After seven days of de-stressing and rejuvenation at Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort in southern India, we’re ready to experience northern India and quite possibly the most transformative part of the journey. We will fly north for a three city, five-day post-retreat tour that awakens the heart and spirit.
The Sacred Ganges River & Temple Cremations
We’ll start the tour with a visit to the holy Ganges River in the ancient city of Varanasi, better known as Kashi (the Luminous One) or the City of Light. Varanasi is a spiritual epicenter where devotees of Lord Shiva, both pilgrims and sadhus (holymen) gather and reflect on the transience of life, in plain view of the many cremation ghats on the banks of the Ganges. Pilgrims also travel to Varanasi to bathe at the world famous bathing ghats where it is believed that a dip in the Ganges will remove all sins/karmas for a life time.
Offering prayers to the Divine Mother on the Ganges; sunrise rowboat temple tour
The traditional means of touring the Ganges is via rowboat along the river’s banks. We will start in the early morning as the sun rises over the southern plains illuminating the Ganges and north shore temples. This is a sacred time for prayer and meditation. The group will aquire sacred floating floral offerings and offer them to the Divine Mother as Ganga with silent prayer. We are allowed one request of the Divine Mother in this puja, and from past experiences, all requests are immediately granted on the spot. This is a powerful ceremony for all involved. Guests are advised to carefully plan their prayer and request in advance.
In the evening, we will return to the Ganges to witness dozens of human cremations taking place at the temple cremation ghats on the river banks. Witnessing cremation ceremonies is a transformative experience that has the effect of reducing fear of our own mortality and awakening our hearts to a more intimate acceptance of our lives. These experiences of conscous passage rites are life affirming and life validating experieces that heal the spirit. After the cremations, we will witness one of India’s largest fire ceremonies (arti, puja) conducted to Ma Ganga, the holiest of rivers and source of life.
The Taj Mahal
After Varanasi, we’ll take a short flight to Delhi, then a short 3-hr private airconditioned bus ride to the city of Agra to take in the beauty of the Taj Mahal, one of the great wonders of the world. We’ll visit the following day in the early morning as the sunrise peaks over the horizon onto the Taj dome. The Taj is a monument to all love, love for life, self, and partner. Bring an open heart and your camera!
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, divine in inspiration and revered as the temple of love
On the second evening in Agra, we will celebrate the experience we had together as a group with a dinner and poolside party. The following day we will take a private air conditioned bus to Delhi for dinner, then to the International Airport for our departure home. Guests are optionally welcome to stay in Delhi to explore the city’s culture, historical sites, and shopping opportunities at your own expense.
Our stay on the Post-Retreat Tour will be 4.5-star Radisson Varanasi and 4.5-star Radisson Blu Agra. These hotels are famous for modern design and comfort, with both traditional cuisine and modern gourmet options. Rooms include two double beds, wifi and daily breakfast. Lunch and dinner are not inclusive but very affordable with all you can eat buffets and excellent chefs.
Post-Retreat Tour Includes:
• Offered to Kerala Sacred Sap Retreat participants only
• Guided tour of the sacred sites of Varanasi and Taj Mahal; includes two guided tours of the Ganges in Varanasi (morning and evening), seeing temples and cremation ghats by traditional row boat, and a guided tour of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort and Palace.
• All India domestic flights from Kerala to Varanasi and Varanasi to Delhi
• Private luxury A/C bus transport from Delhi to Agra, and then Agra to Delhi International Airport on departure
• 4.5-star accommodations at the Radisson Varanasi and Radisson Blu Agra
• Daily breakfast buffet and wifi
• Lunch and dinners
• Tips: baggage handling, tour guides, taxis, meals, bus drivers
• Hotel and travel incidentals: minibar, non-buffet menu items, room service, etc
• Personal shopping
Post-retreat Tour Fee:
Please feel free to call us at (310) 393-4124 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about this retreat. We are currently taking deposits to secure one of the limited spaces. Register here or contact us now to join this life changing experience.