Indian Spirituality – India gave birth to four religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Discover the living traditions and beliefs, and how they influence the Indian way of life. Enjoy initiations to yoga and meditation, spiritual arts coming from ancient Indian heritage.
2-week Programme / North
Days 1 & 2
Delhi, the capital of India, is an impressive concentration of diversity, between traditions and modernity. Mughal, Hindu and Sikh heritages are still alive, giving us the opportunity to introduce India and its multiple religions. We will visit the memorial for the Mahatma Gandhi, and the campus of one organization working for the Untouchables.
Khurukshetra is a pilgrimage place not far from Delhi. People believe that one of the most known fight of the Mahabharata, a Hindu epic, took place over there thousands of years ago. It would be there that the God Khrishna preached the Bhagvad Gita, considered as a holy book.
Amritsar is located in Punjab, close to the Pakistan border. Embedded in the Sikh culture, it hosts one of the most famous places of this religion: the Golden Temple. You will discover this holy place and understand how Sikkhism was born. The border also offers a unique show: India and Pakistan have collaborated to set up a common parade that takes place every day in a passionate ambiance. You will attend the show at dawn, when they bring down the flags.
Days 5 & 6
In the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamshala has the particularity to host the Tibetan government and the residence of the Dalai Lama. The city will give you a good understanding of the Tibetan history, culture and current situation, and an introduction to Buddhism. You will meet an organization that supports Tibetan refugees who frequently reach Dharamshala.
Days 7 & 8
Haridwar means the Gate to the God Vishnu. This holy place is on the Ganga, the sacred river of India. Many temples are present in this city located in the mountains of Uttarakhand. Everyday, the prayer to Ganga gathers an impressive number of believers.
Close to Haridwar, Rishikesh gives to visitors a double possibility: enjoy a spiritual stay with meditation and yoga, and go for adventure sports such as rafting! You will enjoy both in this splendid retreat located in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Days 10 & 11
Varanasi, also called Benares, is in the State of Uttar Pradesh. Very famous for the silk, the weavers of the city produce a huge variety of hand-woven items. Varanasi is also a sacred place, part of the most important Hindu epics, and welcoming the biggest number of pilgrims in India. The belief is that dying there frees you from reincarnation, and sends your soul to heaven. You will assist to prayers near the Ganga.
Khajuraho is located in the State of Madya Pradesh. It hosts a magnificent group of Hindu and Jain temples. They were built between 10th and 12th century, and they are a living testimony that harmony between religions is possible. Belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Khajuraho is a splendid example of the ancient Indian art.
Gwalior hosts a splendid fort, and is famous for a legend from the 8th century: a sadhu, a Hindu saint, is said to have healed a king from leprosy. You will learn about this amazing story, and dip more into the Hindu believes.
Agra is known all over the world for the jewel of India located there: the Taj Mahal. Symbol of love and pure beauty, this impressive construction attracts all the people visiting India. After this mesmerizing visit, you will take the way to Delhi.
Back to Delhi for the end of this tour!
Home-stay, Guest houses, Heritage Hotels
Visit of one NGO dealing with hygiene issues, meeting with Tibetan refugees
Religious places for Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism and Sikhism, Life in mountains