Ashram or Guesthouse in India?

After have spent a few days in Delhi I’m going to take the sleeper bus to Rishikesh which is a 6-8 hour drive away (haven’t booked yet) and I will arrive around 6 AM in Rishikesh, which is great; better to arrive early than at night or late in the evening, plus I save money on accommodation since it’s a night bus.

So the past few days I have been looking for places to stay in Rishikesh and have decided that I’m not going to book a room or bed in any Ashram there before I arrive.

There are way too many rules – and since I don’t worship any imaginary deities or other human beings (Guru’s) I choose to get a room in a guesthouse instead.

I will at some point have an Ashram experience just to have done it (“try everything once”:) but there’s no way I’ll book anything that is “spiritual” without having seen the place first and met the people who work there because of the different rules and worshiping that is going on.

There’s a lot of different Ashrams all over India so I’m not disregarding them all as being alike (some of them are just off-putting to me personally) but I feel it’s better to visit them first to get a feel of their rigidity of rules and regulations and how the overall vibe is.

I’ve just got an email reply with information that I had requested from an Ashram and if I want a single room it actually cost a lot more than a  nice hotel room and in addition to that I am expected to “speak softly”, not wear this and ‘don’t do this and don’t do that’, I have to be quiet after ten, and there was a bunch of other rules as well that you’re suppose to follow.

(Always read what their rules and requirements are so you know at least some of the things you can expect before you choose to stay at a place that is “spiritual”).

If I would choose the cheapest option I would pay approximately the same as a room in a guesthouse would cost and the bed in a shared room in the Ashram would be a non-AC room and it’s cold in Rishikesh at this time of the year at night, it’s similar to the weather here in Spain, so no thank you.

There’s nothing worse than being cold, that’s one of the main reasons I will never again live in Scandinavia – it’s just too cold for me – brr..!

And some of the places they seem to be using the word “humble” alarmingly often (this is a huge red-flag signal from my intuition); what does that even mean to them?

No, this is not resonating with me at all.

I’m just not into that sort of things, I prefer to be free so it’s going to be a room in a guesthouse for me and not an Ashram when I arrive in Rishikesh! 🙂

Have you ever had an Ashram experience? How was it, and where were you?

Did you book ahead or did you just turn up and were you able to get a room (or bed) right away?

And have you ever left an Ashram in the middle of your stay, and if so, what happened, why did you choose to leave? 

Please share below, I’d love to hear about your experiences!

(And if you have a guesthouse to recommend, please do share).

Vaccinations, Ashrams, Guesthouses in India: A personal choice.
Vaccinations, Ashrams and Guesthouses in India: All a matter of personal choice.


Someone asked me about what vaccinations I took for my India trip so here they are (in Spanish):

Hepatitis A (shot).

Hepatitis B (three shots in total; one when I was at the vaccination center in Malaga, second one to be taken around Christmas (about a month after the first) and then the last one when I get back to Spain in July (about 6 months after the second one).

Fiebre Tifoidea (oral).

Tetanos-Difteria (shot).

Colera (oral).

That’s it and it came to about 135 Euros in total.

You need to begin the vaccination process around 4-6 weeks before you travel but look it up yourself in case I remember it wrong, but I know that some of the vaccinations take time to start working.

I did not take any Malaria vaccinations (because of the side effects) and I didn’t take the Japanese Encephalitis vaccination nor the Polio vaccine. (I can buy the Japanese vaccination in India if I change my mind).

No vaccinations are required for India travel (except if you have been in Africa I think it was before you come to India, then you need a yellow fever vaccination) but some are recommended so do some research on it (I know, it’s so boring but it is necessary to educate yourself a little before making any decisions).

It’s always helpful to read what other people have done and not done so please share your own choices and experiences below so others can benefit from them as well.

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