What do the Beatles, yoga, bungee jumping, swinging bridges, and delicious vegetarian food have in common? Rishikesh, India!
Located in the foothills of the vast Himalayas in the northern Indian province of Uttarakhand, Rishikesh will be hosting the PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2019 (ATRTCM) from February 13-15 at the Ganga Resort GMVN. As an emerging destination, Rishikesh is popular amongst young Indian tourists and is not yet overcrowded like some of the more popular areas.
Regarded as one of the holiest places to Hindus, many people have travelled to Rishikesh since ancient times to pay pilgrimage at its many sacred shrines and temples. Calm and tranquil ashrams throughout the city create perfect meditation and yoga sites, reinforcing its reputation as the “Yoga Capital of the World.”
Two complimentary tour options are available for ATRTCM delegates to familiarize themselves with this beautiful destination, both before and after the event:
The River Rafting Programme will take place on the 13th and 16th of February, 2019 from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM.
Participants will begin their white water rafting adventure at Shivpuri and travel along a 16-kilometer stretch of the Ganges River, experiencing some of the most enticing Grade III and III+ rapids. The three-hour tour culminates near Shivanand Jhula (also known as Ram Jhula), an iconic iron suspension bridge that spans 230 meters (750 feet).
The Heritage Walk Programme is a 2.8-km walking tour to visit notable sites in Rishikesh and will take place on the 13th and 16th of February, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM.
Starting at Shivanand Jhula (Ram Jhula), participants will make their first stop to see the ancient Geeta Bhawan Ashram shrine complex, which has approximately 1000 rooms for pilgrims, a vast bookstore, Ayurvedic medicine shop, and the Laxmi Narayan Temple.
The second stop of the heritage walk is the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, the largest ashram in Rishikesh with over 1000 rooms, and frequently hosts camps to teach devotees about yoga, meditation, pranayama, stress management, acupressure, and Reiki.
Next on the tour is the Swarg Ashram, which was built in the memory of Swami Vishudhanand (known as the saint with a black blanket) and is one of the oldest ashrams of the city.
Before returning to the starting point, the heritage walk will bring participants to the Beatles Ashram (also known as Chaurasi Kutia), which gained international attention after it was visited by by western celebrities such as The Beatles, Donovan, Mia Farrow, and Mike Love. The Beatles’ famous 1968 stay at this ashram inspired one of their most creative periods and they reportedly wrote 48 songs, including many that ended up on their White Album.
Thinking of venturing out on your own?
The Ganges River, Neer Garh Waterfall, pristine forests and ancient caves of Rishikesh form an ideal playground for adventurers, such as white water rafting, trekking, jungle camping, bungee jumping, and rock climbing. Those who prefer lighter adventure can visit the Rishi Kund hot water spring, observe a Hindu Ganga aarti ritual at Triveni Ghat, boat along the Ganges, and walk across the city’s two iron suspended bridges, Laxman and Ram Jhula. Take a hot air balloon ride to soar above the city or explore it on ground to sample the local cuisine and experience an Ayurvedic massage and therapy.
There is no shortage of activities for PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart delegates to do in Rishikesh!
The PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart is a three-day event that comprises of a one-day travel trade mart and one-day conference, along with other value-added activities that facilitate networking and relationship building. Recent events have been held in Thimphu, Bhutan, Chiang Rai, Thailand, Luoyang, China, and Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE. The event’s choice of host destination reflects the growing importance of dispersing tourists to emerging destinations. ATRTCM 2019 is kindly hosted by the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board.
Find out more about ATRTCM 2019 >>