There are numerous popular ashrams spread across the country which help people to attain spirituality as well as have a deeper understanding of themselves.
1. Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry
- Timings : General timings- 4:30 AM – 11:00 PM, Visitor’s timings- 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
- Time Required : 1-2 hrs
- Entry Fee : Free
Located in the White Town of Pondicherry, Aurobindo Ashram has been named after its creator- Sri Aurobindo Ghosh. The foundation of this ashram was laid on 24th November in the year 1926 when he was surrounded by his disciples all over after he retired from politics and settled in Pondicherry. This ashram was set up with the aim of helping people attain moksha and inner peace. The day this ashram was set up is known as the founding day of the ashram which has been described by Sri Aurobindo in his writings as “less been created than grown around me as its centre”. At present, the Ashram has over five hundred devotees, five hundred students involved in the democratic progress school and thirteen hundred patients. All these people live in the Ashram’s main building which comprises of a block of houses which are connected with each other. These houses are located nearby the ashram at walking distance. Some of the facilities offered by the Ashram including the library and the main building can be accessed only after receiving a gate pass from the Bureau Central or guest houses of the Ashram. In addition to this, the ashram also has a spiritual centre which consists of four houses which were inhabited by the Mother and Sri Aurobindo for different intervals of time.
2. Isha Yoga Center, Tamil Nadu
- Location: NH ROAD 74, opposite to NEW CMC HOSPITAL, Vellore, Tamil Nadu 632517, India
The Isha Yoga Center is situated 30 kilometers (20 miles) west of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Coimbatore, a major industrial city in southern India, is well connected by air, rail and road. Major airlines operate regular flights to Coimbatore from Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. The word itself means “formless divine”. This famous destination attracts people from all parts of the world and it has more than 9 million volunteers. The center houses the architecturally distinctive Spanda Hall and garden, a 64,000 sq. ft. meditation hall and program facility that is the venue for many residential programs catering to various groups. The Yoga Center contains the Dhyanalinga, a unique and powerful energy-form sitting under a pillarless 250,000-brick dome structure as well as Theerthakund, a sacred underground water body. Every week, thousands of people converge at this unique meditation center to seek out inner peace and wellbeing. Also located at the Yoga Center are the Isha Rejuvenation Center and Isha Home School. The Vanaprastha accommodation on the premises was designed to give people with families the opportunity to come and be involved with the center.
3. Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh
- Address: Near, Main Market Road, Ram Jhula, Swarg Ashram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249304
Parmarth Niketan Ashram is a spiritual haven and an abode dedicated to the welfare of all living beings. Parmarth Niketan is an ashram located in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India. Parmarth Niketan is situated in the lap of the lush Himalayas, along the banks of the Ganges. The ashram was founded in 1942 by Pujya Swami Shukdevanandji Maharaj. Their spiritual goals by making their journey a memorable one through Yoga, Ayurveda, Universal Prayers, Meditation, Satsang, Kirtans, Ganga Arti, Spiritual/ Cultural programs and lectures, etc. It is no surprise that pilgrims are drawn here from all over the world. The awe-inspiring beauty of the ashram, the clear flowing Ganga, the majestic mountains, and the lush green forests will embrace and rejuvenate your entire being. Parmarth Niketan offers comfort, inspiration and upliftment for your body, mind and spirit as well as a deeper connection with the Divine. As you stay in the ashram, you will feel your soul bathing in the peace of sacred energies, including those that emanate from nature and those that linger from the timeless healing powers of saints, sages and holy ones. Parmarth Niketan contains within it the voice and the spirit of divine communion. The daily activities at Parmarth Niketan include morning universal prayers, daily yoga and meditation classes, daily satsang and lecture programs, kirtan, the world-renowned Ganga Aarti at sunset, as well as Nature Cure and Ayurvedic treatment.
4. Shankar Prasad Ashram, Karnataka
- Address: Hanehalli, Gokarna, Karnataka 581319
This century-old heritage house is only a few kilometres away from the breath-taking beaches of Gokarna, located on over two acres of coconut grove and paddy field. Guests are encouraged to attend the short group chanting sessions daily at 6am and 8pm. These are sometimes accompanied by satsangs (discussion) and/or guided meditation. Every Saturday at 5:30pm, we hold a havan (fire ceremony) for releasing and transmuting energy, reconnecting with the Cosmic Consciousness, and offering the best and worst of ourselves to the fire (agni). Please join us for this powerful celebration! Guests are required to dress conservatively. We are an ashram and live in a small, culturally conservative village and it is important to respect the cultural values of the area. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing during your stay. Tight and revealing clothing are not allowed. Please cover your upper arms, chest, and knees. Men must wear shirts at all times. Indian kurta with pajama pants are best for both men and women and can be made here inexpensively. A beautiful place to explore authentic yogic teachings. Peaceful community life with nourishing, home grown sattvic food and weekly course schedules around different yogic techniques. The Saturday night havan ceremonies are a real highlight.