I. Elephanta Caves and Gateway of India through an adventurous boat ride
II. "Food for life" and Bhaktivedanta Hospital-Socio-spiritual projects founded by Radhanath Swami
III. Flower Festival
-In the beautifully carved sandstone temple and monastery founded by Radhanath Swami in late 80's, thousands and thousands of colorful flower petals will be showered on the Radha Krishna deities and the entire temple room! The pictures make it look like the most ecstatic flower-fight- celebration ever 🙂 We will get to hear wonderful discourses from Radhanath Swami and relish the mood of celebration with God in the center. We will get chance to do seva (service) at the temple.
I. Local sight seeing- Qutab Minar, Parliament house, India Gate, Mahatma Gandhi memorial, Lotus (Bahai) temple, Shopping at Delhi Haat.
II. Special evening with our family meeting our parents and experiencing Indian culture and homemade food.
C. VILLAGE OF VRINDAVAN
-Vrindavan is the most sacred of all the villages with over 5,000 temples where Krishna had his beautiful pastimes with his intimate friends. Mathura (Birthplace of Lord Krishna and a short trip to Elephant conservatory), Barsana (Hiking on the top of a hill is the beautiful site of Radha's appearance), Govardhan Hill-most celebrated hill lifted by Krishna.
1. Visit temples and holy rivers
2. Hear stories and enlivening discourses by our monk friends and teachers
3. Lively Kirtan (musical meditation)
4. Serve local people at the Barsana eye camp
5. Serve one day meals to the girls at Sandipani Muni School
D. AGRA-TAJ MAHAL AND AGRA FORT
-Taj Mahal (One of the seven wonders of the world, an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna River) and Agra Fort.
E. GOVARDHAN ECO VILLAGE (GEV)
-International Yoga retreat with Radhanath Swami
Govardhan Eco Village is situated on 50 acres of pristine farmland and aims to demonstrate the principles of self-sufficiency and localized economy to the world. We will stay in eco-friendly cob houses in the naturally charming village, eat local dishes made from organic grains and vegetables grown on the land and tour the facilities to see how a group of bhakti-yogis are making a difference towards a greener world.
1. Four days of diving into the essence of India's Yoga traditions with Radhanath Swami
2. Practice yoga and breath work daily led by us
3. Lively discourses by Radhanath Swami and other monks
4. Array of life changing workshops (Ayurvedic cooking class, nearby village visit helping the farmers, Women empowerment, pottery making, Eco tour and education)
5. Serve the cows-milking and brushing
6. Swim in the inviting biopool
7. Ayurvedic treatments at their world class Ayurvedic Center.
F. RISHIKESH (The Yoga capital of India)
1. White water rafting in Mother Ganges
2. Practice yoga and breath work daily with us
3. Hiking through the Himalayan foothills to Vashishtha Muni cave
4. Evening worship to honor Mother Ganges
5. Enlightening and transforming discourses on Yoga philosophy
Our trip comes to an end and we hope you all have enjoyed the virtual tour so far!!
We are twin sisters born and raised in Delhi, India. After completing our doctorate; we both moved to the USA. After working for the Ohio State University for the first two years, we moved to Chicago, now employed by the Northwestern University as Research Scientists in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology and Dermatology. In our 28 years of life in India, we never found a single unhappy person in spite of poverty, struggle for existence and challenges. On the contrary, here we saw most people had moderate if not good facilities, luxuries and comforts; still it was so hard for us to find people who were actually happy, contented, selfless, personal, not anxious or depressed. The paradox of our time is: Tall buildings shorter tempers, big houses broken families, wider freeways narrower viewpoints, more medicines less wellness, added years to life forgot to add life to years, more conveniences less time, multiplied possessions reduced values, conquered outer space but what about the inner space? The universal truth is that we all are eternal souls searching for happiness with a strong innate desire to love and be loved. But, where and how do we find: long-lasting happiness, love that is selfless and life which is devoid of miseries? This trip will open your eyes and broaden your perspective and help you to get answers to these timeless questions. You would be exposed to a culture of selfless giving which will help you to really believe “In giving we receive”. We will return with newer paradigm based on the principle of; “simple living and high thinking, transforming arrogance into humility, greed into generosity, hate into love, vengeance into forgiveness, selfishness into selfless compassion".
One of my morning mantras is "Lord I love you. I surrender and trust you will place me where I need to be amongst your children at all times". Our meeting with Shivani and Shivangi at the sacred Joshua tree 3 years ago has powerfully transformed my wife's and I's lives. Their endless devotion, dedication, knowledge and enthusiasm is other worldly. They have kindly taken us to their parents home in New Delhi while guiding us through Vrindavan, Govardhan Hill, Kolkata and Mayapur. They have become family. If you are going to be traveling with these divine angels, prepare to laugh quite a bit as well and eat the yummiest of all foods. They are true protectors, my sisters and my idols..................Joe Semler, Los Angeles, California
Shivangi and Shivani are truly guardian angels, I feel so blessed to have them in my life as my dear sisters. We met in 2015 and our first trip to India would not have been the same if it wasn't for these two gracious souls. They took my husband and I in as family, made us feel safe, meanwhile showing us all of the beautiful treasures India has to offer.
Every year I look forward to the opportunity to go back to India with Shivani and Shivangi. I am constantly in awe of their knowledge and their generosity. I am forever grateful for these two angels, they truly are the definition of gracious selfless service, I feel spiritually charged in their presence . If you have the opportunity to travel to incredible India with them you will have once in a lifetime memories that are priceless! The sights, the laughs, the smells, the beauty, the delicious food, and the abundance of joy is something I hold dear in my heart and I will cherish forever..................Marissa Craig, Los Angeles, California
My trip to India was spiritually and mentally transformative. I did not know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised by the kindness of people. Shivani and Shivangi prepared the trip well, answering all our questions. The girls put their heart and soul into the trip to make sure we had a positive experience. They keep you safe, informed and care for you like you're family...................Ildiko Puskas, Elgin, Illinois
In 2017, I received very distinct blessings of getting to attend my first spiritual retreat with Radhanath Swami Maharaja in India. The sites and the talks were incredible and all the bus travels were taken care as part of the trip. The spiritual food was amazing and filled with divine love. I am humbled to experience Radhanath Swami's daily classes for hours, followed by dancing in bliss in kirtans, everything was incredible. I feel so grateful I got to experience the trip and I highly recommend it for anyone who is even slightly interested. This is definitely a once in a lifetime trip not to be missed. The amount of spiritual growth that came from this trip was unparalleled. Grace and mercy abounds! ..............Marla Shuman, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
$1500 (minimum)- $1800 (maximum) (USD)
What is included in this? (Almost everything!!**)
Round trip airfare to India
Registration for the Yoga retreat (Includes Daily Yoga classes, Japa meditation, Spiritual discourses, Nature walk, Bio-pool, Tour of Eco village, serving in animal sanctuary etc.)
Accommodations at all places
Internal/Domestic airline tickets
Transportation-Cabs , three wheelers, buses
Delicious sumptuous love filled vegetarian meals all throughout the trip
Seva (Opportunities to serve the local people at various holy places)
Parikrama (Pilgrimages through and around temples and holy places)
Daily Yoga Practice led by us
Entry tickets- Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Qutab Minar, Elephanta caves
What is not included in this?-Optional activities
Ayurvedic Treatment at GEV (depends on each individual)-Optional
Local village visit at GEV ($ 5)-Optional
Ayurvedic cooking class ($ 14)-Optional
Elephant Sanctuary ($ 20)-Optional
Buying bottled water and other personal necessity
ABOUT THIS JOURNEY
This is a spiritual trip that will bring a transformation in your heart and life if you let it. We will dive deep into the culture and lifestyle of Bhakti Yoga, the path of yoga that guides us towards God through love, devotion, prayers and meditation. We will explore yoga’s timeless philosophy which can be applied to all religions and belief systems, bringing us all to a place of unity within diversity. We will be engaged in many spiritual practices including service; thus utilizing this opportunity to wake up and re-connect with our true selves. This journey is meant to expose us to a newer dimension of reality beyond the myriad of roles that we play in our day-to-day lives. This journey will provide us with a strong foundational rhythm that connects us beyond the mind, the materialism, and the distractions.
This pilgrimage is for the souls who are seeking a deeper and a meaningful purpose to life. If you want to experience the depths of India, the real India, not only through the eyes but also through the lens of heart and soul, this trip may be the perfect one for you. We will have fun, long-lasting relationships/friendships and simultaneously explore the true wealth and potential that lies within all of us.
We are unique in offering this gift to you for the following reasons-
No hidden/extra costs.
All expenses are transparent, financial disclosure at the end of the trip, so you know when, where and how much you have spend!
Our trip is affordable and cheapest as we do not make any money for ourselves for the trip organization; it is part of our service to give you a life changing experience as was given to us by our revered teacher Radhanath Swami.
Special presence of Chaitanya Charan and Shyamananda, two highly revered monks who have been practicing the principles of spiritual life for the last three decades will accompany us sharing their wisdom and life experiences throughout the trip.
Personal association and guidance by both of us through orientation and conference calls; especially needed for the first timers to India (safety issues and dealing with the locals).
If you are inspired by our purpose and would like to experience India with us, please fill in the registration form on our website.
Registration must be completed latest by June 1, 2019 (six months prior to the trip).
Please register ONLY if you have made up your mind since we do not accept any non-refundable advance deposits to confirm your participation, your registration on the website is considered final and we expect that you honor your words.
Everyone who is not an Indian citizen needs a visa to visit India.
Look into getting your “TOURIST” visa today! The sooner the better. Click on the link below to start!
Regular Visa fees is around 60$ (6 months multiple entry)-150 $ (10 years multiple entry).
You can also get an e-visa. It is fast but better to get it sooner than later. https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html
Field information for the Visa Application
Name: Anil Agarwal
Address: C-31, Pushpanjali Enclave, Pitampura, Delhi 110034
Confirmation of Participation-June 1, 2019
50 % Advance payment for stay at GEV-November, 2019
Purchase of Air tickets-April-May, 2019 (Prices vary; earlier the better!)
Hotel bookings-Mumbai, Vrindavan, Delhi-November, 2019
Apply for Visa-October, 2019
***Since the retreat at GEV is always overbooked, we will have 12 rooms on hold which means we can have only 24 people with us, so the first 24 people to confirm their attendance (100% sure) would be allotted spots in those rooms right away (2 people in each room). The payments are expected at the time mentioned above for confirmation of the spot.
Do I need vaccinations/shots before travel?
It is not mandatory/law to get vaccinated. But if you feel comfortable and safe, you may get them at any local travel clinic in your city.
How will be the weather most likely?
Mumbai-January is the coolest month of the year with mean daily minimum being 16.4 °C (62 F) and mean daily maximum being 30.6 °C (87 F).
Delhi/Vrindavan/Agra-Winter starts in early December and peaks in January, with average temperatures around 12–13 °C (54–55 °F). Although winters are generally mild, Delhi's proximity to the Himalayas results in cold waves leading to lower apparent temperature due to wind chill. Delhi is notorious for its heavy fogs during the winter season. In December-February, reduced visibility leads to disruption of road, air and rail traffic, so we need to be alert to such weather conditions.
You would need a light jacket for the evenings. It is very pleasant and tolerable (actually the best time to visit India).
What should I wear while I am in India?
When packing for a trip to India, the country that is hot and humid you would need clothes that will keep you cool, but be sure to leave your tank tops, shorts and miniskirts at home. In this conservative country, both men and women wear loose-fitting clothing and keep their shoulders and legs fully covered. For female tourists, this rule is especially important, as it can mean the difference between enjoying your trip and experiencing unwanted attention and harassment. If you keep a few things in mind and not wear skimpy clothing, you can stay cool, comfortable and culturally appropriate throughout your time in India.
Where do I get my currency exchanged?
Currency can be exchanged at the Airport (Thomas Cook counter) once you land in India (the first port of entry).
Can I get WIFI or internet accessibility?
All the places we are visiting are WIFI enabled. You can use Whats app (calling/texting), emails. For making International calls in no internet zones, you may like to talk to your service provider.
**Remember to bring a universal travel adaptor to charge your phones and laptops. India has 220 V.
Any other important things I need to pack?
Toilet paper, personal medicines or any speciality items, mosquito repellant spray, activated charcoal, electrolytes, umbrella, water-bottle, hats and sunglasses, Yoga mat.
Of course enthusiasm and positive spirit!
We will do Yoga and breath work everyday in Rishikesh, Vrindavan and Govardhan Eco Village.
Yoga classes will be led by both of us and it will be a theme-based class for all levels. Beginners are most welcome!
We have recently completed our 200 HR certification in Yoga teacher's training and we would love to share what we have learnt.
Picture on the left: We two with our teachers from "The Bhakti Center" in NYC
Picture on the right: Our graduation day culminated in the auspicious fire ceremony celebrating the completion of our 200 HR Yoga Teacher's Training at the Govardhan Eco village
STEPS TO COMPLETE THE LIABILITY FORM
1. Click on the Liability form tab/button below
2. Copy and paste the content from the google sheet on to a new Microsoft word document
3. Take a print out of the document
4. Hand-fill the form with blue ink only
5. Sign it after reviewing carefully
6. Hand it over to us on our first day of the trip
* If your family member is also joining this trip, each individual must complete it separately
**It is absolutely required to present this form to join this trip