There are no words to describe the magic of the moment. You have to be there.
NORTH INDIA PILGRIMAGE 2018 For me....India is an experience. I cannot say it is a place because it is more than that. India is in my heart....part of the beat that cannot be explained - only felt. I LOVE INDIA and want to share that with you.
We are going to make this a special trip (it is our last to India with a group) a 'Spiritual Journey'. We are not just visiting sites to tick boxes saying' "seen that" - there is more MUCH MORE!
20 DAY TOURVaranassi, Bodh Gaya, Agra, Delhi and Dharamsala
Transport associated with itinerary such as trains, taxis and jeeps
Use of local guides
EXTRA INTERESTING POSSIBILITIES:
Tibetan medicine - Yeshi Dhonden is a Buddhist monk and was the Dalai Lama’s personal physician for twenty years. You may wish to try and get a visit. - click on link.
Astrological charts - for insights and understanding of the underlying energy cycles operating within their lives using a variety of astrological methods, including Tibetan Elemental charts and ancient systems of Kalacakra astrology, integrated within the context of Transpersonal Psychology. Tibetan astrology
Meditation practices in spiritually significant locations
Attend a class in Tibetan Buddhism
ITINERARY FOR THIS SPECIAL, FULLY ESCORTED TOUR This is a flexible itinerary and may need to be rearranged due to the unpredictable nature that is India. We have allowed an extra day for those moments to cover transport difficulties or the needs of our group.
TOUR STARTS: Arrive 3 December Kolkata.
DAY 1 & 2 KOLKATA –Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is the capital of India's West Bengal state and was India's capital under the British Raj from 1773–1911. Visit the moving Mother House, headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa. Dine in the famous Park Street which is often known as "Food Street" and "The Street that Never Sleeps".
DAY 3 Bodh Gaya is the place where Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment. It is a place if visited by any person of devotion is said to raise awareness and the comprehension of the nature of impermanence - a sacred place of pilgrimage for Buddhists throughout the world.
DAY 4 About 250 years after the Enlightenment of Buddha , the Emperor Ashoka visited the site and founded of the Mahabodhi Temple which was later forgotten, buried and lost for centuries. Meditate here daily, sit under the Bodhi tree and join the many pilgrims walking around the temple making 'Kora'. Enjoy a moment of quiet contemplation in the beautifully peaceful gardens.
DAY 6 VARANASSI According to the lonely planet - 'Brace yourself. You're about to enter one of the most blindingly colourful, unrelentingly chaotic and unapologetically indiscreet places on earth. Varanasi takes no prisoners. But if you're ready for it, this may just turn out to be your favourite stop of all.' Join the pilgrims that come to the ghats lining the River Ganges to wash away a lifetime of sins in the sacred waters. Death here is part of life and expiring here or disposing of the body offers moksha (liberation from the cycle of birth and death), making Varanasi the beating heart of the Hindu universe.
DAY 7 Explore one of the world’s oldest, continually inhabited cities. Varanasi, home of music and learning lies next to the great Mother River Ganges. Wander and get lost in the ancient alley ways and parts of the city so old that there are no roads. Incredible shopping. Eat from the famous sweet shop where a wealthy maharaja flies his helicopter to in order to purchase the treats made here.
DAY 8 Morning – Dawn to drift on the river at sunrise to see life from a different perspective. See the superb architecture and exquisite silks that are still hand woven, hand dyed works of art. Evening - partake in the Hindu ritual to honour the Great Mother River - not to be missed.
DAY 9 Day to self. (You are welcome to go to Sarnath with us visiting the school where we sponsor children) Depart for Agra on the night train.
DAY 10 Agra.The Taj Mahal built by the Mughal king Shah Jahan as the final resting place for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. A monumnet to love it is one of the New Seven Wonders of the world, and one of the three World Heritage Sites in Agra. Finished in marble, this perfectly symmetrical structure sits on the south bank of the Yamuna River and took 22 years (1630–1652) and 20,000 workers, masons and jewellers to build. INCREDIBLE! Evening boat ride to see the back of the Taj. Great photo opportunities.
DAY 11 Morning guided tour at Agra Fort a UNESCO site and walled city where Emperor Shāh Jahān a prisoner of his son Aurangzeb was able to gaze at the Taj Mahal for the last eight years of his life, Afternoon to travel to Delhi.
DAY 12 Delhi, India’s capital city and home to 23 million mixes ancient history and modern living in a chaotic but strangely working way. Walking tour of Old Delhi, a neighbourhood dating to the 1600s and the vibrant bazaar filled with food carts, sweets shops, spice stalls and lots of treasures. Shopping Mecca! Night bus to Dharamsala.
DAY 13 Dharamsala/McLeod Ganj in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh is surrounded by cedar forests on the edge of the Himalayas and is home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile. Visit the Thekchen Chöling Temple Complex and spiritual center for Tibetan Buddhism.
DAY 14 Walk down to Gangchen Kyishong to visit the Tibetan Library of Works and archives. Visit the Monastery of the State oracle and learn about this interesting practice still used today. Oracles have played, and continue to play, an important part in revelation, religion, doctrine, and prophecy in Tibet. Walk further down the mountain to the town of Dharamsala. Explore the bazaar before walking back to Mc Leod Ganj.
DAY 15 Day trip to be announced
DAY 16 Take a trip by local bus through the pretty Kangra Valley to the town Kangra the once capital of the princely state of Kangra. Hindus visit to pay homage at the Brajeshwari Devi Temple, one of the 51 Shakti peeths, temples on the sites where body parts from Shiva's first wife, Sati, fell after the goddess was consumed by flames (this temple marks the final resting place of her left breast). This is a sacred place to both Buddhists and Hindus. It's reached through an atmospheric bazaar. Visit the impregnable-looking Kangra Fort soars on a high outcrop between the Manjhi and Banganga Rivers. At least 1000 years old, the fort was occupied by Hindu rajas, Mughal and Sikh conquerors and even the British (from 1846), before it was finally toppled by the 1905 Kangra earthquake. Head up to the palace area at the top for views north to the mountains and south to the plains.
See the inspiration for the famous Kangra miniature painting artists as they depict the sentiment of love; how they were influenced by the beauty this region. They develop a style focused on intricate details and use fresh colors extracted from minerals and plants which possessed a unique enamel-like lustre famous throughout India.
DAY 17 Day to self Depart by bus to Delhi
DAY 18 Delhi – visit the colossal Jama Masjid, or Friday Mosque in the morning. The largest mosque in India it accommodates up to 25,000 worshippers at one time. Designed by Shah Jahan, this grand red sandstone and white marble mosque was said to have been built by 5,000 artisans from 1644 to 1656. Walk to the Red Fort, Lal Qila, which situated on the banks of the River Yamuna, the huge red sandstone fort was built between 1639 and 1648 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The opulent fort is believed to be modelled on the Agra Fort, and is assumed to have cost 10 million Rupees.
DAY 19 End of tour. Enjoy breakfast together on the roof top to share and laugh about our experiences….the good, the bad and the magnificent.
Before departing we have a meeting to introduce you to us and you to others in your group. We are happy to answer frequently asked questions. We also offer a travel pack, e-mail information and support.
I cannot claim to 'know' India because I am constantly surprised by the playful unpredictability of this land, its peoples and customs. In fact India has claimed a part of me; altered the way I view the world and my place in it.
Cancellation Policy. $500 deposit is non-refundable Up to 60 days prior departure we will refund 75% 30 days prior departure funds will be forfeited.