During our stay at the Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa in the month of March’22 we decided to explore places in the mystical city of Rishikesh that we have not visited before. One such visit was planned to Vashishtha Cave which has its own history and significance that is discussed below.
Watch The Experience
Here’s a short snippet of what the whole experience will look like which I shared recently on my Instagram @aartirattansharma
View this post on Instagram
History & About
‘Saptarishis’ are the seven immortal sages according to Hindu Mythology and Sage Vashishtha is known to be one of them. It is believed that he meditated inside the cave for years and spiritual seekers noted that the cave is spiritually charged, indeed my experience was no different. There is a ‘Shivling‘ placed inside the cave with some fresh flowers and a small lamp lit along with no other light, a few mats laid down on the ground for people to sit and meditate for a while. The ‘Guha’ is currently maintained by Shri Purshottamanand trust.
Location & How To Reach
Vashishtha cave is located approximately 20kms from the Ram Jhula (an iron suspension bridge over Ganga and one of the most well-known landmark in the city of Rishikesh) on the Badrinath road. So you can easily reach the destination by a bus or car and the entrance can be identified on the side of the road without much effort. The location is also accurately marked on Google Maps, along with locals being friendly and well-informed, they can guide you to the cave as well.
On arrival you walk down a few hundred steps on incline (please note for children & elderly) on a well-constructed path down to the location where an ashram is located besides a stunning years old tree and the beautiful Ganga flowing on the side which can be accessed through a gate.
What To Do & Recommendations
Choosing this destination is a part of the spiritual journey that I started a few years back. To find purpose and meaning in this fast-paced life, which along with other good things is also filled with suffering, stress, anxiety, health problems and uncertainty. This search is a feeling that everyone might express in different ways. For me this place was not just another tourist spot.
- Sit in silence inside the cave and feel the energy and peace since the cave is indeed spiritually charged.
- Plan your visit early in the morning or towards sunset. Avoid afternoon from April-Oct as they can be very warm and difficult for outdoor activities.
- Sit by the Ganga flowing on the side and enjoy a lunch meal (you can carry your own small packed lunch meal to spend time in the open; no eateries or restaurants around)
- Take a small walk along the Ganga and visit the Arundhati cave which is located nearby on a walking distance and has its own history and story. The cave is very small as compared to the Vashishtha Cave and as told by a passerby it was due to a landslide. I do not recommend sitting here for too long as it is slightly isolated.
- Wear comfortable clothes and running/walking shoes according to the landscape.
- You should put this cave on your list of places to visit only if you are intrigued by spirituality or meditation and can relate to it. Even if you are accompanying someone who is interested in the same, this will be a pleasant experience.