Arrival and departure dates:
The tour officially starts Thursday morning, on February 9th, in Bangalore. We will meet at the hotel lobby at 10 a.m. to leave together to our Babaji’s Kriya Yoga Ashram. Arrival by international flight is to International Airport Bengaluru (BLR), during the night of February 8th to 9th, or according to your personal precedent journey.
The tour officially ends Wednesday evening, February 22nd , in Kerala, which allows to depart during the night into Thursday 23rd. Departure by international flight is from International Airport Kochi (COK), through connection flights via the Gulf states or India, or according to your personal onward journey.
We recommend to arrive early enough, either during the previous day of Wednesday, February 8th, or even earlier during the previous night (which requires an additional hotel night), to have time to rest and relax after a taxing long haul flight, and to get accustomed to the local time zone and environment, before the tour starts. The latest possible flight arrival time is 4 a.m. on February 9th, with no time for rest before the tour starts officially.
Schedule of Days and Destinations:
February 7, Tuesday: Departure flights from America to India.
February 8, Wednesday: Departure flights from Europe to India.
(For those who arrive a day earlier, first local shopping opportunity in Bangalore).
February 8, Night Wednesday / Early on 9th, Thursday: Night or early morning flight arrivals to Bengaluru Airport, or at train and interstate bus stations. Stay at luxurious Hotel Citrine for 3 nights, located in Malleshwaram city close to our Ashram and the interstate bus station.
February 9, Thursday: At 10 a.m., after breakfast, first official meeting of the group. At noon, visit Babaji’s Kriya Yoga ashram and publication center in Malleshwaram, in the city of Bangalore. Babaji’s Kriya Yoga Puja to sanctify the pilgrimage, and a starting satsang. In the afternoon, visit Mr. Sitaram’s retreat outside Bangalore with a beautiful arboretum of all sacred trees and typical cultural plants of India, see an unknown ancient Hanuman shrine and a Homa fire ritual site which supposedly existed in ancient Vedic times.
February 10, Friday: A day of sadhana and gentle settlement for adjusting to India’s climate and time zone. Visit the School of Ancient Wisdom retreat center, a uniquely beautiful tranquil place in colonial style with residential seminar facilities surrounded by nature and filled with botanical greens and birds, envisioned by a lady associated with the famous Theosophical Society. (Before writing down Babaji’s teachings of the “Voice of Babaji”, V.T.Neelakantan was a renowned writer for the Theosophical Society.) In the afternoon, visit a silent ashram in the beautiful Nandi Hills recreational area, where an advanced Yogi stayed, which promotes to experience inner silence.
February 11, Saturday: Travel to Tiruvannamalai by bus. Visit the Ramana Maharshi ashram at the base of the holy mountain Arunachala, a famous destination for many western spiritual seekers since his life time, meditate in the small hall where Ramana spent many years and taught devotees absorbed in Samadhi. Stay at Hotel Arunai Anantha for 2 nights.
February 12, Sunday: Ascend Arunachala mountain in a beautiful nature walk, explore ancient meditation places, meditate in the cave of Saint Virupaksha, whose body is enshrined inside, and visit the Skanda ashram refuge where Ramana spent six years. This mountain area was sanctified by the shepherd Siddha Idaikadar. Evening visit to the Arunachaleshwarara-Shiva-Temple in the city, where Ramana spent many years absorbed in Samadhi, witness traditional temple puja activities.
February 13, Monday:Travel eastward to Pondicherry by the seashore of southwest India, until recently a French colony, in ancient times established by Agastyar, populated and visited by many Westerners, where famous philosopher Sri Aurobindo when seeking asylum from the British established his ashram and lived with “the Mother” in seclusion for many years, visit the colonial city for shopping and enjoy the Ocean beach boardwalk in the evening. Stay at Hotel Ananda-Inn for 2 nights.
February 14, Tuesday: In the morning, visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram samadhi shrines of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
In the afternoon, visit international Auroville community park with its spectacular Matri Mandir dome architecture and huge old vibrating Banyan trees, shopping opportunity, in the evening enjoy the Bay of Bengal ocean beach.
February 15, Wednesday: Travel to Tiruchirappalli/Trichy. In the evening, visit famous Srirangam temple, one of the biggest temple premises in India which resemble a city within a city, with the Jivasamadhi shrine of Saint Ramanuja who established the philosophy of “Qualified Monism”. Stay at Hotel Sangam in Tiruchirappalli.
February 16, Thursday: Travel to Palani Malai, an ancient temple for Muruga on top of a sacred mountain in the midst of central South India where usually no Westerners come, established by Siddha Boganathar, with statues of 18 Siddhas and one of deity Murugan made of 9 healing substances, and his Jiva-Samadhi shrine. Visit the ashram of Boganathar’s disciple Pullipani, personal Satsang with present successor Swami Sivananda Pullipani. Stay in Hotel Vel’s Court for 2 nights.
February 17, Friday: Early morning ascend climbing 1,008 steps to the top of the hill, like thousands of Indian pilgrims do for hundreds of years, attend a special puja morning arati ceremony for darshan of Lord Dandaswamy Murugan, under guidance of our local friend Swami Yogi Venkatesh, experience the intensity of a very exotic ancient cult of worship, then meditate in the Jiva-Samadhi shrine of Siddha Boganathar. In the afternoon, walk in Palani and spend time with our friend Swami Yogi Venkatesh.
February 18, Saturday: Travel to Muttalamada at the foothills of Kerala’s Western Ghats, meet our friend Sai Swami Sunil Das in his ashram, placed within beautiful mountain nature in a wild animal nature reserve, with a stunning view to the mountain range, have lunch and participate in the ashram’s Shirdi Sai Baba Puja ceremony for World peace and love with Sunil Das, a Sathya Sai Baba descendant. Stay in Hotel Indraprastha in Palakkad for 2 nights.
February 20, Monday: Travel westward to Thrissur and to Guruvayur at the Kerala coast. Visit Visit Shirdi Sai Temple of Peace and Light and have satsang with our friend Sai Swami Hari Narayanan. Stay in Thrissur at luxurious Hotel Lulu ICC for the last 3 nights.
February 21, Tuesday: Experience the West coast Ocean of the Arabian Sea and enjoy a boat-trip on Kerala's famous "backwaters" (shallows right behind the ocean frontline), visit an Elephant sanctuary, in the evening perform a special holy yagna fire ceremony with Swami Hari Narayanan and our own participation.
February 22, Wednesday: Last day for extended group sadhana and satsang, last shopping opportunity in Thrissur, preparation for return or ongoing journey.
February 22, Night Wednesday / Early on 23rd Thursday: Departure flights to international destinations from Kochi Airport. Or stay to continue your India pilgrimage trip individually afterwards.
February 23, Thursday: Arrival to destinations in Europe or America.