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Varanasi & Taj Mahal

Post Retreat Tour

February 14-18, 2020

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North India

After a week of rejuvenation in South India, we go north for the Post Retreat Tour through the spiritual epicenters of sacred Varanasi and the Taj Mahal.

Also experience South India: The Sacred Sap Retreat

Varanasi: Bathing Ghats on Sacred Ganga

After a week of rejuvenation down south, we are ready to begin the Post Retreat Tour with a sunrise visit to the holy Ganges River in the ancient city of Varanasi, better known as Kashi (the Luminous One) or the City of Light. Varanasi is a spiritual epicenter where pilgrims travel long distances to bathe at the sacred bathing ghats, where it is believed that a dip in the Ganges will remove all sins/karmas for a life time. Devotees of Lord Shiva, both householder pilgrims and sadhus (holymen) gather to bathe and reflect on the transience of life, in plain view of the many cremation ghats nearby.

Offering prayers to the Divine Mother on the Ganges

The traditional means of touring the Ganges is via rowboat along the river’s banks. We will start in the early morning as the sun rises over the eastern river bed plains illuminating the Ganges and western shore temples. This is a sacred time for prayer and meditation. The group will offer sacred flower aartis to the Divine Mother as Ganga with silent prayer. We are allowed one request of the Divine Mother in this puja, and from past experiences, all requests are immediately granted on the spot. This is a powerful ceremony for all involved. Guests are advised to carefully plan their prayer and request in advance.

Manikarnika Cremation Temple and Ganga Aarti

In the evening, we will return to the Ganges to witness up to a dozen human cremations simultaneously taking place at the famous Manikarnika Temple cremation ghats on the river banks. Witnessing cremation ceremonies is a transformative experience that has the effect of pacifying the fears we have of our own mortality. It also awakens our hearts to a more intimate acceptance of our lives. These experiences of conscious passage rites are life affirming and life validating experiences that heal the spirit. After the cremations, we will witness one of India’s largest fire ceremonies, the Ganga Aarti, a massive celebration to the Divine Mother as Ma Ganga, the holiest of rivers and source of life.

After the tour of Varanasi, we’ll take a short flight to Delhi, then a 4-hr private luxury bus ride to the city of Agra, the early capital of the Mughal Empire, to take in the beauty of the Taj Mahal, one of the great wonders of the world.

Agra: The Taj Mahal

We’ll approach the Taj on the following day, in the early morning as the sunrise peaks over the horizon onto the Taj dome. The Taj is a monument to all love, love for life, self, and partner. Bring an open heart and your camera! Later the same day we will tour the famous Agra Fort which served as the personal palace to Shah Jahan, the Emperor of the Mogul Empire and builder of the Taj Mahal. See how the Emperor lived!

Closing the Cycle in the Heart Center

We close the 12 day tour cycle in the heart center of India and within ourselves. On the second evening in Agra, we celebrate our shared ecstatic experience with a private poolside dinner and party: live music, north Indian cuisine, spirits, and a hena artist to illustrate your hands and feet are on order. The following day we take our private luxury coach to Delhi for our last group meal at a famous Gujarati thali restaurant in Connaught Place. Then we head to Delhi International Airport for our final departure home. Guests are optionally welcome to stay in Delhi to explore the city’s culture, historical sites, and shopping opportunities at your own expense.

At Sevanti Adventures we know that travel to India comes with a few obstacles. Our dharma is to remove them, so you can focus on your dreams!

Travel with us. This is your journey.

Explore more information

Sacred Sap Retreat

$ 2800

Kerala, South IndiaAyurveda treatments, Yoga, Temples, Elephants, Backwater Tour, Arabian Sea

February 7-14, 2020

Post Retreat TourMost Popular

$ 1700

Varanasi and Taj Mahal, North IndiaRowboat tour of Temples on Ganges River, Ganga Aarti Ceremony, Sadhus, Taj Mahal

February 14-18, 2020

Post Retreat Tour Includes:

  • Offered to Kerala Sacred Sap Retreat participants only
  • Guided tour of the sacred sites of Varanasi and Taj Mahal; includes two guided tours of the Ganges in Varanasi (morning and evening), seeing temples and cremation ghats by traditional row boat, and a guided tour of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort and Palace.
  • All India domestic flights from Kerala to Varanasi and Varanasi to Delhi
  • Volvo private luxury A/C bus transport from Delhi to Agra, and then Agra to Delhi International Airport on departure
  • Accommodations at the 4.5 star Radisson Varanasi and 5 star Taj Hotel, Agra
  • Daily breakfast buffet and wifi
  • Tips for group related activities: bus drivers, tour guides, etc
  • Closing meal in Delhi at a Gujarati style thali restaurant

Not included:

  • Lunch and dinners
  • Tips: privately acquired drivers separate from the group activities
  • Hotel and travel incidentals: minibar, non-buffet menu items, room service, etc
  • Personal shopping

So much magic unravels throughout this journey! Thank you James for this incredible experience that we all will keep in our hearts and memories forever. The restorative week at Somatheeram Resort with Ayurvedic daily treatments and morning yoga led by Tawny Sterios. Waking up in Kerala, India and stepping outside to the incredible views of the Arabian Sea. Shopping with friends from the group in the local area. Traveling to North India and visiting the Taj Mahal, Varanasi - one of the oldest cities in the World, boat rides along the Ganges River and riding the Rickshaws with Tawny will be a moment I'll never forget! The food was incredible throughout the entire trip, the rooms were beautiful, the smiles and great hospitality were endless, and I always felt so safe. Thank you for this experience!

Tiffany P

What an amazing adventure! My experience in India is one that I will remember for the rest of my life....morning yoga with Tawny, the Ayurveda treatments, the staff at Somatheeram, our guides throughout India, the Taj, the Ganges, beautiful new was deep and rich and full of unexpected and delightful surprises. I LOVE India! 🙂

Sonya K

Thank you so very much James for taking us across the world to find magic, transformation, spirit and play. I enjoyed the journey so so much, laughed a ton, got rest, relaxed and felt more excited about life! I'm still processing it all and enjoying it. It's the trip that keeps giving! This journey was a life changer! Deep Ayurveda rejuvenation in the warm Kerala ocean waters, inspiring ancient temples, ceremonies, delicious south Indian cuisine, safety, play, adventure, shopping and downtime. The journey had the best of it all and it was all extraordinaire. Gratitude to all my sister travelers too for the ways you each blew open my heart, the belly with laughs, the true care, the deep sharing, inspiration offered, and instant friendship you all provided. The connections continue to unfold. You all have a room here in San Luis Obispo, CA to come play any time!

Tawney S

Thank you James for hosting this adventure. For sharing your wisdom, compassion, leadership, support and love. Thank you fellow adventurers for showing me a glimpse of yourselves through your own journey, experience, and epiphanies while in India. Thank you India. To say India is magical is an understatement. It is incomprehensible the depth that India will touch a person. And it is unknowing how long it will continue to hold this power over me. I will be back. If I am lucky, I will be back with Sevanti Adventures and James. But when I go back, my family will be with me.

Christina G

As the oldest and least Ayurveda knowledgeable member of the group, I was included and instructed as I asked and was ready. We couldn't have had a more diverse group on paper, but we quickly became friends. I was constantly impressed by the positive attitudes and energy of all. I hope to repeat the trip one day. Don't feel like you need to be a yoga expert to benefit from this experience. You will glow for weeks after you return!

Mary M

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