Aside from diverse historical legacies and overwhelming natural beauty, India is a land popular among travellers who are in pursuit of spirituality, solace and bliss. The country is blessed with
many ashrams (a spiritual/religious hermitage), where thousands come to rejuvenate, heal their mind and soul, and discover the undiscovered about body, life and universe.
Read on and learn about some of the most popular ashrams of India.
The Art of Living Ashram Intern, Bangalore
Founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in 1982, the Art of Living ashram is one of the largest humanitarian and educational centres all across the globe. The ashram is well-known for its self development programmes based on breathing techniques, meditation and yoga, and is ideal for those from different cultural traditions and religious backgrounds. The Art of Living as a voluntary organisation also focuses on women empowerment and takes initiatives aimed at enriching humanity and enhancing the quality of life.
OSHO International Meditation Resort, Pune
Located in one of India’s better planned cities, Pune, the OSHO International Meditation Centre is a popular spiritual centre that has 200,000 visitors annually. It provides various kinds of meditation programmes and aims at combining self-understanding with awareness techniques. Unlike many ashrams, there’s no gender segregation here. Most of the courses provided by the OSHO Ashram are directed towards healing from traumatic past experiences and inner development.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ashram, Puttaparthi
Located near Puttaparthi village in Andhra Pradesh – the birthplace of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, this ashram aims at helping people to recognise the divinity in them. It is where thousands of spiritual travellers from diverse cultures, faiths and races visit and experience the pure love and blessings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The ashram aims at enhancing the people’s belief in God and encouraging them to live a highly moral life and help the needy.
Swami Dayananda Ashram, Rishikesh
One of the best maintained ashrams in North India, this ashram was founded in 1960s by Swami Dayanand Saraswati and is a traditional centre of Vedanta and Sanskrit. Situated in the midst of beautiful greenery overlooking the magnificent Himalaya and River Ganges, this is an ideal place to seek peace and harmony in the lap of nature. The ashram conducts regular yoga courses with the help of a number of teachers to assist people achieve personal development and self-attainment; regular Vedanta camps are also held every year that provide spiritual teachings.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry
Placed in the beautiful town of Pondicherry, this ashram was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo and a French saint Mirra Alfassa renowned as the Mother. The ashram focuses on working towards the creation of a new world and a new humanity. This place does not follow strict obligatory practices and works on the principle “Surrender to the Divine”. A vivacious centre of life in a modern setting, this ashram has grown into a diversified society with several members.