TRAVEL SACRED INDIA
Find yourself on a mystical spiritual adventure that will take you throughout the country experiencing the Himalayas, Northern/Southern India. Travel on six plane rides, a rickshaw ride and a sunrise boat cruise on the sacred Ganges River. Enjoy a magnificent light show. Explore ancient and modern cities, ashrams, temples, fire temples, colorful bazaars, and so much more!
1. In the Skanda Purana, a Hindu holy book, referring to India it says:
“Are there not many holy places on this earth?
Yet which of them would equal in the balance to one speck of the Kashi’s dust?
Are there not many rivers running to the sea?
Yet which of them is like the River of Heaven in the Kashi?
Are there not many fields of liberation on earth?
Yet not one equals the smallest part of the city never forsaken by Shiva.
The Ganges, Shiva and Kashi: Where the Trinity is watchful,
no wonder here is found the grace that leads one on to perfect bliss.”
1. India holds some of the most holy and sacred places on earth.
We experience the mystical Darjeeling nestled in the rolling mountains and known as the Queen of the Hills”.
The Temple of Good Will is a magnificent white palace and the etheric retreat of the Master El Morya (Master of Ray 1) located in the Himalayas above the city of Darjeeling. Magnificent, radiant currents of light pour from his retreat, which also has a physical focus in the hills surrounding the city. Here we will connect with the vibrational energy of the temple of goodwill, master ElMyra and archangel Michael who is the angel of Ray 1. We will visit Tiger Hill with its amazing breathtaking sunrise over the Kanchenjunga Mountain. Dhoom Gompa: One of the famous religious places in Darjeeling. We will experience the famous Mahakal shrine sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. Amidst tinkling temple bells and fluttering prayer flags, sit a Hindu priest and a Buddhist lama, performing rituals of both faiths.
Just to the south of the walled city of Agra, lies the Mausoleum of Mumtaz Mahal, the third wife of emperor Shah Jahan. So beloved by him that his grief inspired the construction of one of the 7 wonders of the world. The very words “Taj Mahal” means breath of magic, devotion, and the force of love. It is literally one of the most beautiful buildings on Earth.
We will greet it at sunrise, as the morning sun lights up the white marble and inlaid stones which make this “crown of palaces'' the height of Mughal architecture. Calligraphy inscribed passages from the Qur’an throughout the complex, domes of marble reach up to the sky in perfect symmetry, inlays of jasper, black marble, and herringbone tile covers the floors with delicately and dizzyingly complex decorations.
Shah Jahan himself said of the Taj:
“Should guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator’s glory.”
Mystic, Author and Spiritual Guide Finbarr Ross Author of Sacred Mystical Journey – A Life Journey from Tragedy to Triumph, will take you on a journey of awakening and ascension, a journey which shifts your consciousness through Golden Flame meditations and ceremonies on this unique spiritual tour to India. Finbarr shares a deep connection to the holy sites of India and has been leading tours there since 2002. He is connected to the energy centers of the land and its holy temples. Finbarr will lead the group in meditations, rituals and ceremonies designed to open to the fullness of the experience as you feed your soul on this sacred journey. This is indeed, a healing journey.
Today we welcome you to Delhi, India's bustling capital city. Upon arrival, after you clear customs our representative will meet you with a traditional Indian welcome and escort you to your hotel.
Delhi is a city of contrasts, one of the oldest cities in the world and one of the most progressive. She combines a unique ambiance of the ancient and the modern. Age-old monuments stand side by side with futuristic buildings, rambling homes are dwarfed by towering luxury hotels, technology competes with handicrafts – Delhi is India’s show window. A truly cosmopolitan city, it has brought within its fold, people of all ethnic groups and their traditions and cultures, reflected in the variety of arts, crafts, cuisines, festivals and lifestyles.
Delhi’s strategic location was one of the main reasons successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. It is not surprising that today Delhi is actually a conglomerate of eight cities. The division between the old, walled city and what is known as New Delhi marks the division of lifestyle. Overnight in Delhi at Taj by Vivanta Hotel.
5.30pm “Getting to Know You” meeting followed by dinner. (D)
After breakfast we will participate in an AGNIHOTRA fire ritual---“It is a healing FIRE from the ancient science of Ayurveda, a process of purifying the atmosphere through a specially prepared FIRE, the benefits are many, reduces stress, improves overall health and gives one increased energy”. Upon completion of the ritual we will proceed to visit the beautiful AKSHARDHAM TEMPLE, this temple complex displays millennia of Indian tradition and modern Hindu culture, spirituality, and architecture, spread over a hundred acres and entirely constructed from pink stone from Rajasthan and marble from Italy.. It is intricately carved with flora and fauna, dancers, musicians and deities, numbering 20,000 and 234 intricately carved columns.
After lunch we will visit the famous SIKH TEMPLE known as SHRI BANGALA SAHIB. It is associated with the eight SIKH GURU, GURU HAR KRISHAN. The complex includes a large holy pond and a kitchen or langar hall. Almost 10,000 people regardless of race or religion come to eat at the langar. We end our tour with a visit to the Kashmir House to see how the process of hand knotted carpets is done on a loom. Overnight in Delhi at Taj by Vivanta Hotel. (DLD)
Today we travel to Varanasi. The spiritual capital of India dating back to the 11th century BC. A sacred place where Hindu pilgrims bathe in the sacred waters of the river Ganges. Here too, funeral rites are performed. As we stroll along the winding streets we will see that there are more than 2000 temples including the Kashi Vishwanath “THE GOLDEN TEMPLE”. Dedicated to the Hindu God “SHIVA''. Varanasi or Kashi or Banaras as it is fondly called is known throughout India for the production of very fine silk, brocade and sarees. It is also known for its essential herbal oils and perfumes.
Upon arrival we check- in, relax and have lunch. After lunch we visit “SARNATH”, which is among the four most important Buddhist pilgrimage destinations in the world. It is the place where Buddha gave his first sermon in a deer park. The site, apart from many ruins, contains a huge Stupa and a Lion Capital, which dates back to the 3rd century BC. It was constructed by Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. This Lion capital is now the National Emblem of India, the stupa known as DHAMEK STUPA is 143 feet in height and around 90 feet in diameter. After visiting the Stupa we will visit a Buddhist Temple. In the early evening we will experience the “GANGA AARTI '', a very powerful and uplifting spiritual ritual that uses FIRE as an offering. It's usually made in the form of a lit lamp. The offering is made to “Goddess Ganga'', affectionately referred to as''Mother ``. The ritual is carried out facing the river. Lamps are lit and circled by “Pundits”. Hindu priests move in a clockwise manner accompanied by chanting Mantras in praise of Mother Ganga. After the ceremony we walk through the crowded streets and visit a traditional Brahmin family who for many generations have made natural essential oils from plants and flowers. Overnight in Varanasi at the Radisson Hotel (BLD)
Early in the morning we take a cruise to experience sunrise on the river Ganga. At this time its banks are alive with the multitude of worshipers who come to immerse themselves honoring life’s milestones as they face the rising Sun. This form of worship is better known as “Surya Namaskar'' which translates into paying homage to The Sun God. Next, an hour long trip from Dashashwamedh Ghat to Harishchandra Ghat. Be prepared to see people performing rituals, worshiping the Sun, taking baths, washing clothes, doing yoga and you may even see a burning corpse. We will of course perform our own ritual and experience a group meditation. Now we are ready for breakfast, mid morning we visit Mother India Temple. The uniqueness of this Temple is that instead of statues of Gods and Goddesses, this Temple has a huge map of undivided India carved in marble. This Temple is dedicated to Bharat Mata (Mother India) and claims to be the only one in the World. Later we visit the main craft of Varanasi which is silk weaving. Weaving is typically done within the household and most weavers in Varanasi are known as Ansari, which means “helper’ in Arabic. For generations they have passed on this craft from father to son, hand weaving silk on room-sized, foot powered looms. They are fashioned into sarees worn only for special occasions. Many Indian girls dream of wearing Varanasi silk saree for their wedding day. The embroidery on some sarees is done with gold threads. Apart from sarees they have different silk textiles. Return to our hotel, dinner and overnight. Radisson Hotel (BLD)
We depart Varanasi for the beautiful Temple town, Khajuraho. This is a city famous for Temples dating back to 885AD built by CHANDELA Dynasty. Historical records show that there were 85 Temples built and spread over 20 square kilometers. Of these, only 25 Temples survive. The Temples have rich displays of intricately carved statues. While they are famous for their erotic sculpture, sexual themes cover less than 10 percent. The arts cover numerous aspects of life and values considered important in Hindu Pantheon. These Temples are divided into two groups namely Western and Eastern groups of Temples.
After lunch, we will visit the Western Group of Temples. Among them, the KANDARIYA MAHADEV Temple is the largest and most ornate. It is considered one of the best examples of Temples preserved from the medieval period in India. The Temple rises to a height of 102 feet and is compared to a cosmic design of the Hexagon (Yantra) representing the three forms of Lord Shiva. Overnight at our Hotel Radisson Jas (BLD)
Today early check-out and visit the Eastern group of Temples built by prominent Jain communities. The Jains lived in the eastern side of the town. All the Jain Temples are now enclosed within a modern compound wall constructed in the 19th century when the restoration of the Temples was initiated. The key difference between the Jain and Hindu Temples is that the Jain Temples are alive and active with praying and worship. The Jain monks still visit from time to time and can be seen meditating, preaching or studying. Next we travel to ORCHHA to board our train to Agra. Overnight at our Hotel Trident (BLD)
The city has ancient Hindu origins and stands on the bank of the river Jumna. It was discovered in 1505 by the pre-Mughal Sultan of Delhi, Sikander Lodi. In 1565 Akbar the Mughal King defeated Sikander and re-constructed it on a larger plan, at this point known as Akbarabad. The city became the imperial capital and it continued until Shah Jahan the 5th Mughal King moved it back to Delhi in 1648. Agra gained its prominence during the rule of Shah Jahan after he constructed the Taj Mahal, a mausoleum for his wife who died during childbirth.
TAJ MAHAL---- Standing on the right bank of the river Jumna is rightly regarded as one of the wonders of the World. It is synonymous not only with India but known the world over. Many poets in India compare the beautiful monuments as a song written in stone and the Taj as a poem composed in white marble. To immortalize his passionate devotion to his bereaved consort and to build over her grave a mausoleum of matchless beauty, Shah Jahan summoned expert architects not only from India, but from far off countries such as Turkey, Persia and Arabia. Twenty thousand people were involved in the construction of this matchless beauty. Today, the main industry in Agra is based on marble carving, exported all over the World. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "The jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage".
Today we visit the beautiful Taj Mahal and experience its sacred energy and its connection to the Divine Mother as we experience a sacred vortex within the Taj Mahal. We will see the marble in-lay work mostly done by families whose ancestors were from the time of Shah Jahan. Later just before sunset we will experience the view of the Taj Mahal from across the river. The loveliness of the Taj stems from several factors. The charming site of the vital river bend on which it stands contributes so much to the pleasing effect of the landscape, viewed from the garden. The white marble façade of the Taj stands out against the ever uninterrupted and natural background provided by the skyline. This background is ever changing its colors, moods and textures. Hence, the Taj always seen in ever-changing and against an ever new background. Overnight in Agra at our Hotel Trident (BLD)
Early morning travel to the state of Rajasthan, Jaipur, stopping en-route visiting the famous stepwell CHAND BAORI & HARSHAD MATA TEMPLE, set in a small village ABHANARI. This stepwell was built over a thousand years ago. It is a deep four sided well. The basic architectural aspects of the monumental of the well consists of a long corridor of narrow steps. 3,500 of them descend to about 100 feet into the ground making it one of the deepest and largest stepwells in India. The Mata Temple stands near the stepwell surrounded by ruins which can also be seen around the well. It is a living Temple where locals come to worship. After the temple visit we continue our journey to Jaipur. Overnight in Jaipur Hotel ITC Rajputana (BLD)
Jaipur was planned based on the principles of Vastu Shastra and Shilpa Shastra, literally meaning the science of arts and crafts. It is an ancient umbrella term for numerous Hindu Texts that describe arts, crafts and design rules, principles and standards. The city was divided into nine blocks. Huge ramparts were built, pierced by seven fortified gates. During the rule of Sawai Ram Singh in 1876, the city was painted in pink to welcome King Edward V11. Since then the city came to be called the Pink City of India. The gated city is still painted in pink. Jaipur is fueled by tourism, gemstone cutting, the manufacture of jewelry and luxury textiles and information technology.
We visit the Galtaji Temple, a series of Temples built into a narrow crevice in the ring of hills that surrounds Jaipur. A natural spring emerges high on the hill and flows downwards, filling a series of sacred water tanks in which the devotees bathe. It is believed that a Saint named Galav lived here, practiced meditation, and did penance. Later we tour the Pink City and visit a few more Temples, watch the locals performing rituals and participating as well. We will visit the center to watch the cutting and polishing of gemstones and block printing on textiles. Later you will be visiting the Birla Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi.
Overnight at our Hotel ITC Rajputana (BLD)
Today we fly from Jaipur to Chennai, formerly known as Madras. It is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and is India’s fifth largest city. It is located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. After lunch we drive to the coastal resort town of MAHABALIPURAM. A UNESCO World Heritage site having 40 ancient monuments and Hindu Temples, including one of the largest open air rock reliefs in the World. These monuments were built during the Pallava dynasty between 695 and 722 AD. Returning to our hotel. Four Point Sheraton. (BLD)
Today we visit KANCHIPURAM. It is known for its Temple architectures, a thousand pillared halls and huge Temple towers, described as the city of Thousand Temples. In the afternoon we drive back to Chennai and to the ST. THOMAS CATHEDRAL. According to the written records, Christianity was introduced to the Indian subcontinent by THOMAS THE APOSTLE in 52 AD. The belief is that he died on 21st December 72 AD. We will experience this ancient Church which is a renowned holy place, historical eminence, and religious glory. Preserving its glorious antiquity, this five century old shrine has been renovated and restored in recent times. Later in the evening if time permits, we will be visiting the Kapaleeswarar Temple. The prime idol is of Lord Shiva in the form of Lingam, built in the 7th century by the Pallavas, this serene Temple is said to be one of the oldest Temples in Tamil Nadu. The Temple contains inscriptions dating back to the 13th century AD and is a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture. The magnificent 140 feet tall Gopuram depicts intricate carvings of tales from Hindu mythology. We will have an opportunity to mingle with the devotees and observe the various rituals of Hinduism. Overnight in our hotel ITC Grand Chola (BLD)
Today we drive to Tiruvannamalai to experience this amazing Temple city synonymous with the fifth Hindu element of fire. It ranks as one of the five holiest towns of Tamil Nadu. The name means “Red Mountain '' which refers to Mt Arunachala.It has an“unearthly” crimson color in the dawn light. Mythology identifies the mountain as the place where Shiva asserted his power over Brahma and Vishnu by manifesting himself as a Lingham of fire or Agnihotra. The event is commemorated annually at the Nov/ Dec full moon Karthigai Festival. It’s known as the “Pradakshana” (most auspicious of the monthly full moon circumambulations of the Mountain). The town is full of shrines, sacred tanks, ashrams and paved pilgrim paths scattered around the mountain. The main focus is undoubtedly the vast Arunachaleshwara Temple. “Temple of Eternal Sunrise. '' Over a thousand years in the building, this enormous complex consists of three concentric courtyards. This complex covers an area of 25 acres, housing four gateway towers known as Gopurams. The tallest is the eastern tower with 11 stories and a height of 217 feet, making it one of the tallest Temple towers in India. The temple complex houses many halls, the most notable is the thousand pillared hall. Here Sri Ramana sat in a state of supreme Awareness while ants devoured his flesh. We will visit the cave where he lived and the sacred mountain associated with him. Overnight in our hotel Sparsa Resort (BLD)
Today we experience a mystical Full Moon 14 kilometer walk along with many pilgrims as we all worship Annamalaiyar by circumambulating the Annamalai. Hindu legend tells us, the walk removes all sins, fulfills desires and helps achieve freedom from birth and rebirth. During the walk we will also be visiting the Ramana Maharshi Ashram etc.located around the Anamalai hills. Overnight in our hotel Sparsa Resort (BLD)
Afternoon flight from Chennai to Delhi where we will have some free time to relax and journal. Overnight in our hotel Vasant Continental. (BLD)
This morning we fly to Bagdogra and then we drive through the beautiful mystical mountains of the Himalayas for about three hours to reach the mountain town of Darjeeling. Darjeeling is a city in the State of West Bengal, located in the Himalayas at an elevation of 6,700 feet.
Darjeeling: Nestled among the rolling mountains, Darjeeling is fondly called "Queen of the Hills"
Here we will experience the amazing energy of The Temple of Good Will, a magnificent white palace and the etheric retreat of the Master El Morya (Master of Ray 1.) Located in the Himalayas above the city of Darjeeling. Magnificent, radiant currents of light pour from his retreat. and allow a physical focus with the hills surrounding the city. Here we will connect with the vibrational energy of the Temple of Goodwill, Master El Moyra and archangel Michael, the angel of Ray 1. Darjeeling is known for its tea plantations. Darjeeling hybrid black tea is now an internationally famous tea. Overnight at ELGIN Hotels & Resorts. (BLD)
Today morning around 4 AM we drive to Tiger Hill which is about 13 kilometers from Darjeeling, 8,500 feet in elevation. On a clear day as the Sun rises it hits the peaks of Mt. KANCHENJUNGA (8598 m). Here at Tiger Hill we begin our day, an amazing location to experience the breathtaking sunrise over the Kanchenjunga Mountain. We will meditate and experience a ceremony before we travel back to our hotel in time for break-fast. Later we will be visiting the Mahakal Temple, the Master of Time, is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Temple was built in 1728 by a Buddhist Nepali Lama Dorjey Rinzing. The Temple is perched atop an observatory hill and is an amalgamation of Hindu and Buddhist religions. It is a unique religious site where both religions coexist harmoniously. From here we head for lunch to a local restaurant to experience the flavors of the special dishes of Darjeeling. After lunch we walk through the market to explore and also buy the best tea of Darjeeling. Overnight at our hotel ELGIN Hotels & Resorts. (BLD)
This morning we will visit the Temple of Good Hope. This historic building was constructed between 1885 and 1985 by a Japanese Buddhist Monk Nichidatsu Fuji. It continues to be one of the most famous places. The main purpose of establishing this monument was to promote peace, unity, and goodwill amongst people who belong to different communities and religions. In addition to that, the place gives out peaceful and tranquil vibes as it is surrounded by snow-covered mountains. The Buddhist shrine is part of 30 similar structures located around the World. This shrine or Pagoda is white colored with gold painted sculptures, highlighted. There are four avatars of Buddha located inside the building. We will do meditations and have a small prayer session. Our next stop is visiting a Buddhist Monastery and witnessing the different rituals: “Parikrama” or a path around the monastery, a row of prayer wheels. Outside all monasteries there is a main shrine. Inside the building is a large hall with dim lights, few windows or doors other than the main entrance. Huge floor-to ceiling pillars ornate with paintings and carvings of deities are a common sight. There are rows of low tables and stools for the lammas to sit. In addition to the main deity there are smaller models of different Gods and Goddesses kept here and are considered very sacred. The lit up lamps and low lights create an awe-inspiring ambience inside, more so during prayer time when listening to the chants of the lamas. After this wonderful experience we head back to our hotel and enjoy leisure for independent activities. Overnight at our hotel, ELGIN Hotels & Resorts. (BLD)
This morning we check-out and drive to Bagdogra to catch our flight to Delhi. On arrival we check-in to our hotel to freshen up and complete final packing before our flight home on the evening of the 12th or early morning on the 13th.. hotel Vasant Continental. (BLD)
Now we journey home grateful for all that we have experienced on the mystical journey.
|Tour Price Includes||US Dollars|
|India Tour Fee (Excluding Airfare)||$6,788.00*|
|With Cash/Check Discount||$6,533.00*|
|Single Supplement Rate (additional)||$1,255.00|
|Tips to drivers, guides, hotel and restaurant staff||*$250 person included in price for tips|
|All hotel accommodations (17 nights)|
|All entrance fees to sites|
|All ground transportation and domestic flights|
|Full breakfast, lunch and dinner each day as per itinerary|
SACRED DESTINATIONS OF INDIA TOUR PRICE DOES *NOT* INCLUDE: