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Wellness & Spirituality Tour/Retreat, India,

15-night tour to Orissa and Bengal, inc a 7-night cruise up the Lower Ganga, March 2022 (not 2021)

Description

Start in Kolkata, rich of Kaali temples, most famous being Kalighat Temple, (name Kolkata said to have been derived from the word Kalighat). Belur Math (headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission, inspired by sage Ramakrishna Paramahansa). Home of Mother Theresa. And many other sites in this, the previous capital of British India.

Fly to Bhubaneswar in Orissa visit perhaps the most powerful Tantric Temples in India. Konark home of 13th century Sun Temple. Jagannath Temple in Puri (origin of the word juggernaut).

Fly back to Kolkata and board our fully chartered ship ABN Rajmahal experience British history in India, Hindu temples, Muslim mosques, walk through villages in rural India cruising on the Holy River Ganga. On March 18, we play the colour festival of Holi on board our ship.

Special Offer

Free coffee table book on India

Due to the long relationship between The Retreat Company and Spiritual Journeys, we will present a coffee table book on India to you when you complete your registration. Mention code: TRCY

Shopping

Bring an empty suitcase!

When the industrial revolution was taking place, India was under the British who subdued industrialization and mechanism. Thus the individualistic cottage industry remained as it had been, millennia before. Today craftsmen continue producing products not made elsewhere, making India a shoppers paradise. Irrespective of your pre-travel resolutions, we have yet to come across any of our friends who have traveled with us not bemoan that their suitcase is too small!

Shopping

Kolkata

Previous Capital of British India

Calcutta, now Kolkata was established as a factory in Kalikata in 1690 by the British East India Company.

The poverty in Kolkata was perhaps that attracted Mother Teresa. Experience the serenity of her life and learn about her religious and philanthropic work at her home. Her worn sandals, battered enamel dinner bowl, simple living arrangements are a stark and heart thumping reminder of ostentatious life styles of lesser individuals.

While temples abounded before, a botanical garden established, now in middle of this sprawling city of 15+ m, has a banyan Tree (fig tree family) that just keeps spreading, so much so, no one can identify the original trunk of the tree. The Zoological Gardens was home to a male Aldabra giant tortoise born around 1750 and died 22 March 2006.

Kolkata

Seeking Blessings

The Origin of Religion

India is steeped in religion and spirituality, but we lose touch and seeking support this offers, seek to be reminded. Eloquent individuals explain the un-manifest attract listeners, a growing number of these listeners proclaim the speaker as a teacher, a learned one, a “guru”. The eager listener grasps out for the guru, and soon, this guru heads the group of his following. Much of what the guru does is all but explain, consolidate and encapsulate other teachings and religions, attracting people across boundaries. Some followers observe the guru, and unknowingly help develop a faith. A combination of a better guru, a better organization and the right environment helps develop such organizations to become more well know, and eventually into a sect, and finally, a religion.

Seeking Blessings

Our Accommodation

Our choice of Ship and hotels

The entire ABN Rajmahal will be charted for our 7-night cruise on board the which offers 22 cabins (air-conditioned, each with its own French balcony). Her extra-shallow draught and a lower profile than conventional designs allow her to cruise in parts of rivers others can’t enter.

The large saloon and bar offers wines, beer and spirits. Dining is an experience of exquisite meals, from different parts of the world. Watch villages and ways of life normally not seen if traveling by road as you lie on the vast canopied sundeck. End of a tiring day, spend time at the spa which offers a wide range of treatments based on Ayurveda. Meditate on the deck as the world sails by.

On land, we will be staying in the best hotels of cities in the cities we will be visiting.

Our Accommodation

Variety of religions

Worship in different religions

Spirituality plays an increasingly important role in the way we make sense of ourselves and our world. India has been home to sages, philosophers and founders of many indigenous religions as well as religions formed elsewhere, but have found sanctuary and enlightenment in the soil and spirit of the country. We will visit places of worship of differing religions and Gods. Walk through villages. Meet country folk who’s ancestors may have same societal and familial values as our ancestors, but we have drifted apart in our quest for “civillisation”.

Variety of religions

Sailing on the Ganga

Sights not normally seen

The Holy Ganga (Ganges) starts as a stream in the Himalayas, and 2,700 km (1,700 miles) later pours into the Bay of Bengal. Enroute in the River and on her banks humanity would have bathed, cremated, worshipped, and earned a living. We will be sailing, viewing life in this part of the world, past villages and dwellings many still practicing ancient rituals which may not be visible otherwise.

Practice your yoga asanas or chat about expressions of spirituality on the expansive deck under the sky, with like minded travelers. Experience body treatments based on Ayurveda at the on-board spa.

Sailing on the Ganga

Traffic in India

Where the Journey is truly the Destination

It has been said that many an Atheist has gone to India, driven on the roads, and returned as a believer in God. Which country, then, has a more powerful spiritual command??!!

With a choice of 330 m Gods & Goddesses, you too will understand what India is all about: I N D I A - If Needed, Divinity Is Available.

Within the seemingly chaotic system, there are few accidents due to an assimilation of self survival, slow speed (pot holes and agricultural traffic), extra defensive driving by smaller vehicles (hurt more than the bigger vehicle) and extra defensive driving by the more expensive vehicle (who will have to pay the driver of the less expensive vehicle irrespective of whose fault it was).

All in all, a relatively safe, but unique and an unforgettable experience.

Traffic in India

Colour Festival of Holi

We will celebrate Holi on board our ship

Holi is the preeminent spring festival in India, with the harvest having been completed and the winter just ended, bringing forward mirth and merriment. Colored powder is sprinkled on each other by elders and children, men and women, rich and poor. All superficial social barriers are ignored by the all-round gaiety and laughter.

In 2022, Holi will be on 18 March, and we will play on board!

As with all other festivals in India, Holi too has an intricate mythological history. It is celebrated around the country with local narratives.

No other festival brings home the lesson of spiritual and social harmony as well as the color, noise and entertainment that accompanies the celebration of Holi!

Colour Festival of Holi

Worship in India

Plethora of the finest architectural examples of many religions

Hindu mythology is rich, multifarious, and inclusive. It portrays the terrible alongside the benevolent, the trivial alongside the cosmic, and the grotesque alongside the sublime. Unlike Islam, Sikhism and Christianity, Hinduism does not have either one holy book or one God.

Hinduism is not an idea but a power, not an intellectual proposition but a life's conviction. It integrates a variety of heterogeneous elements, constituting a complex but largely continuous whole; and, because it covers the whole of life, it has religious, social, economic, literary, and artistic aspects.

Hinduism is a religion with 330 m Gods and Goddesses. We will see many places of worship, but the Hindu temples will be further identified as temples venerating and worshiping a specific God.

Worship in India

Our 7-nights on board

Sailing on the mighty Rives Ganges, being a part of Ancient India

From Kolkata to Farakka, sailing past the old Danish colony of Serampore to Barrackpore, an English stronghold. Visit the finest of English, French, Islamic and Hindu architecture in the forms of grand homes, places of worship and commercial buildings. At Mayapur visit the vast ISKCON temple which receives over a million devotees a year from around the world.

Handicrafts, battle fields, designed gardens, palaces, agricultural fields, – all as we walk through villages during our excursions, sailing during meal times, sightseeing during the days, and sleeping moored near towns.

Disembark and take train (4 hrs) from Farakka to Kolkata. Our representatives will meet you on arrival and transfer you to the airport for your onward flight after noon on 24 March 2022.

Our 7-nights on board

About Us

Accompanied by Deepak Singh, Owner/Founder

Since 1997 Spiritual Journeys has grown to be recognised as a dedicated, known and proven provider of custom tours exploring spirituality.

Our partner in India, a part of TUI, have unprecedented relationships with service providers, allowing pass-through of both savings and quality of service. They are certified to ISO 9001 being the first Destination Management Company globally to gain this distinction.

Deepak Singh was born in India, and after working as an engineer in India, England and USA, created Spiritual Journeys to facilitate cultural and spiritual growth of individuals by arranging discretionary travel services. He has been wholly immersed in aspects of spirituality since 1993, a practicing meditator since 1981, and grandson of HH Maharaja Ranbir Singh (Jind), Punjab.

About Us

Accessibility

Guests who have difficulty in walking are more than welcomed, though they should accept that (a) India has few rules for those with disabilities, (b) we will be visiting age-old temples with broken, uneven walkways, and (c) embarking and disembarking our boat using crude jetties. Our guests should expect their wheel chairs or their own selves to be bodily lifted by us over such difficult terrain.

Opening Times and Prices

March 2022 (not 2021)
Due to the long relationship between The Retreat Company and Spiritual Journeys, we will present a coffee table book on India to you when you complete your registration. Mention code: TRCY

Directions and Travel

You need to arrive in to Kolkata (CCU) on or before 9 March 2022 evening and we will meet you as you exit Kolkata International airport.

We will be with you till the conclusion of the tour.

You fly out on or after evening of 24 March 2022 from Kolkata International airport, and we will drop you in time to meet your onward/departure flight.

We can arrange your accommodation, travel and tours should you wish to arrive sooner or fly out later.

Retreat Features and Activities

Adventure & Sport RetreatsCoastal RetreatCruiseFamilyLuxury RetreatsMassage RetreatsNatureOutdoor RetreatsSacred JourneysSpiritual RetreatsMeditation Retreats

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