Experience India’s Sacred Temples and Holy Sites on a Spiritual Journey to India that takes you through the Golden Triangle, Northern India and the Himalayas.
Travel Sacred India on a spiritual tour of India’s Golden Triangle, Northern India and the Himalayas that will take you to some of India’s most magnificent temples and holy sites. This one-of-a-kind spiritual journey to India is a magical experience of sacredness that will take you to the sacred sites of Delhi, Darjeeling, Varanasi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ranakpur, Udaipur – the Venice of the East – and much more.
On the morning of March 20th in Varanasi, on the banks of the Ganges, we will have a ceremony which represents the opening of the 9th Inter-Dimentional Gateway of the 13 Gateways for humanity and our planet.
India has been a place of sacred pilgrimage for thousands of years. It is the home of many religions and spiritual practices such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Yoga.
On this spiritual journey to India you will find yourself on a mystical spiritual adventure that will take you throughout the country of northern India, on six plane rides, and a rickshaw ride. You will see a magnificent light show, and take a sunrise boat cruise on the sacred Ganges River. You will explore ancient and modern cities, ashrams, temples, fire temples, colorful bazaars, and much more!
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.”
India holds some of the most holy and sacred places on earth.
Tour of the Darjeeling
On our Spiritual Journey to India, we will experience mystical Darjeeling nestled in the rolling mountains and known as the “Queen of the Hills”.
The Temple of Goodwill 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 El Moyra and archangel Michael who is the angel of Ray 1.
We will visit Tiger Hill with its amazing, breathtaking sunrise over the Kanchenjunga Mountain, and we will experience 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.
Tour of the Taj Mahal
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 wonders of the world. The very words “Taj Mahal” breathe of magic, devotion, and the force of love. It is literally one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.
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 the floors with delicately and dizzingly 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.”
Tour of the Jain Temple of Ranakpur
Moving into the depths of the mountains of Ranakpur, we will continue our Spiritual Journey to India with a visit to the stunning Jain Temple, also considered to be the supreme example of its architecture. This temple is dedicated to Adinatha, whom the Jainists hold is the “Original Lord” and first Tirthankara, responsible for formulating and organizing humans to live in a society harmoniously and the dharma of compassion.
This spectacular temple is also constructed of light-colored marble, but is very different, architecturally, from the Persian and Mughal-influenced style of the Taj Mahal. Since Jainists believe that control of the cosmos comes from the Tirthankara’s conquest of the cardinal direction, the temple is symbolically designed with four faces.
It rises out of the side of the hill supported by over 1,444 pillars. Each one is completely unique and carved in exquisite detail – each statue faces one or another statue, creating the visual illusion of both endlessness and individuality. Sequential spacing and boundless variety are combined blissfully with the immaculacy of white all over. One statue, carved out of a single marble rock, has 108 heads of snakes and tails. One cannot find the end of the tails. People come away from this temple fascinated, purified, and uplifted by its beauty.
Mystics and Spiritual Guides Finbarr Ross and Joan Clark will take you on a journey of transformation, awakening, shift and ascension, a journey which shifts your consciousness through Golden Flame meditations along with ceremony, sound healing, initiations, rituals, the opening of the 9th Inter-Dimensional Gateway on the banks of the Ganges at Autumn Equinox and more on this unique spiritual journey to India.
Special message Finbarr received at Iona in 2011:
At Winter Solstice 2012 we are entering a time of shift in the Ascension process and its energy will spark phase two of the process at Spring Equinox 2013 taking us through the first doorway and step one of 13 steps for humanity and 13 planetary inter dimensional doorways/steps that will culminate with Winter Solstice 2023. Each of these doorway/steps will create a shift in our vibrational frequency as well as that of the planet.
Meet Your Guides
Finbarr Ross is a Mystic and Spiritual Guide who leads personal and group tours to sacred power sites in destinations all over the world. 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 and will lead the group in meditations, rituals and ceremonies designed to open you to the fullness of the experience as you feed your soul on this sacred journey.
Joan Clark is an Aromatherapist, Seeker and Intuitive Energy Alchemist. She is the originator of the Goddess Mystery School Teachings of Mary Magdalene and the Founder of Palais Aromaetica. Joan has been creating, educating and sharing her passion of aromatic alchemy for over 30 years. She is devoted to honoring the Divine Feminine in all of its various forms through workshops, classes, and sacred travel to empower this passion.
This sacred spiritual journey to India is for you! Feel the transformation and the shift in your life as you feed your soul.
Spiritual Journey to India Itinerary:
March 5th – Thursday – Day 1: Arrival in Delhi/Welcome Dinner
Today we welcome you to Delhi, India's bustling capital city. Upon arrival, after you clear customs, our representative will greet 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 ambience of the ancient and the modern. Age-old monuments stand side-by-side with futuristic buildings, rambling homes are dwarfed by towering luxury hotels, and technology competes with handicrafts – Delhi is India’s show window.
A truly cosmopolitan city, Delhi 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 found here.
Delhi’s strategic location was one of the main reasons why 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 on lifestyle.
5:30 pm - Getting To Know You meeting followed by dinner. (D)
Overnight at the Lemon Tree Hotel.
March 6th/7th – Friday/Saturday – Day 2/3: Darjeeling – Dhoom Gompa/Tiger Hill/Mahakal Temple
This morning we board our flight to Bagdogra and then we drive through the beautiful mystical mountains of the Himalayas for about three hours to reach Darjeeling.
Darjeeling is a city in the State of West Bengal. It is located in the Himalayas at an elevation of 6,700 feet. Nestled among the rolling mountains, Darjeeling is fondly called "Queen of the Hills".
We will experience the amazing energy of the Temple of Goodwill, 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 El Moyra, and archangel Michael who is the angel of Ray 1.
We will begin our day by visiting Tiger Hill: It is located 11 km in the hills from Darjeeling. This an amazing location to experience the breathtaking sunrise over the Kanchenjunga Mountain, a heavenly place, situated in a very peaceful environment.
Dhoom Gompa: It is one of the most famous religious places in Darjeeling. It houses several ancestral handwritten documents about Buddhism. A beautiful and exquisitely carved statue of Maitryei Buddha is on display at this monastery. It is located in the Darjeeling hills 8 km from town.
Observatory Hill & Mahakal Temple: A short walk takes us up the Observatory Hill, home to 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.
Time permitting, we we will take a steam engine train ride which takes you through the hills for about two hours.
We will overnight at our hotel, the Cedar Inn Darjeeling, for 2 nights. (B, L, D)
March 8th – Sunday – Day 4: Darjeeling to Delhi
This morning, we drive back to Bagdogra and board our flight for Delhi.
Upon arrival, we will check into our hotel and have some free time to journal, etc., and integrate all that we have experienced thus far.
We will overnight at our hotel the Lemon Tree Delhi. (B,L,D)
March 9th – Monday – Day 5: Mathura Krishna Temple Complex/Agra
This morning, we depart Delhi for Agra, stopping on the way at Mathura - the home of the Krishna Janmasthan Temple Complex. These temples were built around where major Hindu diety Krishna is said to have born. This is a place which has held major religious significance since the 6th century BCE. It is a place of beauty and love.
Next, we visit Agra, situated in the ancient region Braj, forming part of India’s heartland, Uttar Pradesh. Braj is associated with the birth and early life of Lord Krishna. The city of Agra is situated on the west, or right, bank of the river Yamuna, south east of Delhi. The origin of Agra is shrouded in mystery, and its early history is to some extent uncertain; it was only in the time of Akbar that Agra city attained worldwide fame. Agra became one of the greatest and grandest cities of that time.
Upon arrival, we will check in at our hotel, and after a little rest we will have an opportunity to visit a Colonial style Indian home built in 1870. Here, we will see how craftsmen are working with gold and silver wires doing embroidery. They have a 150-year-old elephant made of ivory on display, inlaid with ten thousand semi-precious and precious stones. Later, you will have a traditional home-cooked Indian dinner with the family members.
We will overnight at our hotel, DoubleTree by Hilton Agra. (B, L, D)
March 10th – Tuesday – Day 6: Taj Mahal at Sunrise/Festival of Holi
This morning we rise early to continue our Spiritual Journey to India with a visit to the Taj Mahal at sunrise. This wonderful mausoleum was erected by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, the empress Arjumand Bano; later she was called as Mumtaj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art" in India and is one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage.
The beauty of the Taj Mahal stems from several factors: the charming site of the vital river bend on which it stands, the reflection of the building in the water sets off its unique charm, viewed from the garden in front, the white marble façade of the mausoleum stands out against the natural background of the skyline, it changes its color, moods and texture quite often and hence the new background, thus it has been described as "the lustrous pearl". Here, within the Taj Mahal, we will experience a vortex which connects us to the Divine Mother - a very special place within the Taj Mahal.
After our sunrise experience, we will go back to our hotel for breakfast, and later we'll visit the marble factory where one can view the craftsmen working on marble using the same technique that was done 400 years ago. Today being the festival of Holi (festival of colors), you will have an opportunity to enjoy and play with the locals at this unique festival.
We will overnight at our hotel Double Tree by Hilton Agra. (B, L, D)
March 11th – Wednesday – Day 7: Chand Baori/Harshad Mata Temple/Jaipur
After breakfast we depart for Jaipur, stopping en route for lunch, we will drive to a village known as Abhanari to see the world famous step well known as Chand Baori. This well consists of 3,500 narrow steps and over 13 stories; it extends approximately 100 feet into the ground, making it the deepest and largest step well in India.
Here in Abhanari, we will also see and experience a wonderful Hindu Temple known as Harshad Mata Temple, or the Temple of Joy and Happiness.
Later, we'll walk around in the village to see the rural life of India, and then we'll continue on our journey to Jaipur.
Check in to our hotel, followed by free time.
Overnight at our hotel The Trident Jaipur. (B, L, D)
March 12th – Thursday – Day 8: Galtaji Temple/Birla Temple
After breakfast, we will visit the Galtaji Temple. This Temple is about 10 kilometers from Jaipur City. The site consists of a series of Temples built into a narrow crevice in the ring of hills that surround Jaipur. A natural spring emerges high on the hill and flows downward, filling a series of scared kunds (water tanks) in which pilgrims bathe. Visitors and pilgrims can ascend the crevasse, continuing past the highest water pool to a hilltop Temple. From there, one can experience amazing views of Jaipur and its fortifications spread out across the valley floor. It is believed a saint named Galav lived here. Jaipur is an amazing city with all its beauty and mysticism.
Jaipur, the first planned city in India, is also known as the Pink City of India. In addition to its role as the provincial capital, the economy of Jaipur is fueled by tourism, gemstone cutting, luxury textiles, and is considered as the major hub for arts and crafts. It has many shops selling antiques, jewellery, gems, carpets and leather products. This afternoon we will be visiting the gem cutting and textiles gallery. Later, we will visiting the Birla Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi.
Overnight at our hotel The Trident Jaipur. (B, L, D)
March 13th – Friday – Day 9: Jodhpur/Mehrangarh Fort/Kunj Bihari Temple
This morning, we depart for Jodhpur. Jodhpur is a city in the Thar Desert of the northwestern state of Rajasthan. Its 15th century Mehrangarh Fort is perhaps the most magnificent forts of all of Rajasthan, set on a rocky hill the fort overlooks the walled city, where many houses are painted in blue. Jodhpur is also known as "the Sun City", as the sun shines almost every day of the year.
On arrival, we will check in at our hotel before visiting the local market where we will have an opportunity to mingle with the locals and witness the different activities, especially the woman in their vibrant colors and men with their colorful turbans. Here, we will visit Maharani Textiles.
We will conclude our day with a visit to Kunj Bihari Temple. Kunj Bihari Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna, also known as Shrinathji, and belongs to the Ramanandi of the Vaishnava Sri Sampradaya sect of Hindus. This imposing structure was constructed by Maharaja Vijay Singh, the Raja of Marwar Kingdom, in 1847 AD. The top of the temple and entrance is designed in a very beautiful way.
Overnight at our hotel Balsamand Palace Jodpur. (B, L, D)
March 14th – Saturday – Day 10: Mehrangarh Fort Temple/Maa Chamunda Temple/Bishnoi Village
After breakfast we will visit the Mehrangarh Fort Temple. Built in 1459, this imposing structure is enclosed by thick walls. Inside are several palaces known for their intricate carvings; a winding steep leads to the palaces through several gates. Here, we will visit the Maa Chamunda Temple, a Hindu temple with a dramatic view of Jodhpur City.
We will have a free afternoon to shop, explore, rest, meditate, or journal. This evening, we will go on a jeep safari to witness the Bishnoi Village.
The Bishnoi sect was established in 1451 after disastrous effects of constant battles between the local Hindu population and Muslim invaders. The leader of the Bishnoi had laid out 29 strict rules, regulations, and principals.
The Bishnoi people are basically hardcore worshippers of Nature. On our Bishnoi safari, we'll get more than a glimpse of the amazing cultural life of the community, and their diet, which constitutes pure vegetarian dishes. We will also experience the finest works of pottery, and ironsmiths beating the iron to make different tools. Here, too, we will see wildlife species like antelopes, demoiselle cranes, gazelle, rabbits, peacocks, blue bulls, and blackbucks.
Overnight at our hotel WelcomHeritage Bal Samand Lake Palace Jodpur. (B, L, D)
March 15th – Sunday – Day 11: Ranakpur/Jain Temples
This morning, our drive will take us to Ranakpur.
Set in the remote and peaceful valley of Ranakpur are the most beautifully preserved Jain Temples in India. Built in the 15th century, these temples are known for being the largest and most important temples in the Jain religion. The main temple dates back to 1439, and is called the "four-faced temple". It is dedicated to Adinath, one of the founders of the Jain religion. Covering an area of 48,000 square feet, it has 29 halls, 80 domes, and is supported by 1,444 marble pillars, each of them intricately carved yet no two are alike.
Later, we'll check in at our hotel. In the evening, we will be entertained by Rajasthani folk dances.
Overnight at our hotel WelcomHeritage Maharani Bagh Orchard Retreat. (B, L, D)
March 16th – Monday – Day 12: Udaipur City/Lake Pichola Cruise
Today we have an early morning departure to "the city of lakes", Udaipur, in the Mewar Region, stopping en route to visit the Eklingji Temple. Eklingji is believed to be the ruling deity of Mewar. According to legend, this Temple was constructed in the 8th century by the ruler Bappa Rawal. The original temple was destroyed by the Delhi Sultanate rulers. The earliest extant idol was installed in the 14th century, and later, some modifications were carried out in the 15th century.
From here, we drive to Udaipur. Upon arrival we check in, and after some rest and some tea, we'll drive around the city and take a boat ride on the famous Lake Pichola. While cruising, we will learn why this city is also known as "the white city".
Udaipur, also known as "the Venice of the east", was dubbed as the most romantic spot on the continent of India by a British administrator, James Todd. It is known as the city of lakes because of its sophisticated lake system. There are seven lakes surrounding the city, and the city itself nestles around the Aravalli range of mountains.
Later, we'll proceed to dinner to a local restaurant and from there, on back to our hotel.
Overnight at our hotel Laxmi Palace Udaipur. (B, L, D)
March 17th – Tuesday – Day 13: Jagdish Temple/Flight to New Delhi
After breakfast, we will check out and drive to the Jagdish Temple. This Temple is a large temple in the middle of the town and it has been in continuous worship since 1651. To reach the main shrine, one must climb 32 marble steps, intercepted by a brass image of Garuda (Mount of Lord Vishnu).
After visiting the temple we depart for the airport to catch our flight to Delhi. On arrival, we'll check in at our hotel with some free time before dinner.
Overnight at our hotel WelcomHotel Dwarka, New Delhi. (B, L, D)
March 18th – Wednesday – Day 14 : Delhi/Gauri Shankar Temple/Akshardham Temple
This morning, our day begins with a tour of Old Delhi, with its vibrant market lanes, old havelis (mansions), and colorful neighborhoods, taking a journey back in time. Here, we will visit the Gauri Shankar Temple. The 800-year-old temple is purely dedicated to Lord Shiva. Located amidst the congested lanes of Old Delhi, this temple is a representation of cosmic energy around which the universe revolves. The representation of the cosmic energy at this Temple is elucidated by a brown lingam (stone phallas) encased in a marble representation of a female organ. The idols of Shiva and Goddess Parvati are beautifully decorated with real gold jewellery.
Next, we visit another Hindu Temple, where we will witness a Havan (fire ritual).
After lunch, we'll drive through New Delhi, past the India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace) and Parliament House. From here, we will proceed to the Akshardham Mandir complex, also known as Swaminarayan Temple. The complex displays millennia of a Hindu and Indian culture and spirituality. The temple is entirely built of Rajasthani pink stone and Italian Carrara marble. Based on traditional Hindu architectural guidelines on maximum temple life span, it makes no use of ferrous metal, thus it has no support of steel or concrete. The temple has 234 ornately carved pillars, and 20,000 statues, the only one of its kind in the world.
Overnight at our hotel WelcomHotel Dwarka, New Delhi. (B, L, D)
March 19th – Thursday – Day 15: Varanasi/Sarnath
This morning, we transfer to the Airport for our flight to Varanasi.
Upon arrival in Varanasi, we drive to Sarnath, the place where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon. In addition to this sacred site, we will also be visiting a Buddhist Temple and a Buddhist Monastery, where we can chat with the monks who are from Tibet.
Varanasi is the oldest living city in the World. Regarded as the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganges River’s scared waters and perform funeral rites. Along the city’s winding streets, there are some 2,000 temples dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva.
Varanasi is famous for silk fabrics, perfumes, and sculptures. Varanasi has been a cultural center of North India for several thousand years. The city is known worldwide for its many ghats, (embankments made in step stone slabs along the river bank where pilgrims perform ritual ablutions).
We will also visit a very special man who distills the most amazing essential oils.
Overnight at our hotel Taj Ganges Varanasi. (B, L, D)
March 20th – Friday – Day 16: Ganges River Cruise/Spring Equinox Ceremony
Today we have an early morning drive to the ghats for a boat cruise, where we will watch the ancient city wake up with the rising sun. You will see pilgrims from all over India performing various rituals alongside the banks of the Ganges, special features of the various ghats that you will pass along the way, and burning ghats where the dead are cremated.
After the boat ride, we all will experience a sacred ceremony which will be initiated by Finbarr on the banks of the River Ganges at this time of perfect balance - equal day and night. The opening of the 9th Inter-Dimentional Gateway of the 13 Gateways for humanity and our planet will take place as we continue our journey of Awakened Consciousness, and we embrace the Shift and absorb the sacred energies that pour forth to us as we open ourselves up to the ancient wisdom held in this mystical land and the shift that is taking place within.
Special message Finbarr received at Iona in 2011:
At Winter Solstice 2012 we are entering a time of shift in the Ascension process and its energy that comes in at Winter Solstice will spark phase two of the process at Spring Equinox 2013 taking us through the first gateway and step one of 13 steps that humanity and our planet must go through and will culminate with the opening of the 13th gateway at Winter Solstice 2023.
After the ceremony, we return to our hotel for breakfast. At noon, we will visit the silk factory, where we will see how the silk weaving is done on foot-powered looms, passed on for generations.
After lunch, we'll have some free time to rest until 5:00pm, at which time we will experience a ride on a cycle rickshaw through the busy streets of Varanasi, passing through the traffic and many Hindu Temples and shrines spread all over the street, before we finally reach the banks of the River Ganga to witness the evening aarti of the Ganga (rotating of oil lamps while reciting Sanskrit mantras). The Ganga aarti is an uplifting spiritual ritual which makes every moment of the evening special and fills one with spiritual thoughts (Hindus address the River as Ganga or Mother Ganga.). Afterwards, we'll go back to our rickshaws and head back to our hotel for dinner.
Overnight at our hotel Taj Ganges Varanasi. (B, L, D)
March 21st/22nd – Saturday/Sunday – Day 17/18: Varanasi/Delhi/Journey for Home
After breakfast we transfer to the airport to board our flight to Delhi, where we will overnight at the Lemon Tree Hotel. (B, L, D)
On the 22nd, we will connect with our international flight home, grateful for the beautiful memories and experiences we shared in this mystical land.
Spiritual Journey to India Price:
SPIRITUAL JOURNEY TO INDIA PRICE DOES *NOT* INCLUDE:
- Meals not mentioned above
- Extras at hotels
- Mineral water, tea, coffee, after meal beverages, personal expenses (i.e. laundry, valet service, telephone calls, postage, etc.)
$500 deposit secures your place on the journey with the balance due 60 days prior to departure.
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