Yoga and Meditation in India
Trip Code: AITYAM
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India, the birthplace of yoga and meditation – what better place to immerse yourself in the inner life ?
Experience the holy cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh, beside the Ganges, where rishis (seers, prophets) have gathered and taught for centuries in the foothills of the Himalayas. Relax, contemplate, reflect and travel inwards.
Day 1 Delhi
Arrive to a traditional welcome in New Delhi and transfer to your hotel. New Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines the ancient with the modern. Along with the fast spiralling skyscrapers, the city is dotted with many historical monuments that stand as silent reminders of the region’s ancient legacy.
Day 2 Delhi
Sightseeing of India’s capital, visiting Qutb Minar, the tallest stone tower in India and Humayun’s tomb, built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor. Visit India Gate, one of India’s largest war memorials situated in the heart of the city. In the evening attend the sound and light show at the Red Fort.
Day 3 Haridwar
Take a train to Haridwar where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Afternoon sightseeing tour of the holy cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh, famous for centuries as places of pilgrimage. Visit the many Ashrams and Yoga and meditation centres. Stay at your choice of ashram or hotel in Haridwar.
Day 4 Haridwar
Haridwar (meaning ‘Gateway to God’) is located on the banks of the Ganges, where the holy river descends from the Himalayas to the plains. The city hosts many religious festivals including, every 12 years, the Kumbh Mela. Millions will attend this event in March and April 2010. Begin 4 days of meditation and yoga classes and lectures. [Image: mackaysavage].
Day 5 Haridwar
Continue your meditation and yoga classes. It is the Ganges which gives Haridwar its status as a holy city of pilgrimage. The river is considered sacred by Hindus, who believe that bathing in its waters absolves one from all sins, and that to be cremated on its banks and have one’s ashes immersed in its waters ensures the soul’s salvation.
Day 6 Haridwar
Continue your meditation and yoga classes. Haridwar is a city of numerous ashrams, pilgrims’ guest houses, temples, bathing ghats and tanks. The holiest of the ghats is Har-ki-Pairi (The Footstep of God), where every evening hundreds of orange-clad sadhus (holy men), pilgrims and tourists gather to attend aarti (prayer) and donate money to the priests and shrines.
Day 7 Haridwar
Last day of your meditation and yoga classes here. You may like to spend your final evening strolling along the riverside bazaar. Or you may like to experience the ancient rituals of this holy Hindu city by attending aarti, at which offerings of marigolds, lit with devotional candles and mounted on banana leaves, are set adrift on the Ganges.
Day 8 Shivpuri
Depart Haridwar and check into a nature camp in the ancient town of Shivpuri. Take time to relax and acclimatise to the surroundings. Later, enjoy a nature walk inside the reserve forest, home to many species of antelope and deer as well as sloth bear, leopard and a variety of bird life.
Day 9 Shivpuri
Shivpuri is a sacred town surrounded by dense forest and the township is influenced by its royal history – it was the summer capital of the rulers of Gwalior. Early morning Yoga class. Having experienced the Ganges in its sacred aspects in Haridwar, now experience its power by river-rafting on some of its most popular and exciting rapids. Evening meditation.
Day 10 Shivpuri
Day of meditation, trekking and a wildlife safari. Shivpuri is famous for its wildlife, its biodiversity and the Madhav National Park. Experience the forested hills and flat grasslands around the lake and reflect on the history of this region, which was once the hunting grounds of Mughal emperors.
Day 11 Delhi
In the early morning, have your final yoga class. The day is free for options including activities, quiet time or relaxation. In the evening board the overnight train to Delhi.
Day 12 Delhi
Depart Delhi for your onward journey / flight home. Alternatively, you have the option from here of travelling to other places of spiritual / religious significance (such as Varanasi); or a stay at an Ayurvedic retreat can be added.
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