- 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.
- Arrive and check-in at the hotel in Varanasi by 12 noon. We start the day with a visit to Sarnath, where Gautama the Buddha gave his first sermon. This momentous and historic event has been depicted through exquisite sculptures of the Buddha and other monuments at Sarnath.
- The day starts early with Mangala Arati at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple – one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, said to have been consecrated by Shiva himself. After the Arati, we will venture to the Annapoorni Temple and the Vishalakshi Temple, which is one of the Shakti Sthalas. Later in the day, we will visit the Manikarnika Ghat – the most sacred cremation spot in Varanasi, which is at the core of the spiritual process that thrives in the city. A boat ride on the sacred Ganga followed by participation in the evening arati from the boat, are some of the highlights of the day.
- We will visit places of tremendous spiritual significance including Kalabhairava Temple – the powerful guardian deity of Varanasi and Mahamrityunjaya Temple – where it is believed that one can conquer death. After that, the day is free to explore the city on your own and visit its various temples, ghats and market places. Varanasi features a variety of cultural delights including exquisite silk weaves and unique cuisine. We will be happy to suggest a number of interesting places you can visit. While arrangements will be made for your breakfast and dinner, you can explore and enjoy the unique Varanasi cuisine for lunch on your own.
- We journey to Bodhgaya, also known as Gaya. Since that glorious full-moon night of Gautama’s enlightenment 2500 years ago, Bodhgaya has been visited by countless seekers to imbibe the essence of this space. Bodhgaya is famous for the 1500-year-old Mahabodhi Temple. It stands next to the legendary Bodhi tree and the Vajrasana or Diamond Throne, which marks the exact spot where the Buddha attained enlightenment.
- The program culminates in Gaya with Guru Pooja – an offering of gratitude to the great beings of the past who have made this powerful possibility of self-transformation available to all.
- The program culmination starts at 6 a.m and the hotel check-out time is 11:00 a.m.
The entire sojourn is conducted and managed by a dedicated Isha team, which includes a qualified and well-equipped doctor who will accompany the group throughout the journey. Comfortable A/C accommodation, A/C bus travel, wholesome vegetarian food and mineral water, and the entrance fee at every place on the itinerary will be provided throughout the trip. A/C train travel will be provided based on your choice of travel plan.
To make it possible for you to take this mystical journey back home, Isha offers a collection of high-resolution photos after the sojourn.
Note: Please plan for costs towards personal expenses, souvenirs and other expenditures not mentioned here. Accommodation arrangements can also be made if you wish to come a day early.
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
- Hand sanitizer
- Mosquito repellent spray/cream
- General footwear
- Water bottle
- Camera (optional)
*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.