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India Pilgrimage 2016

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INDIA TRIP, MAY 2016

A Message from Satyabhama

This sacred journey to India is a continuous visit to holy places. If we are fortunate, we will meet with Jagadgurus, Mahatmas, sages and saints, who will give us their blessing. One featured highlight of this spiritual pilgrimage is visiting several Goddess temples and also the 8 Ganesha temples of his 8 major incarnations. In 2007 and 2009, we visited these temples and had a great time.  

 

To gain the most from our visit to India, don't think of it as just another vacation. It is not that. It can be life transforming, if approached in the right spirit.  Namadeva Acharya often said, "There will be arduous bus rides mixed with tremendous blessings. Be cheerful and you will have the experience of a lifetime." 

 

Highlights include visiting the Shankaracharyas at Kanchi Peetham; Vishwa Shanti Ashram, home of Satguru Rama Mata, our living guru, and the group puja to the 30-foot tall murthi (spiritually awakened icon) there of Vijaya Vittala (Panduranga), who represents the 10th and final avatar. [Photo to right.]   We will visit the Raja Rajeshwari-Sri Chakra Temples, before going to the Pune area to visit the 8 Ganesha Temples. Next, we will go to the Kali temples near Kolkata, then we will go to Delhi and on to Haridwar and Rishikesh. There are many ashrams in both towns which we will visit.

 

Of course, wherever we go, there will be time for shopping. 

 

We will be staying in three-star hotels. All have a private bath.   The food there will be good, and bottled water is available.  Most hotels now have modern filtration systems.

 

This is not a vacation but a spiritual odyssey. Be flexible, and accommodating, and you will have a wonderful time. 

 

Finally, travel light. The common saying is "less luggage, more comfort." You will want to buy things during free time in Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Delhi, Rishikesh, Haridwar and other places, so you will be glad you left some space in your suitcase for your purchases. 

 

Prem & Shanti,

 

Satyabhama

 

All non Indian passport holders need a valid Indian Visa from country of Origin

Passport must be valid for six months from the date of entry

 

ITINERARY SPECIALLY PREPARED FOR

INDIA PILGRIMAGE TOUR – MAY 2016

Map of India

2016

May 6/Friday
Depart from Chicago at 4 pm via Lufthansa, one stop in Frankfurt

May 7/ Saturday
Arrive Chennai by international flight at 11:50 pm via Lufthansa, one stop in Frankfurt

Chennai/Madras - India's fourth largest city, Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. Chennai was the site of the East India company's first settlement founded in 1639 on land given by the Raja of Chandragiri, the last representative of the Vijaynagar rulers of Hampi. The East India Company was an English trading establishment and thus was the forerunner to the British Empire which, came into political prominence towards the end of the 17th Century. Chennai is basically a conglomerate of overgrown villages, and being a major port, today it is also known as the gateway to the South..

Reception upon arrival at the International airport and transfer to Hotel 

Lunch, dinner and overnight at the Hotel.

(Meals : Breakfast,lunch & dinner)

 

May 8/ Sunday—Chennai

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning visit, a Shiva-Parvati Temple with many other shrines within its courtyard.

Lunch in a local restaurant.

Afternoon city tour of Chennai.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

(Meals : Breakfast,lunch & dinner)

 

May 9/ Monday—Chennai

Breakfast at the hotel.
 
Morning excursion to  Kanchipeetham to meet (if available) Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswati Mahaswamigal aka 'Laser Swami' (head Shankaracharya) or Sri Sri Vijayendra Saraswati Mahaswamigal, of Kanchi Math. Also the Kameshwari Temple of the peetham.
 
Lunch in Kanchipuram.
 
After the puja visit Vedal to see the Photo Gallery of Sri Chandrashekharendra Saraswati Swamigal, the late 68th Shankaracharya, and of Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswati and Sri Sri Vijayendra Saraswati. Nearby is a display of animated tableaux of the great stories of the Bhagvatham, including the lives of Rama and Krishna, Adi Shankara, and saints. Also visit the library at the Sri Chandrashekharendra University of the Math which is preserving the scriptures written on palm leaves in Sanskrit and various local languages. 
 
Return to Chennai.
 
Dinner & overnight at the hotel. (Meals : Breakfast, lunch & dinner)

 

May 10/ Tuesday—Chennai - Bangalore

Breakfast at the hotel
 
Morning transfer from hotel to the airport in time for flight to Bangalore
 
Leave: Chennai  at 0:820 hours by 9W 2305 Arrive: Bangalore at 09:10 hours   
 
Reception upon arrival at the airport and transfer to Hotel.
 
Bangalore/Bengaluru: India's "garden city." As capital of the state of Karnataka, Bangalore is a delightful mix of the traditional and modern. Housing many fascinating legacies of richly carved temples, imposing mosques and trappings of a royal past. Bangalore today is a major industrial and commercial center and is also well known for being the "Silicon Valley" of India because of the concentration of major IT companies here.

Lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon  visit the Rajarajeshwari Temple in Kenchenahalli. Sri Sivaratnapuri Swamiji built this temple dedicated to the Goddess Rajeshwari in 1960.  Also visit the spectacular Hanuman Temple with a 25-foot tall black relief of Hanuman and Bangalore Ramakrishna Center.

Dinner & overnight at the hotel. (Meals : Breakfast, lunch & dinner)

 

May 11/ Wednesday—Bangalore

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning visit to Vishwa Shanti Ashram, founded by Sadgurus Sant Keshavadas and Rama Mata, just outside Bangalore.

Lunch at the Ashram, served in Satguru Rama Mata’s home.

Dinner & overnight at the hotel. (Meals : Breakfast, lunch & dinner)

 

May 12/ Thursday—Bangalore - Pune

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning transfer from hotel to the airport in time for flight to Pune

Leave: Bangalore at 09:40 hours by 6E 102. Arrive: Pune  at 11:00 hours.

Reception upon arrival at the airport and transfer to Hotel.

Pune : Queen of the Deccan, Oxford of the East, and cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune is a city with a future that promises to be as interesting as its history. Long-standing bastion of the Maratha empire and home to the legendary Raja Shivaji, the Pune district is marked by magnificent land and forts, testimony to its glorious past.

Lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon visit to two Ashtavinayak/Ganesha Temples.

Dinner & overnight at the hotel. (Meals : Breakfast, lunch & dinner)

 

May 13/ Friday—Pune

Breakfast at the hotel.
 
Full-day visit to three Ashtavinayak Temples.
 
Lunch in a local restaurant
 
Arati at Sri Sant Dneshwara Temple.  He was a partial avatar and great friends with Saint Namadeva
 
Dinner & overnight at the hotel. (Meals : Breakfast, lunch & dinner)
 

May 14/ Saturday—Pune 

Breakfast at the hotel.

Full-day visit to three Ashtavinayak Temples.

Lunch in a local restaurant

Dinner & overnight at the hotel.

(Meals : Breakfast, lunch & dinner)

 

May 15/ Sunday—Pune  - Kolkata

Breakfast at the hotel.
 
Morning at leisure.
 
Lunch at the hotel.
 
Afternoon transfer from hotel to the airport in time for flight to Kolkata
 
Leave: Pune at  5:40 pm by 9W 617 Arrive: Kolkata at  9:45 pm.  
 
Reception upon arrival at the airport and transfer to Hotel.

Kolkata (Calcutta) – The capital of West Bengal, is situated along the banks of the Hooghly river.  Calcutta’s, 300 years history traces to the landing of Robert Clive on the banks of the Hooghly. Calcutta now called “Kolkata” was the first headquarters of the East India Company – the British trading establishment which later formed the foothold of the British Empire in this country. Kolkata as an important historical trading port attracted several communities and one can still see the influence of the Chinese, Jewish and Armenian communities.

Dinner & overnight at the hotel. (Meals : Breakfast, lunch & dinner)

 

May 16/ Monday—Kolkata

Breakfast at the hotel.

Full day visit Belur Math and Dakshineshwar Temple. 

Lunch in a local restaurant

Visit several goddess temples: mainly, the Kali temple at Kali Ghat in Kolkata. The temple in Kalighat is believed to be one of the 51 peethas, where the tongue of the Goddess Sati had fallen.

Dinner & overnight at the hotel. (Meals : Breakfast, lunch & dinner)

 

May 17/ Tuesday—Kolkata - Delhi

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning visit “The Missionaries of Charity”, founded by Mother Teresa in 1950, home for old people, children and all human beings..

Lunch at the hotel/ local restaurant.

Afternoon transfer from hotel to the airport in time for flight to Delhi

Leave: Kolkata at  6:25 pm by 9W 904 Arrive: Delhi  at  8:35 pm.

Reception upon arrival at the airport and transfer to Hotel.

Delhi and New Delhi –  Capital of modern India. Many dynasties and rulers have flourished on its regal soil over the last 3000 years. The legacy still survives in many monuments varying from the 13th century mausoleum of the Lodi Kings to the buildings of British India's imperial past like the  Parliament House and the Presidential Estate.

Dinner & overnight at the hotel. (Meals : Breakfast, lunch & dinner)

 

May 18/ Wednesday—Delhi

Breakfast at the hotel.

Full day visit of Raj Ghat, Lakshmi Narayan Temple, and Birla mandir.

Lunch in a local restaurant.

Dinner & overnight at the hotel. (Meals : Breakfast, lunch & dinner)

 

May 19/ Thursday—Delhi– Haridwar - Rishikesh

Early morning transfer from hotel to railway station in time for Shatabdi Express train to Haridwar.

Leave: Delhi at 06:50 am by Shatabdi Express Train. Arrive: Haridwar at 11:25 am.   

Reception on arrival at the railway station and drive to Rishikesh (32 kms/1 hr.) On arrival, check-in at Hotel.

Lunch at the hotel.

Attend arati at Divine Life Society, founded by Swami Sivananda, floating lights and offerings on the river.

Dinner & overnight at the hotel. (Meals : Breakfast, lunch & dinner)

 

May 20/ Friday—Rishikesh

Breakfast at the hotel.

Visits to several temples, ashrams.

Lunch at the hotel.

Later visit Divine Life Society, the Ashram of the great Swami Sivananda, whose disciples Satchidananda and Vishnudevanada started some of the first hatha yoga centers (Integral Yoga Institute and Sivanada Yoga Centers) in the United States. At The Divine Life Society Ashram in Rishikesh, the Maha Mantra (Hare Rama Hare Krishna Mantra) has been going on 24/7 since the 1950s.

Dinner & overnight at the hotel. (Meals : Breakfast, lunch & dinner)

 

May 21/ Saturday—Rishikesh – Delhi - Chicago

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning drive from Rishikesh to Delhi (230 kms/ 6 hours). See temples in Haridwar on the way.

Lunch at a local restaurant.

On arrival transfer to airport to connect flight for Chicago

Leave: Delhi by International flight

 

 

Hotels Used in Tour

City

Hotel/ Room Category

Nights

Meal Plan

Chennai

Park ( Luxury Room )

[ Website : www.theparkhotels..com ]

3

All Meals

Bangalore

Royal Orchid Central ( Club Room )

[ Website : www.royalorchidhotels.com ]

2

All Meals

Pune

Royal Orchid Central ( Deluxe Room )

[ Website : www.royalorchidhotels.com ]

3

All Meals

Kolkata

Regenta Orko’s ( Standard Room )

[ Website : www.royalorchidhotels.com ]

2

All Meals

Delhi

The Park ( Luxury Room )

[ Website : www.theparkhotels.com ]

2

All Meals

Rishikesh

Hotel Ganga Kinare ( Deluxe Room )

[ Website : www.gangakinare.com ]

2

Dinner & Breakfast

 

  1. 14 Nights accommodation in hotels mentioned above or similar on Twin / Double sharing basis.
  2. Meal plan as mentioned above.
  3. Hotel Check in time is 2 pm & check out time is 12 noon.
  1. All arrival / departure transfers and sightseeing by Air-conditioned Tempo Traveller for 6-9 paying pax, Mini Coach for 10-14 paying pax and  Large Coach for 15-19 paying pax as per the program.   
  2. Services of Local English speaking guides in each city during sightseeing as per program  
  3. All applicable taxes on hotel and transport.
  4. Air-condition chair car train fare on sector Delhi - Haridwar by Shatabdi Express
  5. Service of our representative for assistance at the airport and hotel on arrival/departure transfers as per the program.

Rates do not include the following services :

  • Any extra meal other than that mentioned in the program.
  • Any airfare [mentioned separately]
  • Any expenses of personal nature like tips, laundry, telephone calls, bottled water,table drinks etc.
  • Any camera fee during the sightseeing.
  • Any Services which is not include in offer shall be extra

 

TOTAL COST:  $5,540.00

 

To register, or for more information,
email Kirit at
 IndiaPilgrimage@hotmail.com

 

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