SOUTH INDIA HEART PILGRIMage, nov 2019

  • vrindavan. Mahabalipuram•Puducherry•Tiruchirapalli•Rameswaram•

NOv 3rd-nov 15th , 2019 • $2850

Journey with Gopi and Braja to the land of yogis and mystics, where mantra is an embodied transformative experience, food is an art of spices and flavors, and ritual a ray of color and beauty. These two creative and skilled yoga teachers have extensive experience living in ashrams and traveling in India, and will be your guides to a side of the country barely glimpsed by the average tourist.

Full cost is $2850, which includes all internal travel, food and accommodations. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to register.

4 DAYS IN VRINDAVAN

Vrindavan is the birthplace of Lord Krishna, a place of pilgrimage for Hindus and home to over 5000 temples, large and small. Sacred chanting resonates throughout the town, which is considered to be the “Heart Altar” of Bhakti yogis, those who follow the path of devotion. Our Vrindavan pilgrimage will include a boat ride on the sacred river Yamuna; visits to some of the oldest temples in the area; a day at Vrindavan Food for Life, a wonderful charity that provides education and much more to very poor children to help break the cycle of poverty, and also has many other impressive initiatives including environmental programs, a medical facility, and an animal sanctuary; and a trip to Govardhan Hill, whose spiritual potency draws thousands of pilgrims each month. Of course, we'll also do yoga every day.

Stay at, MVTINDIA

3 days in Rameswaram

Rameswaram is another pilgrimage place filled with blessings and the powerful energy of worship and prayer to Lord Rama. This is the auspicious place where Rama built a bridge to Sri Lanka to rescue his wife Sita, who was kidnapped by Ravana, the force of evil.   Rameswaram has ornate corridors, huge sculpted pillars and sacred water tanks.  Gandamadana Parvatham is a hill with spectacular island views. A chakra (wheel) here is said to bear an imprint of Lord Rama’s feet. This is the place where Lord Shiva, the god of destruction, offered his prayers to Ram. These ancient stories come alive when visiting these holy places. They are a vortex of sacred energy and power held in time and space and when we visit we are allowed to enter, relive and rejuvenate our sacred heart center.

1 day in Mahabalipuram. 1 day in Puducherry.

Mahabalipuram is a World Heritage site where temples and carvings of ancient archaeological wonders depict stories from the yogic teachings and forms of Gods and Goddesses in play and action. The monoliths inspire and inflame the imagination and the sunsets are magnificent. Puducherry is a former French colonial settlement, with unique culture and architecture. Enjoy the salty air and coastal beauty of the Bay of Bengal beaches. The town is also a vibrant place, great for shopping!

4 days in Tiruchirappalli

Tiruchirappalli  is an ancient city in India's southern Tamil Nadu state. The Kaveri and Kollidam rivers flow around Sri Rangam Island, the sacred site of Sri Ranganath Temple. It is one of the most illustrious bhakti temples in South India, rich in legend and history, depicting a sacred form of the reclining Vishnu.  The Srirangam temple is the largest temple compound in India and one of the largest religious complexes in the world. Some of these structures have been renovated, expanded and rebuilt over the centuries as a living temple. The energy still remains, surcharged with devotional bhakti ritual and mysticism, it has become a portal of Grace.  Its beauty and architectural design will inspire love and reverence in the heart. Tiruchirappali has intricately carved gopurams (towering gateways), leading into other magnificent temples, like the Jambukeswarar-Akilandeswari Temple, dedicated to the god Shiva. The Rock Fort Temple complex towers over the city center.

Flight info: Book flights arriving into Delhi International Airport, and departing from Chennai International Airport. If you are booking online, you will have to select multiple cities instead of round trip. The price should be very similar to a round trip flight. Please book a flight arriving the evening of November 3rd, most flights from the USA arrive late. Your return flight should be booked Nov. 15th late at night or Nov 16th in the early morning. We will not arrive at the Chennai airport until after 7 pm on the 15th. Most international flights leave after 10 pm. Please check your flight times with Gopi before booking. On arrival, we will arrange 2 pick up times from the Delhi airport for group transport directly to Vrindavan (about 3 hours away). If your flight arrival time does not fit with the scheduled pick up times, you will pay an extra $50 for a private taxi.

If you would like to arrive early in India to visit the Taj Mahal, speak to Gopi for help with arrangements. Our hotel in Vrindavan is 1.5 hours from Agra, so a day trip to the Taj is easily organized (with additional fees for transportation, extra night(s) of lodging, tour guide if desired, etc.).

The 13-day pilgrimage will be compact and meaningful, with some rest and renewal and some fun and laughter. In two weeks, we’ll cover what the average traveler does in two months. You will see and experience a lot of India’s culture, history and spiritual wisdom by visiting temples, engaging in rituals and interacting with sadhus (saints) and beggars alike. Join us on this life-transforming adventure!