India: Spiritual Pilgrimages 2022
INDIA | Spiritual Pilgrimage:
Ayurvedic Nutrition, Yoga, Breath and Meditation
March 5 - 21, 2023
Cost: $4,795 (double occupancy)
Single Supplement: $795
Join us for this seventeen-day adventure from Kerala’s South beaches to the Himalayan foothills of Rishikesh - the birthplace of yoga - in the North. Together, we will be exploring the roots of Ayurvedic medicine, yoga, breath and meditation. We will also learn about the various spiritual belief systems of different traditional communities in the North. In this deeply intercultural exploration, we will also have a chance to contemplate how our Western perceptions - old and new – impact how we show up in this lifetime; in our own bodies and in this universe that connects us all.
Open your heart; mind and body to this ancient culture, and you will return home with a more profound understanding of many of the diverse world views and spiritual belief systems. It will help you find ease when returning to your everyday lives, in the midst of the ever-evolving world challenges. India tends to change your perspectives forever.
The entire adventure is hosted by Master yoga teacher Pradeep Teotia. Born in a small village outside of New Delhi, Pradeep is an internationally certified yoga teacher who draws mostly from his training in India. He has practiced and studied yoga his entire life - starting with his grandmother in his early years. He is known for bringing the roots of yoga alive for modern practitioners through the integration of meditation, yoga philosophy, nature's vitality, spontaneous humor, and joy. His unique teaching style brings alive the holistic nature of healing in a way that is simple, powerful, and accessible - allowing people to connect more deeply with their own authentic power and spirit. With a home base in the Bay Area of CA, Pradeep teaches yoga worldwide. In late 2020 and early 2021, he spent several months back in India with his family.
Cilla joined Cross Cultural Journeys as CEO in January of 2015. Since the late 90's, she has worked in the field of intercultural consciousness, facilitated cross-cultural training programs for executives living and working across cultures. A native of Sweden and a world traveler, she has lived for extended periods in Spain, the UK, Chile, Guatemala and the US. She holds an MBA in Sustainability from Presidio Graduate School and is often a speaker on the links between sustainability and cultural values. Cilla is also a budding author, working on a novel about her mother’s childhood, contemplating how unresolved trauma can impact future generations. Based in the US since 1998, she lives on Bainbridge Island, WA where she is co-parenting her teen son Mateo with her ex-husband Leif. She loves contemplating life’s purpose, yoga, cooking and good food, the outdoors, long walks with her French Bulldog puppy Lola always by her side.
Day 1 -2-3-4
This truly unique pilgrimage starts in the world renowned AyurSoma Ayurvedic Resort & Clinic in Kerala. Fully immersed in the traditional practices, treatments, and sadhanas (daily spiritual practices) of Ayurvedic Medicine, your journey of self-discovery through Ayurveda will be supported by the daily asana practices of our local host, Pradeep Teotia. The first four days of the journey will have you digging deeper into your personal Doshas, exploring sacred temples and Ashrams, eating the freshest Ayurvedic food, and learning the true meaning of living your yoga. Let the wisdom of Mother India reawaken your soul!
Sleep: AyurSoma Ayurvedic Resort & Clinic (4 nights)
Next find yourself floating down the majestic canals of the Kerala backwaters. Living for 3 days on traditionally build house boats your crew will amaze your tastebuds with wildly delicious traditional meals while showing you the true life and natural beauty of Southern India. Kick back and relax as you soak up the views sipping freshly made chai. Every day the boat travels further down the backwaters offering you something different around very bend.
Sleep: Backwater Boats / Spice Route (2 nights)
On day seven, we fly back to New Delhi, where we will have a chance to visit the country’s top cultural institutions as well as viewing Jain and B’hai temples. Free to explore Delhi on your own.
Sleep: Radisson Blu Airport Hotel (1 night)
Day 8 – 9
We depart by coach bus to visit the Taj Mahal, one of the world’s most magnificent edifices, a monument to a Muslim emperor’s love for his queen. We will have a private guided tour of the Taj Mahal and surrounding. Sunset view of Taj Mahal from the rooftop bar at our hotel!
Sleep: Taj View (2 nights)
Day 10 – 11
From Agra, we continue our journey by coach bus to the sacred city of Varanasi, one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in the world. Many spiritual masters claim that Varanasi is the true birthplace of Hinduism. Glide down the Ganges River at sunset while viewing the entire ancient metropolis come alive with chanting and night-time flames of worship. Explore the lanes and alleys of this aged stone city where every few feet reveals another shrine or temple. Sit in meditation in the Deer Park of Sarnath where Gautama Buddha first preached his Eight-Fold Path. We will witness the women’s morning rituals on the ghats and observe the vibrant riverside life. Stroll through the most ancient part of the city, navigating narrow cobbled streets lined with tiny shrines, sacred trees, temples, shops and bazaars. We will visit the magnificent Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to the Shiva and considered one of the holiest sanctuaries in India. Just a glimpse of the sacred image, the Jyotirlinga, is believed to be a soul-cleansing experience that has more merit than visiting any of Shiva’s thousands of other temples on this subcontinent. The Ganges View is a perfect sanctuary in the midst of a city that demands our attention. Rest in your room or on the hotel’s terrace overlooking the river or walk on your own down along the ghats to explore temples, shrines and shore-side activities.
Hotel: Ganges View (2 nights)
After two nights in Varanasi, we take a domestic flight back to Delhi, to depart by coach bus to visit Pradeep’s family at his home in Mansurpur, just east of Delhi. You will feast for two days and one night on home-made traditional meals, walk the sugar cane fields of his family farm, connect with aunties, brothers, cousins, nieces and nephews, family from near and far. In addition to the family reunion Pradeep and his nephews will chauffeur the group to surrounding sacred holy sites, street markets, and incredible food experiences to show you the true colors of Mother India.
Sleep: Pradeep’s family home (1 night)
Day 13 -14 - 15
We leave Mansurpur for a drive by coach bus to the foothills of the Himalayas in Rishikesh, most famous for being the “Yoga Capital of the World”. An important pilgrimage site of many spiritual seekers, it is an especially important destination for the Hindus. The town became known to the world after the visit of the Beatles, who came to Rishikesh in search of peace. We will stroll down the narrow lanes of this holy town and watch the monks meditating; visit the famous Laxman Jhula suspension bridge; a few ashrams and temples and end the evenings on the banks of the River Ganges to see the spectacular Aarti ceremony - a Hindu ritual, in which light from wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor is offered to one or more deities. is performed and sung to develop the highest love for God.
Sleep: Ganga Kinare (3 nights)
Drive back to Delhi. Free last day and evening to explore.
Sleep: Radisson Blu Airport Hotel (1 night)
Day 17. Fly home.
ACCESSIBILITY and ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate. This journey involves walks both in nature and in cites, many on uneven and sometimes steep surfaces, including stairs. Concessions will be made to try and assist travelers who need more time. Some sites and locations are only accessible by foot.
INCLUDED: All meals marked on itinerary below (B, L, D). facilitated, daily yoga classes and guided meditations; entrance fees to ceremonies and concert(s), domestic round trip flights between Delhi and Kerala, Local transportation in modern coach bus. One journey host, and one CCJ trip manager. Trip preparation materials. Bottled water on the bus.
NOT INCLUDED: Air travel to and from India (make sure you arrive into New Delhi on March 1, and leaving no earlier than March 17); alcoholic drinks; meals not on itinerary. Excursions not on the itinerary; tips for Ashrams; local guides and drivers (optional, yet customary); travel cancellation and evacuation insurance (strongly recommended, information will be sent upon registration).
NOTE: As always, this itinerary is subject to change to take advantage of the serendipity of the moment..... to meet someone special, to engage in an activity that might occur unexpectedly, or to accommodate circumstances beyond our control. Weather dependent, restaurants and site excursions may change at the last minute in similar category.
TRAVEL PROTECTION: For more information on the available travel insurance plans or to enroll, please contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 47-0272. Please advise Travelex that Cross Cultural Journeys is the travel company for this trip.
Cross Cultural Journeys and COVID-19
Cross Cultural Journeys is carefully monitoring the worldwide pandemic, and will resume travel only when it's deemed safe to do so. For anybody joining Cross Cultural Journeys open enrollment retreats and journeys in 2021 and 2022, we will require that you at the time of departure can show either a negative COVID-19 test taken no later than 48 hours prior to departure OR proof of full COVID vaccination. We will also kindly ask that you bring your favorite mask and un-scented hand-sanitizer.
To review how the COVID situation is developing in each of our destinations, please follow the WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard.