A trip to India

An opportunity has come up for a group of us to take a fabulous trip to India in March 2020! 

The trip will be led by my amazing Astanga Yoga teacher Helen Phillips, who has spent lots of time exploring India, and has a wealth of local knowledge, as well as supporting charities and local communities in India and Tibet through her Ethical Fashion business Door to the Himalayas. See some of the beautiful work and craftsmanship she is supports here: https://www.doortothehimalayas.co.uk/

Highlights of the trip will include:

A Trip to the Taj Mahal

One of the most significant Mughal Empire architectural marvels still stands in all its beauty and finesse in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. The Taj Mahal is a white marble built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. In Arabic, the Taj Mahal is known as “crown of palaces”.

A Week in Rishikesh

Rishikesh is a city in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand, in the Himalayan foothills beside the Ganges River. The river is considered holy, and the city is renowned as a center for studying yoga and meditation. Temples and ashrams (centers for spiritual studies) line the eastern bank around Swarg Ashram, a traffic-free, alcohol-free and vegetarian enclave upstream from Rishikesh town.

An opportunity to celebrate the Hindu Festibal of Holi
(optional trip)

The festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil, Holi is a celebration of the arrival of spring and harvests to come. It’s the Holi festival of colours, emotions, and happiness. And what better way to express yourself than with the vibrant colours of the rainbow? We will also have the honour of celebrating this festival on a farm, and spend a magical night under the stars ….

Karma Yoga Trip to Rishikesh and the Taj Mahal 2020

Cost: £750

Flight: £585 (Air India direct flight) at time of writing

Dates: 8th March – 21st March 2020

Itinery – this is still subject to change as it is Holi on the 10th so we may have to visit Agra at the end of the stay instead.

8th March – 9.30pm overnight flight from Heathrow to Delhi

9th March – arrive Delhi 11.20am, car to Agra (via Vrindavan to visit Krishna temples), stay 5* Sarovar Hotel (with swimming pool) 2 people per room

10th March – visit to Agra Fort, relax by pool, free time, stay 5* Sarovar Hotel

11th March – 6am visit to Taj Mahal, return to hotel for breakfast, depart by car for Rishikesh, stay Green Hills Cottage, Tapovan, Rishikesh

21st March – Return flight is at 2.45pm arriving Heathrow at 18.55pm

10 nights Rishikesh, the Yoga capital of the world, during this time we will be taken on a guided tour of Laxman Jula, Ram Jula and visit the Mahareshi Ashram (where the Beatles stayed).

Yoga classes, massage, Ayurveda treatments and meditation are available everywhere in Rishikesh, it is amazing. Rishikesh is on the Ganges and in the foot hills of the Himalayas so it has a very pleasant climate in March of approx. 25 – 30 degrees.

Green Hills Cottage is a lovely 3* hotel which provides an oasis of calm in its lovely green garden. Accommodation includes bed and breakfast and you will have your own room (unless you prefer to share).

As this is a Karma Yoga Trip, we would encourage your involvement with the Pankh Creative School in Rishikesh. This school provides free education for underprivileged children and they love to welcome English speakers to sit and read, or run a class or two if you have the skills, alternatively the craft centre is always looking for people to share craft skills with the mothers.

Optional excursions include:

Day trip to the hill station of Mussourie (rs3,500 pp approx. £40)

Over night stay on a farm in Uttar Pradesh (rs3,500)

2 night trip to Gangotri temple near the source of the Ganges (rs15000 approx. £150 per person based on 3 people in one car).

There are a maximum of 10 places on the trip available, and we require confirmation of your commitment to the trip, as soon as possible. Please contact me, caroline@anahatayoga.org.uk or 07762 912585: I will give you instructions on how to book:

  1. You’ll need to make a deposit of £150 made payable to me (into the SAME account you use to pay for your yoga classes). This secures your place on the trip.
  2. I’ll also immediately need confirmation of your name as it appears in your passport – this is very important as if the spelling on your passport is different to the one on your airline ticket you will not be able to fly.

Further payments will be:

  • £210 (NON REFUNDABLE) to Southall Travel (contact details will be provided) once you have confirmed you are booking and have paid me £150 deposit. Balance of flight payment will be due about a month before we travel.
  • £600 payable to Door to the Himalayas Ltd (you will be invoiced) by 10th Jan 2020.

Please note that the optional trips are also going to be amazing: for example, the visit to the farm in Uttar Pradesh will coincide with the festival of Holi, which should be enormous fun; here’s a link to a film about Holi on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1hs5FO_Oqk  I’m told the night under the stars at the farm is just magical and not to be missed 😊

The additional costs you need to include in your trip budget will be for food (we have only a couple of nights of pre-organised evening meals as a group) but food is cheap and I’m told a dinner of £4 is on the expensive side! 

You’ll also need to pay for your yoga or any other treatments you decide to partake of in Rishikesh; I gather this is like a smorgasbord of yoga, Ayurveda, massage, meditation and other wonderful treats to partake of as much or as little of as you wish!  There is something for every taste and ability.  You will be given assistance if you’re not sure what to choose 😊. As we may all be doing disparate things around the town at different times evenings will remain informal and we’ll meet up when our busy yoga timetables allow! There will also be a myriad of shopping opportunities not to be missed, which we will no doubt all be wanting to take advantage of, so include that in your budget too!

I hope you can join us on this fantastic trip …..