India Himalaya Pilgrimage
Himalayas: Yoga Sadhana at the Source of Ancient Wisdom
24 October – 5 November 2016
Delhi – Rudraprayag – Kedarnath – Badrinath – Rishikesh - Haridwar – Delhi
With Swamis and staff of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
“How charming is the Himalayan Scenery! How sweet is Mother Ganga! How soothing and elevating are their vibrations! How soul-stirring is the company of the Yogins!” – Swami Sivananda
|24 Oct.||Depart Delhi, 4am Shanti Palace Hotel or 5am Intl airport; travel by bus to Rudraprayag, Himalayas, arrival 8pm at Monal Resorts|
|25 Oct.||Rest and group Sadhana|
|25-28 Oct.||Daily participation in the Bhagavata Saptaha with Sri Venugopal Goswami at Monal Resorts|
|26 Oct.||Walking Yatra to Koteshwar Mahadev Temple; optional: day excursion to the famous Kedarnath temple|
|27 Oct.||Drive to Rudraprayag: Darshan at Chamunda Devi Temple and Rudranath Temple|
|28 Oct.||Drive to Kartik Swami Temple (1.5 hours), silent panoramic Darshan of the upper Himalayas|
|29 Oct.||Group Sadhana and study of the Ganga Arati|
|30 Oct.||Drive to Badrinath (7 hours), evening Darshan at Badri Narayan Temple|
|31 Oct.||Special 3-hour early morning Darshan at Badri Narayan Temple, return drive to Rudraprayag. If spaces are available, we will sponsor and participate in the 3-hour morning Puja in the Badri Narayan Temple. It is a most elaborate ancient and authentic Puja according to the instructions of Adi Shankaracharya himself. Additional fee: 3,500 –5,000 INR (€50–€70).|
|1 Nov.||Rest and group Sadhana in Rudrapayag|
|2 Nov.||Drive to Rishikesh, Darshan at Ananda Kutir (private residence of Swami Sivananda)|
|3 Nov.||Early morning Satsang at the Swami Sivananda’s Mahasamadhi Shrine, Puja at Vishwanath Temple, Akhanda Kirtan. At noon departure to Haridwar, evening Ganga Arati in Haridwar|
|4 Nov.||Visit to Daksh Mahadev Temple in Kankal and visit to Ma Anandamayi Ma Ashram. Shopping in Haridwar and concluding Satsang|
|5 Nov.||Travel by bus to Delhi, drop-off at airport|
Yoga Retreat in Rudraprayag
5 days in the beautiful Monal Resorts, the picturesque venue of the Sivananda Yoga Teachers' Training Course (TTC). Daily Satsang with the Swamis and teachers of the TTC, Asanas and Pranayama in the invigorating fresh air of the Himalayas.
- Daily participation in the Bhagavata Saptaha with Sri Venugopal Goswami
- Walk to nearby Koteshwar Mahadev Temple
- Darshan at Chamunda Devi Temple and Rudranath Temple in Rudraprayag
- Drive to Kartik Swami Temple (1.5 hours)
- Study of the Ganga Arati
Kedarnath temple is one of the four holy shrines of the four sources of the river Ganga. Lord Siva is worshipped here in form of a jyotirlingam or cosmic light. Located at about 3,583 m above sea level near Chorabari Glacier it is flanked by snow-capped peaks and can be reached only by foot or by helicopter. This optional one-day trip by car and helicopter will also be guided by a senior staff member, just like all the other temple visits during the Yatra. The extra charge for the roundtrip to Kedarnath is appr. 10.000–12.000 INR (140–170 EUR).
Badrinath, the source of the Ganga
Badrinath, at 3100 metres, is the most important of the four sources of the Ganga and gets its name from the holy temple of Badrinath: According to legend Adi Shankaracharya discovered a black stone image of Lord Badrinarayan made of Saligram stone in the Alaknanda (Ganga) River.
- Morning and evening Darshan at Bardinath Temple
Swami Sivananda and the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh
Are the spiritual source which has nurtured several generations of yoga practitioners throughout the world. To visit the Ashram is a special blessing for yoga students worldwide.
- Visit to Mahasamadhi Shrine and Ananda Kutir (private residence)
- Meditations in the Vishvanath Siva Temple, Bhajan Hall and on the banks of the Ganga
Today Rishikesh is sometimes called the “World Capital of Yoga”, with a great variety of smaller and bigger Ashrams on both sides of the Ganga.
Haridwar, one hour from Rishikesh, is regarded as one of the seven holiest places of worship in India. It is one of the locations of the Kumbha Mela, where every 12 years millions of pilgrims congregate to perform ritualistic bathing on the Ghats (banks) of the River Ganges to wash away their sins to attain Moksha (liberation).
- Arati at the main Ganga Ghat Har ki Pauri
- Visit to the famous Daksh Prajapati Siva Temple
- Visit to the Mahasamadhi Shrine of Anandamayi Ma
Prerequisites for the pilgrimage
The pilgrimage has been devised as a Sadhana tour to the spiritual sources of yoga in India and will be led by experienced Swamis. The tour requires constant adaptation to local customs, as well as an inner openness and sincere acceptance of the instructions given by the Swamis.
Application and payment
Minimum donation: € 1,600
This includes all spiritual programmes, accommodation, two vegetarian meals a day, ground transportation to and from Delhi. Transfers and travel will be via bus, jeep, taxi or rikshaw.
Tips, laundry service and any additional services such as fees for certain temple ceremonies are not included.
We hope we will be able to gain admission to the special morning puja in Badrinath, which is normally not open to foreigners. The temple fee for this spiritual highlight is approx. €50–€70.
The application is valid with a down payment of € 500.
Please book your own flight to Delhi.
Before enrolling, please meet or correspond with any of the Acharyas or Swamis to better understand the spiritual nature of the tour and to get information on clothing, luggage, medical precautions and diet:
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Putney
51 Felsham Road Putney London SW15 1AZ Tel. +44 208 780 0160, e-mail: london(at)sivananda.net
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Berlin
Schmiljanstr. 24, D-12161 Berlin Tel. +49 30 85 99 97 98, e-mail: berlin(at)sivananda.net
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Retreat House Reith
Bichlach 40, A-6370 Reith, Tyrol, Austria Tel. +43 5356 67 404, e-mail: tyrol(at)sivananda.net
Payment by bank transfer:
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Retreat House
IBAN: AT04 4377 0000 7003 3749
Volksbank, Dorf 45, 6352 Ellmau, Austria
- Make sure to allow sufficient time for obtaining a tourist visa for India.
- The tourist visa application form can be filled out online at your local Indian embassy’s website.
- Your passport must have a validity of at least six months at the time of applying for a tourist visa.
- Please check if residents of your country are eligible for the Tourist Visa on Arrival. If so, please follow the application process carefully.
Flight to Delhi:
Please book your own flight to Delhi. The day of departure should be 23 October, and you should arrive either on the evening of 23 October or early morning of 24 October, latest at 3am.
Drive to Rudraprayag on 24 October:
Departure 1 – 24 October at 4am at Hotel Shanti Palace
Hotel Shanti Palace
A-67, Mahipalpur Ext,
Near Indira Gandhi International Airport
New Delhi 110001
Tel. +91 11 26 78 12 71/72/73/74/75/76
e-mail: shantipalace(at)mantramail.com, info(at)shantipalace.com
Departure 2 – 24 October at 5am at the Delhi International Airport
Arrival time in Delhi: 24 October, latest at 3am.
An escort will be available at the Delhi International Airport Terminal 3 arrivals area in front of Costa Coffee as of 4am.
Depending on your arrival time in New Delhi, it may be necessary to spend a night in a hotel. You can book a room by e-mail. For more information on the hotels >>
The Yatra ends on Friday, 4 November with the evening Satsang in Haridvar. Included in the Yatra fee is the bus transfer to Delhi on 5 November, reaching Delhi airport at 6pm.
What to bring
Yoga mat, meditation cushion, flip flops, trainers, writing pad, torch, alarm clock, towel, 1 bed sheet, private toiletry items, soap, clothesline, detergent, money belt.
A copy of your visa, passport and plane ticket should be kept separately from your luggage. Please bring payment confirmations for any payments you make before your departure.
Ask your pharmacy for a small kit of medicines appropriate for India.
Please consult your family doctor or tropical doctor well in advance of the pilgrimage regarding recommended vaccinations.
Clothing adapted to the traditional lifestyle of India is required: No figure-hugging clothes, no jeans, no halter tops, shorts or short skirts.
At this time of year in North India, it gets warm during the day but cool at night.
Please also pack a scarf, cap, warm socks and a warm jacket for the trip to Badrinath.