Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sadhana Mandir Yoga Ashram: An ideal meditation spot in Rishikesh, India

Sadhana Mandir Ashram Rishikesh

Rishikesh is such an amazing place, it is like the yoga capital of the world, the place to be when it comes to yoga. But if you've ever been in Rishikesh you know how overwhelming it can be sometimes. With so many ashrams and yoga teachers all around the place and thousands of spiritual seekers everywhere it can be a bit hard to find a really peaceful place to actually relax and meditate. Luckily I did found such a place at Swami Rama's Ashram called Sadhana Mandir.

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It's a really quiet and peaceful ashram located just next to the Holy River Ganges but away from the central areas of Rishikesh like Ram Jhula or Laxman Jhula. I think this is the ideal place if you want to take a break from the busy Rishikesh center and focus on your own meditation or yoga practice. There were very few people while I was staying at the ashram and they were all very focused on their own sadhana. Silence is guaranteed.

"Away from the hustle and bustle of Rishikesh, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, Sadhana Mandir is located on the banks of the holy river Ganges. Surrounded by beautiful flowering gardens, mango trees and a lotus pond, a quiet and serene atmosphere permeates the ashram making it ideal for sadhana." From the Sadhana Mandir Website

The ashram is for serious sadhakas that want to use the facilities to focus on their meditation practice so they ask you that if you decide to stay at the ashram you should try to remain within the ashram premises and not visit the center of Rishikesh. However I did went to Ram Jhula on a few occasions without any trouble.

You need to be aware that when there is a meditation course or retreat there is more activity at the ashram and the main hall might be reserved only for the course participants. However there is another hall that you can use for meditation and you can always practice yoga in your own room or in the porch outside the rooms.

Sadhana Mandir Meditation Hall
Meditation and Yoga Hall

Sadhana Mandir Ashram Facilities

The ashram has the most beautiful gardens that I have seen in any other ashram so far, with all sort of flowers and trees and a cute frog pond; a nice spot to sit for a while to contemplate.

Sadhana Mandir Frog Pond
Frog pond at Sadhana Mandir Ashram in Rishikesh

Sadhana Mandir Ashram Flowers

Sadhana Mandir Ashram Flowers

Sadhana Mandir Ashram Flowers

My room was amazing. It was clean, big enough for my hatha yoga practice and it had a very nice and clean closet, I felt almost like if I was in a hotel. But the best thing was the view to the river Ganges. What else can I ask for? The only thing that I didn't like was that the rooms share the bathroom with the room next door so when your neighbor decides to use the toilette it almost feels as if they are coming into your room. Not a big deal I guess.

And the food was absolutely delicious. It is a small ashram so there were just a few tables in the dinning room but that makes it even more special. And all this for 750 Indian Rupees!

Sadhana Mandir Ashram Food
Chana Masala! (chickpeas)

Just next to the ashram there is a walking road (with no bikes or rickshaws!) that borders the river Ganges . You can actually walk through this road all the way to Rham Jhula which would take about 30 or 45 minutes, but I guess during the monsoon season this might not be possible because the Ganges might cover some sections of the way towards Ram Jhula.

River Ganges next to ashram

This is also the perfect place for running. Finding a place for running while traveling in India can be challenging so this can be another advantage of staying at this ashram. I never went for running because in the morning I was focused in my meditation and yoga practice and later on the sun would come out and it would be to hot, but I loved having a walk on this road after lunch time.

You can also walk from Sadhana Mandir to Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) in about 20 minutes. SRSG is a sister ashram of Sadhana Mandir. Sadhana Mandir was founded by Swami Rama himself and Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama was founded by Swami Veda Bharati disciple of Swami Rama. Swami Veda is also the current director of Sadhana Mandir.

Meditation courses at Sadhana Mandir Ashram in Rishikesh

The ashram offers different courses during the year. I haven't done any of these courses but they sound pretty interesting so next time that I have the opportunity to stay there I might join one of the courses.

Popular Swami Rama Yoga Books

Living with the
Himalayan Masters
Meditation and its
The Art of
Joyful Living
The Royal Path

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How to reach Sadhana Mandir Ashram in Rishikesh

From Ram Jhula you can take one of the big blue color shared auto rickshaw and ask them to drop you at "market" (5 rupees). If you take them from Lakshmam Jhula it should be 7 rupees. Once you reach the market you'll need to change to another shared rickshaw (a smaller size but fully packed) which are normally standing a few meters up the road from where you were dropped. Ask them to drop you at Sadhana Mandir, they all know Sadhana Mandir so you shouldn't have any trouble. That would cost another 7 rupees. The total journey should take around 20 minutes.

Sadhana Mandir Swami Rama Ashram

Sadhana Mandir Ashram Contact Information

Ashram Website:
Ashram Facebook Page: Facebook Page

Ashram address:
Sadhana Mandir Trust
Ramnagar, P.O. Pashulok
Rishikesh, 249203, (Uttarakhand) India
Phone: +91 1352431693

If you are looking for another peaceful ashram near Rishikesh you might also like to read about Santosh Puri Ashram in Haridwar. While Sadhana Mandir is the perfect place if you want to spend some time in silence and focus on your own meditation practice, Santosh Puri Ashram is the perfect place to enjoy the company of a few other spiritual seekers in a vibrant small ashram and follow the regular Hatha Yoga and Yoga philosophy courses.

You can find more information about other ashrams in India in this article: Guide to Ashrams in India: Yoga Retreats in India and More


  1. Hello,nice post.Sadhana Mandir was established in 1966 by Swami Rama,writer of Living with the Himalayan Masters, and numerous other prestigious otherworldly books.Meditation,in the Himalayan Tradition,is the center of the teachings at this ashram.It has a quiet arrangement setting on the banks of the Ganges stream,yet far from the hustle and bustle of Rishikesh.Different private programs are offered and oblige reservations no less than two weeks ahead of time.Thank you.~Kate Neal.

    1. Thanks to you Kate for your positive feedback and additional information :-)

  2. This is beautiful. Does this centre only offer meditation courses? I'm a beginner looking for a place that offers both yoga and meditation courses for about 10 days, and this looks perfect :) do you have any other suggestions?

    1. Hi Tamsin, you'll need to check the programs on their website but I think it's all about meditation and self transformation . You could also come to Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, they offer both meditation and hatha yoga but a very gentle form of hatha yoga. You'll need to contact them directly to know about their programs for guests

      Another option is, if you have time, to stay in Sadhana Mandir for a few days and then later go to Rishikesh proper, Ram Jhula or Laxman Jhula and find there a hatha yoga teacher. The teacher that I know and who I always recommend is Surinder Singh Good luck :-)

    2. That's great I will look into those suggestions! thank you so much for the help :)

  3. Hello Marco,

    1st of all I thank u very much for all the info.

    I am from Belgaum, Karnataka, India. I intend to visit Rishikesh soon(this March 2015 for about 3 weeks ). I'm an absolute beginner in Yoga and meditation. Which one of the two should I get started with first or should I join a course which handles both of them? Is any of the two, a prerequisite for the other?

    Also(just casually asking), are u a vegetarian?

    Please reply. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hello Pranav. You can get started in the best way that suits your temperament. I started with meditation and philosophy and years later I decided to also focus on yoga asanas to help my meditation practice. But that was my path, you need to find yours.

      Oh and nope, I'm not vegetarian, I eat fish from time to time.

      I hope this helps, if you have any questions please let me know. All the best.

  4. Thanks for your post. It was helpful. I plan to visit in early June.
    How long would it take to walk from sadhana Mandir to Shivananda namgar (divine life society)?

    1. Hi there, probably something around 40 minutes

  5. Hi Marco,
    Could you give any idea about the cost of a room (for a single person) in this Ashram?

    1. A few years back it was about 800 india rupees with meals. That might have changed. I hope you will enjoy your visit.