Spend 9 days on a spiritual journey through Northern India!
Visit unforgettable sights through some of the most sacred areas of India; Haridwar; which translates literally as Gateway to God, is one of the Hindu holy places in India and a center of Hindu religion and mysticism for centuries, Rishikesh; which at a height of about 1360 feet above sea level, is the Gateway to the Himalayas and a major centre of spirituality and pilgrimage, and Varanasi; the city of Lord Shiva on the banks of the Ganges, which one of Hinduism's seven holiest cities!
Participants will get a hands on immersion into the rich culture of India through sacred temple visits, NGO work, interaction with locals (including a home cooking class!), river trips down the sacred Ganga, and much more!
PROGRAM COST INCLUDES
VARANASI/DELHI 9W-2424 (0325 PM / 0455 PM) - Non stop
Hotels or Similar
The Pride Plaza-Delhi airport
The Great Ganga-Rishikesh
The Amayaa- Varanasi
Call (979) 836-6600 for more information or to book today! Mention code 13732840
- Tour Operator
- Learning Journeys
- Offer valid through 3/31/2018
- 9 Days
- Escorted - Yes
|Day 1||Departure Day||Departure Day|
Depart from your home on a journey of discovery to Northern India. Ensure all flights booked arrive on day 2.
|Day 2||Delhi||ARRIVE DELHI|
Namaste and welcome to India! After clearing customs and formalities, Learning Journeys Representative will receive you in arrival lounge (Near Costa Coffee Counter) and transfer to hotel.
Welcome to India's capital city. Contemporary Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines the ancient with the modern. Amidst the fast spiraling 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 Delhi.
Overnight in Delhi (Meal: None)
|Day 3||Rishikesh||DELHI/HARIDWAR - by train / RISHIKESH - 01 hour drive|
After early breakfast, transfer to New Delhi Railway Station for train to Haridwar
Shatabdi Express Departure: at 0650 hrs Arrival: at 1125 hrs
Upon arrival drive to Rishikesh - at a height of about 1360 feet above sea level, is the Gateway to the Himalayas and a major centre of spirituality and pilgrimage. Several temples dot the banks of the Ganges at Rishikesh. Since ages, Yogis & Sadhus lived and practiced religion here. This small hill town got an introduction to the western world in late 60's when Beatles stayed at an Ashram here. Upon arrival, check-in at hotel.
In the evening 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. Also visit Parmarth Niketan Ashram where we will witness the prayer of river Ganges, called "Ganga Aarti". The ceremony is performed by ashram resident children who are studying the Vedas there. The ceremony commences with the singing of bhajans (prayers), and a purifying and sacred ritual that takes place around a fire, with the offerings made to the fire god (Agni). The lamps are lit and the aarti takes place as the final part of the ceremony. The children sing along with the spiritual head of the ashram, in sweet, haunting voices. This is a very spiritually engaged ceremony.
Overnight in Rishikesh (Meal: B)
|Day 4||Rishikesh||IN RISHIKESH|
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 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 Himalaya. On the way back, visit a village and meet some locals there.
In the evening, get ready with your questions as you will meet an Astrologer. Astrology in India has deep roots and surprisingly most of the people have deep faith in it. This is going to be an interesting session for you.
Overnight in Rishikesh (Meal: B)
Yoga session at hotel
Today, on site visit to Purukal Youth Development Society, a community organization that strives for excellence in rural children through free holistic education, day long nutrition, and complete health care. It has dual focus - development of individual capacity of the underserved and the consequent building of community capacity. The NGO is not only running a school but also ensuring student's transition into a successful adulthood. In addition to education, the NGO has taken several community development initiatives like - employment to the ladies of rural community, health & sanitation, social causes (such as domestic violence against females, child abuse, dowry, alcoholism, female infanticide and foeticide etc) and natural disaster relief.
(Note: If today is Sunday or Government Holiday in India, this tour will be arranged 01 day prior or later)
Enjoy your lunch with the staff and children here at Purukal.
Evening remains at leisure. Guests can book a Spa Session with the hotel (direct payment basis).
Overnight in Rishikesh (Meal: B, L)
|Day 6||Delhi||RISHIKESH / HARIDWAR / DELHI - train / Departure Delhi|
After breakfast at hotel, the morning remains at leisure. Later visit to a local family to learn about their life style and some cuisines in their daily kitchen during lunch.
Transfer in time to Haridwar Railway Station (01 hour drive) for train to Delhi
Shatabdi Express Departure: at 1815 hrs Arrival: at 2225 hrs
Upon arrival transfer to an airport hotel.
Overnight in Delhi (Meal: B, L)
|Day 7||Varanasi||DELHI / VARANASI - flight|
After breakfast transfer in time to airport for flight to Varanasi.
Varanasi, the city of Lord Shiva on the banks of the Ganges, is one of Hinduism's seven holiest cities. With its temples, over a hundred ghats and labyrinth of streets, the city cannot be described, only experienced. To visit the Ganga at Varanasi is to truly touch the soul of India. Also called Benares or Kashi, Varanasi is the oldest living city in India, and one of the world's most ancient, a contemporary of Babylon, Nineveh and Thebes. Hindu devotional movements flourished here, and it is still the chief centre of Sanskrit learning in North India.
Upon arrival in Varanasi transfer to hotel
In the evening, you would be taken to the Ghats to see the Ganga Aarti ceremony - an experience of life. The Ganga Aarti is a spectacular illuminated sight. Hundreds throng to the ghats to participate in this ceremony. Offerings of lamps and flowers are made to the river immediately following this ceremony and it is a moving sight to watch hundreds of miniature lamps float along the river. Take a boat ride on Ganges.
Overnight in Varanasi (Meal: B)
Early morning (about 5:30 am) visit the Ganges - the most sacred river of the world. Ride on a boat and witness the rituals and activities being performed by locals. At sunrise, the Hindu Faithfull's flock to the river to cleanse themselves of their sins. It is said that 'To die in Varanasi is to end the Hindu cycle of re-birth' thereby making it a popular place to end one's life. Take a boat ride on Ganges.
Return to the hotel for breakfast and Yoga Session. Later proceed for a tour to Varanasi and walking through lanes. Visit the Bharat Mata temple with its big marble relief map of India, the Durga temple and the modern marble Tulsi Manas temple whose walls are engraved with scenes and verses from the Ramcharitmanas, the Hindi version of the Ramayana. Visit Benares Hindu University campus and its museum.
Overnight in Varanasi (Meal: B)
|Day 9||Delhi||VARANASI / DELHI - flight|
Breakfast and Yoga Session at Hotel.
Later, transfer in time to airport for flight to Delhi.
Upon arrival in Delhi transfer to airport hotel
In the late evening, at 2100 hrs, transfer to airport for flight back to home.(Meal: B)