Spirituality is not synonymous with religion, that's one thing we should all know straight off the boat. Having said that, adopting a more spiritual outlook on life, whether it's based on the teachings of Mirra Alfasa or Osho, can lead to a range of benefits, especially for the mind, body and consciousness. If you think you need to get away and find a different kind of inner peace to the one you drink on the weekends, maybe you should give these places a visit.
1. Sivananda, Kerala
Located in the foothills of the Western Ghats, the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram is set in a beautiful environment, inclusive of the lush greenery and gentle waters that are synonymous with Kerala. Everyone is expected to stay silent from 7.30 am to 10.30 pm and to attend morning and evening satsangs.
2. Vipassana International Academy, Nashik
This center is also known as 'Dhamma Giri: Hill of Dhamma' and is said to be the principle center of Vipassana meditation in the world. Apart from the stringently followed rule of complete silence, it also demands abstinence from sex and intoxicants. The days start at 4 am and the course, which last for around 10 days, is said to rid one of craving, unhappiness and ignorance.
3. Osho International Meditation Resort, Pune
One of the most recognisable places on the list, the black marble of the Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune is said to be place where the mind, body and soul can string together as one. They have 10 meditation sessions every day, starting at 6am. It's also pretty luxurious, with a pool, spa, gym, cyber café, tennis courts and three dining areas. Maroon and white robes abound.
4. Auroville, Pondicherry
Auroville, based on the philosphy of Mirra Alfasa and Sri Aurobindo, is a multicultural forested township. It believes in a sustainable community where every inhabitant contributes to its welfare. The looming golden Matrimandir sits at the center, signifying the birth of a new consciousness. It's dedicated to the ideal of human unity.
5. The Art of Living International Centre, Bangalore
Founded by the now-maligned Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, this centre is built around the Vishalakshi Mantap, and focuses on encouraging spiritual growth and happiness through the path of the art of living tenets and sutras. The day begins with yoga, meditation, volunatry service and ends with music and dance.
6. Krishnamurti Foundation, Chennai
Based on the teachings of J. Krishnamurti, the Krishnamurti Foundation in Chennai is dedicated to study and the idea of setting man absolutely and unconditionally free. It's set over a sprawling 6.5 acres of lush greens, an ideal setting for spiritual betterment.
7. Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh
Set along the banks of the Ganga, this ashram was founded in 1942 by Pujya Swami Shukdevanandji Maharaj and is the largest ashram in Rishikesh. The daily activities include yoga, morning universal prayers and meditation classes, daily satsang and lecture programs, kirtan, and a world-renowned Ganga aarti at sunset.
8. Isha Yoga Centre, Coimbatore
Located in the scenic greens of the Velliangiri Mountains, a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, and its chief patron is Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. There's 4 kinds of yoga offered here—kriya (energy), gnana (knowledge), karma (action) and bhakti (devotion). The center houses the Spanda Hall and garden and a 64,000 sq. ft. meditation hall, apart from other facilities.
9. Root Institute, Bihar
From October to April, Root Insititute offers introductory and intermediate courses and retreats covering a wide range of Buddhist topics. Located in the holy land of Bodhgaya, the place got its name from its founder Lama Thubten Yeshe, who considered this place to be the root from which the branches emerged to the rest of the world.
10. Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation, Delhi
The legendary Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Meditation philosophy doesn't have any links to religion as such, and believes more in the workings of the soul and consciousness. The aim is to reach the deepest state of awareness that will lead to inner peace, and sessions usually last for around 2 to 5 days.
11. Blue Mango Retreats, Spiti Valley
Also known as the highest spiritual retreat in the world, Blue Mango is perfectly located to provide peace and seclusion within the stunning vista of the high Himalayas. offers a six day spiritual and meditation retreat that promises a mental, emotional, and spiritual detox that is designed to raise consciousness, self-awareness and reduce stress.
Paving the path to inner peace.