The Heart of Northern India

November 20th through December 1st, 2017

This tour is divided into two stages. The first part of the trip will be focused on the culture and history of the cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, with a visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Amber Fort in Jaipur and many sites of historical value at the capital of India, New Delhi. We will have plenty of time for shopping, elephant and camel riding, and of course, to take many spectacular photos! Other than the ashram visit, our accommodations are in 5-star, 4-star and 3-star hotels, and all road journeys are in air-conditioned vans in excellent condition driven by trained chauffeurs.

 

The second part is designed to be a journey of spiritual awakening, new knowledge and inner experience. In our first day, in Delhi, a city of great contrasts, we will visit places of worship of the major religions of India: Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism. We will then move deeper into the heart of India and have interactive classes on Hinduism and Eastern philosophy. We will visit temples and make a pilgrimage to the two most sacred rivers of northern India, the Ganges and the Yamuna. We will meditate by the Ganges and in other sacred places, and imbibe the spiritual essence of this amazing country.  The most special part of our trip will be a visit to the ashram of a living saint, Chandra Swami Udasin, in the foothills of the Himalayas, where we will spend a few days of peace and quiet in the presence of this enlightened Master. As a unique part of our trip we will visit a school full of children in need, and have the opportunity to give to each child a gift. You can also take our 5-day extension to Kerala, an amazing journey that culminates in a visit to the ashram of Amma, the world-famous “Hugging Saint.”

 

In short, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy the spiritual treasures, natural beauty, and rich culture of India.

Dates:

November 20th through December 1st, 2017. Extension: Kerala, south India, 5 days. December 1st through 6th, 2017.

Places we will visit:

Delhi, Vrindavan, Agra (Taj Mahal), Jaipur, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Delhi. During the extension: Cochin, Alleppey, Amritapuri.

Where and When the Tour Begins

New Delhi International Airport

Return flight

New Delhi International Airport

Guides:

Tarini Ma Dagnino  (guia), Ram-Das Batchelder (profesor de filosofía), Adriana (Sukrita) (yoga y meditación)

Languages spoken during the tour:

English & Spanish.

Daily Itinerary

 

Day 1: November 20th: Delhi.

Your arrival at New Delhi International Airport may be at any time during the day or night of November 20th, or the early morning hours of November 21st. We will receive you at the airport holding a sign with your name on it. Transfer to the hotel.

 

“Mystery, magic and mayhem! Welcome to Delhi, India’s capital city, home to 25 million people. Like an eastern Rome, Delhi is littered with the relics of lost empires. A succession of armies stormed across the Indo-Gangetic plain and imprinted their identity onto the vanquished city before vanishing into rubble and ruin like the conquerors who preceded them. Modern Delhi is a chaotic tapestry of medieval fortifications, exquisite temples, Mughal mausoleums, dusty bazaars, colonial-era town planning, and mega malls. An intoxicating mix of modern and ancient, sacred and profane, its hodgepodge contains the essence of India. Enjoy!”

 

Night in 5-star hotel.

 

Day 2: November 21st: Delhi to Agra via Vrindavan.

The tour program officially begins on the morning of November 21st, with a welcome breakfast and a brief introductory class on the essence of Hinduism and the life of Krishna. We will then drive from Delhi to Agra and spend the afternoon in the enchanting town of Vrindavan.

 

Night in Agra, 5-star hotel.

 

Day 3: November 22nd: Agra

In the morning we will have a gentle yoga class to help with jetlag. After breakfast we will visit the world famous Taj Mahal, and afterwards the Agra Fort, both very impressive monuments!

 

Dinner in the hotel.

 

Night in Agra, 5-star hotel.

 

Day 4: November 23rd: Agra-Jaipur.

In the morning we will start the day with a refreshing yoga class and after breakfast we will make our way to Jaipur, stopping to visit beautiful Fatepursikri.

 

"Also known as the Pink City, Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan state, located to the west of Delhi. It is one of the most emblematic cities of India, ever-popular with tourists. Camels walk proudly through the streets, often led by men with turbans and large moustaches. Jaipur is also one of the most important markets for items such as jewelry, textiles and traditional crafts of the region. Bargains abound!”

 

Dinner in the hotel.

 

Night in Jaipur, 4-star hotel.

 

Day 5: November 24th: Jaipur.

 

Today we have the full day for sightseeing in Jaipur, including the following:

 

• Elephant ride to the Amber Fort

• Tour the Amber Fort

• Hawa Mahal Palace

• The Monkey Temple

 

We will also take a very enjoyable walk through the city’s market area—the perfect opportunity for candid street photography.

 

Shopping:

 

Jaipur has some of the best shopping in the world, and is famous for its gold and silver jewelry, precious and semi-precious stones, as well as marble items and amazing silk and cotton fabrics. Enjoy yourselves!

Dinner at the hotel.

 

Night in Jaipur, 4-star hotel.

 

Day 6: November 25th: Fly from Jaipur to Dehradun and onwards to the ashram of Chandra Swami Udasin.

 

Chandra Swami Udasin is a God-Realized Saint who has been in mouna (silence) for more than 40 years. Yet he remains fully in communication with the ashram visitors through notes, which are read aloud by his disciples. In addition to giving a spiritual discourse (via note) each morning, he attends two out of the four daily meditations, is present at each meal, and throws sweets to everyone each afternoon. He may not speak, but his laughter speaks volumes! This is a very special opportunity to spend two days practicing meditation in the presence of a living Master. The ashram is within view of both the holy Yamuna River and the beautiful Shivalik Mountains, foothills of the Himalayas. The ashram accommodations are very simple, but include hot water.

 

Night in the Ashram of Chandra Swami.

 

Day 7: November 26th: Dehradun (ashram of Chandra Swami)

In the morning we will wake up early to meditate in the presence of Chandra Swami. We will follow the ashram schedule (including receiving sweets thrown by Swamiji in the afternoon), and in addition we will take a walk in nature.

 

Night in the ashram of Chandra Swami.

 

Day 8: November 27th: Dehradun-Rishikesh:

After lunch we will drive to drive to Rishikesh.

 

Rishikesh, known as the City of Yoga, is one of India’s greatest attractions for Western seekers. Built along the banks of the sacred River Ganges which flows pure and cold directly from the Himalayas, Rishikesh is overflowing with ashrams, including the ashram of the great Swami Sivananda, and is literally bursting with yoga studios, not to mention companies offering rafting trips on the Ganges! The modern sage Mooji has been giving satsang in the winter months in Rishikesh for the last several years, bringing with him hordes of seekers. The views of the river are truly stunning, especially from the two jhulas (footbridges) which span the Ganges in different locations.

 

Night in Rishikesh, 3-star hotel.

 

Day 9: November 28th: Rishikesh

After a morning yoga class, today we will tour Rishikesh, including the ashram of the great saint, Swami Shivananda, and Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula (the famous foot-bridges over the Ganges). Time permitting, we will also meditate briefly at the samadhi (tomb) of Sri Hans Maharaj, and attend the evening “Arati” ceremony at the Parmarth Niketan ashram.

 

Day 10: November 29th: Rishikesh-Haridwar-Delhi:

After a morning yoga class, today we will drive to Haridwar where we will take an air-conditioned train to Delhi. Riding on an Indian trains is a unique experience, and an important part of modern Indian life. This particular train is very classy; you are brought bottled water, tea, a snack, dinner with soup and breadsticks, and even ice cream by the railway staff, all of which comes with your ticket!

 

Night in Delhi, 4-star hotel

 

Day 11: November 30th: Delhi: Sightseeing of Delhi.

Today we have the full day to visit places of interest in Delhi, including the Jama Masjid, the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the Lotus Temple, and the Akshardham Temple (the largest Hindu temple in the world).

 

 

In the evening, we will go to the New Delhi Ashram of Amma (the world-famous “Hugging Saint”) and enjoy a program of devotional singing led by her devotees.

 

Day 12: December 1st: Delhi-departure:

We will take you to the airport in plenty of time to catch your departing international flight. Your flight may depart on the afternoon or night of December 1st or the early morning hours of December 2nd. (The hotel check-out is at 12 noon on December 1st.)

 

End of Main Tour

 

You can also take our 5-day extension to South India!

 

 

SOUTH INDIA EXTENSION:

 

Day 1: December 1st: Flight from Delhi to Cochin; tour Cochin

In the morning we will drive to the Delhi Airport and take an early flight to Cochin, Kerala. Upon arrival we will do some sightseeing of charming Fort Cochin, including the gigantic Chinese fishing nets which are still in use in the area, the Dutch Palace, the famous Jewish Synagogue, the St. Francis Church, and a performance of Kathakali dance, the traditional dance-form of Kerala.

 

Dinner at our 4-star hotel (heritage home)

Night at the hotel.

 

Day 2: December 2nd: Cochin-Alleppey beach

After breakfast, we will drive to Alleppey (approx. 2 hours). There we will enjoy a 6-hour cruise in a houseboat on the famous Kerala backwaters, with lunch included.

 

Dinner at the hotel.

Night in Alleppey, 5-star hotel.

 

Day 3: December 3rd: Alleppey – Amritapuri

After enjoying a relaxed morning we will drive to Amritapuri.

 

Amma, or Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, is frequently referred to as “the Hugging Saint” because she spends the majority of her time giving hugs and motherly guidance to all who come to her. Due to her vast network of highly successful charitable projects, she is revered as one of the world’s greatest humanitarians. She is also the spiritual Guru to hundreds of thousands of devotees around the world. Those who wish will also have the chance to learn her special form of meditation, the I AM Technique, taught during a 2-day class.

We hope Amma will be in the ashram when we arrive, and this is quite possible but cannot be guaranteed. If she is, you’ll be able to receive one of her divine hugs, hear her sing, and meditate in her presence. This will be one of the tour’s greatest treasures!

 

Dinner in the ashram.

Night in Amritapuri, ashram accommodations.

 

Day 4: December 4th: Amritapuri, the main ashram of Amma

A nature walk followed by a day full of ashram activities and meditation.

 

Dinner in the ashram. Night in Amma’s ashram.

 

Day 5: December 5th: Amritapuri-departure

Today you may either leave Amritapuri to catch your departing flight (either from Cochin or Trivandrum – or you may take a connecting flight from Cochin or Trivandrum back to Delhi). OR, you may stay in the ashram for as long as you want. Amma will very likely be in the ashram at this time, so this is a wonderful opportunity to spend more time in her holy presence! Just let us know!

 

End of Extension

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