Spiritual Tour to India

Spiritual Tour to India

Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Amritsar - Dharamsala - Chandigarh - Rishikesh - Delhi

Enter the lap of nature – snow capped Himalaya Mountains, beautiful lakes, Chir and Pine forests, and gushing rivers. One of the most beautiful regions of India, surpassing paradise. Trace the Islamic history from the 14th century, and experience a rich cultural heritage. The Mughal rulers of India, retreated from the heat of the plains to the cool, green heights of Kashmir.

Enjoy a four day Lidder to Sindh Valley trek, wandering and camping at a height of over 3000 m through mule tracks, scenic meadows, beautiful glacial lakes, forests and snowbound passes. Be part of the Amarnath Yatra contending with 25000 Hindu pilgrims annually who visit the cave. Witness natures secret an ice lingam (a symbol of Lord Shiva) which changes size according to the season.

Day 01: Arrival Delhi

Flight to Delhi. On arrival in India you will be greeted and escorted by India Holiday Mall staff to your hotel.

In its 3000 years of existence; seven cities have risen where the present capital of India stands. Here you'll encounter a fascinating blend of the ancient and the contemporary. Where government buildings, medieval palaces and bazaars exist beside a modern metropolis. Delhi is a city waiting to be explored.

Overnight at the Hotel.

(Rooms will be available from 1200 Noon.)

Day 02: Delhi - Agra 

(approx. 203 kms / 05 hrs)

After breakfast, drive to Agra.

Agra stands on the right bank of the river Yamuna, once the seat of the Mughal rulers, the zenith of art and an enshrined romance. The town is famous for its beautiful medieval monuments. The passion of Mughals for building endowed it with some of the loveliest buildings in the world.

On arrival in Agra, check in at the hotel.

Later, visit the Agra Fort. Built by the great Emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is a masterpiece of design and construction. Within the fort are number of exquisite buildings, including the Moti Masjid, Diwane-I-Am, Diwane-I-Khas and Musamman Burj, where the Emperor Shah Jahan died in imprisonment, besides Jahangir's Palace, Khaas Mahal and the Sheesh Mahal.

Also visit Taj Mahal – A poignant poetry in marble, stands serene and awesome on a raised marble platform, by the banks of the Yamuna. The most extravagant monument ever built for love is a tribute to the timelessness of art and love. The inimitable poem in white marble, one of the seven modern wonders of the world, the finest expression of love of Emperor Shah Jahan for his queen Mumtaz who died giving birth to their 14th child, is located on the banks of the Yamuna river here. The construction of the Taj had commenced in 1631AD and had ended in 1653AD. Workers were gathered from all over the country and from central Asia. About 20,000 people were recruited to translate this dream into reality. The main architect was Isa Khan who was brought from Iran.

Overnight at the hotel.

IMP – Taj Mahal remains closed on Fridays.

Day 03: Agra - Jaipur 

(approx. 240 kms / 06 hrs)

After breakfast, drive to Jaipur. Enroute visit Fatehpur Sikri, the beautiful and deserted medieval city built by Akbar the Great in the 16th century to serve as the capital of his vast empire. The complex consists of religious, residential and administrative buildings. The Mosque is considered a copy for the Mosque at Mecca and is extremely elegant, containing elements of Hindu and Persian design. Housed here is the Shrine of Sheikh Salim Chisti one of the greatest of Sufi saints of the Muslim world.

After the sightseeing, continue your drive to Jaipur. Jaipur- the City of Victory was originally Sawai Jaipur, named after its founder Sawai Jai Singh II (1700-1743). The sunset-pink tinge of its walls, buildings, temples and emporia gave it the name Pink City, the name in which it became famous throughout the world. On arrival in Jaipur, check in at the hotel.

Later Enjoy Rickshaw Ride (Paddy Cab) in the streets of Jaipur. This will be done through the old city (30 – 45 Minutes), Ride through the narrow by lanes of Jaipur, through the hustle & Bustle of the old bazaars (Market).

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 04: Jaipur 

After breakfast, half-day excursion trip takes you to Amber Fort on Jeep / Elephants. This city Fort is situated 130m high with the Aravalli hills all around it in a valley 11 km north of Jaipur. It was the ancient capital of the Kachhawaha Rajputs till 1037.

OEn route, make a photo stop at the Palace of Winds (Hawa Mahal). It is a 5-storied building from the 18th century having 953 windows and niches made so that the ladies of the Royal family could see the processions and events in the city without being visible to the people outside.

In the afternoon visit the "Pink City" of Jaipur. You will visit City Palace, which houses the Royal residence and museums with collections of textiles and costumes, armoury, manuscripts, paintings etc. Also visit Royal Observatory (Jantar Mantar-1728-34) built by king astrologer Jai Singh II. The instruments are built of stone with marble facing on the important plains for measuring the harmony of the heavens. Each instrument serves a particular function and each gives an accurate reading.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 05: Jaipur - Delhi 

(approx. 260 kms / 06 hrs)

After breakfast, drive to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi, check in at the hotel.

Rest of the day is at Leisure.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 06: Delhi - Amritsar

Early morning transfer to railway station to board the train to Amritsar.

It is home to the Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple, the spiritual and cultural center of the Sikh religion. This important Sikh shrine attracts more visitors than the Taj Mahal in Agra and is the number one destination for non-resident Indians (NRI) in the whole of India.. Amritsar is considered important and holy by hindus as well.

On arrival, transfer to hotel and check in.

Darbar Sahib or Golden Temple, is named after Hari (God) i.e. the temple of God. The Harmandir Sahib is the holiest shrine in Sikhism and is a major pilgrimage destination for Sikhs from all over the world.

Construction of the Golden Temple began in 1574 on land donated by the Mughal emperor Akbar and was completed in 1601, but restoration and embellishment continued over the years.

The most famous and sacred part of the Golden Temple complex is the Hari Mandir (Divine Temple) or Darbar Sahib (Court of the Lord), which is the beautiful golden structure at the center of a large body of water. The water that surrounds the Hari Mandir is a sacred pool known as the Amrit Sarovar, "Pool of Nectar." Another major highlight of the Golden Temple complex is the Guru-ka-Langar, a dining hall where around 35,000 people a day are fed for free by temple volunteers.

Overnight at the hotel

Day 07: Amritsar - Dharamsala 

(approx. 199 kms / 05 hrs)

After breakfast, drive to Dharamsala. Set against the backdrop of the dramatic Dhauladhar Mountains, Dharamsala is perched on the high slopes in the upper reaches of Kangra Valley. The town is divided into two distinct and widely separated sections, Upper and Lower Dharamsala, which differ almost a thousand metres in height. Dharamsala over looks the plains and is surrounded by dense pine trees and Deodar forests. A nearby snowline with numerous streams and cool healthy atmosphere makes the surroundings very attractive. The colorful temple and Gompas, which reflect the culture of Tibet, adds attraction for the visitor.

"Dharamsala" literally means an "inn attached to a temple", and it was so until the district headquarters in Kangra became too crowded and the British moved 2 of their regiments in the late 1840s to what is now Dharamsala. On arrival in Dharamsala, check in at the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 08: Dharamsala

After breakfast at the hotel visit Dr. Dolma's Tibetan medicine Clinic and the medicine-making factory. This clinic was set up in 1960.

The roots of Tibetan Medicine run deep in Tibetan culture and are the result of thousands of years of development and integration of the major medical systems of the ancient world. Tibetans have created a unique holistic system drawing on and blending the medical traditions of Tibet with those of India, China, Persia, and Greece (much as western medicine has its roots in the Arabic, Greek, and Persian traditions).

The Tibetan Medical system is at once a science, art, and philosophy, acknowledging needs of the individual as a whole, encompassing body, mind and spirit. The science of this Traditional Tibetan System is grounded in a wealth of knowledge and understanding of anatomy, physiology, embryology, and pathology.

Later visit Norbulingka institute. This Institute is a registered trust functioning under the Chairmanship of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan People, under the auspices of the Tibetan government in exile. It is dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture in both its literary and artistic forms. Also visit Namgyal monastery, and The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.

Overnight at the hotel

Day 09: Dharamsala - Chandigarh 

(approx. 350 kms / 10 hrs)

After an early breakfast, drive to Chandigarh through the mountain landscapes. Chandigarh, the Capital of Haryana as well as Punjab, is a planned city designed by the French architect Le Corbusier.

The city is highly developed and modern, divided into various sectors and has well-laid roads lined with rows of trees and beautifully planned buildings. It has derived its name from a temple on the slope of the Sivalik hill, Chandi Mandir (deity Chandi, goddess of power), and a fort or "garh" beyond the temple, called Chandigarh.

On arrival in Chandigarh, check in at the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 10: Chandigarh - Rishikesh 

(approx. 245 kms / 06 hrs)

After breakfast, visit Rock Garden. Rock garden is an epitome of creativity and innovation. It is a unique garden that consists of various art objects. The best part about the rock garden is that each of its artwork has been made by using industrial and urban waste. The credit for laying its foundation goes to Nek Chand, who was the then Road Inspector in the Engineering Department of Chandigarh Capital Project.

Rock garden has been established in the form of an open-air exhibition hall. The garden houses sculptures made by using a variety of different discarded waste materials like frames, mudguards, forks, handle bars, metal wires, play marbles, porcelain, auto parts, broken bangles etc.

Later drive to Rishikesh.

On arrival in Rishikesh, transfer to hotel.

Rishikesh is a holy city for Hindus and a famous centre of pilgrimage. It is also known as the gateway to the Himalayas and is located around 25 kilometers away from Haridwar. Hrishikesh is the starting point for traveling to the sites that form the Char Dham pilgrimage Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. The sacred river Ganga flows through Rishikesh. In fact, it is here that the river leaves the Shivalik Mountains, and flows out into the plains of northern India. Several temples, ancient as well as new, can be found along the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh. Rishikesh, sometimes nicknamed "the world-capital of Yoga", has numerous yoga centres. It is believed that meditation in Rishikesh brings one closer to attainment of moksha (Salvation), as does a dip in the holy river that flows through it.

Overnight at the Ashram.

Day 11: Rishikesh

Early morning, enjoy the Yoga session.

Yoga is a disciplined science encompassing all aspects of life in different ways and levels to balance the mind, body and spirit. This helps us to restore perfect health and leads us from consciousness to super consciousness, resulting ultimately in eternal bliss or Sat-Chitt – Ananda, which is the aim of Yoga. This art originated, was perfected and practiced in India thousands of years ago. The references to yoga are available in 'Upanishads' and 'Puranas' composed by Indian Aryans in the later Vedic and post- Vedic period.

Later, after breakfast, visit the various Ashrams. Also visit Triveni Ghat & Laxman Jhoola along with other temples along the Ghats.

Later drive to Haridwar and enjoy Aarti ceremony at sun set on the Ghats of Ganges.

"Aarti" is a very auspicious Hindu ritual in which we offer our prayers to God or to whom we respect & consider equal to God; thanking them for their presence in our life. In India, this ritual is performed on various auspicious days, events & festivals.

The Ganga Aarti in Haridwar is a daily ritual. This one & half hour ritual starts with a holy fire ceremony called as "Yagna" i.e. offering a mixture of dRishikeshifferent herbs with clarified butter (Ghee) to the fire while chanting the prayers (Mantra) in order to purify the surrounding environment and to invite the holy vibrations.

The Guru or the Master with his devotees, sing the prayers along with the lighting of the small lamps welcoming & thanking the river Ganga for being the source of life & prosperity for this region. The experience, the view and the positive vibrations are so inspirational that it is difficult to put into words.

Overnight at the Ashram.

Day 12: Rishikesh - Delhi

(Dehradun Shatabdi Express – Haridwar Dep. 1813 hrs / Delhi Arr. 2245 hrs)

Early morning, enjoy the Yoga session.

After breakfast, visit the various temples along the Ghats of Ganges. (Rooms will be available till 1200 noon).

In the late afternoon, transfer to railway station to board the train to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi, transfer to hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 13: Delhi Departure

Today you will connect the flight back home.

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