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The Richness and Light of Indian Culture

TOUR WITH A THEME
It’s a trip about living in nature. During our seminar in Hampi, we will return to a simple rhythm, among the trees and the birds. The practice of yoga will allow our bodies and minds to be in harmony, and we will take the time to live in the present moment. We will discover the Indian religions and rites through its temples, ceremonies and the religious people of Palani. Then in Bylakuppe, we will come into contact with Tibetans, who carry another energy and philosophy. It will allow us to continue with our inner discovery.

Info Techniques
- 20 days
- Adventure travel / Internal discovery
- 5 Days Yoga seminar in Hampi, in the middle of untouched nature
- Basic accommodations
- Ask for a Tai-Chi seminar


Highlights
- A Tibetan community in Bylakuppe
- The Hampi site
- The Andayudhapani Temple in Palani
- The Yoga seminar


Dates
08/01/07 - 06/02/07
21/02/07 - 12/03/07
19/03/07 - 07/04/07




Itinerary

D1: Chennai / Tiruvanamalai
Transfer to Tiruvanamalai. Visit the ashram of Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950), one of the greatest spiritual masters of this century. He attained consciousness of Unity after long years of a rigorously ascetic life.

D2: Tiruvanamalai
Climb Arunachala Hill, “the sacred mountain." Visit the caves where Sri Ramana Maharshi spent several years in meditation. Visit the Arunachala temple, which has a 16th century, 60m high gopuram at its southern entrance. The temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and attracts tens of thousands of devotees every year.

D3: Tiruvanamalai / Tanjore
Transfer time: 6 - 7 hours
We leave for Gangakondacholapuram, where Chola kings built a superb temple on the banks of the Ganga River to celebrate one of their victories. Then we will take the road to Tanjore, on the delta of the Cauvery River.


D4: Tanjore
Former capital of the Cholas, the greatest kingdom of South India. We will visit the temple of Brihadishvara, the jewel of the sacred Cholas architecture. Built over a vast area, the temple has several rooms and sanctuaries with pillars, as well as 250 lingams set within the compound walls. Hotel

D5: Tanjore / Palani
Approximately 5 hours of travel. A major pilgrimage place for the devotees of Murugan. The Andayudhapani temple dominates a 180m high hill, where pilgrims climb 659 steps.

D6: Palani / Mudumalai
Approximately 6 hours of travel. Transfer after lunch.

D7: Mudumalai / Mysore
Morning stroll in the sanctuary, then transfer. Approximately 2 hours of travel to Mysore.

D8: Mysore
In Mysore you will see the most beautiful palace of South India. Visit the Maharaja palace which gives an idea of the extravagant grandeur of the former Maharajas: mirrors, carved Burma teak ceilings, solid silver doors, marble encrusted with precious stones. The Maharaja’s descendant lives there and presides over the Dussehra Festival.

D9: Mysore / Bylakuppe
Visit to Somnathpur, a peaceful village where the Keshava temple is located. It is a splendid edifice built in the 13th century at the height of the Hoysala kings’ rule. Star shaped, its walls are covered with superb sculptures that represent various scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita, as well as from the life of the Hoysala kings. Then we reach Bylakuppe. Simple guest house.

D10: Bylakuppe / Hassan
We will discover the Tibetan community that lives in Bylakuppe, in villages scattered around the monasteries. Then transfer to Hassan. Hotel

D11: Hassan / Hampi
Visit Belur and Halebid
The Hoysala temples of these two cities depict the artistic richness of Hindu culture of this centry. The sculptures on these buildings are finely crafted. Then transfer to Hampi. Hotel


D12 : Hampi
The ruins of the Vijanagar Empire, next to Hampi village, are one of the most fascinating historical sites of South India. These remains of great beauty are, moreover, situated in an unusual and striking landscape, scattered with enormous round rocks.
Visit the Virupaksha temple, dedicated to the god Shiva, and the Vitthala temple, from the Vijayanagar era, with its processional chariot and its Mandapam, a dance hall with superbly sculpted pillars. In the royal court you will discover the Lotus palace, the Queen’s bath and other architectural marvels. This immense city had close to 500,000 inhabitants. The Vijayanagar kings, who were fabulously rich, thanks to the spice and cotton trading, had temples and palaces erected, much admired by both Muslim and European travellers between the 14th and 16th centuries. Hote
l.

D13-17: Hampi
Hampi, among tropical forests, date palms and plantations. This seminar is for those who want to get in touch with nature, as this place is only accessible by foot. There is absolute silence in the middle of the forest, scattered with water-falls. This yoga seminar takes place in a comfortable and informal setting. Our yoga teacher will explain essential techniques, stressing its practical implications. You will practice traditional yoga: asanas (body postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises). The accommodation is very basic. There are no individual rooms. Dormitory-style beds are set up without walls, but with mosquito nets. Only cold-water baths. Vegetarian food.

D18: Hampi / Bangalore
Transfer to Bangalore. Hotel


D19: Bangalore / Mahabalipuram
Arrival in Chennai early in the morning. Transfer to Mahabalipuram. Visit the temples spread over the hills, the famous bas-relief of Arjuna’s Penance and the five rathas.
Free afternoon: have a walk along the beach and discover the fishing-villages, or just relax on the beach listening to the sound of the waves. Night in Mahabalipuram.


D20: Mahabalipuram / Chennai
Flight



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