The magnificent statue of Adi Yogi in Coimbatore and the Isha Foundation ashram need no introduction. The dark statue and the founder Sadhguru’s popularity draw lakhs of visitors on a daily basis. There are certain myths and confusions around this place which we want to bust and help you plan a day trip here.
Adi Yogi- The origin of yoga
The 112 feet (34 meters) tall bust statue of Lord Shiva is made of steel and weighs 500 tons. Designed by Sadhguru, the height of the statue signifies 112 possibilities to liberation or salvation. It is also symbolic of 112 chakras in the human body. Sadhguru’s vision behind creating this statue was to inspire and promote yoga. The Shiva idol was named Adi Yogi which means the first yogi as Shiva is the originator of yoga.
The 112 feet high bust statue of Shiva holds a record as the tallest bust sculpture in the world. You start experiencing a strong divine power in the premises. The half-closed meditative eyes and the calm face of the idol of Shiva casted a magical spell on us.
What’s in the premises of Adi Yogi Ashram
The Isha Yoga Center is spread over 150 acres of land and includes vast expanse of farmlands, accommodation for the resident students, cow sheds, temple of yoga, wellness center, eating joints and multiple shops. The farms are for organic farming under Sadhguru’s guidance, creating local employment and an approach to healthy lifestyle. Often in the evenings, Sadhguru meets the farmers and check on the farming techniques. That’s when you can catch a glimpse of the yoga Guru riding his bike. The crowd went wild and ran after him but were obviously stopped by the security guards.
You can buy hay and feed the cows/bullocks as a service to the deity. Isn’t kindness a service to God itself? Snack shops sell affordable edibles, in case you want a bite after your long journey. You can also shop for souvenirs here.
How to reach Adi Yogi in Coimbatore
The Isha Center in Coimbatore is on the outskirts of the city. The cheapest mode of transport is the local bus that shuttles between Gandhipuram and Adi Yogi and costs Rs 30 to 40 only. However, the bus route is pretty lengthy and takes more than 90 minutes for one side.
Alternatively, you can book a cab or auto from Uber to commute faster. However, the drivers charge much higher than the Uber price. They generally scare you about no availability of transport while returning. They’d say they would wait for 2-3 hours and bring you back safely. Its upto you weather you want to save time and hire a taxi or save money and board a bus.
In our case, we took an auto from Railway Station to the Ashram which costed us Rs 600. Taxi charges went up to Rs 1500 against the displayed fare of Rs 700. We had to cancel three cabs in this process. On the way back, we boarded the bus around 6pm and reached Coimbatore railway station around 8pm.
Organizations or guides asking money as entry fee are a scam. Please do not fall for it. Visting Adi Yogi is absolutely free of charge and involves no entrance fee. Those suggesting a backdoor entry, or a shortcut are frauds.
The Adi Yogi Shiva statue and the Yoheshwar linga temple allow visitors from 6 am to 8 pm all days of the week. However, the timings differ during festivals and special events. The place is open until midnight on occasions like Purnima and Amavasya. Also, a music concert happens in front of the Adiyogi Shiva Statue from 10:30 pm to 11:30 pm which ends with prasad distribution.
Everyone is welcome to visit Adi Yogi in Coimbatore irrespective of their religion or faith. The Shiva sculpture has a calming aura and can be overwhelming for many. Nonetheless, visiting the ashram in itself is a beautiful experience. Adi Yogi in Coimbatore is the topmost recommendation for travelers visiting the city for the first time. You may have different opinion about Sadhguru and his principles, but you certainly cannot ignore him. As we’ve heard a lot of people calling this ashram overhyped, we’d advice you to form your opinion after you visit the place.