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Northern India - Discover You

Join Dr. Carol Dimopoulos, Learning Journeys CEO, published researcher, entrepreneurship professor and mindfulness expert to experience restoration, transformation and growth in Spiritual Northern India. 

 

This spiritual journey is a discovery of you.  You’re true nature and purpose.

Each day will be an engagement with different facets of spirituality that is an integral part of human life.  You will have the opportunity to work on goal setting and life realignment based on your experiences.  The program offers the opportunity to interact with locals but also brings cultural and new ways of experiencing life during visits at Ashram, local home, temples, and village. 

Itinerary

11 Days / 10 Nights

1

Arrive in New Delhi (Midnight Flight)

Namaste & Welcome to India at New Delhi Airport. Please book your flights to arrive in India on June 20th.  You will be met by our Learning Journeys representative in the arrival lounge and transfer to hotel. 

 

India’s capital city, contemporary Delhi, is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines the ancient with the modern. Amidst the fast-spiralling skyscrapers, the remnants of a bygone time in the form of its many monuments stand as silent. Perhaps there is no other capital city in the world so steeped in history and legend as the Indian capital New Delhi.

Overnight in Delhi (Meal: None)

2

Explore Delhi - Temple - Raj Ghat - Old Delhi Markets 

Enjoy your first breakfast in India! Meet for an orientation session which will begin to explore the concept of mindfulness. We will begin our individual plans to discover your authentic self and develop a “toolbox” to live your big life! 

Delhi is the city where the future and the past collide every day, there's something for everyone to live and explore with joy. Delhi offers both frantic and relaxing moments to visitors so be ready for that! Start the day with blessings of Lord Krishna and visit ISKCON Temple which was established in Delhi to encourage the practice of Bhakti Yoga or Krishna Consciousness. The temple is much more than a place of worship. In other words, it is the Vedic Cultural Centre for knowledge and learning. 

 

Take a delight of “pure vegetarian” lunch at the restaurant which is in the temple complex and offers a unique ambience that resonates with the temple.    

 

Post lunch is the time to visit Old Delhi which is a far cry from the brash metro and an exciting place to be lost in the ocean of people. Walk into narrow lanes markets which are laced with history at every turn you take and a switch to rickshaws for a ride will be a joyous immersion. Ride through buzzing spice market, cloth market, street food stalls, to the lively local life and lot more that you might never imagined in a capital city. Pay tribute to Mr. Gandhi at Raj Ghat which is the cremation sight of this great soul and visit Gandhi Museum.     

 

Today’s dinner at Indian Specialty Restaurant, will be your first introduction with delectable Indian cuisines. Delhi, being heart of North India and having dominating affluence from Punjabi lifestyle, your menu will be a genuine treat! 

Overnight in Delhi (Meal: B, L, D)

3

Taj Mahal - Day Visit - 

Once Mark Twain said, “The world is split into two parts, those that have seen the Taj Mahal and those who have not”! Today is the day for you to be among the happy group who have seen one of the seven wonders of the world – a UNESCO monument as well.  

 

To reach at the Taj Mahal, you will experience Indian Train! Start very early in the morning to board on one of the quickest trains to Agra. 

(Shatabdi Express Departure New Delhi: at 0600 hrs  Arrival Agra Cantt: at 0812 hrs) 

 

The city of Agra, in terms of ambiance, is still associated with its Mughal period with the existence of monuments of that era. The Taj Mahal, the greatest of them all, is the sole reason that many people visit India!

The Taj Mahal (closed on Friday) - a mausoleum, is an architectural marvel that combines elements from Mughal, Persian, and Indian architecture. Taking 22 years and 20,000 men to build, the white marble was quarried 200 miles away and was transported to the site by a fleet of 1000 elephants.

Spend some time at Taj complex and take memorable photographs with this beautiful marble monument. 

 

Take a quick lunch before visiting famous 16th century monument called Agra Fort – again a UNESCO monument. This fortress of red sandstone encompasses the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. 

 

Rail back to Delhi. 

(Gatiman Express Departure Agra Cantt: at 1750 hrs   Arrival Nizamuddin Delhi: at 1930 hrs)

 

Enjoy a relaxed dinner at your hotel. 

Overnight in Delhi (Meal: B, L, D)

4

Delhi - Rishikesh - Yoga Capital

Rishikesh is the gateway to the Himalayas and a magnet for spiritual seekers! 

The best way to reach there is to board on train to Haridwar, the last train stop in Shivalik foothills, and one hour drive further. Take a lunch stop enroute.  

(Train Shatabdi Express - Departure New Delhi at 06:50 hrs  

Arrival Haridwar at 11:25 hrs)

 

At a height of about 1360 feet above sea level, Rishikesh is nestled affectionally by lower Himalayan range and silvery flow of river Ganga. The town is a major centre of spirituality and Hindu pilgrimage. Several temples dot the banks of the Ganges here in Rishikesh. Since ages, Yogis & Sadhus lived and practiced Hinduism here. This small hill town got an introduction with the western world in late 60’s when The Beatles came here to learn transcendental meditation and stayed at an Ashram. 

Visit Laxman Jhula - the iron suspension bridge built in 1939, dedicated to younger brother of lord Rama and Geeta Bhawan - the famous Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharta are described here through beautiful wall paintings. Establish a connect with the Beatles who came here in 1968 to find something that all their fame and name could not give them! Visit the ashram where they stayed, now abandoned but open for tourists, their lovers and peace seekers.

 

Evening will be the time to attend divine Ganges prayer ceremony at Triveni Ghat on the bank of holy river. The ceremony is called Ganga Aarti and commences with the singing of bhajans (prayers), the lamps are lit, and flowers are offered to the goddess river Ganga. This is a very spiritually engaged ceremony.

Overnight in Rishikesh (Meal: B, L, D) 

5

Rishikesh - Vashistha Gufa - Cooking and Astrologer

AM yoga session at hotel. 

Another spiritual experience awaits today with a visit to Vashistha Gufa (the cave) - where in ancient times Sadhus and Yogis used to live during meditation period. 

 

Today, we are going to learn about some Indian spices-flavors and cooking! Visit a local hotel where a Chef will meet you and will share some recipes from Indian kitchen. Enjoy your lunch there.  

 

Later, in the evening, be ready with questions as you will meet an Astrologer. Astrology in India has deep roots and surprisingly most of the people have deep faith in it.  Indian Astrology focuses on future life of human. This is going to be an interesting session for you. 

 

Dinner at hotel. 

Overnight in Rishikesh (Meal: B,L,D)

6

Rishikesh - Purkal Stree Shakti NGO

AM yoga session at hotel. 

After breakfast, drive around two hours to Purukal Stree Shakti – a Community Organisation. 

 

Serving the Community brings peace to our soul which is struggling in a chaotic world and helps us to make life purposeful. Purukal is the group of selfless people who have created a community organisation that strives for excellence in rural children through free holistic education, day long nutrition, and complete health care. The NGO is not only running a school but also ensuring student’s transition into a successful adulthood. Meet some aspiring young souls who greet visitors with smiling faces.  

 

Based in the foothills of the Himalayas, Purkal Stree Shakti Samiti was founded in the year 2003 to empower underprivileged village women through the craft of applique, patchwork, hand embroidery, and hand quilting. After 17 years of its existence, the organization made a positive impact on the lives of 170+ women and their families who come from more than 40 villages. 

(Note: If today is any Government Holiday in India, this tour will be arranged 01 day prior or later)

 

Lunch at a local restaurant and drive back to Rishikesh.  

Evening remains at leisure. 

Overnight in Rishikesh (Meal: B,L,D)    

7

Rishikesh - Haridwar

AM yoga session at hotel. Today we are going out for a full day excursion to neighboring town Haridwar - the magnet for Hindu Pilgrims and Saints. 

 

The word Haridwar is the combination of two words “Hari” means the God and “Dwar” means the gate. The literary meaning of Haridwar is the gate to Gods. The city is located at the point where the Ganges leaves the Himalayas to begin its journey across the plains, making it a particularly holy place. Every 12 years the Kumbh holy bath festival attracts millions of pilgrims who come and bathe in the river.  

 

Stop at Shantikunj Ashram - a platform for gradual transition from family responsibilities to social welfare & spiritual pursuit. Witness their activities for Reviving Vanprastha - means "Dedicating the retired life to the community service". 

 

Continue the drive and visit a temple and nearby a Hindu Cremation Ground. Cremation is sacredly important ritual for Hindus where dead bodies are burnt on wooden pyre after performing some rites. Fire is the chosen method to dispose of the dead because of its association with purity and ease the process of rebirth.    

 

After a spiritual experience, it’s time to make a very special visit to Matranchal Orphanage for Girls. “Matranchal” means “Mother`s lap” which is very true with this organization. The organization not only gives love and shelter to girls but also provides them with quality education so these girls can live their life independently.

 

What is the best way to learn about different cultures! May be, learn the language or attend festival! but the easiest way is to spend time with locals and peep into their life. Agreed! So, today comes with such opportunity. Visit Indian family home for lunch. One of the most significant values of Indian culture is hospitality. Indians have the highest regard for guests who are treated like the God. Asking questions about culture, beliefs, and religion are always welcomed and joining the lady in kitchen would be a treat.

 

Drive back to Rishikesh and stop at centuries old Har-ki-Pauri ghats where people, who have faith in Hinduism, from all over the world come to pray and take a holy dip in the sacred river Ganga. Join the prayer ceremony at Ganga Ghats by the local priest.  

 

Dinner at hotel. 

Overnight in Rishikesh (Meal: B,L,D)

8

Rishikesh - Kunjapuri Temple 

AM yoga session at hotel.  

After breakfast, take an excursion Kunjapuri Temple – situated at the height of 1645 meters above the sea level, the temple is dedicated to the Goddess Shakti (form of Goddess Durga) who donated power. One need to trek 150 steep steps one side to reach the temple, but tiredness is compensated by the breathtaking view to the Himalayas. On the way back, visit a village and meet some locals there. 

 

Lunch at a Local Restaurant.  

Afternoon remains at leisure today. You may read a book in your hotel room or may take a walk in Ganga ghats!

Dinner at hotel

Overnight in Rishikesh (Meal: B,L,D)

9

Rishikesh - Dehradun 

Yoga session at hotel.

After breakfast, morning remains at leisure. 

Later transfer in time to Dehradun Airport for your flight back to Delhi. (Afternoon flight) 

Upon arrival in Delhi check-in at hotel. Dinner at hotel. 

 

Later, transfer in time to airport for your flight back home 

(mid-night or next day morning flights) 

Overnight at hotel in Delhi (Meal: B,L,D)

10

Delhi Departure

(Rooms reserved till 1200 hrs next day)

**** End of Tour ****

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