India

Sacred Journey to India with Jeffrey Armstrong

A 2-week Immersion into Vedic Wisdom and Yoga Philosophy March 1 - 15, 2014

Join master storyteller, author, and Vedic scholar, Jeffrey Armstrong (Kavindra Rishi), on a Sacred Journey to India. Experience the mysteries of India and the Yogic Lifestyle.

This is a 2-week immersion into Vedic Wisdom and Yoga Philosophy & Lifestyle and will include at least thirty hours of teachings with Jeffrey, including a thirty hour VASA Philosophy Certification. On this journey you will also explore many of India’s most sacred temples, including those not on the usual tourist trails, and discover architectural secrets at popular attractions, such as India Gate and the Agra Fort. We will spend a few blissful days at the International Yoga Festival, and enjoy elephant and rickshaw rides as well as a visit to the Taj Mahal. READ MORE

Tour Leader Jeffrey Armstrong

Jeffrey Armstrong (Kavindra Rishi) is a philosopher, spiritual teacher, longtime yoga practitioner, award-winning poet, best-selling author, and founder of VASA, the Vedic Academy of Sciences & Arts.  

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Tour Leader Sandi Graham

Sandi Graham co-founded VASA with Jeffrey and together they have travelled the world sharing the Vedic knowledge of India. She is a pioneer in bringing spiritual speakers to Canada.

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There is no one who articulates the truth of the Vedic knowledge of India like Jeffrey Armstrong. Gary Bello, Author of “Enlightening Moments: Exiting the Frustration Cycle”, Relationship Consul

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Tour Description

Join master storyteller, author, and Vedic scholar, Jeffrey Armstrong (Kavindra Rishi), on a Sacred Journey to India. Experience the mysteries of India and the Yogic Lifestyle. This is a 2-week immersion into Vedic Wisdom and Yoga Philosophy & Lifestyle and will include at least thirty hours of teachings with Jeffrey, including a thirty hour VASA Philosophy Certification.

jeffrey armstrong in india
Tour Leader, Jeffrey Armstrong

Offering many wonderful and unique experiences, this trip of a lifetime will allow you to trace the steps of the great Avatar, Shri Krishna, while helping you to expand your consciousness, open your heart, and unlock the vast potential of your body, mind, and spirit.

What is incredibly unique about spiritual India is its ancient history, sophisticated Sanskrit language, and the fact that it has the largest untapped library of ancient knowledge that has survived for at least 15,000 years. On this journey, expect to be immersed in the wisdom stories of the Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras, and other great Vedic texts, illuminated by renowned Vedic scholar and teacher Jeffrey Armstrong. 

taj mahal sacred site
Taj Mahal, India

In addition to visiting the spiritual centres of sacred India, including Delhi, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Vrindavan, Mathura, Agra, and Jaipur, Jeffrey will initiate you with profound mantras and meditations in India that have been practiced by yogis for thousands of years on the banks of the sacred Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswati Rivers.

A highlight of our India journey will be the opportunity to visit several ancient temples, not on the usual “tourist tour”, as well as other famous temples, including Hanuman Temple, Krishna Temple, and Akshardham Temple in Delhi, Pareshwar Mahadev Temple, Daksha Mahadev Temple, and Mansa Devi Temple in Haridwar, Banke-Bihari Temple and Krishna Balrama Manir in Vrindavan, Dwarkadish Temple in Mathura, and Birla Temple in Jaipur.

You will also get to visit some of India’s most popular attractions and landmarks, including India Gate, and the Red Fort in Delhi, Vrindavan Village, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, and the Maharaja's City Palace and Hawa Mahal in Jaipur.

jaipur city palace in india
Jaipur City Palace

You will learn the secrets consciously embedded in their architecture and the fascinating history of each site. Jeffrey will also introduce you to some of India’s most respected gurus and explain the connectedness and distinctiveness of the various spiritual paths of spiritual India.

In addition, you will have a few days to experience the International Yoga Festival. At the festival you will have the opportunity to participate in Yoga classes with world-class Yoga teachers, practicing multiple styles of Yoga in Rishikesh.

international yoga festival in india
Yoga Festival

While there you will be blessed with the presence, satsang, and divine words of revered saints and spiritual masters from within India. Jeffrey will also be a guest speaker at this festival.

Other unforgettable experiences throughout the journey include a cycle rickshaw ride around the 300 year old Chandni Chowk market in Delhi, a sunset tonga horse and carriage ride to the magnificent Taj Mahal, an elephant ride to the Amber Fort in Jaipur, witnessing the beautiful Ganga Aarti Ceremony, and a special Farewell Dinner with a local family.

Join us on this fantastic India trip and find the magic and mystery that lies beneath the surface of what is normally seen. Plan for an epic journey of learning, healing, spiritual wisdom, and extraordinary experiences.

Click here to view eBrochure.

Please Note: All meals that are included as part of the tour package will be vegetarian. To maintain the highest possible consciousness on this journey, we are recommending a vegetarian diet for our participants. Meals that are not included in the tour package are at your discretion; however, if you are not vegetarian perhaps you would consider trying it out for 14 days. It is the safest way to stay healthy in India! We also have a non-smoking policy during our time together and suggest abstaining from alcohol due to the spiritual nature of the journey. 

Arrive in bustling Delhi. You will be met by our representative in the arrivals hall of Delhi Airport and be transferred to your hotel where you will be welcomed with a traditional Indian welcome. Later this evening, meet with your Tour Leaders, Jeffrey Armstrong and Sandi Graham, and our local Tour Escort, for our first group meeting. During this time we will each introduce ourselves and set our intentions for the journey. Later, enjoy your first night of rest in beautiful and mystical India.
(Overnight in Delhi at The Country Inn & Suites or similar) 

Jeffrey Armstrong in India

Our first morning together in India, we enjoy breakfast in the hotel and depart for a visit of the Shri Adhya Katyayani Shaktipeeth Mandir, popularly known as Chattarpur Mandir, dedicated to Goddess Katyayani. The temple was established in 1974, by Baba Sant Nagpal ji, who died in 1998. His samadhi shrine lies in the premises of the Shiv-Gauri Nageshwar Mandir within the temple complex. This temple was considered the biggest temple in India and the second largest in the world, before the Akshardham Temple was created in 2005 in Delhi (we will visit there tomorrow). This temple is totally constructed from marble and on all the facets there is jaali (perforated stone or latticed screen) work. The entire temple complex spread over 60 acres, has over 20 small and large temples divided in three different complexes. The main deity in the temple is the Goddess Katyayani, an aspect of Navadurga, the nine forms of the Goddess Durga or Shakti, who is especially worshipped during the annual Navratri celebrations.

Next we visit the Krishna Temple (ISKCON Temple), a famous Vaishnav temple of Sri Krishna and his consort Radharani. The Krishna Temple, which opened in 1998, is actually a complex of elegant temples built by the Hare Krishna devotees. Within the temples, we will admire the beautiful ISKCON paintings of Sri Radha & Krishna, Sri Sita & Ram, Laxman, Hanuman, and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. After our visit we will enjoy a delicious lunch (on own) at the famous Govindas vegetarian restaurant.

Continuing on for the day, drive by some historic New Delhi landmarks such as India Gate, Presidential Palace, and Parliament House. New Delhi was the seat of Mughal power for hundreds of years and was chosen by the British to be the country’s capital in 1920. Its ancient name was Khandavprastha, which was changed to Indraprastha 5,000 years ago as described in the great epic The Mahabharata.

To end our day of visits, we head to the Hanuman Temple in Connaught Palace, an ancient Hindu temple claimed to be one of the five temples of the Mahabharata days in Delhi. An important feature of the worship at this temple is the 24–hour chanting of the mantra "Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram", since August 1, 1964. It is claimed that this continuous chanting has been recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. After returning to the hotel to freshen up, we enjoy our Welcome Dinner at the fine dining, Indian vegetarian restaurant at our hotel.
(Overnight in Delhi at The Country Inn & Suites or similar) 

Chattarpur Mandir in India

After breakfast we will visit a few historic landmarks in Old Delhi. A city within the city, Old Delhi takes us back to the time before cars or trucks, when life in town bustled with human spirit and vital enthusiasm. First, we will visit the Raj Ghat, a simple and stunning memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, one of the main architects of India’s Independence from the British. We then pass through the Red Fort, a mid 17th century fort complex that dominates the area. Next, we visit the 300 year old Chandni Chowk market, a magical enclave of tiny alleys, all filled to the brim with artisan shops selling an extraordinary variety of items and delicacies. This is a real working market, not a tourist attraction, and the noise and crowds are a quintessential part of any Indian market. We will ride on cycle rickshaws through the lanes, getting off to stroll into the shops and enjoy the sizzle and excitement of one of the most fascinating markets on earth.

We then take a break and stop for lunch at a local vegetarian restaurant before returning to the hotel for a short stop to freshen up for a very special temple visit. Later in the afternoon, we visit the Akshardham Temple, which sits near the banks of the Yamuna River. Inaugurated in 2005, the temple was designed in accordance with ancient Vedic text on sacred architecture known as the Sthapatya Shastra and features a blend of various Indian architectural styles. The complex spreads over 100 acres and consists of manicured gardens with fountains and carved pavilions as well as displays of traditional Hindu and Indian culture, spirituality and architecture. The massive temple itself, which can be seen from afar, is built of approximately 12,000 tons of pink sandstone and white marble from Rajasthan and consists of 234 delicately carved and ornate pillars. The Temple is dedicated to Swami Narayan who lived in the 18th century and is considered a modern day Avatar of Vishnu. The movie IMAX “Mystic India” was based on his life. After the day tour of the Akshardam Temple and grounds we will enjoy pure, vegetarian delicacies in the Premvati Food Court at the temple.  With nightfall, the temple grounds come alive with a colourful Musical Fountain (Yagnapurush Kund), a spectacular sight to behold. Yagnapurush Kund, or the pit of sacrifice, is reminiscent of the ancient Indian tradition of sacrifice or Yagna, performed to please the deities of earth, water, fire, air etc. The 8 petal lotus-shaped yagna kund is the largest in the world measuring 300 feet in length and width with 2870 steps and 108 small shrines.
(Overnight in Delhi at The Country Inn & Suites or similar) 

Delhi Akshardham Temple in India

This morning, we transfer to the railway station to board the train for our journey to Haridwar (195 km - 6 hrs), known as “The Gateway to the Divine”. Strategically located at the foothills of the Himalayas, this sacred city is one of the famous locations where every 12 years, millions of yogis congregate for the Kumbh Mela festival. This city has long acted as the contact point between the mountain dwelling sages and pilgrims seeking their “divine grace”. En route, Jeffrey will share some of the stories of great yogis of the past. Upon arrival, we continue to make our way to Rishikesh. Along with its sister city Haridwar, Rishikesh is a place of deep healing and a place to come in contact with the blessings of millions of yogis.
(Overnight in Rishikesh at Ganga Beach Resort or similar)

International Yoga Festival in India

Over the next few days, you will get to experience the International Yoga Festival at Parmath Niketan. Parmarth Niketan is a true, spiritual haven, lying on the holy banks of Mother Ganga, in the lap of the lush Himalayas. It is also the largest ashram in Rishikesh. This is one of the ashrams that Jeffrey highlighted in in the documentary Planet Yoga. Parmarth Niketan provides its thousands of pilgrims, who come from all corners of the Earth, with a clean, pure, and sacred atmosphere, as well as abundant, beautiful gardens. It is no surprise that pilgrims are drawn here from all over the world. The awe-inspiring beauty of the ashram, the clear, flowing Ganga, the majestic mountains, and the lush green forests will embrace and rejuvenate your entire being. In the evenings we will participate in the beautiful Ganga Aarti, in which lamps are lit and sacred offerings are made to the Ganga.

Yoga is an ancient science which leads to a healthy body, peace of mind, a joyful heart, and liberation of the soul. The festival explores the eight limbs of yoga and how they apply to our lives, whether we consider ourselves yoga students or not. In other words, everyone can benefit from yoga practice, and this journey is open to all, beginners to advanced, to those with little or no yoga experience at all. During the festival, you will have the opportunity to participate in Yoga classes with world-class Yoga teachers practicing multiple styles of Yoga, including Kundalini Yoga, Power Vinyasa Yoga, Iyengar Yoga and Kriya Yoga.

You will also be blessed with the presence, satsang, and divine words of revered saints and spiritual masters from within India, including H.H. Sri Shankaracharya Swami Divyanand Teerthji, H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and H.H. Swami Veda Bharatij. Jeffrey Armstrong (Kavindra Rishi) will also be presenting at this festival. For those who don’t want to take a hatha yoga class, Sandi will be available to take you shopping for a few hours or you can sip chai and relax by the Ganga.  A variety of experiences will be available to you during the festival as well. Perhaps you will get up early for the Sadhana practice, or maybe you will enjoy an inspiring lecture from one of the revered saints or yogacharyas on a variety of uplifting and inspiring subjects. 

Each day you will enjoy breakfast and a traditional Indian lunch. Dinner is also included at the festival and is followed by a special evening program of satsang, cultural song and dance events, campfires, and more.
(Overnight in Rishikesh at Ganga Beach Resort or similar)  

International Yoga Festival attendees in India

This morning after breakfast, we return to Haridwar to visit the various temples in the area. We will visit the Pareshwar Mahadev Temple, the Daksha Mahadev Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, and the Mansa Devi Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Mansa. We then transfer to the railway station once more for the 6:13 pm departure of our train to Delhi, which will arrive at 10:45 pm. We then transfer to our hotel for a good night’s rest.
(Overnight in Delhi at The Suryaa or similar)

Haridwar in India

After a leisurely breakfast, we check out of our hotel and drive to Vrindavan. En route, Jeffrey will share the many ancient stories that originated in this famous area and answer the many questions you will have by now. We will stop to visit Vrindavan Village, a spot where Lord Krishna spent his eventful youth, also noted for its fragrant groves. At birth, Krishna was taken by his father to this agricultural community, where he spent the first 11 years of his life. For this reason, Vrindavan has been considered the ultimate place of pilgrimage and devotion for seekers of “Divine Love”. In Vrindavan, there are hundreds of beautiful temples, bathing ghats, as well as several ancient lineages of Bhakti yogis that reside there. Here, we will visit the Govind Jee Ka Mandir and the Banke-Bihari Temple, one of Vrindavan's most popular temples built in 1864 famous all over India. After our visit, we continue on for a visit to Krishna Balrama Mandir, a magnificent temple built by ISKCON and one of the most beautiful temples in Vrindavan. Adjoining this temple is the Samadhi of Shri Prabhupada, the founder of the Krishna Consciousness Movement. Devotees from all around the world flock here, bringing a truly international flavour to this ancient holy city. After our visit we continue on to Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, popularly known as Braj–bhoomi. We will check into the hotel upon arrival and retire for the evening. Perhaps we will find a wonderful kirtan group to spend the evening with.
(Overnight in Mathura at Radha Ashok or similar) 

(Photo: Atarax42, Wikimedia Commons)

Vrindavan in India

After breakfast, we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Mathura. It is in this city that the Avatar, Shri Krishna appeared in the basement dungeon of his evil uncle’s palace. This ancient city is also one of the links of the journey of the Avatar. The main centre of pilgrimage in Mathura is Shri Krishna Janma-Bhoomi, which literally means “Lord Krishna’s birth place”. Here, we will visit exotic temples and experience the mysterious path of the Avatar. First, we will visit Dwarkadish Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna and built in 1814. The temple, which is located in the centre of town, is quite an architectural wonder with its interesting carvings and paintings. The temple is managed by followers of the great teacher Vallabhacharya and is a hub of activity during the festive days of Holi, Janmashtami, and Diwali. Next, we visit the Vishram Ghat, Gita Mandir, Nidhivan, Seva Kunj, and other important sites. Later in the afternoon we visit Radha Rani Temple at Barsana, the birthplace of Radha.
(Overnight in Mathura at Radha Ashok or similar)

(Photo: Scalebelow, Wikimedia Commons)

Mathura in India

After breakfast, we make our way to Agra, a city on the banks of the Yamuna River, which once served as the capital city for the great Mughal Empire, and is now the repository of some of their finest architectural creations. Later in the afternoon, after checking into our hotel and settling in a bit, we visit the 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.

Later in the evening, we enjoy a sunset tonga horse and carriage ride to the magnificent Taj Mahal. Built by Sha Jahan in 1630 for his Queen, Mumatz 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. 
(Overnight in Agra at Trident Hotel or similar)

Taj Mahal in India

After breakfast, we drive to Jaipur (The Pink City), stopping en route to visit Fatehpur Sikri. Located 40 km from Agra, the city was built in 1569 by Emperor Akbar in honour of the great Sain Sheikh Chisti, 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. 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, tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal Palace and other palaces that speak to the grandeur and splendour of the Mughal Empire in the height of its power. We then continue our drive to Jaipur (195 km, 4 hrs) after lunch and check into our hotel upon arrival. This capital city, with its harmonious pink walls, gates and stone buildings, was built in 1727 and is surrounded by dramatic, barren hills and ruined fortresses. The evening is yours to enjoy the city independently.
(Overnight in Jaipur at Shahpura House or similar)

(Photo: Olaf Oehlsen, Wikimedia Commons)

 

Fatehpur Sikri in India

After breakfast at the hotel, we visit the beautiful Amber Fort and enjoy a delightful elephant ride all the way up to the Fort entrance. Amber Fort is 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.

This adventure is bound to enrich your memories of the royal lifestyle of the Maharajas and leave you with a truly unforgettable experience. Inside the Fort, we visit the Jag Mandir or the Hall of Victory. En route to the Fort, you will also have an opportunity for a brief photo stop at Hawa Mahal, the “Palace of Winds”.

Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure. In the evening, we witness the intrigu ing Aarti Ceremony (collective prayer) in the Birla Temple (Lakshmi Narayan Temple) which is known for its exquisite architecture, carved pillars, stained glass paintings, and its divine spiritual atmosphere. Construction began in 1985, however, it is still an ongoing process as additions continue to be made. One of the major attractions here is the deity of Lord Shiva carved in white marble, along with other beautiful depictions of Sita and Ram.
(Overnight in Jaipur at Shahpura House or similar)

 

Jaipur in India

Today, after breakfast, we tour the “Pink City” of Jaipur. We first visit the 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 Murbarak Mahal. One of the major attractions in the museum is the portion known as 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. Later, we 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. We enjoy lunch in Samode Haveli and then return to our hotel. The afternoon is yours to enjoy at your leisure.

In the evening, we get to enjoy a unique experience with a local Indian family for our Farewell Dinner. We will be welcomed by Aarti and Tikka and will enjoy chai and appetizers after making our initial introductions. We will get a brief tour of the house followed by a delicious home-cooked vegetarian meal. This is a wonderful opportunity to witness and understand the living traditions of India.
(Overnight in Jaipur at Shahpura House or similar)

Jaipur City Palace in India

This morning we bid our farewells to our newfound friends and our magical Indian experience as we transfer to the airport for our return flight to Delhi, arriving around noon. There should be time for last minute shopping this afternoon, as most international flights depart late evening or after midnight.

Mendhi in India

Sacred Journey to India with Jeffrey Armstrong

March 1 - 15, 2014

Tour Includes:

  • 14 Nights Accommodation at 3, 4, and 5 Star Hotels as per itinerary
  • Breakfast daily, 7 Lunches & 5 Dinners
  • Arrival and Departure Transfers
  • Domestic Flight Jaipur/Delhi
  • Train Fare: Delhi–Haridwar–Delhi by air-conditioned chair-car
  • Private Air-Conditioned Coach Transportation
  • Hotel Taxes & Service Charges
  • Three Day Pass to International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh
  • Admission to all sites as per itinerary
  • English Speaking Local Tour Escort throughout journey
  • All Taxes

 

Added Features:

  • Travel with Master Storyteller, Author & Vedic Scholar, Jeffrey Armstrong
  • Wisdom stories, Vedic Teachings, Yoga Philosophy, Meditations & Mantras
  • 30 hour VASA Philosophy Certification
  • Visits to the Ancient Sites & Temples
  • Welcome Dinner
  • Meet some of India’s most respected Gurus
  • Cycle Rickshaw Ride in Chandni Chowk market, Delhi
  • Sunset Tonga Horse & Carriage Ride to Taj Mahal
  • Elephant Ride at Amber Fort in Jaipur
  • Aarti Ceremony in Birla Temple in Jaipur
  • Farewell Dinner with Local Family

Tour Does Not include:

  • Airfare to/from Delhi, India
  • Cancellation & Medical Insurance (ask us for a quote)
  • Meals and drinks not specified
  • Fees to obtain valid passport
  • Fees to obtain Indian Tourist Visa
  • Any items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks and telephone calls
  • Gratuities for Tour Guides, drivers, local guides, waiters, hotel staff, etc.
  • Any item that is not specifically detailed on our website or in the final itinerary

Tour Price:

    • Double Room: USD $3,799 per person
    • Single Supplement: USD $980
Book this Journey
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1-877-874-7922 to help you make your reservation

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