New Delhi, Delhi 110001, India
Varanasi is a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh dating to the 11th century B.C.E. Regarded as the spiritual capital of India, the city draws pilgrims who bathe in the River Ganges’ sacred waters and perform funeral rites. Along its winding streets are some 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, the “Golden Temple,” dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
Rishikesh is a city in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand, in the Himalayan foothills beside the Ganges River. The river is considered holy, and the city is renowned as a centre for studying yoga and meditation. Temples and ashrams (centres for spiritual studies) line the eastern bank around Swarg Ashram, a traffic-free, alcohol-free and vegetarian enclave upstream from Rishikesh town.