DRIVE SURSINGDHAR – RISHIKESH
DELHI – AGRA
AGRA – DELHI
FLY DELHI – DEHRADUN – DRIVE TO SURSINGDHAR
DRIVE RISHIKESH – DELHI – DEPARTURE
WELCOME IN DELHI
YOGA AND CULTURAL VISITS
SUNSET TAJ FACING YOGA
TAJ MAHAL AND AGRA FORT
HIKE, BONFIRE, LIGHT MUSIC & DINNER UNDER STARS
SPEND DAY AT A SPECIAL RETREAT CENTER
HIKING AND TREKKING
RIVER RAFTING AND A DEVOTIONAL AARTI CEREMONY OF OFFERING LIGHT TO THE SACRED RIVER GANGA
MORNING WALK THROUGH THE GHATS AND DEPARTURE
YOGA - AMIDST THE HIMALAYAS
This tour is the perfect combination to learn about and explore the culture of India, while also deepening your understanding and practice of Yoga. Yoga, which originated in Ancient India, is not only a way to keep the physical body healthy and fit, but it is a way of life that includes spiritual practices and discipline. Yoga is perhaps the world's first system that recognizes the interconnection and interaction between body and mind. By isolating the mind of all thoughts, worries and fears, and increasing the strength and flexibility of the body we may achieve a more blissful existence. A regular yoga practice can help keep stress and tension at bay and facilitate a state of well-being and peace.
ITINERARY IN DETAIL
Day 1 Arrive Delhi
A warm welcome awaits you upon your arrival in New Delhi where you will be met and driven to your hotel.
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 a period from the 11th to 20th centuries. It has seen the rise and fall of many emperors which 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 culture and architectural styles.
Day 2 Delhi
Begin your day with a morning Yoga Class in an open garden at the hotel conducted by Kyra Anastasia. This session will include slow mindful movements, deep breathing and relaxation techniques to open the joints and restore energy after a long journey.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will gather for an orientation meeting to go over tour details and to meet fellow travelers. Meet your local guide and become familiar with the political and cultural diversity of India. Afterwards, we will be escorted on a half-day tour of Delhi. We will begin by traveling by rickshaw past colorful bazaars, sacred temples, and colonial monuments through the winding streets of Old Delhi, the capital of Muslim India from the 12th through the 19th centuries.
View the sumptuous Red Fort palace, the symbol of Indian nationhood. Visit India's largest mosque, the white marble Jama Masjid.
Continue to New Delhi, which was designed and built by the British in the 1920's. It's a city of wide boulevards, impressive government buildings, vibrant parks and gardens.
We will then visit, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. One of the most prominent Sikh temples, which feeds more than 10,000 people per day, irrespective of cast-creed-color-religion. Here we will practice ‘Seva’ or selfless service, an integral aspect of the Sikh faith as well as of Yoga and may even make bread or serve food.
Visit Mahatma Gandhi’s Memorial and Former Residence to honor a man who did great things for the betterment of Indian people, the country and made a lasting impression on humanity itself.
Time permitting; we will visit Humayun's Tomb, which was built by the wife of Mughal Emperor Humayun, Haji Begum in the mid-16th century. This red sandstone structure is considered to be the predecessor of the Taj Mahal and one of the best examples of Mughal architecture.
Before returning to the hotel, drive along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate and Parliament House.
Day 3 Delhi – Agra
Today, we drive to Agra, home of the majestic Taj Mahal. The drive itself is a fascinating way to see the country as we travel from the foothills to the plains and onward to this memorable city.
Before sunset, we will practice yoga and meditation at a lovely hillside overlooking the Taj Mahal.
Day 4 Agra – Delhi
Early morning sunrise visit to the Shah Jehan’s monument to love - The Taj Mahal, built by the Mughal emperor as the final resting place for his favorite Queen, Mumtaz. This perfectly symmetrical monument took 22 years (1630-1652 A.D) of hard labor and 20,000 workers, masons and jewelers to build. It was designed by the Persian architect, Ustad Isa. The verses of Holy Quran are inscribed on it as well as at the top of the gate’s 22 small domes, signifying the number of years it took to build this monument. The elegant dome of the Taj has a diameter of 60 feet, and directly under the dome is the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. Fantastic inlay work made from semi-precious stones, decorates both the interior and exterior.
This afternoon, we will enjoy a visit to Agra Fort where the Shah Jehan was imprisoned. The great Mughal Emperor Akbar commissioned the construction of the Agra Fort in 1565 A.D. The forbidding exteriors of this fort hide an inner paradise. The fort is crescent shaped, flattened on the East with a long, nearly straight wall facing the river. The fort is ringed by sandstone ramparts surrounded by a wide and deep moat. Later today we drive back to Delhi.
Day 5 Fly Delhi – Dehradun – Drive to Sursingdhar
This morning, participate in a Yoga class held at the hotel.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Dehradun. Upon arrival, drive to Sursingdhar.
Take a short hike around the lodge before participating in a welcome bonfire, light music & a delicious dinner held under the stars.
Day 6 Sursingdhar
Wake up to the stunning sight of the sun rising from behind the famous Nanda Devi Mountain. We will start the day by breathing in the fresh mountain air, listen to the birds sing and enjoying a delicious Masala tea.
Later today, we will drive to the starting point of our mountain trek. We will hike for around 2-3 hours with rest stops & a relaxing lunch break. The hike is through a beautiful forest region. We will start hiking to a unique temple perched atop the summit of a mountain, a steep but beautiful hike. The views from the top are fantastic and include the snow clad Himalayan ranges on one side and underlying valleys and hill station of Mussorrie on the other side.
Day 7 Sursingdhar
Today will be spent at a special retreat center with amazing views of the Himalayas and a large expansive lake. Experience an exclusive half-day program where you have the opportunity to be immersed in service work with local students and build lasting relationships through a rich cultural exchange. We may even teach the students some English or yoga!
Later this afternoon there’s the option of taking a guided stroll through the forest to visit a traditional mountain village.
Day 8 Sursingdhar – Rishikesh
Today, we drive to Rishikesh - the land of the Rishis (sages, divinely inspired poets), a holy city for Hindus located in the foothills of the Himalaya in northern India. The sacred river Ganga (anglicized to Ganges) flows through Rishikesh. It is believed that meditation in Rishikesh brings one closer to the attainment of salvation, or Moksha, as does a dip in the holy river that flows through it.
This afternoon, we will gear up for an exciting Rafting trip of only 15 ½ miles and 2 hours. The trip will take us to Rishikesh with a stop enroute to Brahmpuri beach for lunch. Upon arrival in Rishikesh we will have a chance to dry off and change before driving back to our hotel.
This evening, experience Aarti, a beautiful and devotional ceremony of offering light to the sacred River Ganga.
Day 9 Rishikesh – Delhi – Departure
Early this morning, walk through the Ghats (steps leading down to the holy river). Later today we will drive back to Delhi with time to relax and change, in rooms arranged for us, before transfering to the airport for your flight home.