Asia is the center of most spiritual tourism today. There are more yoga teachers, ashrams, gurus, sadhus, yogis, and spiritual advisors here than any other part of the world. There is the full range from expensive spiritual resort complexes frequented by celebrities to basic dirt floor monasteries run by monks. India is the most involved country and tens of thousands of spiritual tourists make their way here every year in the hopes of some sort of enlightenment.
- Rishikesh, India
Rishikesh is where the Beatles went to meet with the Maharishi in the 60’s and the lure is still there and attracting thousands who come to do yoga, meditate, and become part of the Ashram culture and Himalayan retreats.
- Varanasi, India
The Ganges River in Varanasi is considered the holiest place in the Hindu world and many have their body burned along the river banks. Ashrams and yoga schools are common throughout the northern Indian city.
- Koya-san, Japan
One of Japan’s favorite spiritual retreats is at this Shingon school of Esoteric Buddhism which is one for the centers of Japanese Buddhism for the last millennium.
- Osho Meditation Resort, India
The controversial guru Osho founded this interesting approach to spiritualism with a posh resort complex, “zennis”, matches, and the Multiversity.
- Golden Bay, New Zealand
This south island hangout is home to Anhata, which provides Yogic living in the bush and ocean cliffs and holds frequent daily and weekly sessions and workshops with world renown spiritual leaders.
- Bali, Indonesia
The Hindu island of Bali in the Muslim nation of Indonesia has long attracted new age spiritual seekers to temples and spiritual retreats across the island.
- Uluru, Australia
Also called Ayer’s Rock, this sacred Aboriginal site is one of the most important Australian historical landmarks. Steeped in mythology, creation stories, and dreamtime, this is one of the most spiritual places in the Pacific.
- Lhasa, Tibet
The headquarters of Tibetan Buddhism and the traditional capital of Tibet, although slowly losing its traditions as China refuses to loosen its grasp of the ancient city.
- Dharmsala, India
Not only is Dharmsala home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile, but it is an important Buddhist teaching center, as well as a new age hotspot. Here you can take a course on Reiki, yoga, transcendental meditation, chakral healing, and nearly every other type of new age practice.
- Bodh Gaya, India
It was here under a Bodhi Tree that Siddhartha Gautama Buddha first achieved enlightenment at the age of 35. A temple complex and centuries of tributes dominate the site now and many spiritual seekers come to learn explore the site.