Varanasi

"The creation of Kashi is the most phenomenal effort in building structures of consciousness ever made on the planet – it is immensely elaborate and scientifically perfect."- Sadhguru
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About Varanasi
 
A city as old as time. A city that has seen the world turn, tides change and generations of humans be born and die. Varanasi or Kashi, which has been standing the tests of time for over 5,000 years, is said to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. In Mark Twain's words, "Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together."
What draws millions of pilgrims from all over the world to the city of Varanasi is the fact that it is one of the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism. Called the spiritual capital of India, this magnificent city of learning radiates endless energy. Despite being witness to ancient civilizations that have come and gone over the centuries, Varanasi is still alive, unabashedly colourful, vibrant, and wonderfully rich in history and legends.
Varanasi Sacred Walks, a program by Isha Sacred Walks, offers you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of embarking on a journey to experience this holiest of cities. Here are seven reasons you should not miss the chance to be a part of this incredible experience:
  • Varanasi, the holy "City of Light" shines bright, both physically and metaphorically. It is believed that a single dip in the holy waters of the Ganga can wash away a lifetime of sins.
  • According to legend, Varanasi was founded by Shiva himself and was his favourite abode. In one verse of the ancient religious text Skanda Purana, Shiva says, "The three worlds form one city of mine, and Kāśī is my royal palace therein."
  • In Varanasi, the most natural and inevitable cycle of life and death is celebrated and revered with much gusto. Also known as "Mahasmashana" or "The Great Cremation Ground", the holy city humbles you by making you realize how narrow the line is between life and death.
  • A boat ride across the sacred Ganga perfectly captures the spirit of Varanasi. Countless candlelit paper boats with flowers carrying people’s prayers, float their way across the waters. Countless pilgrims take a holy dip in the waters, others meditate in solitude and the rest bow their heads in prayer along the Ghats. As the sun goes down, the evening ritual of worship, called the Ganga Arati, unfolds.
  • Varanasi was the original hub of art, culture, spirituality and music. Many prominent Indian saints, philosophers, poets, writers, and musicians live or have lived in Varanasi. Several major figures of the Bhakti movement were born in Varanasi, including Kabir and Ravidas.
  • Varanasi is home to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of the most important places of worship in the country. It is considered to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingas and holds great significance in the spiritual history of India.
  • Near Varanasi is the 1500-year-old Mahabodhi Temple marking the spot of the legendary Bodhi tree, under which Buddha meditated and attained enlightenment. Buddha delivered his first sermon at Sarnath, near Varanasi, thereby giving birth to Buddhism.
For all this and more, a journey to this city with the Varanasi Sacred Walks is an intensely spiritual experience, complete with the inclusion of meditation sessions, satsangs, spiritual processes and much more. The five-day trip will take you through the Kalabhairava Temple, Mahamrityunjaya Temple, Vishalakshi Temple, Manikarnika Ghat and includes a boat ride on the Ganga, Mangala Arati at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and the free time to explore Varanasi, its streets, its ancient marketplaces and other cultural delights. The journey also includes visits to the sacred Buddhist destinations Bodhgaya and Sarnath. The Varanasi Sacred Walks is not like any other pilgrimage, it’s a chance to transform yourself and soak in the essence of the spiritual capital of India.
With our team of highly skilled, trained and dedicated teachers and volunteers ever ready to help you with every step you take on this memorable journey, you will be enveloped in a sense of endless energy, tranquility and oneness.
Come be a part of this beautiful and enlightening journey with us.
 
Dates / Registration
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Group Arrive/Depart at Varanasi Communication Language Registration Status
C2*

21st Sept to 25th Sept, 2019

English CLOSED
A2 / S2*

22nd Sept to 25th Sept, 2019

English CLOSED
C1*

20th Sept to 24th Sept, 2019

English CLOSED
A1 / S1*

21st Sept to 24th Sept, 2019

English CLOSED
A2 / S2

22nd Sept to 25th Sept, 2018

English CLOSED
B

19th Sept to 26th Sept, 2019
(3rd A/C train travel)

English CLOSED
  • The given dates are to and from Varanasi, India.
  • Registration closes on 15th October, 2017. However, if all places are filled, registration may close earlier.
Registration Process
  1. When you are ready to register, please submit the Application Form here here or feel free to contact us so we can further assist you with your registration.
  2. Applications are processed on a first-come-first-serve basis.
  3. We will send you a confirmation of your registration within two weeks of receiving your registration form and required documents.
 
Program Itinerary
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Conveniences Offered
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Prerequisites
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Isha Yoga Programme

Participants should have undergone an Isha Yoga program before taking part in Varanasi Sacred Walks. Since we will be travelling to powerful spaces of great possibility and energy, doing your Isha Yoga practices every day will help you become more receptive to the grace of these places.

 
Program Guide
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Preparation
Packing

Most of the sojourn involves bus travel, so it is advisable to pack as light as possible. Due to space constraints, all items must be packed in one suitcase or bag. Inside the bus, you can carry one trekking bag with items required for daily use. It is advisable to bring bags that are water-resistant and durable.

We recommend the following items:

  • Personal clothing
  • Woolen shawl or jacket
  • Two to three pairs of socks
  • A woolen cap
  • Toiletries
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Mosquito repellent spray/cream
  • General footwear
  • Snacks
  • Water bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Flashlight
  • Umbrella
  • Camera (optional)
Weather

The temperature at Varanasi in November can vary between 10 to 30oC. Please bring appropriate woolens and warm clothing.

  • Woolen shawl or jacket
  • Two to three pairs of socks
  • A woolen cap
Precautions

*Please note that video cameras are not permitted.

Please carry a personal medical kit with electrolyte packs, pain killers, muscle relaxant cream, band aids, Vaseline, medicines for fever, common cold, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion and any other medication necessary.

 
Contact Us
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"Isha Sacred Walks"
Thannerpandal, Velliangiri Foot Hills,
Ishana Vihar Post,
Coimbatore – 641 114
Tamil Nadu, India
Overseas Registration Contact:

USA and CANADA

 

+1 612-562-9330
usa@sacredwalks.org

 

UK and EUROPE

 

+44 7920 774615 (7pm-10pm UK time)
uk@sacredwalks.org

 

SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA and AUSTRALIA

 

+65 9062 2704
sg@sacredwalks.org

 

MIDDLE EAST

 

+961 3972159
lb@sacredwalks.org

 

India Registration Contact:

Tamil Nadu, Karnataka & Kerala

 

+91 9488 111 333
tn@sacredwalks.org

 

Andhrapradesh/Telangana

 

+91 8885 000 333
hyd@sacredwalks.org

 

Rest of India

 

+91 9488 111 555 / +91 9488 123 555
india@sacredwalks.org