North India – mind, body and spirit, October 23 – *November 7, 2019
Namaste! Join me as we visit some of my favorite places in India. Ancient cities, modern markets, home-cooked meals, and time to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. This trip is designed to show you the highlights of North India in the foothills of the Himalayas. In addition to the amazing sites, you will have the opportunity to experience real yoga and meditation, offered by local teachers, throughout the tour (optional, of course). Our trip extension takes us down to the very tip of south India to Trivandrum and the famous Somatheeram/Manaltheeram Ayurvedic Resort. There you will meet with an Ayurvedic doctor who will design your personal plan of treatments – oil massages, special beauty treatments and incredible meals. This resort is on a cliff overlooking the Indian Sea. Enjoy daily yoga and meditation and informational and experiential sessions with me, a hammock right outside your door, not far from a warm swimming pool — it’s heaven on earth!
Be in touch with questions by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or call or text me at 410-979-2096. Early bird pricing in effect until June 30! See all details below. I look forward to traveling with you!
Full Itinerary (subject to change if needed). You can click on the hotels and sites to learn more.
Friday, October 25: ARRIVE DELHI
Welcome to India! We will be met at the airport and take a short ride to our hotel in Delhi. After rest and breakfast, we will venture out into the busy, bustling streets of the city. Among some of the most interesting highlights of your city tour of Old are Chandni Chowk in the old city area, and an adventurous cycle rickshaw ride through the narrow Heritage streets. In New Delhi, visit the Chattarpur Temple & Lotus Temple, one of the seven B’ahai temples in the world. The Bahá’í House of Worship is dedicated to the oneness of humanity and religion. It also displays in symbol and action the unity of mankind – the pivotal principle of the Bahá’í Faith. People from all religious backgrounds are welcome here. We will take some time for shopping. Overnight at the hotel.Hotel for 2 nights: Oberi Maidens
Saturday, October 26: DELHI- AGRA, Taj Mahal
After breakfast, we depart by surface to Agra (4 hours approx.) Upon arrival check-in at the hotel for 1 night, Four-Point Sheraton. After settling in we will visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Taj Mahal built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan. This magnificent mausoleum, built in the memory of the Shah’s beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal, is built of pure white marble and is an architectural marvel. The building was conceived as a garden tomb with the mausoleum rising at the far end of the complex with the river Yamuna flowing below. Beneath the dome are the tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jehan, although they are buried elsewhere. Next we visit the impressive Agra Fort built by Emperor Akbar over the years 1565 – 1573 with its maze of courtyards, mosques, and private chambers. It is the biggest private residence in the complex and its architecture indicates strong influences from Hindu overtones. In the evening we will visit the home of a local Agra chef for a cooking lesson and dinner! Overnight at the hotel.
Sunday, October 27: AGRA-JHANSI-ORCHHA-KHAJURAHO
Today we take a train trip Jhansi. Upon arrival we will travel to Khajuraho en-route visiting the city of Orchha. Orchha’s grandeur has been captured in stone, frozen in time and a rich legacy. The palaces and the temples built by Bundela rulers in the 16th and 17th century retain much of their pristine perfection. Jahangir Mahal, a tiered palace, has a spectacular view of soaring temples spires and tombs. Upon arrive at Khajuraho check-in at the hotel for 1 night: Clarks Hotel.
Monday, October 28: KHAJURAHO – VARANASI HIGHLIGHT!
After breakfast we’ll tour of the world famous UNESCO site Khajuraho Temples – well known around the world for their graphic depictions of sensuality as well as scenes from everyday life. The temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandella dynasty, between 950 and 1050. Only about 20 temples remain; they fall into three distinct groups and belong to two different religions – Hinduism and Jainism. They strike a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture. The Temple of Kandariya is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art. The largest Jain temple, Parsvanath, is in Eastern group, which will will also visit.
In the afternoon we will go to the airport to board flight to Varanasi (one hour). Assistance on arrival at the airport and transfer to hotel. Evening, we will have front row seats to the spectacular Ganga Aarti (fire ceremony) at Holy River Ganga (the Ganges). After Arti we will visit the home of a local Varanasi chef for a cooking lesson and dinner! 2 nights at the Hotel Madin.
Tuesday, October 29: VARANASI -HIGHLIGHT
We will rise very early and make our way through the winding streets of the oldest city in the world, Varanasi. Once we arrive at the Ganges, we will take a sunrise boat-ride to watch the opening of the temples and view the sacred ceremonies of bodies being burned on the cliffs above the river. Life begins before dawn when thousands of pilgrims and devotees come down to the river to offer early morning prayers. Also visit the famous ghats and enjoy a spectacular view of sunrise from river Ganges. After our morning visit we will cruise across by boat to the beaches of Ganges to attend Yoga classes conducted by Yoga Guru Ms. Smirti.
After breakfast, proceed for the sightseeing tour of Temples of Varanasi including Durga Temple, Bharat Mata Temple, which houses one of the most perfect reliefs of India carved out of marble, and the Tulsi Manas Temple, built in white marble, this unique temple has the whole of the Ramayana inscribed on its wall. After lunch we go to Sarnath, where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon to his disciples expounding the principles of Buddhism.
Wednesday, October 30: VARANASI-DELHI-AMRITSAR
We return to the airport in the morning to fly to Amritsar, the home of the Sikh Golden Temple. Evening visit the stunning night-time ceremony at the Golden Temple where the special rituals of the Guru Grandh – the Holy book of Sikhs – is taken around the temple. We will also visit the market-place around the temple for some great shopping opportunities! 2 nights at the Hyatt.
Thursday, October 31: AMRITSAR
After breakfast, visit the The Golden Temple again – the sacred Sikh sanctuary – for an entirely different experience then the night before. Marbled, bronzed and and covered with gold leaf, this is where the Guru Granth Sahib-The Bible of the Sikhs is placed. We will also visit the famous community kitchen where 10,000 pilgrims are fed daily on voluntary and complimentary basis. A visit to the new Partition Museum will educate us on the division in 1947 by the British of India and Pakistan. For a truly unique experience, we will visit the India-Pakistan Wagah Border to witness the spectacular flag exchange ceremony by the army men from both the sides. You have to see it to believe it! Overnight at the Hyatt Amritsar
Friday, November 1: AMRITSAR to DHARAMSHALA
Morning after breakfast, depart by surface to Dharamshala, a beautiful little hill resort, Dharamshala is the headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile and the home of the Dalai Lama, the head of Tibetan Buddhism. The waterfall of Bhagsunath is within a walking distance. We will have three days here – enough time to explore winding streets, Buddhist temples, the Tibetan Ayurvedic Hospital and more. If we are lucky, we can see the Tibetan Government in action at their head quarters. Maybe the Dalai Lama will be present! The Fortune Park Moksha for 3 nights
Saturday, November 2: DHARAMSHALA
Authentic Indian Morning yoga will be followed by breakfast and a full day pleasure trip of Mcleodganj, 13 Kms from Dharamshala. This lovely village is also known as Upper Dharamshala, showcasing Tibetan structural design and living. We will visit the Tsuglagkhang Complex, a very significant Buddhist place of worship, Tibetan Museum, Tibetan Library and the Tibetan Institute of Drama Arts. It is also a house of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Overnight stay at resort.
Sunday, November 3: IN DHARAMSHALA
Morning Yoga Class, after breakfast, sightseeing tour of Dharamshala visit Museum of Kangra art – The museum houses a collection of the famous Kangra miniature paintings, sculptures, and pottery etc, Kotwali Bazaar, War Memorial. Explore the Mclodganj area and its famous Tibetan Market and optionally visit the house of His Holiness The Dalai Lama where, you can witness various Buddhist religious activities and possibly interact with various Tibetan people. Overnight at the hotel.
Monday, November 4: DHARAMSHALA-DELHI-RISHIKESH Morning after breakfast, departure transfer to airport to board flight to Delhi to drive to Rishikesh. Assistance on arrival at the airport and proceed by surface to Rishikesh for 3 nights at the Divine Resort and Spa. (you will have time for spa treatments if you’d like!)
Tuesday, November 5: RISHIKESH
After breakfast, we visit Rishikesh, one of the holiest cities in India. Rishikesh is located in the foothills of the Himalayas on the holy river Ganges. Rishikesh is a place visited by several yogis and sages. They lived and practiced hard penance here. Rishikesh is world famous as the Yoga capital of the world. Visit Lakshman Jhula, Ram Jhula, Swarg Ashram. Overnight at the hotel.
Wednesday, November 6: RISHIKESH-HARIDWAR-RISHIKESH
After breakfast, we will have a leisurely day of shopping, spa treatments, wandering the amazing marketplace, visiting various Ashrams including Parmarth Ashram, Sivananda Ashram, Yoga Niketan. In the evening Farewell Dinner & Overnight at the Hotel.
Wednesday, November 7: RISHIKESH- HARIDWAR-DELHI DEPART for US
After breakfast, depart by surface to Delhi en-route visiting Haridwar visiting the Temples and Ganges. Haridwar is situated at the base of the Shivalik hills, where the Ganga, comes down from the mighty Himalayas meets the plains. Haridwar literally is ‘The gateway to the Gods’. From here we will make our way to Delhi for our flight home (unless you are continuing to Manaltheeram). We will have hotel rooms to rest in before our early morning flight.
Assistance on arrival at the airport to check in and transfer to a hotel near the airport to rest before dinner and 3:55 am departure.
TOUR COST: $4295 for a shared room; single room supplement add: $1200
EARLY BIRD RATE: Sign up and pay in full by June 30: only $3995!
- Accommodation: twin bed in shared room (or single) with breakfast for total of 14 nights at the hotels foreseen.
- Domestic Airfare (two flights).
- Assistance on arrival/departure at airport/hotels by our representatives.
- All transportation using one air-conditioned deluxe coach.
- Gratuities for driver and helper.
- Hotel gratuities.
- All breakfasts.
- Farewell Dinner in Rishikesh.
- Two Cooking Classes with Dinner Agra and Varanasi.
- Dharamsala half-board (breakfast and dinner, 3 nights).
- All currently applicable entrance fees to the monuments covered in the itinerary.
- Camera fees at the monuments.
- Boat ride at Holy River Ganges/Varanasi.
- Yoga Class in Varanasi.
- Air-Conditioned chair car train ticket Jhansi-Agra Sector.
- 2 Yoga Classes in Dharamshala.
- Daily morning Yoga Classes in Rishikesh at the Hotel.
- Meditation with Susan.
- Services of locally appointed English speaking guide for sightseeing tour.
- Gratuities for local tour guides.
- Dedicated Royal Indian Voyages Escort throughout the tour.
- 2 bottle mineral water every day per person during sightseeing tours and inter-city transfers.
- All Currently Applicable Government Taxes.
RATES DO NOT INCLUDE:
- Airfare from the US. Approximately $900 – $1200 for economy; $5000+ for business. I will advise. Currently the best flight is Qatar Air Oct. 23 from IAD (Dulles), arrive Delhi Friday Oct. 25, 1:55 am. If not taking extension, you depart on Nov. 8 at 3:40 am and arrive at IAD at 3 pm, Nov. 8. Current cost is: $900 round trip.
- Visa to India. (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html)
- Meals other than breakfast or specified above.
- Alcoholic drinks.
- Gratuities for dedicated guide Mr. Sanjeev Joseph.
- Medical & Travel Insurance.
But Wait – there’s MORE! Join me for an Ayurvedic Experience like none other at the beautiful Somatheeram/Manaltheeram Ayurvedic Resort, high on the cliffs above the Indian Ocean in Trivandrum, South India.
AYURVEDIC EXTENSION: ONE OR TWO WEEKS AT MANALTHEERAM AYURVEDIC RESORT IN KERALA/TRIVANDRUM. November 8 – 15, or November 8 – 22.
At the end of you main tour, those continuing on to Manaltheeram will spend the night in Delhi and fly to Trivandrum International Airport the following morning, November 8. We will be met at the airport and escorted to this beautiful resort high on a cliff above the Indian Sea.
During your stay at Manaltheeram you can choose from Ayurveda Packages:
Ayurveda Rejuvenation/Body purification therapy package: Rejuvenation therapy includes body massage with medicated oil and cream by two masseurs using hand and foot, internal rejuvenation medicines and medicated steam bath. This therapy is for 90 minutes to 2 hours per day. This therapy is to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul, to tone up the skin, and to strengthen all systems so as to achieve ideal health and longevity.
Body Purification therapy is a process of purifying the whole body to attain proper balance of Vatha, Pitha and Kapha based on the Panchkarma and Swethakarma Treatment. The package process includes Body Massage, Snehapanam, Nasyam, Virachanam (Medicated purgative), Snehavasthi, Dhara, Pizhichil, Njavarakizhi, Karnapooranam, Tharpanam, Sirovasthi, Steam Bath, and internal
Additionally, during our stay we will meet daily to check in, talk about our treatments and learn more about Ayurveda. Of course if you prefer, you can retreat on your own and simply take in the treatments and enjoy the amenities offered at the Ayurvedic Resort. I will always be on hand to guide you, answer questions , share a meal or take a walk.
The yoga and meditation sessions offered at both Manaletheerm and their sister property (just a walk through a gate) are excellent. The teachers are local Sivinanada trained Indians who do a fantastic job. I can’t wait to take their classes once again!
Services included at Manaltheeram:
- Accommodation as per the category of booking
- Daily Ayurveda Rejuvenation/Body Purification treatments
- Ayurveda vegetarian full board meal
- Initial, daily and final consultation by the doctor
- Free medicines during the treatment period
- Composition of an individual Ayurveda diet menu
The following services are provided complimentary along with package booking
- Daily session of Yoga and Mediation
- Group Transfer from Trivandrum International Airport.
- Daily Yoga and Meditation (separate session for the group)
- Daily cultural Program (visual and music)
- Weekly Ayurveda cooking demonstration
- Weekly Ayurveda lecture class
- Local back water cruise in a country boat (only for 14 nights and above Full Ayurveda Package)
- Traditional welcome upon arrival
The exact treatment and schedule can be finalized only after the detailed consultation with the doctors
Please see pricing options below:
You can choose one, two or three week options.
Standard room (*no AC), one week: $1400 single; $1190 each in double room.
Two weeks: $2800 single; $2380 each in double room.
Garden Cottage (no AC): one week: $1540 single; $ 1260 each in double room.
Two weeks: $3080 single; $2520 each in double room.
Two weeks: $3360 single; $2660 each in double room.
Two weeks: $4200 single; $3080 each in double room.
* Air conditioning is offered an additional $25 a night. All rooms have ceiling fans and there is a sea breeze. I suggest you try without AC and if needed, you can always request one.
Cost does not include hotel night in Delhi before our flight and flight to Trivandrum. Those prices will be available ASAP.
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