Kumbh Mela Spiritual India Tour
7 NIGHTS – 8 DAYS
Haridwar – Amritsar – Dharamshala
Day : Arrival In Haridwar
Arrival at Haridwar. On arrival transfer to Camp accommodation. Blessed by the presence of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar, the three major Hindu Gods, the temple town of Haridwar is considered as one of the most sacred Hindu sites in India.
The backdrop of beautiful Himalayan mountains, lush green forests and a fast-moving river certainly adds a charm to this holy city. Haridwar is a pilgrimage destination for millions of Hindu people who come from across India and even outside India to take a dip into the holy water of the river Ganges.
It is widely believed that all sins of a person are washed away when they take a dip in the river’s holy water. It is here that the greatest spiritual event on earth known as Kumbh Mela takes place. The festival is once-in-a-lifetime experience for every visitor who is curious about Hindu religion and philosophy. Devotees belonging to certain religious sects are dressed in amusing costumes, while others are half or fully naked as per their religious values.
The bustling noise from the sounding bells, chanting of Vedic hymns and mantras create a vibrant atmosphere during the Kumbh Mela. Processions are carried out by various religious sects on camel-back and elephant-back, while others travel in their gold and silver chariots being pulled by devotees. Later part of day is free for you to explore and immerse yourself in the spiritual atmosphere of Kumbh Mela. Overnight stay in Camp.
Days : Haridwar
For next two days, you will witness the Kumbh Mela in full fervour. This great Indian Festival attracts the largest gathering of people on the planet for spiritual fulfilment. A large number of Sadhus (sages) with their disciples make Haridwar their home during Kumbh Mela. To live among the Sadhus, who have dedicated their entire lives to meditation and spiritual deeds is indeed a unique experience of life. There are many Ashrams set up for this special occasion where the Sadhus along with disciples stay and have discourses about religion and Hindu philosophy. You may also join them and take advantage of their preaching to learn about the divine path to ‘Moksha’. There may also be an opportunity to interact with them and take pictures of them with their permission.
If you go by the Hindu mythologies, then this is the only time and place in the world where you can unburden your sins and achieve ‘Nirvana’ from the vicious cycle of birth and re-birth. Take dips in the holy water of Ganges that is said to wash away all the sins of a person. Light a Diya, attend Yoga sessions and make a wish, they do come true! After full day of hustle and bustle, return to Camp for nice meal and relax in your Luxury Camp. Overnight stay.
Day : Haridwar – Amritsar (400 km, 8 hours)
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Amritsar, city of Golden Temple. The city was founded by Guru Ram Das in sixteenth century and it is known world over for being home to Golden Temple, the holiest shrine for Sikhs. Upon arrival at Amritsar, check in at the hotel and overnight stay.
Day : Amritsar
After breakfast, we will visit Golden Temple. The Gurudwara (Sikh temple) is known by multiple names – Golden Temple, Harmander Sahib, Darbar Sahib etc. Built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh Empire, the Golden Temple gets it name because the upper domes of the temple are covered with 750 kilograms of pure gold.
The walkway from the entry gates to the main temple entrance is surrounded by pools filled with holy water in which Sikh gentlemen and ladies take bath as the water is considered to be purifying. It is interesting to know that all pilgrims to Golden Temple are offered free meal at the temple which is catered by one of the largest kitchens in the world that serves 100,000 meals a day. With continuous hymn singing and music in the background, the atmosphere inside the temple is replete with devotion and peace. Also visit Akal Takht, the immortal throne which was established in 17th century by sixth Sikh Guru – Guru Hargobind Ji. Later we visit ‘Jallianwala Bagh’ which is witness to the most brutal and gruesome act by the British rulers in India. In 1919, General Dyer of the British army with a troop of 90 soldiers opened fire at a peaceful group of 1500 people who were celebrating the Indian festival of ‘Baisakhi’.
In the afternoon, we will visit Wagah border, the “Berlin Wall of Asia”, a ceremonial border between India and Pakistan. Each evening, there is a retreat ceremony called ‘lowering of the flags’. The whole atmosphere is filled with frenzy as crowds chant slogans to salute the soldiers. Overnight say.
Day : Amritsar – Dharamshala (200 km, 5 hours)
In the morning, we will leave for Dharamshala which is a hill station situated in Kangra valley overlooking the beautiful snow-capped Dhauladhar Mountain Range of Himalayas. This hill station is the seat of The Dalai Lama, religious leader of Tibetan Buddhist people, who escaped from Tibet when the Chinese took control in 1959 and found refuge in India. There are over 10,000 Tibetans residing in Dharamshala, which is home to numerous Tibetan monasteries, organisations, schools and nunneries.
After checking into the hotel, we will leave for afternoon visit to the Tibetan Refugee Camp. At the refugee camp you can engage with the local Tibetan community and learn more about the Tibetan lifestyle and the political issues that have engulfed their country. The camp hosts volunteers from all countries who offer language classes and computer training to Tibetan children. You can also become a volunteer if you send an advance request at the camp.
Later visit Dal lake and Naddi sunset point which provides beautiful panoramic views of the valley and snow-clad Himalayan mountains. Overnight Stay.
Day : Dharamshala
After breakfast at the hotel, we will visit the Dalai Lama temple which serves as the official residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The temple has an extremely peaceful and meditative atmosphere and is decorated with beautiful statues of Lord Buddha, Avaloktwshwara and others. At the temple, you can engage in meditation at the massive meditation hall and perform Buddhist rituals such as turning the prayer wheels to collect merit and purify your ‘karma’. You can also visit the library to see preserved ancient sacred texts and know more about the Buddhist philosophy.
Next we visit the Bhaksu Nag temple which is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The sacred shrine has two pools of water that have Sulphur which is believed to have heeling properties. An annual fair organised in the month of September attracts lots of tourists from around the globe
Near the temple is the Bhaksu Nag waterfall which is a scenic waterbody surrounded by thick deodar and cedar trees offering amazing views.Overnight stay.
Day : Departure
After breakfast, transfer to Gaggal airport or Pathankot Railway Station to catch flight for onwards destination.