View Saptrishi Ashram in a larger map
Saptrishi Ashram is a beautiful, quaint old, a bit delapidated ashram about 5kms before Haridwar. Office telephone number is : +91 133 4261702.
Founded in 1943 by Goswami Guru Dutt, it belongs to the Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha of Punjab. It is meant to work for the revival of Hindu traditions. Housed in the complex is a residential hostel for poor students and a college where Sanskrit is taught. At the time of our visit, there were 180 students in the college, 120 of them being residential. The entire education and food is free for the students.
Also within the campus, are 43 "kutiyas" or huts, which are actually small two room independent houses with attached bathrooms and kitchen. They are allotted to devotees to stay for as long and when they like. When vacant they are also given to other people to stay for a few days, usually on recommendation of known persons.
Ganga is just a two minute walk from the gates of the Ashram and is a sight to see. Across the river one can see the Chilla Wild life sanctuary and elephants occassionally cross over to eat from the farms.
The Ashram is named "Saptrishi" which means seven sages. In ancient times there were seven saints who used to meditate here. The river Ganga in order to pass by without disturbing them, splits here into seven streams, as can be seen on Google maps.
The Pandav brothers on their way to heaven, passed through this place. This is shown by statues of the five brothers and their wife near the river bank.
In more recent times, people walking to Badrinath and Kedarnath used to pass through and sometimes rest here. An old delapidated building near the present ashram was said to be for night stay of pilgrims walking into the hills.