×

Search Results

flag
flag Pound Sterling
Search

Sanskrit , Sadhus and Sound-A Language and Cultural and Sensory Immersion

View All Dates and Prices
Program Type
Learning Level
Activity Level
Program Size

Program Overview

Learn Sanskrit, the mother of all languages which is believed to be the most systematic and technical language of all.

It is also the only language that is used in the holy ceremonies of the Hindus. Sanskrit mantras, when recited in combination with the sound vibrations, have a specific effect on the mind and the psyche of the individual.

A highly versatile language, there are numerous synonyms for each word with specific meaning. It is also the most accurate language in pronunciation. It makes use of 49 types of sounds that make pronunciations of different kinds of words very distinct.

And what better a place than Varanasi to learn the language of the Gods. Patanjali and Shankaracharya the reputed Sanskrit scholars are said to have lived in Varanasi.

Along with the learning you will have ample opportunities to witness the ancient Indian culture of chanting hymns in Sanskrit while performing every ritual.


Sanskrit , Sadhus and Sound-A Language and Cultural and Sensory Immersion


October 30, 2022 days and November 10, 2022 nights

Your Curriculum

At A Glance

DAY 1: Arrive to Delhi (Indira Gandhi International Airport)

Namaste!

Welcome to India!

DAY 2: Fly to Varanasi

Morning assisted departure transfer to the airport to board flight for Varanasi.

DAY 3: Sanskrit Class--Varanasi’s Rich Culture-Evening Aarti Ceremony

Today wake up with the music of birds, cowbells mixing sweetness in the cold morning air.

DAY 4: Sanskrit Class- Sarnath- Mahashamshana

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Next two hours are reserved for your class in Sanskrit language.

Lunch will be at the hotel.

DAY 5: Sunrise on the Ganges-Sanskrit Class- Banaras Hindu University

In the morning, take a boat ride on the River Ganges to view the sunrise.

DAY 6: Yoga Session- Sanskrit Class- NGO Visit

Today early morning, enjoy an interesting yoga session with an expert for about 30 to 45 minutes. Learn the basics of yoga and its benefits at the Yoga Center.

DAY 7: Sanskrit Class-Visit with Benarasi' Saree Makers- Bio-degradable statues :Bengali Community

Today you will hit the streets, which are free from any vehicular traffic. We will visit the cremation grounds of Hindus, and understand why people want to spend their last days in Varanasi.

This will be one of the highlights of the tour. The total duration of this walking tour is 3 hours, starting at 9 a.m. We will witness a step-well for female fertility.

DAY 8: Lesson at one of the oldest Sanskrit Schoos in the World-Indian Classical Art

Slow down and take a half-day to experience rural life in a Varanasi village. Escape the hustle and bustle of Varanasi and get a glimpse of rural life in India.

DAY 9: Sanskrit Class-Overview of Hinduism-Weavers Colony

Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world and Hindu philosophy/mythology has been a topic of interest among various scholars/ philosophers all around the world.

DAY 10: Sanskrit Class-City of Music- Artists from the Benaras Gharana

Post breakfast, two-hour session on Sanskrit language.

DAY 11: Fly back to Delhi

Today after breakfast meet your professor to bid final goodbyes and clear any doubts left while learning the Sanskrit Language.

DAY 12: See You Again!

Don't leave just yet! Extend your journey on one of our numerous photography, art and culture programs.


Why Learning Journeys?

At Learning Journeys we believe in a new kind of vacation. Our unique journeys help you explore and develop your skills and interest, travel the world, give back to the community and ultimately re-connect with yourself.


The destinations are chosen specifically to make practicing that skill more accessible, and more fun. Typical skills offered are health and wellness, cooking, photography, art, birding and wildlife, language study, architecture, music, dance and more. Programs range from beginner to professional certification. You will even have the opportunity to attend off the beaten path festivals in your specific area of interest which will take your learning immersion to new heights!

Brand Pillars

Transformation

The quest for knowledge as we open our hearts and minds to new experiences can transform us. As we see the world through the eyes of others, the communities we visit and touch are also transformed. This cycle of positive change is at the heart of every Learning Journeys experience.

Education

Learning Journeys is designed to nurture that ember of curiosity inside you into a flame of life-long discovery. Continued learning ensures continued growth, whether pursuing any number of interests that intrigue you or a passion you have honed over the years.

Exploration

Truly, the world is your classroom. Exploring the rich and varied cultures of the destinations you visit multiplies the value of your educational pursuits, and the exploration of yourself. The journey itself – to a new place and new you – is what truly matters.

Self-reflection

Through reflection, we bring learning to life. Pausing from the chaos of our daily lives allows us to sort through experiences to create meaning, from which we learn more deeply about ourselves. Understanding what truly moves us leads to rich and profound actions that shape our lives.

Community service and sustainability is at the core of the Learning Journeys mission. In addition to hands-on interactive classes, we work in the local communities, helping to improve lives and our planet. Destinations are chosen for their exceptional beauty, abundant wildlife, accessibility to expert practitioners, and generally fun places to visit! The destinations are near and far-North America, Latin and South America, Europe, India, Asia, Australia and more.

Finally, just as you remember specific meals from a trip taken many years ago, your ability to recall information is enhanced when combined with a unique setting. “Learning Journeys” are an excellent value for money and an investment.


Departure

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<body>

<p> Learn Sanskrit, the mother of all languages which is believed to be the most systematic and technical language of all. </p>
<p> It is also the only language that is used in the holy ceremonies of the Hindus. Sanskrit mantras, when recited in combination with the sound vibrations, have a specific effect on the mind and the psyche of the individual. </p>
<p> A highly versatile language, there are numerous synonyms for each word with specific meaning. It is also the most accurate language in pronunciation. It makes use of 49 types of sounds that make pronunciations of different kinds of words very distinct. </p>
<p> And what better a place than Varanasi to learn the language of the Gods. Patanjali and Shankaracharya the reputed Sanskrit scholars are said to have lived in Varanasi. </p>
<p> Along with the learning you will have ample opportunities to witness the ancient Indian culture of chanting hymns in Sanskrit while performing every ritual. </p>

</body>
</html>

What You Will Learn/Do

Why We Love This Traveling Classroom

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<body>

<p> This program is unique because you are not only touring a city but also taking back some of it. </p>
<p> Learn Sanskrit and also discover different aspects of Hinduism that can give you a different perspective on life. </p>
<p> Immerse yourself into the pulse of the city as you interact with locals and learn about them. </p>

</body>
</html>

How This Program Benefits The Local Community

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<body>

<p> We aim not only to provide you a once in lifetime glimpse of the country, but also to provide means of income to people from local communities. The experiences included employs marginalized and at-risk locals and trains them for a brighter tomorrow. </p>
<p> We will also be visiting NGOs , where the proceeds of income received are invested back into social programs to support them on their journey to a secure future. What better way to travel as well as give back to the society! </p>

</body>
</html>


Program

DAY 1: Arrive to Delhi (Indira Gandhi International Airport)

Our representative will meet you in the arrival area of the airport after you clear all immigration and custom formalities. Depart for your hotel where you will check in for your stay.

Delhi stands as the capital of modern India. Here you can see the mingling of the old and new India, the ancient and the modern.

Delhi is made up of seven ancient cities, spanning the period from the 11th to 20th centuries. Delhi has seen the rise and fall of many emperors who have left behind a plethora of monuments that commemorate the grandeur and glory of bygone ages.

Very few cities in the world can express such a profusion of architectural styles.

Meals included: Dinner

Overnight at Novotel Aero city (Deluxe room)


DAY 2: Fly to Varanasi

Experience a deep dive into Hindu mythology, philosophy and spirituality in the city of light, “Kashi,” now known as Varanasi, an ancient seat of learning with a legacy that goes back more than 3,000 years on the banks of the holy Ganga, India’s most venerated river.

Upon arrival at Varanasi, met and transfer to the hotel.

Late afternoon orientation meeting with your professor who will be helping you learn the basic concepts of the Sanskrit language over next couple of days.

Dinner will be at the hotel.

Learning Experience:

•Late afternoon orientation meeting with your Professor

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)


DAY 3: Sanskrit Class--Varanasi’s Rich Culture-Evening Aarti Ceremony

You open the doors of the tent and the fresh aroma of the Indian soil will flood your being. A fresh breeze of air rustles your hair, and you step outside.

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Next two hours are reserved for your class in Sanskrit language.

Lunch will be at the hotel.

In the late afternoon, proceed to the interesting Bengali Tola Walk, where you will have an opportunity to get a glimpse of the symbiotic life of the riverside people of Varanasi.

Eventually, as you tour through the city you will end up on Bengali Tola, the street of the Bengalis, where you will be visiting the hidden Mother Goddess Kali shrines, and the vistas of life along the riverside.

The tour continues to the historic ritual bathing site called Dashaswamedh, or the ten-horse sacrifice Ghat, the perfect way to conclude this walking city tour.

From here you will board a boat to witness the evening illuminated aarti ceremony that is performed at Dasahwamedh Ghat. The presiding priests stand on a wooden Chauki in the water.

To the chant of Sanskrit mantras, and the clash of cymbals and drums, the river is worshipped with flowers, incense, sandalwood, milk and vermilion.

First the blazing camphor lamp and then the many flamed aarti lamps are raised high and then arched back to the water, the dark river reflecting the golden flames as Ganges accepts the worship.

It is the Ganges that gives Varanasi its spiritual resonance.

Dinner will be at the hotel.

Learning Experience:
•    Two-hour Sanskrit Class
•    Afternoon experience the full of life alleys on this Bengali Tola Walk
•    Evening witness the spectacular Ganga Aarti at Dasashwamedha Ghat

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)


DAY 4: Sanskrit Class- Sarnath- Mahashamshana

In the afternoon, visit Sarnath. After attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, the Buddha went to Sarnath. It was here that he preached his first discourse in the deer park to set in motion the ‘Wheel of the Dharma’.

The museum at Sarnath contains carvings representing a whole range of styles: archaic, the Mathura School, Gupta, past Gupta and Medieval, covering work of sculptors from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D.

Spend quality time with an expert in Buddhism, who will disuss how and when it was formed, the main principles of the religion, and how it spread its wings across India and abroad.

Early dinner will be at the hotel. After dinner walk, with an expert through the city of learning and burning and see Banaras when it is known as ‘Mahashamshana,’ the great cremation ground of Shiva.

It is here you will traverse from the land of the living to the houses of the dying. Perhaps an encounter with a black-clothed flesh-eating sadhu of the Aghor Ashram will give you will a taste of death and rebirth.

Visit the cremation grounds of Hindus and understand why people want to spend their last days in Varanasi.

Visit the Sankata Devi Temple (the goddess of sorrows and a demon slayer). See the traditional houses where the Dome community (people who execute the cremation) live. Walk through the narrow alleys of Vishwanath.

Learning Experience:
•    Two- hour Sanskrit Class
•    Afternoon visit to Sarnath – One of the holiest Buddhist sites in the world
•    Evening Walk through the city of learning & burning on this – Death & Re-birth Overview

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)


DAY 5: Sunrise on the Ganges-Sanskrit Class- Banaras Hindu University

The best way to experience Varanasi is to take an early morning boat ride.

Witness the activities at the ghats where the living flock to pray with the belief that bathing in the waters of the sacred river will result in the remission of their sins, while the ashes of the dead are scattered in the water to break the cycle of reincarnation and let the soul rise to enlightenment.

After this enriching experience, return to the hotel for breakfast.

The next two hours are reserved for your class in Sanskrit language. Lunch will be at the hotel.

Following lunch, visit some of the other important sites in the city with your guide. Dotted with temples, the city’s principal shrine is the Vishwanath temple, dedicated to Shiva. The temple was destroyed repeatedly during various invasions but was finally rebuilt in 1776 A.D. by Rani Ahilyabai of Indore.

Also visit the famous Banaras Hindu University which was established in 1916 as a way to achieve the national awakening by spreading education all over the country. At present it is the largest residential university in Asia with large number of students from more than 34 nations.

Dinner will at the hotel.

Learning Experience:
•    Early morning boat ride
•    Two-hour Sanskrit Class
•    Sightseeing tour of the city

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)


DAY 6: Yoga Session- Sanskrit Class- NGO Visit

Post breakfast, two-hour session on Sanskrit language.

After lunch you will visit the NGO, KIRAN. The word “KIRAN” means “ray of light” and KIRAN society strives to be just that in the lives of children with different abilities and of marginalized communities.

Through their rehabilitation, education, and vocational skills training programs, they bring holistic empowerment to the children in the greater Varanasi area.

Founded in 1990 by a small group of people from various social, cultural, and religious backgrounds, their commitment to inclusivity started at the roots.

This mission emphasizes individualized rehabilitation plans, small classrooms, family involvement, and sustainability with continuous opportunities for students to expand their independence.

Spend quality time here to understand the aims and mission of the NGO which is to enable differently abled and marginalized children and youth to receive rehabilitation, education and vocational training, so that they are able to take care of their social, physical and spiritual needs and thereby become fully integrated into society.

Dinner will at the hotel.

Learning Experience:
•    Early morning Yoga session
•    Two-hour Sanskrit Class
•    Visit NGO – KIRAN

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)


DAY 7: Sanskrit Class-Visit with Benarasi' Saree Makers- Bio-degradable statues :Bengali Community

Located near the confluence of the Ganga and Asi rivers, the Lolark Kund is dedicated to Surya, the Hindu sun god. Lolark has “one of the most distinctive water structures… combining the classic deep-funnel kund form with wide flights of steep steps.”

It is widely believed that taking a dip in the water contained within the Lolark Kund aids fertility in women. It is still common for women to travel to this step-well in the hopes of getting pregnant with a son.

Here you see how the women struggle down the dizzying steps, trying to reach the sacred water. After bathing, they leave their wet clothing behind, along with a piece of fruit or a vegetable that they pledge never to eat again.

Next, meet the traditional 'Benarasi' Saree makers. Here you will witness how the finest sarees in India are known for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and opulent embroidery. These are made of finely woven silk and are decorated with intricate designs, and, because of these engravings, are relatively heavy.

See how bio-degradable statues are made by the Bengali community and learn about the life of the boatmen and their lovely boats in the “Mallah Community.” Mallah is a generic term for a group of people, whose lives revolve around boating and fishing.

Fishing and transporting people on their boats are the primary traditional occupations. Agriculture and laboring in farms are a secondary occupation. Many urban Mallah work in factories, pull rickshaws, or are low paid office workers and watchmen.

Where the Mallah sit, there a fire is always, is a local saying in their dialect. This refers to their custom of lighting a fire on the riverbank to keep warm.

Also visit the place where the famous Indian epic "Ramcharitmanas" was written.

A 400-year-old house where the book was written is in Tulsi Ghat, one of the famed ghats of Varanasi. Tulsi Ghat is slightly higher than the rest and a steep staircase, three Shiva shrines, an old peepal tree, and a white color tree with a large balcony mark Tulsi Ghat.

You will also visit the guesthouse of the Sankatmochan Foundation and the laboratory of the Swachh Ganga Foundation, which spearheads the clean-up of the river Ganga in Varanasi. You will have the opportunity of understanding the main reasons for pollution in the holy river.

At the Tulisidas Ashram, a tunnel-like staircase leads to the first floor, where Tulsidas lived and worked.

On the first floor, the entire Ramcharitmanas prefaced with the Hanuman Chalisa, two of the saint's most well-known and highly revered works are inscribed on the walls.

"Tulsidasji lived in this house around 400 years ago. Though this is just one of the many houses he lived in, this is where he lived the longest. Once you visit you will realize the Ramayana and Rama are civilizational threads which bind India together. For many in Varanasi, Tulsidas, Rama and Hanuman are living Gods.

See the Indian version of gymnasium and wrestling in ‘Tulsi Akhara.’ For wrestlers, the Akhara serves as a training school and an arena in which to compete against each other. The Akhara used by wrestlers still have dirt floors to which water, red ochre, buttermilk and oil are added. Aside from wrestling, other fighting systems are also taught and practiced in akhara, which are commonly named after their founder.

Next, visit the place where Sadhus (Ascetics) live ‘Juna Akhara.’ This Akhada has a rich tradition of warrior ascetics (Naga Sadhus) who are ordained to this post only during the Kumbh and Mahakumbh Mela. The Juna Akhada also comprises the Astradhari (weapon-bearers) seers and Shastradhari (scripture-bearers) seers.

Return to hotel in time for lunch.

Afternoon time for your Sanskrit class.

Evening is at leisure. Dinner will be at the hotel.

Learning Experience:
Discover Hidden Gems of the City
•    Afternoon Sanskrit Class

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury tent)


DAY 8: Lesson at one of the oldest Sanskrit Schoos in the World-Indian Classical Art

On this tour, you will visit the Rameshwar village, which is close to Varanasi and located on the banks of river Varuna. This village has many things to offer and you will get a chance to learn how the social cooperative system works in India, which has a general objective of benefiting the community as well as social integration.

All activities in this village are aimed at sustainable livelihood and community empowerment; ensuring economic growth of the under privileged; and creation of physical assets, to improve the quality of life. We invite you on this soulful journey to enhance your knowledge and have a better understanding of village life in India.

Here the main highlights will be:

•Visit the Sanskrit school located in the village where Sanskrit (one of the oldest languages in the world) is still the medium of teaching. You can see the scholars learning about the Vedas, Upnishads, and doing Vedic recitals.
•On the way to Rameshwar village, visit Navsadhana Kala Kendra which trains students professionally in Bharatnatyam and Hindustani vocal. This is an unparalleled institution which aims at the multidimensional development of a person through Indian classical art, dance, and music.
•You will also be visiting “Shanti dham Ashram,” a Catholic prayer centre for the Christian society living in Varanasi.


Return to hotel in time for lunch.

Early evening time for your Sanskrit class.

Dinner will at the hotel.

Learning Experience:
•    Visit Rameshwar Village
•    Afternoon Sanskrit Class

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)


DAY 9: Sanskrit Class-Overview of Hinduism-Weavers Colony

Today, experience living life like a Hindu, where you will be taken by a boat on the banks of the river, feel the calmness of the river while having 30 minutes of guided meditation and breathing exercises to rejuvenate your senses with spirituality. This will be followed by 1-hour lecture and discussion on various aspects of Hinduism.

Practice Surya Namaskar, along with learning the benefits of doing it, while witnessing the beautiful sunrise across the river.

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Rest of the day is at leisure.

Post lunch time for your Sanskrit class.

Visit the Weavers Colony.
Famous worldwide for its magnificent quality and beauty, the textiles of Varanasi have been recognized among the royalty and nobles through ancient times to the present. These talented weavers received the secret of weaving as a form of art passed from generation to generation. In a city as old as time, weaving has been so deeply embedded in its culture and conscience that for many practitioners it is a matter of pride and prestige to sustain the tradition.

Visiting the weavers district is like stepping back in time. The weavers use various techniques that are very specific and traditional, being in their culture for centuries. The clapping sound of the old-fashioned weaving looms echoes in and around the narrow lanes of the tightly packed houses. Get an insight into the intricate weaving process and a chance to purchase some of the colorful silks that the area produces.

Dinner will be at the hotel.

Learning Experience:
•    Life like a local experience
•    Afternoon Sanskrit Class
•    Visit Weavers Colony
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)


DAY 10: Sanskrit Class-City of Music- Artists from the Benaras Gharana

Gharana is a traditional style and way of teaching and performing Indian classical music. This style is many hundreds of years old and has been passed from master to student, from generation to generation. Today Gharana are mentioned, discussed and proclaimed as indicators of certain musical ideas as well as allegiances.

In 2015, UNESCO recognized Varanasi as also the “City of Music” famous for its classical “Benaras Gharana.” Spend quality time with artists from the Benaras Gharana. It will be interactive session and clients will learn about the history of classical music and instruments they play.

Lunch will be at a local restaurant.

After lunch, make your way through the bazaars in the northern streets of the old city. You will find hidden alleys leading directly through the sacred zone of Banaras to the oldest buildings of the city. As you enter the lanes of the northern part of the city you will get to peep inside the shops, temples, and lives of people who have never left their street for years.

Eventually we find ourselves in the least traversed part of the city and riverside where the great mystic Kabir himself wrote poetry. This bazaar has so many twists and turns that even the expert gets confused sometimes.

Learning Experience:
•    Morning Sanskrit Class
•    Visit Benras Gharana – Centre for Indian Classical

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)


DAY 11: Fly back to Delhi

Post lunch at the hotel you will be transferred to the airport to board flight back to Delhi.

Upon arrival at Delhi, met and transfer to the airport hotel for final overnight.

Dinner will be at the hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Overnight at Novotel Aero city (Deluxe room)


DAY 12: See You Again!

Need to head back? We look forward to welcoming you on another Learning Journeys immersion. Choose to journey back to India or consider one of our journeys abroad in Ireland, Italy, Nepal and more.

Meals included: Breakfast




Program Registration Fees

All itinerary prices are listed in USD

Per person for Single Standard $990.00

Per person for Standard $3,675.00


Program Departure Dates:

Services Included

•    Accommodation for 11 Nights on Twin Share / Single basis at the hotels mentioned above or similar
•    Daily buffet breakfast & dinner at the hotels mentioned above
•    Lunch in Varanasi will mostly be at the hotel, apart from few days wherein we will provide lunch at local restaurants with 01 non-alcoholic drink during the meals.
•    Round trip flights Delhi-Varanasi
•    Assistance on arrival & departures at the airport
•    All transfers, excursions and sightseeing tours will be provided.
•    Entrance fees at all monuments listed in the itinerary for single visit only, road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges, interstate taxes.
•    Services of Local Experts/Local guides in Varanasi for sightseeing and unique experiences offered in the program.
•    02 Hours Sanskrit Class with an experienced professor of the language.
•    Water Bottles & Wet Tissues throughout the tour
•    All applicable taxes on hotel & transport
•    Govt. service tax of 5%
10/30/2022 8:00:00 AM

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/5jsfod4il0qwv9z/sanskritsadhus.jpg?dl=0,https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/y0sq998p934c79h/iStock-1221349438.jpg?dl=0,https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/4vtpc6mdzmv4r28/iStock-98129226.jpg?dl=0,https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/daznuljgipt4ajz/iStock-1270642899.jpg?dl=0

Program Type

Adventure Learning
Ancient Traditions
Arts-Crafts-Textile
Birding and Wildlife
Bucket List Learning
Dance
Fashion
Gastronomy
Genealogy
Language
Music
Photography
Theater Arts
Unplugged Learning
Wellness and Spirituality
Wine and Spirits
Woman's Focused
Writing and Literature

Learning Level

Explore an Interest
Pursue a Passion
Change My Life!

Activity Level

Moderate


What You Will Learn/Do

Learn Sanskrit, the lingua franca, that helped many regions of India communicate with each other.

Discover Varanasi for its endless ghats, famous temples, fascinating rituals, and vibrant religious festivals.


Why This Program Is Unique

This program is unique because you are not only touring a city but also taking back some of it.

Learn Sanskrit and also discover different aspects of Hinduism that can give you a different perspective on life.

Immerse yourself into the pulse of the city as you interact with locals and learn about them.


How This Program Benefits The Local Community

We aim not only to provide you a once in lifetime glimpse of the country, but also to provide means of income to people from local communities. The experiences included employs marginalized and at-risk locals and trains them for a brighter tomorrow.

We will also be visiting NGOs , where the proceeds of income received are invested back into social programs to support them on their journey to a secure future. What better way to travel as well as give back to the society!


Program Itinerary

Start/Finish City:

Open All Days


DAY 1: Arrive to Delhi (Indira Gandhi International Airport)

Namaste! Welcome to India! Our representative will meet you in the arrival area of the airport after you clear all immigration and custom formalities. Depart for your hotel where you will check in for your stay. Delhi stands as the capital of modern India. Here you can see the mingling of the old and new India, the ancient and the modern. Delhi is made up of seven ancient cities, spanning the period from the 11th to 20th centuries. Delhi has seen the rise and fall of many emperors who have left behind a plethora of monuments that commemorate the grandeur and glory of bygone ages. Very few cities in the world can express such a profusion of architectural styles. Meals included: Dinner Overnight at Novotel Aero city (Deluxe room)

DAY 2: Fly to Varanasi

Morning assisted departure transfer to the airport to board flight for Varanasi. Experience a deep dive into Hindu mythology, philosophy and spirituality in the city of light, “Kashi,” now known as Varanasi, an ancient seat of learning with a legacy that goes back more than 3,000 years on the banks of the holy Ganga, India’s most venerated river. Upon arrival at Varanasi, met and transfer to the hotel. Late afternoon orientation meeting with your professor who will be helping you learn the basic concepts of the Sanskrit language over next couple of days. Dinner will be at the hotel. Learning Experience: •Late afternoon orientation meeting with your Professor Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)

DAY 3: Sanskrit Class--Varanasi’s Rich Culture-Evening Aarti Ceremony

Today wake up with the music of birds, cowbells mixing sweetness in the cold morning air. You open the doors of the tent and the fresh aroma of the Indian soil will flood your being. A fresh breeze of air rustles your hair, and you step outside. Breakfast will be at the hotel. Next two hours are reserved for your class in Sanskrit language. Lunch will be at the hotel. In the late afternoon, proceed to the interesting Bengali Tola Walk, where you will have an opportunity to get a glimpse of the symbiotic life of the riverside people of Varanasi. Eventually, as you tour through the city you will end up on Bengali Tola, the street of the Bengalis, where you will be visiting the hidden Mother Goddess Kali shrines, and the vistas of life along the riverside. The tour continues to the historic ritual bathing site called Dashaswamedh, or the ten-horse sacrifice Ghat, the perfect way to conclude this walking city tour. From here you will board a boat to witness the evening illuminated aarti ceremony that is performed at Dasahwamedh Ghat. The presiding priests stand on a wooden Chauki in the water. To the chant of Sanskrit mantras, and the clash of cymbals and drums, the river is worshipped with flowers, incense, sandalwood, milk and vermilion. First the blazing camphor lamp and then the many flamed aarti lamps are raised high and then arched back to the water, the dark river reflecting the golden flames as Ganges accepts the worship. It is the Ganges that gives Varanasi its spiritual resonance. Dinner will be at the hotel. Learning Experience: • Two-hour Sanskrit Class • Afternoon experience the full of life alleys on this Bengali Tola Walk • Evening witness the spectacular Ganga Aarti at Dasashwamedha Ghat Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)

DAY 4: Sanskrit Class- Sarnath- Mahashamshana

Breakfast will be at the hotel. Next two hours are reserved for your class in Sanskrit language. Lunch will be at the hotel. In the afternoon, visit Sarnath. After attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, the Buddha went to Sarnath. It was here that he preached his first discourse in the deer park to set in motion the ‘Wheel of the Dharma’. The museum at Sarnath contains carvings representing a whole range of styles: archaic, the Mathura School, Gupta, past Gupta and Medieval, covering work of sculptors from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D. Spend quality time with an expert in Buddhism, who will disuss how and when it was formed, the main principles of the religion, and how it spread its wings across India and abroad. Early dinner will be at the hotel. After dinner walk, with an expert through the city of learning and burning and see Banaras when it is known as ‘Mahashamshana,’ the great cremation ground of Shiva. It is here you will traverse from the land of the living to the houses of the dying. Perhaps an encounter with a black-clothed flesh-eating sadhu of the Aghor Ashram will give you will a taste of death and rebirth. Visit the cremation grounds of Hindus and understand why people want to spend their last days in Varanasi. Visit the Sankata Devi Temple (the goddess of sorrows and a demon slayer). See the traditional houses where the Dome community (people who execute the cremation) live. Walk through the narrow alleys of Vishwanath. Learning Experience: • Two- hour Sanskrit Class • Afternoon visit to Sarnath – One of the holiest Buddhist sites in the world • Evening Walk through the city of learning & burning on this – Death & Re-birth Overview Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)

DAY 5: Sunrise on the Ganges-Sanskrit Class- Banaras Hindu University

In the morning, take a boat ride on the River Ganges to view the sunrise. The best way to experience Varanasi is to take an early morning boat ride. Witness the activities at the ghats where the living flock to pray with the belief that bathing in the waters of the sacred river will result in the remission of their sins, while the ashes of the dead are scattered in the water to break the cycle of reincarnation and let the soul rise to enlightenment. After this enriching experience, return to the hotel for breakfast. The next two hours are reserved for your class in Sanskrit language. Lunch will be at the hotel. Following lunch, visit some of the other important sites in the city with your guide. Dotted with temples, the city’s principal shrine is the Vishwanath temple, dedicated to Shiva. The temple was destroyed repeatedly during various invasions but was finally rebuilt in 1776 A.D. by Rani Ahilyabai of Indore. Also visit the famous Banaras Hindu University which was established in 1916 as a way to achieve the national awakening by spreading education all over the country. At present it is the largest residential university in Asia with large number of students from more than 34 nations. Dinner will at the hotel. Learning Experience: • Early morning boat ride • Two-hour Sanskrit Class • Sightseeing tour of the city Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)

DAY 6: Yoga Session- Sanskrit Class- NGO Visit

Today early morning, enjoy an interesting yoga session with an expert for about 30 to 45 minutes. Learn the basics of yoga and its benefits at the Yoga Center. Post breakfast, two-hour session on Sanskrit language. After lunch you will visit the NGO, KIRAN. The word “KIRAN” means “ray of light” and KIRAN society strives to be just that in the lives of children with different abilities and of marginalized communities. Through their rehabilitation, education, and vocational skills training programs, they bring holistic empowerment to the children in the greater Varanasi area. Founded in 1990 by a small group of people from various social, cultural, and religious backgrounds, their commitment to inclusivity started at the roots. This mission emphasizes individualized rehabilitation plans, small classrooms, family involvement, and sustainability with continuous opportunities for students to expand their independence. Spend quality time here to understand the aims and mission of the NGO which is to enable differently abled and marginalized children and youth to receive rehabilitation, education and vocational training, so that they are able to take care of their social, physical and spiritual needs and thereby become fully integrated into society. Dinner will at the hotel. Learning Experience: • Early morning Yoga session • Two-hour Sanskrit Class • Visit NGO – KIRAN Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)

DAY 7: Sanskrit Class-Visit with Benarasi' Saree Makers- Bio-degradable statues :Bengali Community

Today you will hit the streets, which are free from any vehicular traffic. We will visit the cremation grounds of Hindus, and understand why people want to spend their last days in Varanasi. This will be one of the highlights of the tour. The total duration of this walking tour is 3 hours, starting at 9 a.m. We will witness a step-well for female fertility. Located near the confluence of the Ganga and Asi rivers, the Lolark Kund is dedicated to Surya, the Hindu sun god. Lolark has “one of the most distinctive water structures… combining the classic deep-funnel kund form with wide flights of steep steps.” It is widely believed that taking a dip in the water contained within the Lolark Kund aids fertility in women. It is still common for women to travel to this step-well in the hopes of getting pregnant with a son. Here you see how the women struggle down the dizzying steps, trying to reach the sacred water. After bathing, they leave their wet clothing behind, along with a piece of fruit or a vegetable that they pledge never to eat again. Next, meet the traditional 'Benarasi' Saree makers. Here you will witness how the finest sarees in India are known for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and opulent embroidery. These are made of finely woven silk and are decorated with intricate designs, and, because of these engravings, are relatively heavy. See how bio-degradable statues are made by the Bengali community and learn about the life of the boatmen and their lovely boats in the “Mallah Community.” Mallah is a generic term for a group of people, whose lives revolve around boating and fishing. Fishing and transporting people on their boats are the primary traditional occupations. Agriculture and laboring in farms are a secondary occupation. Many urban Mallah work in factories, pull rickshaws, or are low paid office workers and watchmen. Where the Mallah sit, there a fire is always, is a local saying in their dialect. This refers to their custom of lighting a fire on the riverbank to keep warm. Also visit the place where the famous Indian epic "Ramcharitmanas" was written. A 400-year-old house where the book was written is in Tulsi Ghat, one of the famed ghats of Varanasi. Tulsi Ghat is slightly higher than the rest and a steep staircase, three Shiva shrines, an old peepal tree, and a white color tree with a large balcony mark Tulsi Ghat. You will also visit the guesthouse of the Sankatmochan Foundation and the laboratory of the Swachh Ganga Foundation, which spearheads the clean-up of the river Ganga in Varanasi. You will have the opportunity of understanding the main reasons for pollution in the holy river. At the Tulisidas Ashram, a tunnel-like staircase leads to the first floor, where Tulsidas lived and worked. On the first floor, the entire Ramcharitmanas prefaced with the Hanuman Chalisa, two of the saint's most well-known and highly revered works are inscribed on the walls. "Tulsidasji lived in this house around 400 years ago. Though this is just one of the many houses he lived in, this is where he lived the longest. Once you visit you will realize the Ramayana and Rama are civilizational threads which bind India together. For many in Varanasi, Tulsidas, Rama and Hanuman are living Gods. See the Indian version of gymnasium and wrestling in ‘Tulsi Akhara.’ For wrestlers, the Akhara serves as a training school and an arena in which to compete against each other. The Akhara used by wrestlers still have dirt floors to which water, red ochre, buttermilk and oil are added. Aside from wrestling, other fighting systems are also taught and practiced in akhara, which are commonly named after their founder. Next, visit the place where Sadhus (Ascetics) live ‘Juna Akhara.’ This Akhada has a rich tradition of warrior ascetics (Naga Sadhus) who are ordained to this post only during the Kumbh and Mahakumbh Mela. The Juna Akhada also comprises the Astradhari (weapon-bearers) seers and Shastradhari (scripture-bearers) seers. Return to hotel in time for lunch. Afternoon time for your Sanskrit class. Evening is at leisure. Dinner will be at the hotel. Learning Experience: Discover Hidden Gems of the City • Afternoon Sanskrit Class Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury tent)

DAY 8: Lesson at one of the oldest Sanskrit Schoos in the World-Indian Classical Art

Slow down and take a half-day to experience rural life in a Varanasi village. Escape the hustle and bustle of Varanasi and get a glimpse of rural life in India. On this tour, you will visit the Rameshwar village, which is close to Varanasi and located on the banks of river Varuna. This village has many things to offer and you will get a chance to learn how the social cooperative system works in India, which has a general objective of benefiting the community as well as social integration. All activities in this village are aimed at sustainable livelihood and community empowerment; ensuring economic growth of the under privileged; and creation of physical assets, to improve the quality of life. We invite you on this soulful journey to enhance your knowledge and have a better understanding of village life in India. Here the main highlights will be: •Visit the Sanskrit school located in the village where Sanskrit (one of the oldest languages in the world) is still the medium of teaching. You can see the scholars learning about the Vedas, Upnishads, and doing Vedic recitals. •On the way to Rameshwar village, visit Navsadhana Kala Kendra which trains students professionally in Bharatnatyam and Hindustani vocal. This is an unparalleled institution which aims at the multidimensional development of a person through Indian classical art, dance, and music. •You will also be visiting “Shanti dham Ashram,” a Catholic prayer centre for the Christian society living in Varanasi. Return to hotel in time for lunch. Early evening time for your Sanskrit class. Dinner will at the hotel. Learning Experience: • Visit Rameshwar Village • Afternoon Sanskrit Class Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)

DAY 9: Sanskrit Class-Overview of Hinduism-Weavers Colony

Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world and Hindu philosophy/mythology has been a topic of interest among various scholars/ philosophers all around the world. Today, experience living life like a Hindu, where you will be taken by a boat on the banks of the river, feel the calmness of the river while having 30 minutes of guided meditation and breathing exercises to rejuvenate your senses with spirituality. This will be followed by 1-hour lecture and discussion on various aspects of Hinduism. Practice Surya Namaskar, along with learning the benefits of doing it, while witnessing the beautiful sunrise across the river. Breakfast will be at the hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. Post lunch time for your Sanskrit class. Visit the Weavers Colony. Famous worldwide for its magnificent quality and beauty, the textiles of Varanasi have been recognized among the royalty and nobles through ancient times to the present. These talented weavers received the secret of weaving as a form of art passed from generation to generation. In a city as old as time, weaving has been so deeply embedded in its culture and conscience that for many practitioners it is a matter of pride and prestige to sustain the tradition. Visiting the weavers district is like stepping back in time. The weavers use various techniques that are very specific and traditional, being in their culture for centuries. The clapping sound of the old-fashioned weaving looms echoes in and around the narrow lanes of the tightly packed houses. Get an insight into the intricate weaving process and a chance to purchase some of the colorful silks that the area produces. Dinner will be at the hotel. Learning Experience: • Life like a local experience • Afternoon Sanskrit Class • Visit Weavers Colony Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)

DAY 10: Sanskrit Class-City of Music- Artists from the Benaras Gharana

Post breakfast, two-hour session on Sanskrit language. Gharana is a traditional style and way of teaching and performing Indian classical music. This style is many hundreds of years old and has been passed from master to student, from generation to generation. Today Gharana are mentioned, discussed and proclaimed as indicators of certain musical ideas as well as allegiances. In 2015, UNESCO recognized Varanasi as also the “City of Music” famous for its classical “Benaras Gharana.” Spend quality time with artists from the Benaras Gharana. It will be interactive session and clients will learn about the history of classical music and instruments they play. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. After lunch, make your way through the bazaars in the northern streets of the old city. You will find hidden alleys leading directly through the sacred zone of Banaras to the oldest buildings of the city. As you enter the lanes of the northern part of the city you will get to peep inside the shops, temples, and lives of people who have never left their street for years. Eventually we find ourselves in the least traversed part of the city and riverside where the great mystic Kabir himself wrote poetry. This bazaar has so many twists and turns that even the expert gets confused sometimes. Learning Experience: • Morning Sanskrit Class • Visit Benras Gharana – Centre for Indian Classical Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Overnight at Om Vilas, (Luxury Tent)

DAY 11: Fly back to Delhi

Today after breakfast meet your professor to bid final goodbyes and clear any doubts left while learning the Sanskrit Language. Post lunch at the hotel you will be transferred to the airport to board flight back to Delhi. Upon arrival at Delhi, met and transfer to the airport hotel for final overnight. Dinner will be at the hotel. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Overnight at Novotel Aero city (Deluxe room)

DAY 12: See You Again!

Don't leave just yet! Extend your journey on one of our numerous photography, art and culture programs. Need to head back? We look forward to welcoming you on another Learning Journeys immersion. Choose to journey back to India or consider one of our journeys abroad in Ireland, Italy, Nepal and more. Meals included: Breakfast


Program Registration Fees

2021 Departures & Fees 2 Departures
2022 Departures & Fees 19 Departures

Date Double Occupancy Single Supplement
October 17, 2021
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
November 07, 2021
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
Date Double Occupancy Single Supplement
January 09, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
January 16, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
February 06, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
February 13, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
February 27, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
March 06, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
March 13, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
March 20, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
March 27, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
April 10, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
May 01, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
May 15, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
June 05, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
June 26, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
August 14, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
September 04, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
September 18, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
October 23, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
October 30, 2022
Reserve Online
£2,756.25
Per Person
£742.50
Per Person
Dates & Fees: View 2021 View 2022
Final pricing will be displayed on the summary page.

Services Included

• Accommodation for 11 Nights on Twin Share / Single basis at the hotels mentioned above or similar • Daily buffet breakfast & dinner at the hotels mentioned above • Lunch in Varanasi will mostly be at the hotel, apart from few days wherein we will provide lunch at local restaurants with 01 non-alcoholic drink during the meals. • Round trip flights Delhi-Varanasi • Assistance on arrival & departures at the airport • All transfers, excursions and sightseeing tours will be provided. • Entrance fees at all monuments listed in the itinerary for single visit only, road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges, interstate taxes. • Services of Local Experts/Local guides in Varanasi for sightseeing and unique experiences offered in the program. • 02 Hours Sanskrit Class with an experienced professor of the language. • Water Bottles & Wet Tissues throughout the tour • All applicable taxes on hotel & transport • Govt. service tax of 5%

Related Trips