India is a diverse land having different faiths and has been a great example of religious reforms throughout the centuries within the religious. In this spiritual journey of India, we have combined most of the major religions, their spiritual aspects and their sacred places. The most important part of any tolerant religion is its spiritualism and we have given the main focus on the spiritual aspects of Indian faiths.
The major religions we are covering in this journey are Hinduism, Sufism of Islam, Tibetan Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and Indian Buddhism. You will also discover some of the famous spiritual activities associated with these faiths, which are essential for peace of mind. You will learn more about Yoga & rituals of Hinduism, devotional singing to connect with God in Sufism, Meditation of Buddhism, sacrifice in Jainism, service to the mankind from Sikhism and Tantras from Tibetan Buddhism.
While taking this trip to these religious and spiritual destinations of India, you will notice the huge diversities in the country, difference in the methods to connect with almighty in these faiths and most important the devoted followers doing the rituals and services with great respect. The messages given to the world by its spiritual founders such Lord Buddha, Guru Nanak and Lord Mahavira are actually very simple and relevant in current era for peace on the earth. The original messages from these religions and its founders are spiritualism, to attend the peace in the mind and not the superstitions. The meditation, Yoga & service to the mankind are for all to practice across the globe and faiths.
As you step-in India, the traditional welcome awaits in the arrival lounge of Delhi airport with garlands, then we will introduce with your driver who will comfortably transfer to the hotel. Complete the check-in at the hotel with our assistance. Recover from the jetlag before you start this wonderful spiritual journey in India.
Begin the spiritual experience with Lotus Temple – a Bahai House of worship built as flowerlike shape in 1986. Bahai faith teaches important aspects of all religions. Later, visit Jama Masjid of Old Delhi- one of the largest Friday mosques in India. To understand Jain religion, visit the oldest Jain Temple in Delhi best known as Shri Digambar Jain Temple. Jainism is one of the ancient Indian religions. Next, visit Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah – an essential place to understand Sufism – a mystical form of Islam. In the end, visit Akshardham Temple – the largest Hindu temple on the earth associated with Swami Narayan Faith of Hinduism.
In the morning, transfer to the airport to embark the flight journey to Dharamshala. Receive from Dharamshala airport and transfer by surface to Mcleodganj located on Dhauladhar range of Himalayas and has an altitude of 2082 meters. Relax at the hotel after finishing check-in process. Mcleodganj is the seat of Tibetan Government in exile and also the seat of Dalai Lama thus known as Little Lhasa. A large population of Tibetan Buddhists reside in Mcleodganj around Dalai Lama Temple and monastery. This is the best place to understand Tibetan Buddhism and to interact with Tibetans who corssed the border along with His Holiness Dalai Lama.
Start the tour of Mcleodganj with Namgyal Monastery popularly called as Dalai Lama Temple, this is a personal monastery of His Holiness 14thDalai Lama, his residence is also adjacent to the monastery. In Dalai Lama Temple, visit the statue of Padmasambhava, Avalokitesvara and Shakyamuni. Visit the museum inside the complex which has photo journey of Tibetans arriving in India after uprising in Tibet. Later, walk through the markets of Mcleodganj to see various arts, crafts and textiles made by Tibetans and try the Tibetan delicacies. Also, you can visit anglican Church St. John in the Wilderness located in the forest.
Drive towards Mecca of Sikhism Amritsar – the holiest place for Sikh faith – another major religion of India founded by Guru Nanak in the end of fifteenth century. The followers of Sikhism are known as Sikhs meaning disciple, they are a worrier race. Check-in to the hotel and enjoy the vibrant Punjabi hospitality. Later, visit Golden Temple to witness the important night ceremony called as Palki Sahib Ceremony when the sacred book Guru Granth Sahib is taken from main shrine of Golden Temple to the sleeping chamber. The atmosphere in the night is spectacular in Golden Temple Complex. Walk back to the hotel to relax for the night.
Relish Punjabi breakfast at the hotel and then start the day tour of Golden Temple Complex also referred as Harmandir Sahib and Darbar Sahib. Sikh Temples are known as Gurudwara maning gateway to the teacher. First visit the community kitchen in the temple complex which is one of the biggest in India. Walk through the compound where the devotees are taking the bath in the holy pond and enter to the inner sanctum. Later in the afternoon, drive to Attari-Wagha border to see the pulsating flag retreat ceremony between Indian and Pakistani forces. Return back to the hotel in Amritsar to retire for the day.
Today, fly to the major spiritual centre of India – Varanasi believed as oldest living place on the planet located by the banks of holiest river for Hindus – Ganges. After receiving at the airport, welcome by the garland made by the seeds of Rudraksha Tree. Rudraksha translates to eyes of Lord Shiva. Later, transfer to Ghats (River Fronts) of River Ganges to witness the evening Aarti (Prayer) – this will be a great spiritual experience to watch it live with seas of devotees chanting and enjoying. Transfer back to the hotel to have dinner and stay for the night.
Wake up early in the morning and reach to the Ghats by car to start the sunrise boat ride over holy River Ganges. Apart from enjoying the sunrise, you will be watching various spiritual & religious rituals by the people after taking the holy dip in the sacred water of Mother Ganges that is what Hindus believe about River Ganges. After disembarking the boat, take a short walk through the nerrow streets of Varanasi understanding Hindu mythology and visiting numerous ancient temples. Arrive back to the hotel for the breakfast and rest for a while. Later, drive to Sarnath – the place where Lord Budhha delivered his first sermon after reaching to the enlightenment. Sarnath is an important Buddhist pilgrimage centre around the world.
Check out from the hotel after breakfast and transfer to the most sacred place for Buddhists – Bodhgaya. Upon arrival, check-in & lunch at the hotel. Later, visit Mahabodhi Temple – UNESCO world Heritage Site and the place where Lord Budhha realised Buddhahood or enlightenment after meditating for several weeks under a Bodhi Tree which is actually a Banyan Tree. Walk through the temple complex visting the holy pond, various small shrines, stupas and you can also meditate under Bodhi Tree along with Buddhist Monks. The place has very strong spiritual energy and after coming out from the compound one feels the peace in the mind.
In the morning, you have option to visit Mahabodhi Temple once again to meditate in the spiritually charged atmosphere of Bodhgaya. Buddhism is more a spiritual philosophy than a religion and meditation is an important part of it. Mahabodhi temple is one of the oldest surviving brick structure of Eastern part of India.
Later, transfer to the airport to board the flight to Delhi. From the airport, transfer to the accommodation near to it and check-in.
After experiencing the spiritual energy in most of the major religions of India, today we will transfer you to the international airport to embark the journey back home. We hope that you have got the main message from all Indian Faiths – that is humanity, peaceful co-existance and brotherhood. The journey ends here and hope to see you once again in India on a different discovery.