Experience the beauty that is India on a sacred journey with "Spiritual guide - Finbarr Ross"
that will take you to some of India’s most magnificent temples and holy sites. India has been a
place of sacred pilgrimage for thousands of years. It is the home of many religions and spiritual
practices such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Yoga.
Our magical adventure will take you throughout the country of India, on four plane rides, a plane
and rickshaw ride. You will see a magnificent light show, and take a sunrise boat cruise on the
sacred Ganges River. You will explore ancient and modern cities, temples, fire temples, colorful
bazaars, and much more!
considered to be the supreme example of its architecture. This temple is dedicated to Adinatha,
whom the Jainists hold is the “Original Lord” and first Tirthankara, responsible for formulating
and organizing humans to live in a society harmoniously and the dharma of compassion.
This spectacular temple is also constructed of light-colored marble, but is very different,
architecturally, from the Persian and Mughal-influenced style of the Taj Mahal. Since Jainists
believe that control of the cosmos comes from the Tirthankara’s conquest of the cardinal
direction, the temple is symbolically designed with four faces.
emperor Shah Jahan, so beloved by him that his grief inspired the construction of one of the
wonders of the world. The very words “Taj Mahal” breathe of magic, devotion, and the force of
love. It is literally one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.
We will greet it at sunrise, as the morning sun lights up the white marble and inlaid stones which
make this “crown of palaces” the height of Mughal architecture. Calligraphy inscribes passages
from the Qur’an throughout the complex, domes of marble reach up to the sky in perfect
symmetry, inlays of jasper, black marble, and herringbone tile the floors with delicately and
dizzyingly complex decorations.
Finbarr will take you on a journey of ascension and awakening consciousness. Finbarr shares a
deep connection to the holy sites of India and has been leading tours there since 2002. He is
connected to the energy centers of the land and its holy temples and will lead the group in
meditations designed to open you to the fullness of the experience and to your own awakened
consciousness. If you’ve felt called to visit India, this tour is for you!
Today you will arrive in Delhi, India’s bustling capital city. Upon arrival, you will be met and
transferred to Hotel the Royal Plaza. Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines
both the ancient and the modern aspects of Indian culture. The city’s many monuments, located
amidst tall, modern skyscrapers, stand as silent reminders of the region’s ancient legacy.
Delhi’s strategic location was one of the main reasons why successive dynasties chose it as
their seat of power. It is not surprising that today Delhi is actually a conglomerate of seven cities.
The division between the old, walled city and what is known as New Delhi marks a division in
lifestyles. The walled city retains its past traditions, and when visiting, one can get a glimpse of
its many facets. In contrast, New Delhi strives to match the pace of the twenty-first century.
Overnight in New Delhi at Hotel the Royal Plaza. Group welcome dinner.
Jan 16th – Day 2, Fri: Delhi Sightseeing
This morning your visit will focus on Old Delhi, the seventeenth-century walled city of Shah
Jahan. We will visit mosque. Next, we’ll visit the Raj Ghat, a memorial erected on the site where
Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Indian nation, was cremated.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we will embark on a tour of New Delhi, driving along Rajpath,
the capital’s broadest avenue. Along the way, you will see Parliament House, now known as
Sansad Bhavan, a low, circular structure that covers more than five acres of land. We will also
pass by Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President’s Palace; the official residence of the president of
India. Constructed on Raisina Hill, this imposing structure was initially built as the official
residence of the British Viceroy of India.
We will also see India Gate, a 138-foot-high arch that stands at the eastern end of Rajpath. It is
inscribed with the names of 85,000 Indian Army soldiers who lost their lives in World War I, the
North-West Frontier operations that occurred at the same time and the 1919 Afghan fiasco.
Below burns the Amar Jawan Jyoti, the Eternal Flame, in tribute to all martyred soldiers of India.
The Amar Jawan Jyoti was lit after the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War.
Next we will stop at Humayun’s Tomb. The tomb, an elegant example of early Mughal
architecture, was commissioned by Humayun’s widowed queen, Haji Begum, in the sixteenth
century. Architecturally it is the forerunner of the world-famous Taj Mahal.
We move on to Birla Temple, which is one of the major landmarks of New Delhi. Also known as
the Laxmi Narayan Temple, the temple was built in 1939 as a dedication to Vishnu, and it
enshrines almost all the deities of the Hindu pantheon. The entire temple is decorated with relief
carvings of mythological scenes. The temple reaches an impressive 165 feet at its highest
point. Overnight at Hotel the Royal Plaza.
Jan 17th – Day 3, Sat: Delhi / Varanasi
After breakfast, we connect to our flight to Varanasi (formerly Benares). India’s holiest city is
located on the banks of the sacred Ganges River. Upon your arrival you will be met and
transferred to The Gateway Hotel.
In the afternoon we will visit the Ghats and witness the evening Aarti ceremony. Dinner following
the ceremony back at Hotel. Overnight at The Gateway Hotel.
Jan 18th – Day 4, Sun: Varanasi
Early this morning, embark on a sunrise boat cruise on the Ganges River during which you will
be presented with the incredible tableau of multitudes of devotees paying homage to the Sun
The cruise will be followed by breakfast, and then a walking tour of the old city. Afterwards, we
will tour Sarnath, the site of Buddha’s first sermon. While there, you will visit the museum, one of
the most important in India. You will also see the many stupas, or shrines, and Mulagandha Kuti
Vihar, a Tibetan Buddhist shrine built by the Mahabodhi Society containing a life-size golden
image of the Buddha and colorful murals and frescoes painted by a Japanese artist. Free time
for shopping and Lunch (day includes breakfast).
Overnight at Varanasi – The Gateway Hotel.
Jan 19th – Day 5, Mon: Varanasi / Khajuraho
After breakfast we’ll fly to Khajuraho, the religious and political capital of the Chandela Dynasty.
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to Taj Chandela Hotel. The rest of the afternoon is
free to relax and enjoy the beautiful hotel grounds, restful atmosphere, and spa services.
After an early dinner (the famous Taj spread is more deserving of the word banquet than buffet)
we will enjoy a fabulous Sound & Light Show on the grounds of the western complex, introducing
us to the history and culture of the temples. Overnight at Taj Chandela Hotel.
Jan 20th – Day 6, Tue: Khajuraho /Eastern & Western Temples
This morning visit the Western group of temples. The Western group contains the largest and
loveliest temples of the area. Of this group, the Kandariya Mahadev temple, dedicated to Shiva,
is the most perfect. With its elaborate 100-foot-high spire and bands of beautiful carving, it
represents Chandela art at its best. Kandariya Mahadev shares a high terrace with the older
and simpler Devi Jagadamba temple. Shopping and personal time with lunch in town.
In the afternoon, we will visit the main temples in the Eastern group. These temples are more
modest and less ornate than the Western temples, their architectural style reflecting the
simplicity inherent in Jainism.
Overnight at Taj Chandela Hotel.
Jan 21st – Day 7, Wed: Orchha/Jhansi/Agra
This morning we drive to Jhansi, stopping en route in Orchha to visit the medieval city founded
by Bundela rulers. Orchha contains palaces and temples built in the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries that have withstood the onslaught of time remarkably well. Continue on to Jhansi to
board the train to Agra, the last capital of the Mughal Empire and home of the one and only Taj
Mahal. Upon arrival in Agra, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Arrive in Agra and check in to our hotel – the afternoon is free, with dinner at the hotel.
Overnight at Clarks Shiraz.
Jan 22nd – Day 8, Thu: Agra
An early-morning visit to the Taj Mahal, or “crown of buildings”, presents an opportunity to
admire this dream in marble as it welcomes the rising sun. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as
“the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s
heritage.” After lunch we will visit Agra Fort, a huge red-sandstone structure built by the famous
Mughal emperor Akbar in the sixteenth century. It houses the beautiful Pearl Mosque and many
other noteworthy structures. Afternoon is free to relax, shop or explore.
Jan 23rd – Day 9, Fri: Agra / Jaipur
Post-breakfast drive to Jaipur, the Pink Capital City of Rajasthan. Arrive and check in at Hotel
Country Inn & Suites. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore.
Jan 24th – Day 10, Sat: Jaipur / Ranakpur
Drive Ranakpur, arrive and check in at Hotel Maharani Bagh.
Jan 25th – Days 11, Sun: Ranakpur
Set in a remote and peaceful valley, Ranakpur is the site of the largest and most beautifully
preserved Jain Temple in India. The main temple dates back to 1439 and is called the “four-
faced temple”. It is dedicated to Adinath, one of the founders of the Jain religion, and has 29
halls supported by 1,444 carved pillars, no two of which are alike. The play of light and shadow
on the minutely carved figures offers an effect that tantalizes the senses.
Jan 26th – Day 12, Mon: Ranakpur / Udaipur / Mumbai
Air India AI 471 Dep. 1745 / 1905
Morning is free to relax. You will be transferred to Udaipur airport in time for your flight to
Mumbai. Upon arrival in Mumbai you will be met and transferred to Hotel Peninsula Grand.
Jan 27th – Day 13, Tue: Mumbai / Aurangabad / Tapovan
Fly early morning to Aurangabad. Upon arrival you will be met and driven to Tapovan. En route,
we stop at the Ellora Caves for a few hours of connection with the incredible energy of the
ancient temples carved into the mountainsides. Tea & snacks at the nearby hotel café.
Overnight in Dhule at The Residency Park.
Jan 28th/29th – Day 14/15, Wed/Thu: Tapovan
2 days at Tapovan, Anne & Bruce’s Homa Therapy Organic Farm & Center to experience the
Agnihotra fires there (daily sunrise/sunset), ancient Sanskrit mantra, local Shivadom Temple,
visit the traditional rural village and Tapovan School.
Jan 30th – Day 16, Fri: Tapovan / Aurangabad
Morning activities in Tapovan. Later in the evening you will be driven to Aurangabad, arrive and
check in at ITC Rama International.
Jan 31st – Day 17, Sat: Aurangabad / Mumbai/ Home
Morning fly to Mumbai, upon arrival you will be met and taken for a brief tour of Mumbai and its
temples. Later in the evening after dinner you will be transferred to airport for flight back home.
Note: You fly into Delhi and out of Mumbai.
India Land Tour Fee $4,900.00
With Cash/Check Discount $4,750.00
$150/ per person included in tour price for tips
Tips to drivers, guides, hotel and restaurant staff
All hotel accommodations (16 nights)
All entrance fees to sites
All ground/train and internal air transportation
Full breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day
TOUR DOES *NOT* INCLUDE:
Meals not mentioned above
Extras at hotels
Mineral water, tea, coffee, after meal beverages, personal expenses (i.e laundry, valet
service, telephone calls, postage, etc.)
06/1/14 rates or gasoline goes up over 5% from 06/14 India prices. If required, a fuel or
exchange-rate surcharge will be declared in March. This has never exceeded $100 per person.
$500 deposit secures your place on the journey with the balance due 60 days prior to departure.
|Temples of Northern India
17 day Spiritual Odyssey!
with spiritual guide Finbarr Ross
Jan 15 - 31, 2015
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