The word yoga, in its essence, means union. It’s a union between God and the Yogi where all the boundaries of the self vanish away and the yogi is liberated from the worldly boundaries and limitations. The main objective of Yoga is to attain complete harmony of body, mind, and spirit.
Interestingly, Maharishi Patanjali, who has authored many great Sanskrit works is considered to be the man behind simplifying Yoga and making it available for regular people like us. However, historically, the roots of Yoga trace back to the Adi Yogi himself who propagated this science to the group of first seven rishis. These seven rishis, today are famously known as the Sapt-rishis.
From the beginning, yoga has always been something that is transformational. And keeping this thought process in mind, International Yoga Festival is celebrated today. In India, this event is celebrated in Rishikesh for a period of seven days, where hundreds and thousands of devotees participate aiming for their peace of mind and a healthy body.
International Yoga Festival is mainly organized by the Parmarth Niketan Ashram in association with the Ministry of AYUSH, Incredible India, along with the Ministry of Tourism, and the Government of India. The tickets for the event can be booked online or (if available) can be booked at the Ashram itself.
The first International Yoga Festival was celebrated in 1999 at Parmarth Niketan Ashram. Initially, the classes were carried on under the guidance of Pujya Shri Swami Veda Bharat Ji. And the yoga asanas were taught by Yogacharya Shri Bharat Bhushan Ji. Since its inception, this event has seen nothing but popularity.
The event opens with Kundalini Sadhana starting at 4 am and continues till late in the evening. The whole process includes traditional cultural songs, kirtan, and dance performances. All of this takes place along the banks of Ganga making it a very beautiful scene.
Yoga Festival is celebrated in Rishikesh, and the participants have an excellent opportunity to embrace and learn from many highly revered Yoga masters, health specialists, thought leaders, and many other great people.
People also get to participate in various meditative sessions of Agnihotra, Ajapa Japa, Antar Mauna, Chakra Sudhi, and Chidakasha Dharana. It is to be noted that all of these sessions are carried on and looked after by experienced yoga practitioners in the ashram complex itself.
The main objective behind celebrating this festival-cum-event is to unite the yogis from every sect and culture, colour and creed together and aim for a better world. And as per the yogic traditions, a better world is only possible through achieving a collective state of higher consciousness. And that is exactly what this event is all about in its ethos. It is a great opportunity to connect with like-minded people who are also looking for self-transformation and liberation.
Celebrated with great enthusiasm, the International Yoga Festival is all about knowing oneself and finding salvation. It is majorly celebrated at Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh. Rishikesh is situated at a distance of 239, 1,672, 1,695, 2,354 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Let’s see how we can travel here by the following means of transportation.
The nearest airport is the Dehradun Airport a.k.a Jolly Grant airport. This airport is situated at a distance of 20-30 km, however, it doesn’t have any flight connectivity with many Indian cities. Thus, to visit Rishikesh, the passengers generally need to first deboard at the Indira Gandhi International Airport and after that, take a flight to Dehradun from Rishikesh.
The commercial operations at the Dehradun Airport began on March 30, 2008, and today, it is considered the 37th busiest airport in India with a considerable footfall of passengers on an annual basis. Interestingly, Dehradun Airport is also known as the Air Gateway of Garhwal and plays a very important role in the betterment of Uttarakhand tourism. After you deboard at the airport, you will need to cover the remaining distance of 30-40 km by some means of transportation like a cab or a bus.
Here is how you can reach here
Mumbai - Board Spicejet, IndiGo, Air India flights to Dehradun via New Delhi. The starting airfares are Rs.4,000
Delhi - Board Air India, IndiGo, Spicejet, IndiGo flights to Dehradun. The airfares start from Rs.2,000
Jaipur - Board Air India, IndiGo flights to Dehradun via New Delhi. The airfares start from Rs.3,500
Kanpur - Board Air India, Spicejet flights to Dehradun via New Delhi. The airfares start from Rs.4,000
Lucknow - Board Air India, IndiGo, Go Air flights to Dehradun via New Delhi. The airfares start from Rs.4,000
The nearest railhead is located in Haridwar of the same name. It is situated at a distance of 25 km from Rishikesh. This railway station falls under the Moradabad division of the Northern Railway Zone.
This station is located on Delhi-Dehradun and Howrah Railway lines. It connects Rishikesh with a branch line. After you deboard at the railway station, you will need to travel further by some means of public transportation like a bus or a cab.
Delhi - Board Nanda Devi Express from Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station and deboard at the Haridwar Junction
Ludhiana - Board Hemkunt Express from Ludhiana Junction and deboard at the Haridwar Junction
Kanpur - Board Sangam Express from Kanpur Central and deboard at the Haridwar Junction
Agra - Board UTKAL Express from Agra Cantt and deboard at the Haridwar Junction
Lucknow - Board Kumbha Express from Lucknow NR and deboard at the Haridwar Junction
You can also consider travelling to Rishikesh via road networks as well. Depending upon your location, you can choose to travel here either by bus, cab, or your own vehicle. If you are travelling by bus, then, from Delhi, the bus fares start from Rs.400. From Ludhiana, the bus fares start from Rs.1500. And, from Shimla, the bus fares start from Rs.600.
Here is how you can reach here by road networks.
Delhi - 227 km via NH44 or NH344
Indore - 1,052 km via NH46 or NH52
Kanpur - 674 km via NH19 or NH34
Jaipur - 515 km via NH48
Agra - 410 km via Taj Express Highway
Lucknow - 732 km via NH30
Jodhpur - 813 km via NH52 or NH62
Udaipur - 904 km via NH48 or NH58