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Riches and Lights of Indian Culture

TOUR WITH A THEME
This tour is meant to be lived as an inner work. In the ashram, we will have a first reflection on ourselves and the world around us. Experiencing the temples, the ceremonies, the devotees of Palani, we will be able to understand the concept of devotion, of a living religious faith and to understand what it brings. Next in Bylakuppe we will meet Tibetans, a different energy, another philosophy which will allow us to continue this reflection of ourselves and on the inner difficulty to find peace followed by a one-week seminar at Upasana House.

Info Techniques
- 20 days
- Inner Research tour
- 7 days Yoga


Highlights
- Experiencing the temples, the ceremonies in Tiruvanamalai, Palani
- Maharaja Palace in Mysore.
- The Tibetan community in Bylakuppe
- One week yoga seminar.


Dates
07/12/06 - 26/12/06
25/01/07 - 13/02/07
24/02/07 - 15/03/07
24/03/07 - 12/04/07



Itinerary

D1: Chennai / Tiruvanamalai
Transfer to Tiruvanamalai. Visit to the Sri Ramana Maharshi Ashram, one of the great spiritual Masters of this century (1879-1950). He attained the consciousness of Unity after long years of rigorous solitary asceticism.

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

D3: Tiruvanamalai / Tanjore
Transfer time: 6 to 7h. We leave for Gangakondacholapuram, where Chola kings built a superb temple on the banks of the Ganga 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 sacred Chola architecture. Built over a vast area, the temple has several rooms and sanctuaries with colonnades as well as 250 lingams set in the compound walls. Charming hotel, swimming pool.

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

D6: Palani / Mudumalai: approximately 6h of travel
Transfer after lunch.

D7: Mudumalai. / Mysore
Morning stroll in the sanctuary, then a transfer of approximately 2h travel to Mysore.

D8: Mysore
In Mysore you will see the most beautiful palace of South India. Visit to 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 descendant of the Maharaja lives there and presides over the Dussehra Festival.

D9: Mysore / Bylakuppe
Visit to Somnathpur, a peaceful village where the temple of Keshava is located; it is a splendid edifice built in the 13th century at the height of the Hoysala kings’ rule. Star shaped, its walls covered with superb sculptures 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 / Upasana house
Visit to the small and incredible village of Sewa: 2500 monks live there. We will appreciate some monasteries too. Transfer to Upasana.

D11-D17: Upasana House
Upasana House, in which we spend the last week of our journey, is located at the edge of the National Kudremukh Park among rain forests, spice gardens, coffee plantations and date palms. The seminar is meant for people who feel free to explore any tradition or religion, and are interested in the mirror-image knowledge. The Yoga Seminar takes place in a very friendly and informal atmosphere. Sukumar will, in a lively manner, share with us his view of the essential aspects of Spirituality, with the emphasis always touching on the practical applicability. He understands how to explain Yoga in a very sensitive way so that we can compare it with our western way of thinking and its associated problems. The tour presents traditional Yoga practices: Asanas (body postures) and Pranayama (breath exercises).

D18 : Mangalore train
Transfer to Mangalore at lunch time to take the night train. Night in the train. 2nd Class a/c

D19: Chennai / Mahabalipuram
Arrival in Chennai early in the morning. Transfer to Mahabalipuram. Visit to the temples spread out over the hills, the famous bas-relief depicting Arjuna's Penance, of the five rathas. Free afternoon: You can 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: Flight.