The spiritual journey to India

India, this is the country for those, who have always been dreaming of going just there. This journey is exactly for such people. This is not only encounter with a splendid architecture and history of Great Mughals’ reign, but also experience a very specific, religious climate of the most important places of Hinduism and Buddhism. During our journey we’ll visit places, which can’t be excluded not only on the map of Hindu and Buddhists’ pilgrimage, but also in the case of people, who would like to experience a spiritual atmosphere. This atmosphere is rather difficult to encounter outside of magical India. This country is a blend of different cultures, religions, ethnic groups, who speak their own languages, the place where one can encounter a very splendid architecture, and can get in touch with the history of India. On the other hand, India is the country of the everyday tumult, noises, overwhelming filth one can’t comprehend until one has seen it, poverty, a lot of harassing people, who try to sell you something, and it is the country, one has to bargain for almost everything. Besides, one can find here calmness and tranquillity, the disinterested smile of a pedestrian, and all these magical moments one can take back home.

  • Our price: 1250 USD

The following are journey’s dates to India in 2018:


  • 4th of November – 16th of November 2019

  • 2nd of December – 14th of December 2019

Our price includes:

  • Stay in 3* hotels in different cities which are on the road of our journey. Hotels offer daily breakfast. The price goes up to $ 200 in the case of booking a single room on the road of our journey.

  • Transport by AC buses, taxis, AC railway carriage, and air ticket – Gaya/Varanasi – New Delhi.

  • Boat cruise on the Gang River in Varanasi.

  • Escorted by our experienced tour manager.

  • Arranging the journey.


Our price does not include:

  • Return flights to India and payment for Indian visa. One can apply for Indian visa online.

  • Personal expenses during the stay in India.

  • Meals at the restaurants and tips which are normally paid in India.

  • Sightseeing tickets and passes.

  • Travel insurance which is absolutely necessary while making this journey.


The very important matter referring to our journey is to a have travel insurance! There are many travel insurance companies, like Avanti Travel Insurance.

www.avantitravelinsurance.co.uk

Telephone – 0800 888 6195


The choice of a travel insurance company is yours, and the information about mentioned insurance company should be treated just like a little help in searching for a company which is the most suitable for you.

All information about the journey to India will be shared with those, who decide to take this journey with us. One should plan a journey a couple of months in advance because it can make difference regarding the price of an air ticket. The sooner reservation is made the better!


We would like to inform you of the following matters:

  1. Notification of participation in the journey takes place after sharing with us your personal data full name, country, postcode, street address, town (city ,phone number, email ).

  2. Notification of participation in the journey is confirmed after deposit of $ 300 was made. A bank account number will be send to a participant after making declaration of a currency to be used to pay for the journey.

  3. The deposit is not returnable.

  4. The rest of the money should be paid 60 days before the journey.

 

The itinerary of the journey to India

Day 1

Landing in New Delhi. After taking a rest in a hotel, we will venture forth to tour the city. The capital of India offers a lot of tourist attractions including not only old mosques, temples, and buildings were built in 17th century, but also the very impressive Hindu temples, which were built in modern times. We will visit the Red Fort, the main residence of the emperors of the Great Moghul dynasty. The Red Fort’s construction was begun in 1639, and completed after nine years. It can be considered as an example of magnificent Hindu – Muslim style of architecture, which is very characteristic in the northern and central parts of India. It was the site the British put the last Mughal Emperor on trial before exiling him to Burma /Myanmar/ in 1857. It was also the place where the first Hindu prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru gave his speech after India announced its independence.

Photo 1: Red Fort. Photo by A.Savin /commons.wikimedia.org/.

The next structure to be seen is Jama Masjid Mosque, which was constructed thanks to the same emperor, Shah Jahan, whose idea was to build also the Red Fort. It was built between 1644 and 1656. This great mosque of Old Delhi is one of the largest in India, with the courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees.

The third place, we are going to visit, during our full day sightseeing tour, is the Emperor Humayun’s tomb. He was the second The Great Moghul’s emperor, who died at age of 47, but who brought Persian influence on Indian painting and architecture. Many architects and artist not only from India, but also from Persia, were employed to build this monument, which construction was finished in 1570. On the road back to our hotel we can experience the very specific atmosphere of Old Delhi.

Photo 2: Jama Masjid Mosque in the noon. Photo by Bikashrd /wikimedia.commons.org/.

Day 2

After breakfast, we set off to see Sikh temple, Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. This monument is really very impressive. It was built in the place of death of Sikh Guru Harkrishnan Dev. He died in 1664, and is considered as a saviour, who helped many people suffering from cholera during that time. The monument is built of white marble. Because the temple is located nearby the Connaught Place, we can go there to have a look at one of the largest commercial and business centres in New Delhi. We will continue our tour going down

Rajpath Kingway. It connects the India Gate with Parliament House of India. The India Gate was built to commemorate Indian soldiers who lost their lives it the third Anglo – Afghan war in 1919 resulting in the Afghans winning independence from the British Empire. During that war almost ninety thousand Indian soldiers lost their lives.

Later, we are going to visit two temples, which are not just the places of religious cult, but also one of the greatest tourist attractions in New Delhi.

Akshardham Temple, built in 2005, is dedicated to Swaminarayan, who was the great Indian saint, yogi and ascetic, and who lived between 1781 and 1830. He was against animal sacrifices practiced among the Brahmins, the Hindu priests, and was famous for re-establishing Ahimsa, avoidance of violence towards others. His followers believe that he is avatar of God. During construction the artists used ancient techniques to create 20,000 reliefs of the deities, saints and mythical creatures. One of the greatest attractions of this place is boat ride, which is like a journey through Indian history and Hindu beliefs.

The Lotus Temple was constructed in 1986. It is the next temple on our New Delhi tour. This prominent attraction in the city, which is built of white marble, is open to all, regardless of religion and social statue. The temple is surrounded by the gardens and pools.

There is another temple nearby, International Society for Krishna Consciousness Temple, which we are going to visit as well.

Before coming back to our hotel, we will visit the last temple on our New Delhi’s temples tour, Lakshminarayan Temple, which was built in 1939. The temple is dedicated to god Vishnu and his wife Lakshmi, who is the goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity. The nearby temples are dedicated to Shiva, Krishna and Buddha.

Photo 3:  Bangla Sahib Gurdwara  Panorama. Photo by Nimitnigam /creativecommons.org/.

Photo 4: Swaminarayan Akshardham, New Delhi. Photo by Kapil.xerox /creativecommons.org/.

Photo 5: Lotus Temple, Panorama. Photo by Bijay Chaurasia /commons.wikimedia.org/.

Day 3 and 4

After having breakfast in our hotel, we will go to a railway station to catch a train to Jaipur. It takes between 6 and 8 hours to get there. We spend two days in the capital of Rajasthan, the land of Maharajas, to enjoy the beauty of the local, historic buildings, and other tourist attractions including very delicious Rajasthani cuisine. We will visit the Pink City, which is the heart of the city. The reasoning behind the name is easy to understand because almost every building within the walled historic centre is painted of terracotta pink colour. The next historic buildings we are going to visit are: Hawa Mahal /Palace of Winds/, which is nearby The Pink City, and Amer Fort, located high on a hill and 11 kilometres from Jaipur. After two nights in our hotel we are set off to Agra. We will go there by train. The trip will take us about 4 hours. When we arrive in Agra, we will be transferred to a hotel.

Photo 6: Amer Fort, Jaipur,Rajasthan. Photo by Spiritedbolderwoman /pixabay.com/.

Day 5 and 6

Very early in the morning, we will venture forth to admire the sunrise over Taj Mahal. It is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The mausoleum was built between 1632 and 1653 AD by Shah Jahan, 5th Emperor of the Great Mughal Dynasty. Taj Mahal was constructed as a memorial to Shah Jahan’s beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal after her death in 1631. She was the emperor’s third wife, but he loved her so much that, as it is said, he went grey during the night after she passed away. Unfortunately, he was dethroned by his son, and could admire this impressive monument from the windows of his prison in the nearby fort. After his death he was buried together with his wife. The mausoleum was declared UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.

The next historic building to be visited by us is Agra Fort. It is considered as one of the most beautiful fort of the Mughal Dynasty’s era. We spend the night in our hotel.

Photo 7: Taj Mahal. Photo by JulianYu /unsplash.com/.

 

Day 7 and 8

Early in the morning, we will set off to a place where, as if the time stopped many centuries ago. The town of Orchha was founded in 16th century AD, and it was the capital of one of the greatest kingdom in central India during that time. The palaces and temples of Orchha did not lose their former grandness and beauty. We will stay here for two days in order to submerge ourselves in this unique and fairy-tale-like climate.

The most of these historic buildings are located nearby Orchha’s centre, so we can visit them without being in a rush.

One of them is the Royal Tombs of Maharajas, Chhatris, which are located on the banks of a beautiful river Betwa.

We can take into consideration an offer of a local resort and get Ayurvedic massage. The price is between $10 and $30. Ayurveda is the ancient Indian medicine. After the very busy day, we can go back to our hotel.

Photo 8: Royal Chhatris on the bank of Betwa River. Photo by Shiva Rajvasnhi /commons.wikimedia.org/. 

Photo 9: Orchha Palace, Jahangir Mahal, Orchha. Photo by Jan Forget /commons.wikimedia.org./.

Day 9

This day, will be traveling to Varanasi. The city is also known as Benares. Varanasi is one of the most important places in India. We will go there by train. The trip lasts between 11 and 12 hours. After getting there, we will be transferred to the hotel.

Day 10

The next day, early in the morning, we will take a boat trip on the Ganges River. It is very unusual trip because we can watch the morning, religious rituals, which are very specific for Hindu people. They perform morning ablutions in the Ganges River believing that in this way they can remove so called negative karma accumulated not only in the present life, but also during the former lives. Those rituals, as Hindu people believe, may help on the way to spiritual liberation and freedom from the endless cycle of life and death. To attain this, it is very important to recognise so called pure consciousness, which is beyond all suffering and appearances. What can be useful to attain such liberation? According to Hinduism: the religious rituals and ceremonies like chanting the mantras, singing the devotional songs, offering sacrifices to gods and offering fire as the butter lampas , which are left to float down the Ganges River. We can watch these while taking the boat ride on the Ganga River in the city of lights.

In this place, we can meet a lot of Hindu, wandering ascetics, sadhus, who belong to the different school of Hinduism. Since Varanasi is described as the city of god Shiva, many sadhus in the city are the followers of Shiva’s path of spiritual practice. The others are god Vishnu’s followers. We can experience here the different dimensions of Hinduism, which followers arrive to Varanasi from all India. We can encounter here an unforgettable, very colourful atmosphere, and religious ecstasy, that is quite rare to experience beyond this city.

Photo 10:  Hindu sun workship. Photo by Gauravarorarajio /pixabay.com/.

Photo 11: Varanasi at sunrise. Photo by Aluxum /Getty Images/.


The same day, we take a taxi to Sarnath, which is located just about 9 kilometres from Varanasi. Gautama Buddha gave here his first sermon. He was born in 6th century BC, and he was a sage on whose teaching Buddhism was founded. The first Buddha sermon was given to the five ascetics who were his former companions. He taught the Four Noble Truth: the existence of suffering, the cause of suffering, that the cause of suffering can end, and the path to the end of suffering. The Buddha attained his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, a village located in northeast Indian state of Bihar. It is one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Buddhism. We will spend the night in our hotel in Varanasi.

Day 11 and 12

After having breakfast, we will set off to Bodh Gaya. It will take us about five hours to get there. According to Buddhist scriptures it is a place, where Gautama Buddha attained his enlightenment after spending seven days in meditation under a large and very old sacred fig tree. It does not make any sense to be in a rush while being in such place. There are many monasteries and temples belonging to the different Buddhist schools and traditions. It is worthy to take some time to meditate and contemplate the nature of the world, and the nature of ourselves. After this spiritual adventure we can came back to our hotel.

The next day, we will visit the city of Rajgir. Nearby the city there is a hill where the Buddha gave his sermon, which teachings are the basis of Lotus Sutra. According to many Buddhist scholars and masters, the Lotus Sutra contains the finale teaching of the Buddha. It is about the transcendental nature of the Buddha state that is beyond suffering, and the way of meditation and appropriate conduct to attain it. After visiting this unique place, we are on the way to our hotel in Bodh Gaya.

Photo 12: Wall painting in the Bhutan Temple, Bodhgaya. Photo by  Ineb 2553 /wikimedia.commons.org/.

Photo 13: Ceremony under the Bodhi Tree, Bodhgaya, Mahabodhi Temple. Photo by Anandoart /Getty Images/.

Day 13

Flight to New Delhi from Gaya / or from Varanasi/. Our journey to India is over, and we hope that everybody has a good flight back home.

 
Day 1
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Day 1
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Day 2
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Day 2
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Day 2
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Day 3 & 4
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Day 5 & 6
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Day 7 & 8
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Day 7 & 8
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Day 10
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Day 10
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Day 11 & 12
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Day 11 & 12
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