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The Himalayas have always been the "true north" of the spirit life in India. Of all the holy sites, none are more important that the "Char Dham", literally the 4 special places. All Indians dream of visiting these and it is said of you visit all 4 you will find samadhi or nirvana. These special places are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. We'll sleep at simple but comfortable inns or in tents at base camps high in the mountain valleys. The stars will blow your mind, spread like brilliant diamonds across the sky; bright enough to read by. Truly this trip is one you will never forget and which will fill your dreams for years to come. Once seen, the Himalayas will call you back!
All ages are welcome as participants.
Depart US in evening
Arrive in Delhi, India
Delhi sightseeing / shopping
Travel to Rishikesh
Drive to Hanuman Chaati
Trek to Yanumotri and back (13 kilometres)
Drive to Gangotri
Trek to Gau Mukh Glacier
Drive to Rishikesh
Travel to Delhi
Old Delhi sightseeing or Free Time. Depart to US in the evening
Arrive in US
We will almost always travel by air conditioned car between cities and on our sightseeing expeditions. The cars will be driven by professional drivers who own and take great pride in the vehicles that they have. For shorter journeys in and around the towns we are in we may take pedicabs or tuk-tuks which are small motorized tricycles.
Transfer from and to Airport.
Your cell phone will work, but you wont want to use it. Indian telecom companies charge a fortune to connect back to your US based cell phone provider. There are internet cafs where you will have access to Skype or Facetime to talk to people back home.
India uses 220 V power, instead of the 120 V power we have here in the US. Most modern appliances including iPads and iPods camera battery chargers and things of that sort support both voltages. Things like hair dryers will likely not support both voltages, but you dont need those anyway.
None of the places we will be going require any level of fashion. The ashrams, the old markets and the villages are all super casual. Light comfortable cotton clothing is best for longer stays in any of these towns. Easy wash and dry materials are also particularly useful over the course of the trip.
When visiting temples or mosques, you should plan on dressing respectfully. This will generally include having your shoulders covered for women. Indian men virtually never wear shorts except to go swimming or river rafting. Up in the mountains, warm layers are what you will need.
The most important piece of equipment for the trekking adventures is a really good pair of hiking shoes that protect your ankles and your toes as you walk over surfaces which are uneven or sometimes a little slippery. We recommend and use walking sticks to both ease the track and provide an additional measure of stability on these trails.
We recommend synthetic material, easy-wash clothing that can be layered to warm or cool you over the course of the day. A good hat, a good pair of sunglasses, and sunscreen are the only other things youll need for the track. No technical climbing equipment is required.
India does require a visa to enter the country. There is an online service available that allows you to fill out all the required forms and then just send your passport in for final processing. Very safe, and very easy. You do of course need a current passport for this trip.
For more information ask your questions directly to Yoga Soni who will be happy to assist you. Simply click on the Send Inquiry button to send a message.
Trekking is involved in visiting 3 of the 4 sites as we walk 6 to 20 km from the nearest road to reach the site. All of the trekking is above 10,000 feet which requires a very good level of physical and aerobic fitness, but does not require technical climbing skills. This is a physically challenging trip. We will follow the ancient trails surrounded by towering, snow-covered mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and wild animals (none that will eat us).
The vast majority of the food we will eat in India is vegetarian. Meat is relatively more difficult to get and we cannot always be sure of the quality of the meat. Rishikesh is entirely vegetarian, and there are no restaurants serving meat in the entire town. The vegetarian cuisine we will get is delicious, varied, and interesting. We will make sure that what you are presented with is clean, well prepared and safe for you to eat. So far no one who has traveled with us has gotten: travelers belly.
"India is an amazing place. It shows you both the good and the bad of an emerging country.The bad hits you right away, with the poverty, dirt, lack of hygiene and crowds, not to mention the worst drivers in the world. Then come the good. The people are incredible, they all seem to want to please you. The beauty is beyond beautiful in the mountains and countryside.Speaking of the mountains, I went on the trekking part of the trip.Had I actually known what it was really like to hike up mountain switchbacks and across streams and over boulders I may have thought twice. But having done it I would have never wanted to miss it.The trip and the people that were with me were fantastic. It ranks as one of my all-time favorite adventures. "
September 2015. Yoga Travel Alliance website, edited
"Its hard to call it a vacation.Thanks to the organizer, from Old Delhi to Rishikesh, our experience in this complicated land of a multitude of cultures, was a seamless adventure; an experience in immersion, both memorable and life changing.Riding in a bicycle rickshaw, we penetrated the streets of Old Delhi dusty, dirty, noisy, crowded, colorful, aromatic, bustling, and full of energy. We visited a Sikh temple and later, a Jain temple. We had tea with and bought spices from a world-renowned spice vendor. We watched, over lunch, as cooks formed naan from balls of dough and flattened them on the inside of a tandoori oven. And later, we passed brilliant displays of bridal clothing, and countless storefronts loaded with carpets, shawls, shoes, jewelry, and so much more.Rishikesh presented another quieter and more peaceful side to life in India. It is regarded as both spiritual and holy, the home of yoga and well-known ashrams such as Parmarth Niketon. From the personal kindness and excellent service of the family that owns the hotel we stayed at to the haunting grandeur of the Ganga Aarti held every evening on the ghats of the Ganges, we felt welcome, safe, at home. Here Panchakarma was our focus and we werent disappointed, though we also managed to visit the foothills of the Himalayas and the headwaters of the Ganges, take a river-rafting trip, visit neighboring towns for shopping and even hike to the old Beatles ashram, today taken over by the jungle.My husband and I have traveled with well-known travel agencies to Europe, South America, Australia, even Antarctica, but never before have had we left for home after only 2 weeks feeling as though we were leaving friends behind. Well go again. "
August 2015. Yoga Travel Alliance website, edited