Divine Love: Sacred North India with Andrew Harvey

A Pilgrimage to the Artistic, Historical, and Spiritual Soul of North India February 13 - 27, 2020

Join author and teacher Andrew Harvey on a pilgrimage to discover the essence of sacred North India. Our journey is dedicated to an exploration of the splendour and ecstatic creativity of Divine Love in all its forms.

This journey will immerse you in India’s spiritual past and present, with an ideal balance of sacred sites, natural beauty, and profound teachings by Andrew Harvey. Explore city palaces and ancient temples, meditate by the River Ganges, and learn about Sufism, Hinduism, Shaivism and more. Experiences include a rickshaw ride in Old Delhi, a Dharohar concert in Udaipur, dinner with a local family in Jaipur, a river safari in the Chambal valley, a sunrise boat trip on the Ganges, and of course, a visit to the Taj Mahal ~ the greatest monument to Divine Love. Be sure to check out our journey, The Sacred Heart of Sri Lanka with Andrew Harvey, March 1-12, 2020, to take advantage of a unique opportunity to visit both India and Sri Lanka with Andrew. READ MORE

Tour Leader Andrew Harvey

Andrew Harvey is an author, spiritual teacher, and founder of the Institute of Sacred Activism, dedicated to creating a new world founded in universal compassion and sacred passion for all life.


I've read spiritual books, done courses, listened to teachers, and visited India in the past.On this pilgrimage, through Andrew's teaching and our experiences, I came to know at a deep level that all is sacred, and that life can be lived joyouslySharon Cleland, Maleny, Australia


I am still changing and learning more about my spirituality after this journey to explore the art, history, beauty, people and mystics of North India with Andrew Harvey and fellow pilgrims. Dawn Harris, Tasmania, Australia


Tour Description

Discover Andrew Harvey’s personal connections to North India and learn more about the sacred sites we will visit in Andrew’s personal invitation to you below. On this journey, we will be staying in carefully selected hotels that will enhance your appreciation of the local culture and spiritual traditions. In Udaipur our boutique hotel is in the heart of the old city on the ghats of Lake Pichola, in Jaipur our ornately decorated hotel is also the home of descendants of the royal family of Shahpura; and in Varanasi our hotel is situated on the banks of the river Ganges at Assi Ghat and the hotel has a wonderful collection of books, art and artefacts to explore. Be sure to check out our journey. The Sacred Heart of Sri Lanka with Andrew Harvey, March 1-12, 2020, to take advantage of a unique opportunity to visit both India and Sri Lanka with Andrew.   

Sacred journey North india
Our 2018 journey to India with Andrew Harvey!

Dear Friends,

I am overjoyed to invite you to join me on a pilgrimage of Northern India on Sacred Earth Journeys’ Path to Divine Love. Although I was born in south India, I spent most of my childhood in the north, in Delhi, and it was there that I first awoke to the magic of India and became saturated in, and permanently changed by, its sacred atmosphere. Each of the places we are going to visit has a profound personal resonance for me, one enriched and expanded by four decades of constant return. It will be an honour to share with you the many-coursed feast of artistic and spiritual beauty this trip so sumptuously lays out.

Sacred journey - North India
The amazing view of Udaipur fortress

Our pilgrimage is dedicated to an exploration and celebration of the splendour and radical ecstatic creativity of Divine Love in all of its forms, and the mystical paths to love in Sufism and Hinduism. The Sufi and Hindu vision of Divine Love has had the deepest imaginable influence on my own and I will share my essence of what I have learned from the two traditions as well as three essential heart practices, two from the Sufis and one from the Vedic tradition that you can use for the rest of your life, whatever path you are on, to deepen your experience of the Divine.

In Delhi I will take you to the places I wandered in and adored as a child—especially the Red Fort, which awoke in me a passionate curiosity for the Mughal world that has lasted all my life. Then we are off to Udaipur. How to describe Udaipur? You’d have to be Shakespeare on opium to begin to convey its refined ecstatic beauty, the beauty of a whole civilization that cultivated the highest sacred aesthetic as a way of divinizing life. After relishing the lake palaces of Udaipur, we will visit the most resplendent of the Maharaja cities as my mother used to call them: Jaipur. I had the honour of going around the palaces of Jaipur with the old maharani of Jaipur, someone of the greatest inner and outer beauty, and I will share with you the vision I received from her of the inner world of this ancient city.

Sacred journey - red fort
Hall of Private Audience, Red Fort in Delhi 

By now, our souls I pray, will be intoxicated enough to approach the greatest monument to both human and divine love, the Taj Mahal. I first saw the Taj when I was four years old; that ecstatic memory I am convinced led me to my passion for Rumi and to the treasures of the Sufi tradition. I have spent a lifetime contemplating and studying the Taj and will share with you the latest research that reveals the Taj as a Sufi mystical monument representing nothing less, in its white splendour, than the Throne of God himself.

Sacred journey - North india
The majestic Taj Mahal is simply breathtaking

In Agra I will lead you into one of the great mysteries, that of the story in life of Shah Jahan’s eldest son, Dara Shikoh. Dara Shikoh has been an obsession of mine for fifty years. He was a great artist, mystical poet, writer and visionary who would have been Emperor had he not been murdered by his younger brother, Aurangzeb, who also imprisoned his father, Shah Jihan, and seized the throne. I will share with you Dara Shikoh’s profound vision of a universal religion uniting Hinduism and Islam and grounded in Divine Love.

With the magnificence of Agra alive in ourselves, we will then go to Khajuraho, where I will give an essential overview of the Shaivite Tantric tradition that I myself have been trained in and aspire to follow. The great Shaivite mystic, Alain Danielou, said to me, “Khajuraho is the revelation of the divine body and its inherent tenderness, ecstasy and freedom.” The sculptures of the temples at Khajuraho show human love at its most passionate meeting Divine Love at its most exalted in an explosion of radical beauty that has permanently altered my own understanding of love and sexuality, and will yours.

Sacred journey - North India
Stone carved erotic bas-relief in Khajuraho temple

Our pilgrimage ends in four glorious days in Varanasi, the old Banaras, my favourite place on earth. Varanasi is quite simply the essence of sacred India, a wild holy thrilling marriage of opposites, India’s holiest city, sacred for millennia to Shiva. As we revel in its ceremonies and meditate by the Ganges, our guide will be the greatest mystic Banaras and India ever produced – the 15th century weaver Kabir, who sang his astounding songs in Varanasi’s winding, crowded streets. I have just spent five years producing my new book, Turn Me to Gold 108 Poems of Kabir, and long to introduce you to his incisive, fiery revolutionary voice and to the path of transfiguration through Divine Love that he pioneered for us. Kabir is with Rumi one of humanity’s two universal mystical poets and an essential guide to the birth of an embodied divine humanity.

Sacred journey - North India
A Sadhu during morning prayer by the river Ganges, Varanasi

As you can see, my heart is brimming over at the thought of our pilgrimage. I hope I have said enough to give you a rich taste of what inspiration and joy await you. Please join me on an unforgettable pilgrimage into the heart of Sufi and Hindu India and into the softly blazing heart of Divine Love itself.



Read and share the invitation from Andrew on our blog!
For additional images of  North India and our upcoming journey check out our full album on Flickr.

On arrival in Delhi, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the 5-star Suryaa hotel where you will receive a traditional Indian welcome. Most of the day is at leisure to freshen up and relax after your flight. If you prefer to arrive a day early, we can arrange the extra night.

Later today, meet with Andrew and your fellow travellers for an introductory meeting. Afterwards, we can enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant (own expense), or you may wish to have a quick bite at the hotel and rest up.
(Overnight in Delhi at The Suryaa or similar)


Sacred Journey - North India

Enjoy a filling buffet breakfast at the hotel this morning followed by a full day of adventures. In the morning, we explore Old Delhi, partly on foot, partly by Rickshaw. Meander through the bustling 300 year-old Chandni Chowk market with its array of brightly-coloured fabrics and aromatic spices, then leave the crowds behind as we walk to the nearby Jama Masjid mosque, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the mid-seventeenth century. On our Rickshaw Ride we pass through the historic Red Fort before rounding off the morning with another market stop. The Kinari Bazar specializes in weddings, from bridal dresses to exquisite embroidery, and is close to some of the oldest Havelis (traditional townhouses or mansions) in Delhi.  

In contrast to the activity of Old Delhi, Raj Ghat is a peaceful, open-air memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, set amid verdant parkland. Our visit here is a good opportunity for reflection and readiness for our afternoon’s tour of New Delhi, which we begin by visiting the golden-domed Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. Originally conceived as a bungalow for Raja Jai Singh Amber, this sacred site is now considered a holy Sikh shrine, with a flourishing community kitchen. Our next stop is Humayun’s Tomb, commissioned by Humayun’s first wife, Empress Bega Begum, and believed to be inspiration for later architectural wonders such as the Taj Mahal. We will also drive past the India Gate, Presidential Palace and Parliament House.

This evening marvel at the panoramic views over Delhi while getting to better know your fellow pilgrims at a special Welcome Dinner in the hotel’s Sampan Restaurant.
(Overnight in Delhi at The Suryaa or similar)


Sacred Journey - North India

After breakfast today we check out and head to Delhi airport for the 1:20pm flight to Udaipur. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to Udai Kothi, a boutique hotel overlooking Lake Pichola. The smooth white façade, with delicately sculptured detailing and traditional décor, greets you. You can cool off in the hotel’s rooftop pool, wander through the tranquil 18,000sqft of gardens, or soak up the panoramic views over Udaipur from the rooftop restaurant.

In the late afternoon, we embark on a boat trip on Lake Pichola – an ideal way to see the hills, palaces, temples and bathing ghats that surround this body of water. We make a stop at the “Lake Garden Palace”, Jag Mandir, situated on a natural island towards the southern end of the lake. Before being crowned Emperor, Shah Jahan was given refuge on the natural island in a specially-built domed pavilion known as Gul Mahal. This was later transformed into the Jag Mandir Palace and is said to have been part of the inspiration for the Taj Mahal.                                     
(Overnight in Udaipur at Udai Kothi or similar) 


Sacred Journey - North India

After our delicious hotel breakfast this morning we tour the city of Udaipur, meaning “city of sunrise”.  We start at the hill-top City Palace complex, exquisitely crafted from granite and marble over a period of 400 years. We will learn more about the significance of the different elements of the complex, such as the Mor Chowk peacock courtyard and the Sheesh Mahal, palace of glass and mirrors. Next we visit the nearby Jagdish Temple, an excellent example of Hindu iconography, with 32 marble steps leading us up to the main shrine. Our final stop is to visit Saheliyon Ki Bari or the “garden of maids”; it is believed that the garden was constructed for 48 maids who accompanied the Maharana’s wife as dowry.

This evening we take a trip to Bagore Ki Haveli, an eighteenth-century historic mansion that is now a museum and major attraction. Here we will see Dharohar, a mesmerizing concert combining seven traditional Rajasthani folk dances performed in the open courtyard.                                                                                   
(Overnight in Udaipur at Udai Kothi or similar) 


Sacred Journey - North India

Today we'll enjoy a very interesting full-day drive to Jaipur. Enroute we will stop for lunch at Bijay Niwas Palace and a jeep safari at Bijay Nagar Village. On arrival we will be transferred to the Shahpura House in a quiet residential area. The hotel is also the home of the Maharaj Surendra Singh and his family, descendants of the royal family of Shahpura. Typical for Rajasthan, every part of this ornate hotel is decorated with murals, mirrors, Hindu Gods, flowers and much more. Enjoy a free evening to explore the hotel or put your feet up in your room furnished with dark-wood antique pieces.
(Overnight in Jaipur at Shahpura House or similar)

Sacred Journey - North India

After breakfast, we visit the Amber Fort, a classic, romantic Rajasthani Fort Palace. The rugged, time-ravaged walls of the Fort may not look beautiful from the outside, but once inside, the interior is a virtual paradise. Miniatures painted on the walls depict hunting and war scenes as well as festivals, and precious stones and mirrors are embedded into the plaster. Inside the Fort visit the Jag Mandir or Hall of Victory. On the way back, we will take a brief photo stop at Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds. 

In the afternoon, we visit Maharaja’s City Palace, the former Royal residence. Part of the Palace has been converted into a museum, while a small portion is still used by the Royal Family of Jaipur. Built in the style of a fortified campus, the palace covers almost one-seventh of the area of the city. The main entrance leads to the courtyard at the centre, which is the Mubarak Mahal. One of the major attractions is the Armoury Museum, housing an impressive array of weaponry, including pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles, and daggers once used by the royal families of Jaipur. On the first floor is the Textile and Costume Museum, with the finest example of fabrics and costumes from all over India.

We will also visit the Jantar Mantar, the largest stone and marble crafted astronomical observatory in the world, built by Jai Singh from 1728 to 1734. Situated near the gate of the City Palace, the Observatory has 17 large instruments, many of them still in working condition.

This evening we will have the honour of meeting a local family for a cooking demonstration and meal together. Listen to stories about the region, its people and how the arid conditions have affected the local cuisine.      
(Overnight in Jaipur at Shahpura House or similar)

Sacred Journey - North India

After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Agra stopping en route to visit Fatehpur Sikri. The city was built in 1569 by Emperor Akbar in honour of the great Saint Sheikh Salim Chishti who blessed Akbar and prophesied the birth of three sons to the heirless Emperor. Akbar used Fatehpur Sikri as his capital and the city was fully occupied for 14 years, but slowly became deserted and fell to ruin after Akbar left the city. The scarcity of water was the prime factor for the abandonment of this beautiful city. Here we will visit the remarkably well-preserved and graceful building within the “Ghost City”, including the Jama Masjid, the tomb of Salim Chishti, Panch Mahal Palace and other palaces that speak to the grandeur and splendour of the Mughal Empire in the height of its power.

After our visit, we continue to Agra and check in at the elegant Hilton DoubleTree hotel, one of the few hotels in Agra offering distant views of the Taj Mahal, as well as a refreshing outdoor swimming pool and lush courtyard.

Late afternoon we will tour Agra Fort. Built by Emperor Akbar between 1565 and 1573, the fort reveals the Mughal talent for combining defensive architecture with beauty and design. Construction for this fort palace was initiated by Akbar as a purely defensive citadel. It was subsequently completed by two successive generations that added the delicate mosaic and magnificent marble palaces. The fort is the history of Mughal life in Agra and offers a magical view of the Taj Mahal.
(Overnight in Agra at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel or similar)


Sacred Journey - North India

After breakfast we visit the world famous Taj Mahal. Built by Shah Jahan in 1630 for his Queen, Mumtaz Mahal, to enshrine her mortal remains, it is described as “a tear on the face of eternity” by the poet laureate Tagore, and is an enduring monument to love. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble that stands testimony to the skill of 20,000 craftsmen brought together from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy. The construction of this “love poem in marble” took 17 years to complete. Here, Andrew will share the latest research on the meaning of this awe-inspiring monument.

We then drive to the Chambal Valley where we will have lunch (included in tour price) before taking a jeep to the banks of the sacred Chambal for a river safari. The gentle pace of the safari along the calm waters, framed by the ravines and sandbanks, is designed to provide spectacular sightings of the local wildlife including gharials, muggers and turtles basking in the sun; many migratory and resident birds; and occasional glimpses of the Gangetic river dolphins breaking surface.

Disembark from the boat and drive to the ancient temple complex of Bateshwar on the river Yamuna, comprising more than a hundred temples dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. The ravines surrounding the temples and river are home to a number of Naga sadhus (snake worshipping ascetics) who have carved out little caves and temples within the mud walls.                                                                       
(Overnight in Agra at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel or similar)


Sacred Journey - North India

Following an early breakfast at the hotel we head to the Agra railway station to board the 8:00am train to Jhansi. From here we will continue on to Orchha, a medieval temple town situated on the Betwa River in the state of Madhya Pradesh. We will explore the sixteenth and seventeenth-century palaces and temples built by the Bundela rulers, most of them still in pristine condition. We will also visit the fort complex with its palaces, temples, cenotaphs, and memorials. 

After lunch, we drive to Khajuraho to check in at the Ramada, where you can reinvigorate with a gentle swim in the outdoor pool or indulge in a detoxifying sauna.
(Overnight in Khajuraho at the Ramada Hotel or similar)


Sacred Journey - North India

This morning after breakfast we visit the Khajuraho Group of Monuments, starting with the Eastern group of temples, which includes the ruined Jain Ghantai temple, dedicated to the “Vamana” or dwarf incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and the Javari temple.

We then visit the Western group of temples, the most important of which is the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, and one of the largest and most typical of the Khajuraho temples. We will also explore the Chausath Yogini Jain temple, dedicated to the 64 Yoginis or attendants of Goddess Kali, and the Chitragupta or Bharatji Temple with a lovely sculpture of Lord Vishnu in his 11-headed form.

We return to our hotel in the afternoon and have the evening at leisure.     
(Overnight in Khajuraho at the Ramada Hotel or similar)


Sacred Journey - North India

Your morning is at leisure; you can take some time for reflection, meditation, a gentle stroll around the hotel’s walking track, or revisit your favorite temple. We will then catch the 2:20pm flight to Varanasi where we will be transferred to our hotel for check-in.

The Ganges View hotel is situated on the banks of the river Ganges at Assi Ghat, one of the five most sacred places of pilgrimage – Pancha Tirtha – in Varanasi. The renowned poet Tulsidas wrote a part of his celebrated epic, the Ramcharitmanas, at Assi, more than four hundred years ago. The remainder of your afternoon and evening is free today; you can explore the hotel library with books on aesthetics, textiles, philosophy and more, many of which have been written by visiting guests, scholars, and art experts. The hotel also houses an impressive collection of paintings, objects of arts, textiles, maps, craft and folk art, including pieces from the Banaras (Varanasi) style, which flourished in the early nineteenth century, with the work of Ustad Mulchand, Batuk Prasad, Ram Prasad and his son Sarada Prasad.

Please note that the Ganges View is a small hotel so we encourage you to book early as once the hotel is full, we will need to accommodate some guests at the neighbouring Palace on Ganges. Guests will be taken care of by our guide and will still feel part of the main group.
(Overnight in Varanasi at the Ganges View Hotel or the Palace On Ganges)


Sacred Journey - North India

An early start today as we enjoy a sunrise boat trip on the holy River Ganges to witness the enduring traditions of one of the world’s oldest and most important religions. See Varanasi come alive, with pilgrims bathing in the holy water, worshiping the rising sun, and biding farewell at the riverbank holy cremation grounds. It is believed that if you die in Varanasi, you go straight to heaven!

After the boat ride we will make our way to a secluded ghat where a Surya Namaskar, or sun salutation series with pranayama techniques, is taught. We then return to the hotel for breakfast and the remainder of the morning is at leisure.

In the afternoon we go for a walking tour around the alleys and markets of the old part of the city, known as Mahal. Amble past the Chowk, the traditional business square, where you can explore the shops and learn about the people of the Thatheri Bazaar, the metal crafters’ household goods market, many of whom have not left their neighbourhood for years. After a visit to Panchganga Ghat, the Embankment of the Five Rivers, our walk concludes at the temple of the fearsome Kaal Bhairav, where locals and pilgrims alike pay their respect to the fierce manifestation of Shiva
(Overnight in Varanasi at the Ganges View Hotel or the Palace On Ganges) 

Sacred Journey - North India

After an early breakfast at the hotel, this morning we tour Varanasi by coach. We will first drive by the Bharat Mata Mandir temple, built in 1936 and inaugurated by Mahatma Ghandi; it is dedicated to Bharat Mata, the personification of India as a mother goddess. We then visit the Vishwanath Temple, one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, located inside the Benaras Hindu University. We continue on to Sarnath where Gautama Buddha first preached the “Maha-Dharma-Chakra Pravartan” (“Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta”, meaning “the setting in motion of the wheel of the Dharma”) after his enlightenment. Although many of the ancient structures at Sarnath have been destroyed, we can still see the Ashoka Pillar, with its four adorned lions, and the Bodhi tree planted by Anagarika Dharmapala, the Buddhist writer and global missionary.

Afternoon is at leisure. Then we enjoy an early dinner at the hotel (at own expense) ahead of an evening walk through the city to see why Banaras (Varanasi) is referred to as Mahashamstana, the great cremation ground. We begin at the sacred fertility ponds thought to heal diseases and give children to childless couples, before traversing in semi-darkness to the Baba Kinaram (Keenaram) ashram. Kinaram was the aghor of Varanasi city in the sixteenth century, and the ashram is well known for the black-clothed renunciants who meditate in the cremation grounds. Explore the spiritual concepts of death and rebirth while discussing the differences between Vedic and Tantric philosophy as you wander through the Kali temples to the cremation grounds. The tour ends with a late night (10:30-11:00pm) temple worship service. 
(Overnight in Varanasi at the Ganges View Hotel or the Palace On Ganges) 

Sacred Journey - North India

Today we will meet for an early morning yoga session on the ghats, then return to the hotel for breakfast.

The remainder of the morning and early afternoon are at leisure. At sunset we head out to witness an aarti ceremony and watch the floating oil lamps on the river Ganges. This powerful spiritual ritual uses fire as an offering to the Goddess Ganga, and young pandits perform the ceremony amid rhythmic chants of hymns and sandalwood incense.

Afterwards, we gather for a Farewell Dinner at a nearby hotel. This is an opportunity to share delicious, authentic food with newfound friends as you recall the sacred sites you have visited over the past two weeks, and the knowledge and experiences you will be taking back home with you.                                   
(Overnight in Varanasi at the Ganges View Hotel or the Palace On Ganges)

Sacred Journey - North India

One final breakfast at the hotel this morning, and then some time to relax and pack before our transfer to Varanasi airport to board our flight to Delhi. After two weeks of travel through the artistic and spiritual soul of North India, you will be taking home with you a more profound understanding of Sufism, Hinduism, and Divine Love as well as a deepened appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us.

For those of you wishing to continue your travels with Andrew Harvey, you can continue on to Sri Lanka, on our journey, The Sacred Heart of Sri Lanka with Andrew Harvey, March 1-12. We will organize your direct flight from Varanasi to Colombo. 

(B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner)

Note: This itinerary is subject to change due to conditions beyond our control.

Sacred Journey - North India

Divine Love: Sacred North India with Andrew Harvey

Tour Includes:

  • 14 nights accommodation at carefully selected hotels
  • Breakfast daily
  • Welcome Dinner in Delhi; Farewell dinner in Varanasi
  • Lunch at Chambal. Lunch at Bijay Niwas Palace
  • Cooking demonstration and Dinner with an Indian Rajput family in Jaipur
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Domestic Flights – Delhi/Udaipur, Khajuraho/Varanasi and Varanasi/Delhi
  • Entrance fees to all sites noted on itinerary
  • Coach travel to all excursions, as per itinerary
  • Train from Agra to Jhansi, in air-conditioned chair car
  • Boat trip on Lake Pichola
  • Indian Government Service Tax (GST)

Added Features:

  • Travel and discussions with author and spiritual teacher Andrew Harvey
  • English-speaking local guide throughout
  • Traditional Dharohar concert & dance in Udaipur
  • Jeep Ride to the entrance of the Amber Fort
  • Jeep Safari at Bijay Nagar Village and lunch at Bijay Niwas Palace
  • River safari and visit to Bateshwar Temple in Chambal
  • Evening aarti ceremony at Ganges Ghat
  • Surya Namaskar sunrise boat ride on the Ganges
  • Yoga practice on the ghats in Varanasi
  • Northern bazaars and hidden alleys walk in Varanasi

Tour Does Not Include:

  • Airfare to and return from Delhi, India
  • Airport taxes
  • Cancellation & Medical Insurance (ask us for a quote)
  • Meals and drinks not specified
  • Cost to obtain valid passport
  • Indian Tourist Visa (required)
  • Any items of a personal nature such as tips, laundry, drinks and telephone calls
  • Any item that is not specifically detailed on our website

Tour Price:

    • Double Room: USD $4,380 per person
    • Single Supplement: USD $975
Book this Journey
or call us on
1-877-874-7922 to help you make your reservation

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