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For years, travelers seeking serenity and spiritual renewal have made their way to India’s ashrams and retreat centers to learn the wisdom of ancient practices like yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda healing. This sojourn is designed for personal reflection and growth. You will have the opportunity to interact with experts and learn many new things as well as experience cultural exposures during your journey. Pack up your bags and hop on!
During this retreat, you will be staying at various hotels that have been prepared carefully by Perillo's Learning Journeys.
At this sojourn, you will have the opportunity to interact with experts and learn many new things as well as experience cultural exposures during your journey. This retreat will include yoga and wellness classes, a visit to Taj Mahal and Red Fort, saree shopping with Nettu Singh who is a local woman known for her style, community service and voluntarism projects, Ayurveda lecture, cooking and astrology lessons, temple and village visit, and an exploration at the Beatles ashram.
Depart from your home on a journey of the mind, body, and soul to the northern India. Please ensure when booking flights that you plan to arrive on the evening of day one.
Namaste and welcome to India! You will arrive at the capital city, Delhi. Contemporary Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines the ancient with the modern. Amidst the fast spiraling skyscrapers, witness the remnants of a bygone time in the form of its many monuments. Check in at your hotel in the capital city of India. The hotel is a retreat of contemporary accommodation and warm hospitality. You will stay overnight in Delhi. No meal is included in the package for this day.
Your first introduction to India will be with Old Delhi, a cultural melting pot of the contemporary and old world. Pay tribute to Mr. Gandhi at Raj Ghat which is the cremation site of his great soul. Lunch is an Indian specialty restaurant located close to old Delhi. After lunch, you will drive to the ISKCON Temple to witness the prayer ceremony at 16:15, followed by an interaction with an ISKCON follower.
ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) is a spiritual institution that follows a monotheistic tradition within the broad Hindu culture. It is scripturally based on the 5,000-year-old Sanskrit text Bhagavad-gita, focusing on educating people in the techniques of spiritual life and propagate a consciousness of Krishna as it is revealed in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam.
In the afternoon, experience the historic and colorful markets of Delhi on a rickshaw and experience an evening aarti ceremony at a local temple. Enjoy a traditional festive welcome dinner in the heart of the city. You will stay overnight in Delhi.
You will have an early departure to board your train to Agra to visit the mystical Taj Mahal. Your two-hour-and-a-half journey will provide an interesting cultural overview of life in India. Agra was once a small village on the banks of the Yamuna, it was transformed by two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and his grandson, Shah Jehan, into the second capital of the Mughal Empire, Dar-ul-Khilafat, or ‘seat of the Emperor’ in the 16th and 17th century.
A world of contrasting edifices of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys, bustling streets, and small buggies, Agra retains the irresistible charm that made this the favorite city of the Mughals. As you arrive at Agra, you will drive to the Taj Nature Walk, a green area reserve. There, you will practice meditation with a breathtaking view of the seventh wonder of the world, the Taj Mahal (if the weather permits).
Today, you will enjoy a lovely lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, you will visit the beautiful Red Fort. Then, you will rail back to Delhi for dinner and an overnight stay.
This morning, you will depart at 6 a.m. to the spiritual capital of India, Haridwar. You will carry a boxed breakfast on the train. The word Haridwar is the combination of two words “Hari” means the God and “Dwar” means the gate. The literary meaning of Haridwar is the gate to Gods. The city is located at the point where the Ganges leaves the Himalayas to begin its journey across the plains, makes it a particularly holy place.
Every 12 years, the Kumbh festival attracts millions of pilgrims who come and bathe in the river. Various episodes from the Hindu epic Mahabharata are set in this ancient town. Upon arrival at approximately 11 a.m., you will proceed for lunch at a local restaurant. Visit some temples before checking in at your hotel in Haridwar.
In the evening, begin the first yoga session with a yoga guru. You will enjoy your dinner at the hotel.
You will start the day with a yoga session early in the morning at the hotel. After breakfast, visit Matranchal Orphanage for Girls. Matranchal means “mother`s lap” which is very true with this organization. The organization not only gives love and shelter to girls but also provides them with quality education so these girls can live their life independently.
Today’s lunch will be with a local family, the Singhs. The cheery couple will introduce you to life in India. After an interactive lunch session with the family, Nettu Singh would love to take you to the market to experience shopping as a local including the colorful experience of saree selection. In the evening, visit a Hindu cremation site and attend aarti on the bank of holy river Ganges at Har-ki-Pauri ghats.
You will start the day with a yoga session early in the morning at the hotel. After breakfast, you will check out from a hotel and drive to Rishikesh. Rishikesh, at a height of about 1,360 feet above sea level, is the gateway to the Himalayas and a major center of spirituality and pilgrimage. Several temples dot the banks of the Ganges at Rishikesh.
Since ages, yogis, and sadhus lived and practiced religion there. This small hill town got an introduction to the western world in the late 1960’s when the Beatles stayed at an ashram there. Upon arrival, visit Laxman Jhula, the iron suspension bridge built in 1939, dedicated to the younger brother of lord Rama. You will also visit Geeta Bhawan, where the famous Indian epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata are described through beautiful wall paintings at.
Today, you will also visit the ashram where the Beatles stayed. You will enjoy your lunch at the hotel. In the evening, you will visit Parmarth Niketan Ashram where you will witness the prayer of river Ganges, called Ganga Aarti. The ceremony is performed by the ashram resident children who are studying the Vedas there. The ceremony commences with the singing of bhajans (prayers) and a purifying and sacred ritual that takes place around a fire, with the offerings made to the fire god, Agni.
The lamps are lit and the aarti takes place as the final part of the ceremony. The children sing along with the spiritual head of the ashram, in sweet, haunting voices. This is a very spiritually engaged ceremony. This night, you will enjoy your dinner at the hotel.
You will start the day with a yoga session early in the morning at the hotel. After breakfast, you will have an excursion to Kunjapuri Temple. Situated at the height of 1,645 meters above the sea level, the temple is dedicated to the Goddess Shakti who donated power. One needs to trek 150 steep steps one side to reach the temple but tiredness is compensated by the breathtaking view of the Himalayas.
On the way back, visit a village and meet some locals there. Also, visit Vashistha Gufa or Cave which is one of the places where sadhus and yogis used to stay in ancient times during meditation period. You will carry packed lunch today. Evening remains at leisure, you can book a spa session at the hotel.
You will start the day with a yoga session early in the morning at the hotel. Today, you will visit the Purkal Youth Development Society, a community organization that strives for excellence in rural children through free holistic education, day long nutrition, and complete health care. It has a dual focus, development of the individual capacity of the underserved and the consequent building of community capacity.
This NGO is not only running a school but also ensuring student’s transition into a successful adulthood. In addition to education, this NGO has taken several communities development initiatives, such as employment to the ladies of a rural community, health and sanitation, social causes, and natural disaster relief. Enjoy your lunch with the staff and children there at Purkal. Evening remains at leisure. You can book a spa session at the hotel or shop in the bustling markets of Rishikesh.
You will start the day with a yoga session early in the morning at the hotel. You will enjoy your breakfast at the hotel and the morning remains at leisure. After lunch, get ready with your questions as you will meet an astrologer. Astrology in India has deep roots and surprisingly most of the people have deep faith in it. This is going to be an interesting session for you. For the day's evening, you will visit a local restaurant for a farewell dinner.
You will start the day with a yoga session at the hotel. After breakfast, the morning remains at leisure. You will enjoy your lunch at the hotel. You will then be transferred to Delhi which will take about six hours and a half. You will stop along the way for tea and to take one more view of traditional and modern life in India.
Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) for flights that are leaving from 9 p.m to 11 p.m. For those whose flights will be departing from 11 p.m to 6 a.m the next day, you may stay at the airport's hotel at an additional cost. Dinner is not included in the package for the last day.
For those who are booked on early flights, there will be a quick transfer to the airport. You will be taking with you the dream of India and new learning experience to incorporate into your lives. India will call you back again to explore its wonders!
During this retreat in Delhi, you will be able to visit Raj Ghat, ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple, the historic and colorful markets of Delhi on a rickshaw, and experience an evening aarti ceremony at a local temple. Afterward, you will be able to go to Agra to visit the mystical Taj Mahal, followed by a visit to the beautiful Red Fort.
The next day, you will visit the spiritual capital of India, Haridwar. In Haridwar, you will be able to go to a local market to experience shopping as a local and to a Hindu cremation site and attend aarti on the bank of the holy river the Ganges at Har-ki-Pauri ghats. In addition, this retreat will take you to Laksman Jhula, Geeta Bhawan, Beatles ashram, Parmarth Niketan ashram, Kunjapuri temple, and Vashistha as well.
This retreat will take place in Delhi, Old Delhi, Agra, Haridwar, and Rishikesh, in India.
During this retreat, you will be served three daily meals at the local restaurants and at the hotels. You will also have an opportunity to learn how to cook Indian food with a local lady, Nettu Singh.
During this retreat, you will have the chance to enjoy at additional costs the spa treatments at the hotel where you will be staying.
Please book your flight to arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL). Transfer to and from this airport is available upon request.