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Refresh your mind, body, and soul with the blissful yoga and wellness expedition to India. Enjoy the perfect balance of yoga and adventure with highly skilled yoga instructor and experienced tour leader.
Accommodation is on a twin share basis and includes spending ten nights in four-star hotels, two nights in Heritage Hotels, and one night in Jungle Hotel.
Namaste! Welcome to India. Your Soulfit-Wellness begins with a welcome meeting at 5:30 p.m. on day one and also a yoga session following on from your hotel-based dinner, designed to help you sleep well. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place.
If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day earlier so you are able to attend the meeting, and your tour leader will be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. Soulfit Journey will be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide your tour leader with.
Rise early for your morning yoga session before proceeding to the airport after your hotel-based breakfast. Today, you will reach the most powerful place in India, Varanasi. You will fly from Delhi to Varanasi airport (a short one and a half hour flight) which is located approximately 18 kilometers away from the city.
After leaving the airport, you will then transfer to your comfortable hotel, where, after having lunch and resting, you will venture out into the city to feel the real essence of this sacred city via tuk-tuk. Nothing is more exciting than zipping through the streets of Varanasi than in a tuk-tuk. It is the best mode of transportation to navigate through the Varanasi crowds in order to reach the charismatic Ghats of Varanasi.
After viewing some of the Ghats, you will take a boat ride to reach the main Ghat to view a fascinating evening Aarti ceremony, before finally enjoying (your own) dinner on the Ghats. Please ask your tour leader for dinner recommendations. Don't forget to bring your camera and mosquito repellent for the water-based evening Aarti ceremony viewing. Also, riding on the boat depends entirely on the current of the river, as you will not take boat rides during heavy monsoons when tides are high and currents are strong.
Rise early in the morning to reach Ghaton and the famed Holy River Ganges, whereupon you will practice yoga at sunrise. This yoga session will involve the Surya Namaskaraor Sun Salutation - a common sequence of asanas, whose origins lie in the Indian worship of the Hindu solar deity, Surya.
This sequence of asanas can be practiced at varying levels of yogic awareness, ranging from various types of physical exercise to a complete sadhana which incorporates asana, pranayama, mantra, and chakra meditation. It is often the beginning of a longer yoga series.
Surya Namaskara, like most asanas, is recommended to be performed on an empty stomach, therefore it is best to practice it in the morning before breakfast. After your sunrise yoga session, you will have breakfast before enjoying the rest of your day at your own leisure.
In the evening, you will jump on a tuk-tuk to visit Assi Ghat before taking a boat in order to perform a flower ceremony. The boat will take you to the far end of the river, away from the hustle and bustle of the city; here, you can enjoy the live performance of sitar artists (an Indian traditional musical instrument) whilst your crew will lighten flowered earthen candles on the boat for you to set free with your thoughts and prayers across the Holy River Ganges.
This is a great opportunity to take videos or pictures of the illuminating boat and the sitar music, in the middle of the sacred river. Please remember to bring mosquito repellent for this evening activity.
Rise early this morning to do extensive yoga and meditation with music at the hotel. After breakfast, enjoy the day at leisure. The Ayurvedic massage helps your muscles relax enabling you to feel pampered and encouraging feelings of blissful happiness that will make you feel divine. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure in order to be ready and recharged for the overnight sleep train. Please note the hotel rooms would not be available after you check out at 11 a.m.
After reaching Khajuraho railway station, you will drive a further 24 kilometers to your comfortable stay in the middle of the jungle at the Panna National Park. During the day, enjoy being in nature; bonfires can be arranged only in winter, but you can still listen to the natural sound of the trees, the wild animals, and your own breathing. Or, sit and chat with the group to share or shed your past (good or bad) experiences in order to help lighten your load.
You will do evening yoga with singing boul. Singing bowls are a wonderful support for the healing process. Remarkable things happen when people play singing bowls or listen to the sound of singing bowl recordings. The effects of the sounds are so special that the experience can be life changing. You will feel the strong vibration which has a relaxing effect - like sinking into warm water, the gentle sound of a singing bowl has a relaxing and comforting effect.
Rise up early and say hello to a tiger by taking a morning jungle safari in the Panna National Park, or sleep late, in the lap of nature and enjoy a hotel breakfast and spend the morning at your leisure.
After lunch, you will drive approximately 24 kilometers to reach another potent place of power in India - Khajuraho. This small town with strong energy was one of ten places chosen for the practice of Tantra yoga between the 9th to 12th centuries AD, but Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain Tantric tradition temples, built by the Chandella Rajputs (Monarchs) and famous for their erotic sculptures.
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to be one of the "seven wonders" of India. In the evening, you will enjoy a light and sound show at the Western group of temples.
Rise early to do an extensive yoga session with meditative music. After breakfast at the hotel, you will visit the Western group of Khajuraho temples. These temples were built over a span of 200 years, from 950 to 1150 by Chandella Rajputs (monarchs), who were a Hindu dynasty that ruled this part of India from the 10th to 12th centuries AD. Spend the afternoon at leisure and enjoy in the evening the multi-cultural folk dance performances of India.
Rise early to do yoga and meditation with the sounds of nature. After breakfast at the hotel, drive to another beautiful town of central India, Orchha. This historic village on the banks of the boulder-strewn Betwa River showcases some fabulous architecture. The atmosphere in Orchha is laid-back and hassle-free, whilst the medieval architecture of Orchha has frozen the city in time, as its palaces and temples still retain their original grandeur.
Orchha had the distinction of being the capital of one of the largest and most powerful kingdoms of Central India. You will have lunch at a heritage hotel on the way to Orchha and will be given the unique opportunity to watch Indian cooking at a local family home, where you can mutually enjoy authentic India Thali cuisine.
Rise early to do yoga and meditation with the sounds of nature. After breakfast at the hotel, visit some splendid Orchha architecture, such as the Orchha Palace. Orchha was founded in the 15th century AD, by the Bundela chief, RudraPratap Singh, who became the first King of Orchha (1501-1531 AD) and also built the Orchha Fort.
The Chaturbhuj Temple was built during the reign of Emperor Akbar by the Queen of Orchha, Ganeshi Bai, while Raj Mandir was built by Madhukar Shah during his reign from 1554 to 1591. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure or consider choosing one or more of the optional activities outlined below, which your tour leader will be happy to assist you with. In the evening, watch devotees who come from Orchha and its surrounding villages for the evening pooja ceremony performed in the famous Ram Raja Temple.
Relax and sleep in before enjoying the morning at your leisure, taking a plunge into the swimming pool or pampering yourself with an Ayurvedic massage. Please note that rooms will not be available after we check out at 11 a.m. In the late afternoon, you will be transferred to Jhansi Railway Station to take the train to the city of Taj, Agra, whereupon you will transfer directly to your hotel.
Rise early to view the Taj Mahal at sunrise from MehtabBagh across the Yamuna River. Enjoy soothing wake up music and watch the sunrays strike the beautiful Taj whilst listening to the stories of its origin. The Taj Mahal is the epitome of Mughal art and is one of the most famous buildings in the world. It is a mausoleum that represents the house of the Queen in paradise, and its setting was based on the palace gardens of the great nobles that lined both sides of the river Yamuna in Agra.
Return to the hotel to enjoy breakfast before visiting the Agra Fort. Post lunch, you will view Inlay artwork at an Inlay workshop. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. In the evening, lose yourself in the world of romance and eternal love personified in the epic love story of the emperor Shah Jahan and his beloved Mumtaz Mahal through the mesmerizing dance drama, Mohabbat the Taj (one hour and twenty minutes).
Rise early to do yoga and meditation with the sounds of meditative music. After breakfast at the hotel, you will drive to another place of power - Jaipur (six hours approximately.) Jaipur, the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan, is known as the Pink City of India. The city was planned according to Indian Vastu Shastra (Vedic planning for the comfort and prosperity of the citizens). The directions of each street and market are east to west and north to south.
You will transfer to your hotel where you will enjoy a late lunch. In the evening you will visit the Raj Mandir cinema to see a Bollywood movie with the locals. Bollywood is one of the largest film producers in India and is one of the largest centers of film production in the world. Fourteen million Indians go to the movies on a daily basis to see any of the over 800 films churned out by Bollywood each year.
Rise early to do yoga and meditation with the sounds of meditative music. After breakfast at the hotel, you will visit the Amber Palace, approximately eleven kilometers from Jaipur. The Rajput Maharajas and their families lived in the palace, which was built using red and white marble and was built with a mix of Hindu - Muslim style reminiscent of 17th century India. In the evening, enjoy an authentic dinner cooked in the local style, which is a special experience.
Rise early to do yoga and meditation with the sounds of meditative music. After breakfast, you will begin the drive to Delhi, which is approximately six hours away, stopping off to have lunch on the way. Enjoy the evening at your leisure or consider enjoying one last dinner as a group at the hotel, in order to have some drinks (not included), share memories, and exchange contacts with other group members, should you wish to. You may want to consider staying longer in Delhi in order to explore the city and the people.
Rise early to do the final yoga and meditation with the sounds of meditative music, before enjoying a final breakfast with the group at the hotel and continuing on your forward journey. Have a safe flight home! Please note the hotel rooms are available until 11 a.m. only.
Soulfit Journey would be happy to book a room for an extra night for you. Please inform your leader well in advance in order to make arrangements for you. If you need any assistance to book your airport transfer, ask your tour leader. Soulfit Journey services end at 11 a.m. but they look forward to serving you again for future trips. Live a happy and soul-fit life, namaste!
Visits to the Taj Mahal, the Western Group of Khajuraho Temples, Orchha Palace, Agra Fort, Jaipur, and Amber Palace are included in the price.
This retreat will take place in various places in India.
During your stay, you will have fourteen breakfasts and three dinners. One cooking demonstration and vegetarian dinner with a local family are also included in the price of this retreat.