DAYS 1 and 2
14 September // Arrive in Delhi Delhi, the capital city of India, is a sprawling modern metropolis with a stunning backdrop of ancient architecture. Day to relax and explore. Convene in the evening at the hotel to meet the group! We will be providing the chance for the women of the group to purchase a Sari (or if you have purchased one during the day) to have a Choli (the top you wear under the sari) tailor made. We can then pick up these up on our way down to Vellore in the South. Overnight stay at Hotel Oodles Residency (4 Star)
15 September // Delhi > Haridwar > Rishikesh Morning transfer to New Delhi train station to board the Superfast Shatabdi Train to Haridwar. Arrive in Haridwar and transfer to Rishikesh - the city of Rishis on the Holy River Ganges. Rishikesh is renowned as the yoga & meditation capital of the world. Lunch at Hotel Ganga Kinare. Trip into town after lunch to see Rishikesh and buy clothes, trinkets, herbs or anything else you need! Evening at Hotel Ganga Kinare - introduction to retreat format, rounding, knowledge session and dinner. Stay at Hotel Ganga Kinare (4 star) for the next 6 nights
16 September // Rishikesh // Rounding + Knowledge + Vasisthaâ€™s Cave Over these next few days you will dive deep into an intensive rounding program, unlocking and releasing deep stresses and fatigue in your system. This process is profoundly restorative and awakens the mind to the depths of Being - the source Bliss. Morning and evening knowledge sessions will expand your understanding of Bliss; the mechanics of recognising, accessing and stabilising the experience of Bliss in your everyday life. Day trip to Vasisthaâ€™s Cave - we will drive along Ganges River 20km uphill to visit the Vasistha Gufa cave, where the great philosopher and original master of our Vedic Tradition, Vasistha, was said to have meditated for 10 000 years. Group meditation and picnic lunch at the cave on the Ganga.
17 September // Rishikesh // Rounding + Knowledge 18 September // Rishikesh // Rounding + Knowledge 19 September // Rishikesh // Rounding + Knowledge + Aarti at Parmarth Niketan Ashram Aarti is a Vedic ceremony of light performed to dispel darkness and negativity and illuminate the light within. This Aarti is performed at the world famous Parmarth Niketan Ashram on the banks of the Ganges to the setting sun. This is an iconic Rishikesh daily event full of color and music, and a profoundly beautiful and moving spiritual experience.
20 September // Rishikesh // Rounding + Knowledge + Mother Divine Temple Day trip to Kunjapuri Devi â€“ a Mother Divine Temple nestled high in the foothills of the Himalayas. Enjoy a deep group meditation, experience the incredible views of the snow capped Himalayas and receive a blessing at this most sacred temple. This will be followed by lunch on the Ganga riverbed and a swim. In the evening, we will all take part in a private sunset Yagna on the banks of the Ganges River. A yagna is a fire ceremony and a performance of consciousness; a ritual of offerings and the chanting of Vedic mantras to bring about prosperity, contentment and Bliss for all beings. This will be performed by the renowned and enlightened Vedic Pandit, Baskaran. After the yagna we will share in a beautiful north Indian dinner at a local restaurant in Rishikesh.
21 September // Rishikesh > Delhi Maharishi Ashram + day in Rishikesh + train to Delhi After an early morning rounding session we will visit Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Ashram in Rishikesh. This is the now abandoned ashram where The Beatles, Farrah Fawcett, George Lucas and the like all came to learn rounding with Maharishi in the 1960’s. The history in the atmosphere is palpable and it’s a powerful location for a deep group meditation. Afterwards you will have free time in Rishikesh to swim, shop and have lunch etc. We will head back to the hotel in the afternoon for rounding then drive to the Haridwar train station to board the Superfast train to Delhi. Arrive in Delhi stay the night at Hotel Oodles Residency (4 Star hotel)
22 September // Delhi > Narayani Peedam Early morning flight to Chennai & transfer to Sri Narayani Peedam ashram. Here we leave the north of India, the home of Knowledge and go deep into the South, the home of Devotion. Narayani Peedam is the home of Sri Sakthi Amma, the incarnation of Mother Divine. This is also the site of the largest Golden Temple in the world, Sri Puram, that is referred to as the 8th Wonder of the World. We will walk the Star Path around the Golden Temple on the first evening we arrive. The next few days will be about integrating the experiences from high rounds and anchoring awareness into the heart. During our time in Peedam, you will be given the opportunity to have a private Jyotish reading (Vedic Astrology) with Pandit Baskaran. There will also be the chance to have a gemstone reading & purchase recommended birthstone amulets. Stay at Kamala Niwas Guest House for the next 6 nights.
23 September // Narayani Peedam // Rounding and Knowledge + Green Sakthi Tour + Puja After a morning round we will take the Green Sakthi Tour and explore the award winning sustainable living projects at Peedam. After the tour and a delicious lunch at the ashram, we will participate in Sri Sakthi Ammaâ€™s daily Abishekam puja. Abishekam is a ritual that involves the pouring of libations such as honey, milk and ghee on a statue of Narayani, the Divine Mother, amidst the chanting of Vedic mantras. This is a visually rich and incredibly beautiful expression of consciousness which is a blessing to be a part of. There will be an afternoon round, a communal dinner and evening knowledge meeting at the ashram.
24 September // Narayani Peedam Trip to Maha Ananda Siddha’s Shiva temple After a morning round we will visit Maha Ananda Siddha at his temple. Siddha’s Story - after 30 years of devoted service up keeping temples and feeding the poor, Lord Shiva appeared before Mahananda when he was 72 and said, “You are very fortunate in this life; you are a Siddha with a boon to live for 1000 years; go to Mahadeva Mount and live in a cave there, worship Me and protect the devotees… you should not seek alms from anyone; all the wealth will be heaped here; you should protect all the living creatures in this mountain from disease and suffering; from now on you should not eat food to satisfy your hunger or drink water to quench your thirst. When you sleep or meditate it will be in fire.” After giving this advice Lord Siva disappeared. It is a huge blessing to have an audience with Mahananda and you will see first hand the incredible temple he has built on top of Mount Mahadeva in service of Lord Shiva. We will come back to Peedam for Amma’s daily Abishekam Puja and an afternoon round. After dinner we will walk the Star Path of Sri Puram and spend the evening in a deep knowledge session.
25 September // Narayani Peedam // Navaratri Day 1 This is the first day of Navaratri! ‘Nava-ratri’ literally means ‘nine nights.’ During this festival the Divine Mother energy (Shakti) is worshiped in her 9 forms. It is said that being a part of the ceremonies and rituals during this time increases their effects and power 1000 times over due to planetary alignments. Navaratri creates the perfect conditions for dissolving negativity and darkness and illuminating the light and power of the Divine within. This is a major festival in India and is celebrated with great zeal all over the country. We begin each day with a morning round, breakfast and knowledge session. You will then have free time to explore Peedam; sit in on ceremonies, experience the local culture, walk the Golden Temple Star Path or volunteer serving food and water (what is called ‘Seva’). After lunch at the ashram, we will meet for Amma’s daily Abishekam puja, then make our way to the Golden Temple for the evening Chandi Homa - the first for the 9 nights of Navaratri. Chandi Homa is ‘seven-hundred verses in praise of She who removes all difficulties’, the Devi, Mother Divine, Narayani. The Chandi Homa is a fire ceremony in which libations and Vedic mantras are chanted to dispel negativity and reveal your source of Bliss, the non-changing ‘Being’ and the expression of the Divine.
26 September // Narayani Peedam Navaratri Day 2 After our morning round and knowledge session you will again have free time to explore Peedam. This will also be a great chance to have a Jyoitsh reading with Pandit Baskaran if you havenâ€™t already or simply relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the ashram. After lunch at the ashram, we will meet for Ammaâ€™s daily Abishekam puja. After Puja you will have the option to attend the Chandi Homa at the Golden Temple, or be a part of the evening dancing and singing festivities at Peedam, a real experience of Indian culture.
27 September // Narayani Peedam Navaratri Day 3 The final day of our retreat! After our morning round and knowledge session we will have a special ceremony with Pandit Ji Baskaran. As this is the last day, you will have free time to go into Vellore, continue exploring Peedam, hang out with newly made friends at the ashram or sit in on any one of the ceremonies being performed. We will meet for lunch at the ashram then make our way to Ammaâ€™s daily Abishekam puja. We will end the retreat with a Chandi Homa at the Golden Temple. This will be a powerful and profound way to wrap up what will be an incredible journey within and receive blessings from the Divine Mother. After the Homa, we will share a beautiful meal at the ashram, our experiences and bathe in the palpable Bliss of the Divine!
28 September // Narayani Peedam Navaratri Day 4 Transfer to Chennai Airport
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. T.S. ELIOT
We will wrap up in morning with a group meditation and after breakfast say our farewells. There will be transport to take you to Chennai airport or if you feel like it, you can stay on at the ashram for the remainder of Navaratri! There is the option of leaving after the Homa on the 27th if your flight requires it. Or if you would like to stay in India and explore more regions of the Divine land, let us know and we can put you in contact with the best trip organiser in India, our dear friend Pankaj!
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT If booking is made before June 30 Twin share // $2250 per person Single room // $2650 per person Trip cost includes 15 days accommodation, meals, transfers and transport, train tickets, flight to Chennai, ceremonies, temple visits, Jyotish Vedic Astrology reading with Pandit Baskaran and all donations. Does not include airfares to/ from India. If you book early, flights start from AUD$700 Sydney to Chennai return. Please contact us if you need help booking your flights! Bookings require 50% deposit BOOKINGS MADE AFTER JUNE 30 Twin share // $2500 per person Single room // $2900 per person Email email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Payment details Laura Poole BSB 062211 ACC 1000 9945 Please use reference for deposit â€˜BLISS Nameâ€™ For Paypal option please email us.