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Experience performing ecstatic kirtans with local and international bands when you join this retreat. Ganesha Events will also take you to visit eternal temples and discover stories and places of Sri Krishna, Radha, Shiva, Buddha, Hanuman, Ram and Sita, encounter enlightened beings of the area and a perfect combination of different styles of yoga sessions, Thai yoga massage workshops, and Hanuman Chalisa workshops. A retreat one should not missed out on!
All ages are welcome as participants.
For this retreat, participants will be accommodated in three-star hotels and each room is equipped with air-conditioning.
Ayodhya is the city where Lord Sri Ram, Sita, and Hanuman lived the amusing adventures of the Ramayana. It has the central role in the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana, whose protagonist Lord Rama is god incarnated on earth as the prince of Ayodhya. The epic describes Lord Rama's 14 year exile, his victory over evil, and his grand return with his wife, Sita, to Ayodhya to become the king.
This return to Ayodhya is celebrated as Diwali, the leading festival of hundreds of millions of Hindus world-wide. Consequently, Lord Rama's reign over Ayodhya and its surroundings, called Ram Rajya, is the epitome of good governance and moral society in the Hindu tradition. There are palaces where Lord Ram and Sita enjoyed each other's company and where lies the floating stone from the bridge across India and Lanka.
The crucible of Buddhism, Bodhgaya was where Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment beneath a Bodhi tree and became Buddha 2600 years ago. In terms of blessedness, this tiny temple town is to Buddhists what Mecca is to Muslims. Unsurprisingly, it attracts thousands of pilgrims from around the world every year who come to pray, study, and meditate.
The most hallowed spot in town is a Bodhi tree, which flourishes inside the Mahabodhi temple complex, amid a beautiful garden setting, its roots embedded in the same soil as it celebrated ancestor. Additionally, many monasteries and temples dot the bucolic landscape, built in their national style by foreign Buddhist communities.
Undoubtedly, the most sacred fig tree ever to grace the earth was the Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya, where Prince Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism, achieved enlightenment. Buddha was said to have stared unblinkingly at the tree in an awed gesture of gratitude and wonder after his enlightenment. Today, pilgrims and tourists alike flock here and attempt to do exactly the same thing, and the tree is considered the most important of Buddhisms four holiest sites.
Known as Sri Maha Bodhi, the original tree was paid special attention by Ashoka, a mighty Indian emperor who ruled most of the subcontinent from 269 to 232 BC, a century or so after Buddha was believed dead. His wife, Tissarakkh, was not such a fan of the tree and in a fit of jealousy and rage, caused the original Bodhi Trees death with poisonous thorns shortly after becoming the queen.
This is a spiritual capital of India. Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than a legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together. It is often referred to the holy city of India, the religious capital of India, the city of Shiva, and the city of learning. Scholarly books have been written in the city, including the Ramcharitmanas of Tulsidas. Today, there is a temple of his namesake in the city, the Tulsi Manas Mandir.
The current temples and religious institutions in the city are dated to the 18th century. Being the oldest city of the world and an important Hindu pilgrimage center, Varanasi attracts a large number of people from all over the world. For centuries, Varanasi is famous for spiritualism, mysticism, Indian philosophy, and Hinduism. All these are reflected in numerous sects, temples, Ashrams, and Ghats.
Varanasi is associated not only with Hinduism, but also with Buddhism and Jainism. Besides numerous temples, Varanasi also boasts of Buddhist stupas and Jain temples. Varanasi is also a mirror of the age-old Indian civilization. The archaeological museum at Sarnath houses numerous remains of the past, including the National emblem of India, the Ashoka pillar.
Since Varanasi is mainly associated with Hinduism, temples form the main attraction. The Ganga Ghats (river fronts) are the main center of religious activities and rituals, and also form one of the main attractions of Varanasi. The Alamgir Mosque, blend of the Hindu and Mughal styles of the architecture, is another important attraction of Varanasi.
Some of the most important temples of Varanasi are Durga temple, Vishwanath temple, Sankat Mochan temple, Tulsi Manas temple, and the Bharat Mata temple. The Bharat Mata Temple houses a huge relief map of the whole of Indian subcontinent and Tibetan plateau, the Archaeological museum, Sarnath, Buddhist stupas, and temples at Sarnath.
This is known as the land of kirtan. Millions of bhaktas or devotees of Radha Krishna visit these places of pilgrimage every year and participate in a number of festivals that relate to the scenes from Krishna's life on earth. One of the most fascinating thing about Vrindavan is that kirtan is soul of it. People express their devotion by singing the divine chants and mantras.
The village of Vrindavan is where the young Krishna is said to have grown up. Pilgrims flock here from all over India. Dozens of temples, old and modern, dot the area. They come in all shapes and sizes and many have their own unique peculiarities, making a visit here a lifetime memory. In all parts of India, that eighty-four-square-mile tract of land is considered to be the most sacred place of pilgrimage because Krishna sported in it, and many devotees still linger there in ecstasy in search of Krishna and his childhood associates.
Srimati Radharani is the supreme goddess. It is described that she is the chief associate and devotee of Lord Krishna, and topmost of all goddesses. Her name means the she is the most excellent worshiper of Lord Krishna. However, she is also an expansion of the Lord's energy.
Since she is also an extension of Krishna, she is the feminine aspect of god. Thus, god is both male and female. They are one, but Krishna expands into two, himself and Radharani, for the sake of divine loving pastimes. If they remained as one, then there is no relationship, there are no pastimes, and there can be no dynamic exchange of love.
So, similarly, the spiritual world is the manifestation where in all souls have the opportunity to engage in a multitude of pastimes in loving relationships in full spiritual variety, without many hindrances you find in this material world. The only difference is that the spiritual world is centered around the supreme being. And, that supreme personality has expanded himself into Radharani for exhibiting the supreme loving relationship, in which so many others assist them.
It is believed that the essence of Vrindavan was lost over time until the 16th century, when it was rediscovered by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In the year 1515, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vrindavan, with purpose of locating the lost holy places associated with Lord Sri Krishna's transcendent pastimes.
Chaitanya wandered through the different sacred forests of Vrindavan in a spiritual trance of divine love. It was believed that by his divine spiritual power, he was able to locate all the important places of Krishna's pastimes in and around Vrindavan.
The major tradition followed in the area is Vaisnavism, and it is a center of learning with many Vrindavan ashrams operating. It is a center of Krishna worship and the area includes places, like Govardhana and Gokul that are associated with Krishna.
The Bhakti pilgrimage is a peep inside the heart of spiritual mystic grounds of India, where the streets pulse with spirituality, where people dedicate their lives to the divine in its many forms and where resides some of the greatest living yogis and masters of the world. For yoga teachers and all others who want to deepen their understanding of Bhakti yoga, its background, and chants to be able to share with their students and others.
Ganesha Events creates journeys where western eyes can see and experience sacred India through the eyes of an Indian. A pilgrimage through India is a great opportunity to deepen your spiritual background and learn about ancient philosophy, traditional rituals, prayers, and way of life.
What makes this such a special journey into spiritual India is because of Deep who was born and lived all his life in India. He has experienced the secret temple streets to the enlightened beings of the area. India in itself is a difficult place to travel especially for women, but having Deep as a guide, it not only makes it easier, but also makes for a very unique experience as he has a passion to show India through his eyes to the world.
It is a sacred journey into the land of ecstatic kirtans with local and international Bands, visiting eternal temples and discovering stories and places of Indian gods and goddess, and encountering enlightened beings of the area with a perfect combination of yoga and chanting sessions.
You will arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), where your meeting pick up point is at Costa Coffee. For international arrivals, it will be at gate 5 at 2:00 p.m. You will then have a three to four-hour bus to Vrindavan and will have dinner on the way. Once reached, check in at Jiva Ashram and you will have a celebration kirtan at Munger Mandir Temple.
Please book your flight to arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) and depart at Gaya Airport (GAY). Transfers from and to the airports are included. Ganesha Events will pick you up from Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) at 14:00 and drop you off at Gaya Airport (GAY) or Gaya train station junction in the morning. Upon arrival, once the group is together, you will go to Vrindaban by bus.
Transfer from Delhi to Vrindaban will take three hours by bus (150 kilometers). Transfer from Vrindaban to Ayodhya is about 550 kilometers and you will have an overnight trip with a coach train. From Ayodhya to Varanasi, it will take four hours by bus (200 kilometers) and from Varanasi to Bodhgaya, it will take four hours and 30 minutes (250 kilometers). All transfers are included in the price.
From 2 p.m.
Please plan your travel accordingly to arrive before or close to 2 p.m. on that day. If you are arriving at an earlier date or transferring from the domestic terminal, it will cost approximately 60 INR (under 1 EUR) to enter the arrival section to Costa Coffee.
Maximum 21 persons.
During that time, you will be traveling through mild warm weather temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius during the day.
The dress code, especially for women, to enter temple is to have shoulders and knees covered. Covering neck, elbows, and ankles is also recommended. Wearing Indian dress is the best way to integrate yourself in the sacred land.
A light pullovers for an unexpected rainy night could be useful. As you will mostly travel with your own bus other than the train ride from Vrindavan to Varanasi, big suitcases are okay to travel with.
Please remember that the pilgrimage concludes at the hotel in Bodhgaya. It is up to you to continue your journey and further travel. Please let Ganesha Events know if you need any support on your next steps in India.
Please ensure that you should apply for your India tourist visa in time. The process can take anywhere from three to four business days to two weeks. Your passport should be valid for the next six months. After you have received the visa, please make four photocopies of both your passport and tourist visa. It may also be helpful to travel with extra passport sized photos of yourself.
It is now also possible for 43 nationalities to obtain their India visa upon arrival, this visa is only valid for under 30 days.
At the meeting point on the first day, Ganesha Events will collect the remaining balance that still needs to be paid. Please bring cash with you and bring euros, if possible. The pilgrimage covers all your travel, accommodation, and food expenses. You only need money for your extra drinks, snacks, tips, and personal needs.
Diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout the region and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are safe.
If you want to stay on the safe side, never take fruit which you cannot peel, never eat salad, and refrain from eating watermelon for they may place it in bad water to keep it fresh. Drink only mineral water and not filtered water, even if someone tells you it is clean!
Be careful with the Chai or Masala tea, in case you have problems with milk and dairy. The milk is very heavy. If you are lactose intolerant, black tea or masala tea without milk may be more suitable. If you order a juice, ask for it to be without water or ice. You might want to request that they don’t mix extra sugar in it as well.
During the trip, you will visit plenty of Hindu temples. These are holy places designated for public worship of God and some of them draw quite a large number of devotees. Whether you are visiting a temple as a devotee or as a tourist, you should know how to conduct yourself at the holy premises. You may be surprised to notice that in reality, even many Hindu devotees and the staff of the temple may not manage to follow appropriate guidelines, but that need not be an excuse for your group to ignore them.
Please remove shoes before entering any temple or house and be respectful of God and the Gods. Bring your problems, prayers, or sorrows, but leave food and improper manners outside. Do not enter the shrines (special areas inside the temples) without invitation and do not sit with your feet pointing toward the Deities or another person. Refrain from gossip and worldly talk. Turn off or mute or silence your cell phone.
You must treat the priests with respect and obey visitor signs. All men and women should avoid hugging and other demonstrations of affection, and they usually sit separately.
For more information, ask your questions directly to Ganesha Events, who will be happy to assist you. Simply click on the Send Inquiry button to send a message.
Ganesha Events will take you to visit eternal temples and discover stories and places of Sri Krishna, Radha, Shiva, Buddha, Hanuman, Ram, and Sita.
Deep Deka is a visionary for the India yoga festival, Bhakti Camp, and Bhakti pilgrimage. Growing up in a traditional Indian family with mantras, kirtans, and pujas (spiritual rituals), he has a deep desire to go deeper and to share what small knowledge he has about this practice with others.
Pau was introduced to the practice of yoga by the light of his younger brother Wari Om. Meeting his teacher Soma in the Navarra Mountains was the start of his spiritual journey. His path is full of joy and gratitude as auspicious teachers cross by him every step of the way like Jordi, Dolors, Laurino, Takis, Jason, Jenny, Soma, Dayalu, Goenka, and Amma.
Mireia is passionate about playing and sharing yoga, meditation, Thai, and Acro yoga around the world. She runs the Omshanti Yoga Studio near Barcelona and is also the co-founder of the Barcelona yoga conference and co-organizer of the “India Yoga Festival”. Happy to share yoga, acrobatics and Thai with lightness and transformation tools, Mireia started practicing yoga when she was 21.
Wari is a yoga photographer and filmmaker. He travels around the world sharing and expanding the light of yoga. His work has been published and sponsored by some of the most prominent yoga magazines and conferences.
Participants will be served with three daily meals.
For this retreat, you will have a Thai yoga massage.
"All I can say is that I am coming back next year and I can't wait!"
India Yoga Festival Facebook page, edited
"Such a great Bhakti gathering! Grateful for the love and joy we shared."
India Yoga Festival Facebook page, edited