INDIA // Rishikesh.

Ride a five dollar bus for seven hours north east of Delhi and you'll end up in a little gem of a town buried into the foothills of the Himalayas, right on the river Ganges, called Rishikesh.

It is deemed the Yoga Capital of the World and with it brings a very specific type of tourist but, don't be put off if sunrise yoga sessions aren't your thing. For as touristy as it is compared to what I had encountered in India up to that point, it is filled with stunning mountain views, sandy river beaches, amazing yogic food and delicious banana lassis, colorful temples and ashrams, locals if you look in the right places, and monkeys. A lot of monkeys.

Bring plenty of rupees because you'll walk around for hours browsing through the seemlessly never ending shops filled with every beautiful Indian and Tibetan thing you could ever want to purchase. I'm not huge into shopping while traveling and even I got caught up in the fun of the haggling game for prayer beads, gemstone rings, baggy elephant pants, traditional Tibetan jewelry, and wooly pashminas. You can even buy a didgeridoo here if you want. And you should.

The whole place smells like burning incense, weed, and whatever delicious looking vegetarian street food is being cooked on every corner. If you prefer eating at a restaurant, you will probably end up in some tiny place that you have to climb a flight or two of narrow, rickety, wooden stairs to get to. You'll reach the top, take your shoes off, sit cross legged on the floor in a room with no windows, only open spaces in the walls so that the breeze coming off the Ganges can come in. When the waiter comes over and sits next to you to take your order, go ahead and get the best avocado salad or sweet and sour tofu stir-fry you've ever had (it's a nice break from the, delicious, yet constant onslaught of potato in India) and get all of the fresh juices. Especially the Himalayan Flower variety. It will change your taste buds.

Afterwards, go in search of the Beatles Ashram (awesome), river raft, or sit on the beach for the rest of the day next to that teal blue glacier water. At sunset you can close your eyes and listen to the chants of worshipers or you can race to the top of the Tera Manzi Temple with all of the locals for a view of it all, ringing giant bells as you go along.

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