A SPIRITUAL AND YOGA JOURNEY OF INDIA
hosted by Cheri Gross

India has combined all of the elements that make India so unique and revered. In this 12 day journey,  we will experience serenity at holy places like Varanasi and Khajuraho; we’ll explore history and culture at Delhi, Jaipur and Orcha; and we’ll be guided through gardens and lakes at Udaipur and the Taj Mahal in Agra. All tours will be conducted by local English speaking guides. Yoga teacher and Reiki Master Cheri Gross hosts this tour. Cheri has been teaching yoga since 2005, and has a regular practice of Asana, Pranayama and Meditation. Cheri believes modern yoga offers a real life practice on self- observation, cultivating openness and awareness, and serves as a guide for both going with the flow and letting go. On this journey through India, we will have limitless opportunities to deepen our yoga, meditation and pranyama practices, on the internal level, of reflection and observation, and to experience the fruits of the practice as we live our yoga. Even outside of the set schedules if you wish to have a yoga session with Cheri she will be available. The tour has been timed with the Khajuraho Dance Festival and the International Yoga Festival at Rishikesh on the banks of the Holy Ganges River.

INTERNATIONAL YOGA FESTIVAL, RISHIKESH
The International Yoga Festival is grounded in the authentic origin of Yoga. Practice and learn from masters from the Traditional Yoga Lineages from India, as well as masters of internationally well-known yoga schools & styles. During this one-week festival, you will have the opportunity to participate in over 60 hours of Yoga classes from world-class Yoga teachers practicing multiple styles of Yoga including Kundalini Yoga, Power Vinyasa Yoga, Iyengar Yoga and Kriya Yoga. Yoga is an ancient science, which leads to health in the body, peace in the mind, joy in the heart, and liberation of the soul.

Spiritual Message (On God)
He is the supreme Good. But He is no God who merely satisfies the intellect, if He ever does. God to be God must rule the heart and transform it. He must express himself in every smallest act of His votary. This can only be done through a definite realization, more real than the five senses can ever produce. Sense perceptions can be and often are false and deceptive, however real they may appear to us. Where there is realization outside the senses it is infallible. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Tour Information
Tour Duration : 12 days
Min. Tour Size : 10 persons
Max. Tour Size : 20 persons
Includes international air
Tour Price (from) : US$
Day 01: Feb 18, 2016: Arrive Delhi
Day 02: Feb 19, 2016: Delhi
(B, D)
Day 03: Feb 20, 2016: Delhi/Udaipur (Flight)
(B)
Day 04: Feb 21, 2016: Udaipur
(B)
Day 05: Feb 22, 2016: Udaipur/Jaipur (Drive 420 Km/07 Hours)
(B)
Day 06: Feb 23, 2016: Jaipur
(B)
Day 07: Feb 24, 2016: Jaipur/Agra (Shatabdi DeluxeTrain)
(B)
Day 08: Feb 25, 2016: Agra/Jhansi (Shatabdi Deluxe Train) and Jhansi/Orchha/Khajuraho (Drive: 195 Km/05 Hours)
(B)
Day 09: Feb 26, 2016: Khajuraho
(B)
Day 10: Feb 27, 2016: Khajuraho/Varanasi (Flight)
(B)
Day 11: Feb 28, 2016: Varanasi
(B, D)
Day 12: Feb 29, 2016: Varanasi/Delhi/Home
(B)
OPTIONAL EXTENSiON : INTERNATIONAL YOGA FESTIVAL, RISHIKESH
 
Day 12: Feb 29, 2016: Varanasi/Delhi/Dehradun (Flight)
(B)
Day 13: Mar 01, 2016: Rishikesh
(B)
Day 14: Mar 02, 2016: Rishikesh
(B)
Day 15: Mar 03, 2016: Rishikesh
(B)
Day 16: Mar 04, 2016: Rishikesh
(B)
Day 17: Mar 05, 2016: Rishikesh
(B)
Day 18: Mar 06, 2016: Rishikesh
(B)
Day 19: Mar 07, 2016: Rishikesh
(B)
Day 20: Mar 08, 2016: Rishikesh/Dehradun/Delhi (Flight)
(B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 01: Feb 18, 2016: Arrive Delhi

Namaste! We are warmly welcomed in the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together and garlanded. Transfer to our hotel. Remainder of the day is free to relax. Subject to time (dependent on our arrival time) we may have an evening yoga nidra session concentrating on restorative energy to help us from our long haul flight.
Overnight: Sheraton New Delhi (deluxe rooms) (2 Nights)

Day 02: Feb 19, 2016: Delhi

We start with a morning yoga session followed by breakfast.  Cost of all yoga sessions in this tour are included, however, attendance is completely  optional.
Our morning tour starts with New Delhi as we visit the serene Birla House - residence of Mahatma Gandhi. Later we visit the famous India Gate followed by the Houses of Parliament, Connaught Place and Humayun's Tomb*, the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, built in 1570. We continue to Qutb Minar and its Monuments* which was built in the early 13th Century. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, a masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art and two mosques. The Minar (tower) goes 72.5m high. Balance of the day is free. Evening we are treated to a welcome dinner at a local Indian restaurant.
Upon request vegetarian meals are available throughout the tour. (B, D)

Day 03: Feb 20, 2016: Delhi/Udaipur (Flight)

Morning yoga session.
Today we explore Old Delhi. We start with the Red Fort Complex*. Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546. The Fort represents the zenith of Mughal creativity. Under the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, architecture and aesthetics rose to unbelievable height. Each pavilion reveals architectural elements typical of Mughal buildings reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions. From here we embark on a captivating journey on a rickshaw (typical Indian three wheeler public transport) passing through the narrow lanes of the famous 17th Century Chandni Chowk Bazaar and modern day Delhi’s busiest bazaar. We end our rickshaw experience at yet another Mughal majesty, the Jama Masjid. After visiting this huge but yet incredibly serene mosque, we visit the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi named as Raj Ghat. Drive to the airport for a short flight to the enchanting city of Udaipur.
Overnight: Ramada Resort (deluxe rooms) (02 Nights) (B)
http://www.ramadaudaipur.com

Day 04: Feb 21, 2016: Udaipur

Morning yoga and pranyama session to energize ourselves for the day.
Udaipur is renowned for its many lakes and palaces. We explore the City Palace. The palace has several architectural and artistic highlights such as the Mor Chowk, known for its stunning peacock mosaics and the Bhim Vilas Palace with series of lovely wall paintings. From here we can see the Lake Place, shimmering like a jewel in Lake Pichola. Later we visit the Jagdish Temple, Fateh Sagar Lake, Saheliyon Ki Bari, the Garden of Maids and folklore museum. A relaxing and serene experience as we culminate with a boat ride of Lake Pichola visiting Jag Mandir, an interesting palace built on an island in 1551. Evening yoga session. (B)


Day 05: Feb 22, 2016: Udaipur/Jaipur (Drive 420 Km/07 Hours)

Morning yoga session.
A rural experience of India as we drive to Jaipur. We will get to know the secret of why Jaipur is known as the rose pink capital of the state of Rajasthan. Rajasthan, literally means land of the rajas and Jaipur as it’s capital, even today reflects that. A beautiful city, with very interesting and intrinsic architecture, lively people, lots to see and do on the streets, bazaars and at the various sites we will visit and the many more that we will not be able to cover due to time. Time permitting; we will have a second yoga session either enroute at a garden or upon arrival at Jaipur.
Overnight: ITC Rajputana (executive club rooms) (02 Nights) (B)
http://www.itchotels.in

Day 06: Feb 23, 2016: Jaipur

Morning yoga and pranyama session.
We are treated like the royalty of yesteryear with an elephant ride to the majestic Amber Fort*. Construction of the fort began in 1592. It shows the evolution from the purely defensive fort settlements of the early medieval period to the palace fortress type of architecture typified in the 16th century. The fort comprises of a number of gardens, courtyards and palatial spaces derived from the Mughal architecture and is a distinguished example of the 17th Century Rajput architecture. Experience the art of carpet weaving & block printing followed by a visit to the majestic City Palace housing a rare collection of Indian art. Next we visit the most visited sites in Jaipur, the beautiful Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), where the ladies of the royal harem used to watch the city from behind the intricately carved facade. Next is a visit of the Jantar Mantar*, an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th Century that includes a set of some 20 fixed instruments designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye. Evening is free to enjoy shopping and have a cultural experience in the bazaars. Jaipur is noted for its craftsmen, skilled in brass inlay, lacquer work and stone setting. (B)

Day 07: Feb 24, 2016: Jaipur/Agra (Shatabdi Deluxe Train)
Dep: 07:05 Hrs, Arr: 10:35 Hrs

Early morning we take the train to Agra. On any given day there are over 25 million people on the trains of India! Right from the ralway station to the onboard train experience viewing rural daytime scenery of India is an experience never to be forgetten. At Agra we will have a yoga session. Hotel check at 14:00 hrs. Afternoon visit of the Agra Fort*. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5km enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. It comprises many fairy tale palaces, such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal; the audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas and two very beautiful mosques. Next we visit to some of the local factories famous for inlay work on marbles and witness the complex art of inlaying precious and semiprecious stones on the marbles which are brought in from the mines of Makrana. The tradition is derived and best reflected in the Taj Mahal.

Evening we visit the most well known wonder of the world, the Taj Mahal*. An immense mausoleum of white marble, built between 1631 and 1648 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife. Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of world heritage. Situated on the right bank of the Yamuna in a vast Mogul garden, this funerary monument combines elements and styles of Persian, Central Asian and Islamic architecture. Later we attend Taj Mahotsav, one of the most eagerly awaited festivals celebrated at Shilpgram near the Eastern gate of the "Taj Mahal". Every year, the Taj Mahotsav has a different theme with a message to the world. This festival is a celebration of the rich arts, crafts and culture of India.
Overnight: ITC Mughal (01 Night) (Mughal Rooms) (B) (Breakfast on board train)
http://www.itchotels.in

Day 08: Feb 25, 2016: Agra/Jhansi (Shatabdi Deluxe Train)
Dep: 08:11 Hrs, Arr: 10:45 Hrs and Jhansi/Orchha/Khajuraho (Drive: 195 Km/ 05 Hours)

Another deluxe train experience as we rail to Jhansi from where we drive to Orchha - an amazing medieval fortress-city located on the shores of the Betwa River. After our visit we proceed to our hotel in Khajuraho. After some rest time we attend the world famous Khajuraho dance festival taking place at the at the Khajuraho temples. We will get to see some great performances of Indian classical dances of the Bharathanatyam, Kathak, Odissi, Manipuri, Kuchipudi and Kathakali schools of dances.
Overnight: Taj Chandela/Radisson Hotel (02 Nights) (B)
http://www.tajhotels.com or http://www.radisson.com/khajuraho

Day 09: Feb 26, 2016: Khajuraho

Morning Yoga session.
An indepth exploration of the Khajuraho Group of Monuments* The temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandella dynasty, which reached its apogee between 950 and 1050AD. Today only 20 temples remain and they fall into three distinct groups depicting Hindu and Jain religions. They strike a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture. The Temples are decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.  After the tour we once again join the Khajuraho dance festival and enjoy the performances of the day. Optional mediattion under the stars. (B)

Day 10: Feb 27, 2016: Khajuraho/Varanasi (Flight)

Morning Yoga session with free time. Subject to local conditions we will have our yoga sessions facing the tempels or at the hotel poolside.
Afternoon we are transferred to the airport for a short flight to the holy city of Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world. After some rest time at hotel we are treated to an evening session of the Arti ceremony performed by devout Hindus on the banks of the Ganges.
Overnight: Gateway Hotel Ganges/Ramada Plaza (2 Nights) (B)
http://www.thegatewayhotels.com or http://www.ramadajhvvns.com

Day 11: Feb 28, 2016: Varanasi

Early morning we take a sunrise cruise on the Ganges for a most serene experience. One of the cardinal principles of Hinduism is the belief in the holiness of the Ganges. Every morning scores of pilgrims and priests fill the riverbanks bathing in the holy waters performing various other rituals. This unique experience literally transports you to another world. After this guided cruise, we return to our hotel for breakfast. Later, we explore Sarnath, the site where Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. This ancient Buddhist site contains Chaukhandi Stupa, a lofty brick structure crowned with an octagonal tower and the remains of several stupas, monasteries and Ashokan column built from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D.
Afternoon, we explore the 5,000 year old city of Varanasi – one of the oldest living cities in the world.  We visit the Bharat Mata Temple, which houses a huge marble relief map of India; the Durga Temple, the Tulsi Manas Mandir, the  Banaras Hindu University and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb. The city is famous also for silk sarees and we visit some of the houses where beautiful silk sarees are woven. Evening we are treated to a farewell vegetarian dinner at a local restaurant in Varanasi. (B, D)

Day 12: Feb 29, 2016: Varanasi/Delhi/Home

Morning Yoga and pranyama session with free time at Vanaransi.
Afternoon, we are transferred for our flight to Delhi. At Delhi we check in to our hotel for day use and optional pool time with late check out facilities. At 8PM we are transferred to the airport for our flight back home. (B)

OPTIONAL EXTENSION: For those wanting to join the International Yoga Festival at Rishikesh.

The International Yoga Festival is grounded in the authentic origin of Yoga. Practice and learn from masters from the Traditional Yoga Lineages from India, as well as masters of internationally well-known yoga schools & styles. During this one-week festival, you will have the opportunity to participate in over 60 hours of Yoga classes from world-class Yoga teachers practicing multiple styles of Yoga including Kundalini Yoga, Power Vinyasa Yoga, Iyengar Yoga and Kriya Yoga. Yoga is an ancient science, which leads to health in the body, peace in the mind, joy in the heart, and liberation of the soul.

Day 12: Feb 29, 2016: Varanasi/Delhi/Dehradun (Flight)

Upon arrival at Delhi from Varanasi we take a connecting flight to Dehradun. Upon arrival we are met and driven to Rishikesh.
Overnight: Vasundhara Palace
 (08 Nights) (B)

Day 13: Mar 01, 2016: Rishikesh

Full day attend International Yoga Festival at Pramarth Niketan Ashram. (B)

Day 14: Mar 02, 2016: Rishikesh

Full day attend International Yoga Festival at Pramarth Niketan Ashram. (B)

Day 15: Mar 03, 2016: Rishikesh

Full day attend International Yoga Festival at Pramarth Niketan Ashram. (B)

Day 16: Mar 04, 2016: Rishikesh

Full day attend International Yoga Festival at Pramarth Niketan Ashram. (B)

Day 17: Mar 05, 2016: Rishikesh

Full day attend International Yoga Festival at Pramarth Niketan Ashram. (B)

Day 18: Mar 06, 2016: Rishikesh

Full day attend International Yoga Festival at Pramarth Niketan Ashram. (B)

Day 19: Mar 07, 2016: Rishikesh

Full day attend International Yoga Festival at Pramarth Niketan Ashram. (B)

Day 20: Mar 08, 2016: Rishikesh/Dehradun/Delhi (Flight)

Morning free time to reflect on our experiences and prepare for departure.. Evening, we are transferred to Dehradun airport for our flight to Delhi. From here we connect with our international flight back home. (B)

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Departure Dates
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).

2016

Feb 18

Tour Price

We accept payment in US $ (US Dollars), CA $ (Canadian Dollars) or equivalent EURO (for clients outside North America). Bestway Tours & Safaris offers conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received, and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here

Departure(s) Per Person on Twin Sharing Single Room Supplement
Feb 18-29, 2016 US$ 3595 US$ 1490


Notes

N/A



Inclusions


Tour Price Includes
  • Accommodation as mentioned or similar, including hotel taxes
  • 12 Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Within India air and train fares as per the itinerary
  • Arrival and departure transfers in India
  • All sightseeing and transfers by private transportation
  • Services of local English speaking guides/drivers
  • Entrance fees to museums and sites included in the itinerary
  • Yoga sessions as mentioned
  • Accompanying Yoga instructor
Not Included
  • International airfares (please ask us if you need assistance)
  • Airport/Departure taxes
  • Insurance/visas
  • Tips/gratuities
Optional Extension: International Yoga Festival Rishikesh
Departures Per Person on Twin Sharing Single Room Supplement
Feb 29-Mar 08, 2016 US$ 1390 (based on min 05 & max 20 persons) US$ 280

Includes (Optional Trek Feb 29-Mar 08, 2016)
1. Overnight at hotels as mentioned or similar
2. 7 Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B=Breakfast)
3. Within India air and train fares as per the itinerary
4. Services of local Indian English speaking guide
5. Entrance fees to activities as mentioned in the itinerary
6. Yoga sessions as mentioned
7. Registration fees for the International Yoga Festival
8. Passes for the cultural events


Estimated International Airfare (International airfare is NOT included in this tour)

CANADA(West Coast)
US$ 1600

USA(West Coast)
US$ 1400

CANADA(East Coast)
US$ 1200

USA(East Coast)
US$ 1000

Participants

This tour operates on a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 participants

Customised Itinerary

If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.

Contact Info
You may e-mail us at bestway@bestway.com or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.