October 10 (Wednesday)
October 11 (Thursday)
Arrive in Delhi. Overnight at 4-star hotel (Holiday Inn Aero City District, New Delhi).
October 12 (Friday)
Depart to Rishikesh after breakfast. Lunch en route. Arrive at ashram hermitage on the Ganga by late afternoon. Ashram orientation, unpack. Dinner at ashram. Evening rest or walk along the beautiful Ganga, across from the wild jungles of India.
October 13 (Saturday)
Morning meditation and guided yoga. Breakfast at ashram. Morning trip to Vasistha Goofa cave, where the famous sage Vasistha meditated on the banks of the Ganga. The cave has an incredible energy and is perfect for meditation and attention to those transformations you'd like to begin to awake in your lives. Lunch at ashram. Afternoon off to enjoy a little rest or a rejuvenating stroll along beautiful Ganges River, with a sip of tea from a local cafe.
October 14 (Sunday)
Morning meditation and guided yoga. Breakfast at ashram. Trip to Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula with walk across their legendary rope bridges. Lunch at organic restaurant at beautiful orphanage in Lakshman Jhula. We'll participate in the powerful legendary twilight aarti (prayer) and kirtan while sitting on the banks of the Ganga in Ram Jhula. Dinner at ashram.
October 15 (Monday)
Morning meditation and guided yoga. Breakfast at ashram. Visit to historic Beatles Maharishi ashram. Lunch at local Indian restaurant. Visit high temple at Ram Jhula with beautiful vista of entire river area. Dinner at ashram. Evening free. Pack for Himalayan mountains.
October 16 (Tuesday)
After breakfast, depart Rishikesh for the mountains. Travel to Sursingdhar (6,400 ft), New Tehri. Gaze upon the emerald Tehri Lake in the distance on a clear day. If it happens to be cloudy, even better, as the large valley in front of our cottages is sure to fill with cottony clouds that will spill in as you relax on the balconies of our cottages and take in the distant Himalayan Peaks right in front of your window. All around the lodge, sun shafted pine trees shoot up from the hillsides. Dinner at the Sursingdhar cottage and rest.
October 17 (Wednesday)
Morning meditation and guided yoga (as lodging may allow) in our first morning at Sursingdhar, where the high mountain air will begin your natural process of rejuvenation. Enjoy the natural trails all around, with pine cones and the many calls of various feathered ones. Allow the vast stunning vistas to inspire you and take a little time for inner contemplations and reflections as we begin our first full day in the mountains. Dinner at Sursingdhar. Kirtan may arise out of pure inspiration... to sing out across the valley and open our hearts to the heavens all around.
October 18 (Thursday)
Morning meditation. Breakfast at Sursinghdhar. Day trip to Kaddukhal (9.976 ft) where we will ride horses up to the Surkanda Devi temple, known for its legend of Shiva and his all-powerful mother goddess wife, Sati. The jaw-dropping majestic views can remind you of the vast presence of the mother divine that surrounds and protects us all. This shrine is said to hold the blessings of that powerful feminine shakti (energy). Return to Sursingdhar for dinner and rest.
October 19 (Friday)
Morning meditation. Breakfast at Sursingdhar. Travel to Kund (4,265 ft), near Ukhimath (Chopta). Here the raw beauty of the Himalayan villages, gurgling rivers, and towering peaks will slowly lull you into a peaceful relaxation. Our Himalayan Eco Lodges here have front row seats to honey-toned rice fields and the Kedar Peak that looms over the famous Kedarnath Temple. A short stroll away, the Mandakini River rushes over boulders to meet the Alaknanda River in Rudraprayag.
October 20 (Saturday)
Awaken for guided morning meditation. We will visit Guptakashi (4,327 ft), a vibrant and ancient place with legendary significance linked to the Pandavas (heroes of the epic Mahabharata) and visited by Agasthyamuni, a revered Vedic sage whose blessings we receive when we make efforts to remove the negatives present in us. The energy of Guptakashi temple is based upon pure 100% energy work (no other things-- no rituals, no statues, no nothing)-- simply on the basis of energy, life transformations and shifts are said to be awakened here. “Gupt” means secret, and “Kashi” means the holiest of the holy-- this secret kashi (nobody is supposed to know about it!) is a holy city where hundreds of enlightened beings lived. All seven Kashis in India have very powerful lingas that are self-created (grew out of the earth in that form, without any human intervention). Records in Kashi indicated that Jesus visited here after his crucifixion—they refer to him as “Cristo”. Next we will visit the ancient temple of Kalimath (6,000 ft), established by Adi Shankaracharya after he had a powerful experience of Kali (divine mother) here. This place is widely regarded as a Siddha Peeth, a place where siddhis (special divine powers) are perfected. Dinner together at Kund.
October 21 (Sunday)
Morning meditation. Breakfast at Kund. Brief travel to our base at Chalkot Camp (6,560 ft), where you will begin to feel yourself within a magical fairyland of everygreen woodland treasures, snow-capped mountains, and rolling hills. Our grassy meadow perch will spur quiet contemplations as we enjoy a day of reflection and rejuvenation. This region of Chopta is called the "Mini Switzerland", and it is part of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, a beautiful region where nature offers its wonderful healing energies. Afternoon chai and evening dinner at Chalkot Camp.
October 22 (Monday)
After an early breakfast, we drive to meet our horses for the trek up the mountains. Here the mystical wonderland of enchanted forests will open into expansive vistas and carry us above the level of any clouds to Tungnath (11,998 ft), the highest Shiva temple in the world. For many who make this journey, the surrounding full panoramic view of the sunkissed Himalayan snowpeaks is a spiritual experience. Past retreat participants have found themselves in awe and silence as we gathered for a packed lunch in this otherworldly destination. Chandrashila (13,420 ft) is summit of Tungnath, and it provides a spectacular view of many well-known Himalayan peaks. Chandrashila literally means "Moon Rock", and legends would indicate that this is a powerful place for purification and clearing negative energies that hold us back. Chai in the high region of Tungnath, as we descend for our return to Chalkot Camp. Dinner and rest.
October 23 (Tuesday)
Breakfast at Chalkot Camp. Today is a wide open free day, with an optional to return to Chopta, Tungnath and trek to Deorital Lake, for those who wish to further explore. The enchanted Deorital Lake area is heavily wooded, with lush green surroundings and snow-covered mountains in the backdrop. Good place for purification and dipping sacred items. A piece of heaven! We will gather for dinner at Chalkot Camp. A special full moon silent meditation will be offered on this night-- this is a time we can harness positive energy for our spiritual growth and transformation. Good opportunity to set beneficial intentions for yourself.
October 24 (Wednesday)
Morning guided meditation on this full moon day. Breakfast at Chalkot Camp. Begin our descent, drive to Jayalagarh (Riverside Camp) (1968 ft.). Our resting place for this night is nestled among fields of fresh vegetables alongside the gurgling Alaknanda River, with a forested mountain on one side. Take a relaxing stroll, enjoy a little yoga, or sit by the river in an easy chair with a cup of chai in hand. Feel the nurturing flow of the Alaknanda on one side, with the majestic mountains on the other in this camp of warm hospitality. Evening dinner at camp.
October 25 (Thursday)
Early breakfast at camp. Depart for relaxed return to Rishikesh. Lunch en route. Dinner at ashram in Rishikesh. Evening rest.
October 26 (Friday)
Morning meditation and yoga. Free day in Rishikesh. Pack for Agra/Delhi. Evening chai and dinner at ashram. Special evening Kirtan with Ragani and Kaita for our final night in Sadhana Mandir Ashram on the banks of the Ganges. Early rest.
October 27 (Saturday)
Depart for Agra after very early breakfast. Lunch en route. Check into 4-star luxury hotel and enjoy an evening meal together.
October 28 (Sunday)
Taj Mahal! Experience one of the exquisite renowned Seven Wonders of the World in its full glory! Lunch in Agra. Depart for Delhi after lunch, check into 4-star hotel. Evening to relax and enjoy dinner together.
October 29 (Monday)
Early breakfast. Free day for lots of great India shopping! We'll provide transportation from hotel to the government cottage emporium shops, where you can find incredible Indian items, and all for great prices (and at this giant museum-like location, you won't have to haggle for prices or be ripped off either!) Support local artisans with your purchases and get items and gifts you'd like to bring home. Return to hotel late-afternoon to shower and rest. We'll have our final bon voyage with an early evening meal together. Head to airport after dinner. Departure for US.
October 30 (Tuesday)
Arrive in US early in the morning (due to time zone differences).