strong tan! (I gave amenities 3 stars only bcs this is an Ashram, not a luxury hotel). The Parmarth daily Aarti on the bank of the river is a must-attend. UPDATE: In Sept 2009 I was in Rishikesh for 4 days and stayed at the Ashram this time. Large room with beds, clean but basic, with attached bathroom. My room had a Ganga view, but most rooms do not. You can forget about room service, did my own laundry too (though during the International Yoga Festival week they do provide laundry service). They have hot water and "coolers" (a sort of water circulation pump with fan). Will stay here when in Rishikesh again, because it blends with the Rishikesh experience.
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pandabear620 pandabea…
1 reviews
Feb 06, 2008
Rishikesh is a beautiful small town nestled in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas and known the world over for its annual yoga festival. I would surely recommend staying at an ashram while in Rishikesh. Though traditionally Hindu, Ashrams are holy places that welcome pilgrims of any race or religion that are willing to follow set guidelines. These places run based on donations and no money is required in order to stay. All donations however go back to the community and help to pay for your electricity, water and meals, which are free. I spent 10 of my 28 days at Parmarth Niketan and had the most fulfilling trip of my life. There is a deep sense of culture and community there that would be missed if staying in a hotel. Plus the hotels are on the opposite side of the Ganga from the nightly riverside Aarti Ceremony at Parmarth Niketan that is not to be missed. The ashram itself was clean and beautiful. Some of the rooms are available with western toilets and the accommodations are VERY modest. No clocks, radios, tv etc. I recommend if you are used to the finer things to bring shower shoes and a mummy-style sheet called a "Dream Sack" to sleep in (available at www.dreamsack.com or amazon carries them plus cheaper alternatives) these are also great for the overnight train rides in India. They have an extensive website to check out the grounds, rooms, meals, ceremonies, rules and everything you would need to know for your stay: www.parmarth.com. If you have any more questions feel free to contact me. It is worth every penny, just embrace the people and your time there and India will take over your soul. If this is your first trip to India it WILL change your life if not, then you already know.

Happy Travels, Amanda
Parmarth Entrance
Actual rooms. Not the Ritz but hey…
Inside the ashram.
Outside the ashram.
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pandabear620 says:
Hi Chunna,

My experience may have been different than others, but I did not have to leave a "security deposit" nor was I pushed into giving a certain amount for a donation or any additional money. They only asked that we join in with meditations and the aarti ceremony at night, but it was not required. Honestly it has been several years since I was there and the increase in travelers may have resulted in new policies.
Posted on: May 11, 2012
Chunna says:
I've heard different things about the 'donation' system. Did they push you to give a certain amount? Did you have to give a 'security' deposit for your room?
Posted on: Apr 26, 2012
pandabear620 says:
As long as rooms are available I believe they will take you in. Contact them as soon as possible however. Remember that the trip up there is worth more time than two days if you can spare it from another leg of your travels.
Posted on: Jul 13, 2009

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