SHANTITOWN


Yatra

Since the year 2000, we have been traveling yearly to India. Often solicited by friends and acquaintances who wished to accompany them, they have now formed "Rainbow Yatra", in association with Nature Connections in Rishikesh, to provide all who are willing and able, the opportunity to share the cultural, historical and mystical magic of the beautiful Indian sub-continent.

The first Yatra, or journey in Sanskrit, will begin in New Delhi, a city of over 15 million inhabitants and the seat of the government of India since 1911.  As most international flights arrive during the night, we will reach our hotel in the middle of the night of October 14 or 15 depending on our departure point(s). After few hours of rest we will visit Connaught place and other adjoining area and in the late afternoon, early evening, return to the hotel.

After breakfast the following day, October 16th, we will visit historical and places of cultural interest in the company of a guide certified by the Ministry of Tourism.

On Saturday the 17tharound 6AM, we will board the Dehradun Shatabdi, the train that will take us to Haridwar. Breakfast will be served on board the first class, AC chair car. We will reach our destination mid-morning where four vehicles will be waiting to take us to Rishikesh, 25 kilometers to the north. Rishikesh is best known as the place that the Beatles visited in 1968 but it existed long before as a place where the sages who lived in the Himalayas gathered since time immemorial.

After checking into the hotel, in the Tapovan area of upper Rishikesh, we will walk through town and end up at Parmarth Niketan, one of the largest and most well-known ashrams in Rishikesh to attend the Arati, a fire ceremony dedicated to the Sunset and the river Ganga, which takes place every evening at 6:30PM and lasts for an hour or so.

The next morning we will drive 25 kilometers up in the Himalayas to visit the Neel Khant Mandir, the most famous temple of the region. Upon our return we will share a traditional Indian thali meal that, according to the teachings of Ayurveda, includes all six tastes: salt, sweet, sour, bitter, astringent and pungent. The afternoon will provide free time to explore the town further, Laxman Jhula, Swargashram, the banks of the Ganga or Rishikesh Town.

The next day in we will take a day trip to Haridwar, where we will visit the Mansa Devi temple, located high on a mountain top, which can only be reached by cable car. We will walk about the city and attend the Arati, or fire ceremony, at Hari-Ki-Pauri at 6:30PM before returning to Rishikesh.

Our last day in Rishikesh will be a free day with optional activities, whether trekking to nearby waterfalls or rafting on Ganga rapids or exploring the area. If you prefer you can have a massage at one of the numerous Ayurvedic clinics in town; a perfect day to absorb the mystical atmosphere of Rishikesh. Our stay will conclude with a dinner together accompanied by a program of classical Indian music.



Early Bird Special extended until July 15, 2015: $3500US per person.

A $500 deposit will secure your place. Full payment must be received by June 30th. (After, any outstanding amount will apply towards the Regular Price.)

Regular Price: After July 1: $4000US per person.

Valid till September 1, 2015. After September 1, prices may rise again to meet additional costs of late bookings.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO SIGN UP CONTACT: 
ANDRE@SHANTITOWN.NET

All participants may check-in to the hotel in Delhi no sooner than 10/14/2015 at 12PM/noon local time and/or join the group no later than 10/15/2015 at 12PM/noon local time.


INCLUDED IN THE ABOVE PRICES:

All accommodations based on twin sharing or double occupancy basis. (Surcharge for single occupancy could be substantially more and is to be determined on a case-by-case basis.)

Breakfast included every day.

All rail, air and ground transportation and transfers.

All group activities, sightseeing and excursions.

All currently applicable taxes.

All museum admission fees and guided tour as applicable. (These fees do not include video fees and photography fees which may vary by venue.)

Meals and cultural activities mentioned as scheduled events.

NOT INCLUDED IN ABOVE PRICES:

• Passports and visa fees.

• Airfares from your own starting/ending destinations, wherever that may be.

• Travel insurance (highly recommended).

• Tipping.

• Shopping.

• Excess baggage fees. Whereas international baggage allowances are around 23kg or 50lbs per bag, please note that the maximum free allowance on domestic flights in India is 15kg or 33lbs per bag, 1 bag free only. Excess baggage fees may run upwards of $50US per flight.

• Mealnot mentioned in the itinerary. 

• Incidentals such as: India SIM card (for which your smartphone must be unlocked); Internet cafes and printing of personal documents; laundry fees, alcoholic beverages and items of a personal nature such as medicine or personal care products.

• Optional activities and transportation where and when applicable.


On Wednesday, October 20th, we will fly from nearby Dehradun airport to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, where we will arrive around 7PM. We will check into our hotel, located in Bani Park, an upscale residential area, close to everything, yet away from the hustle and bustle of this vibrant city. The next morning, Thursday, we will explore the city by car, visiting Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal and the Albert Hall Museum.

Friday will be shopping day. Jaipur is the jewelry capital of the world and is also known as the hub of commerce for Rajasthani arts and crafts; get ready to bargain…

On Saturday, October 24th, we will drive to Pushkar, three hours away where will check into a hotel just a few hundred meters away from Pushkar Lake. Pushkar is considered a holy city and cars are not allowed in the immediate area around the lake. We will take a camel ride to watch the sunset and have dinner at an outdoor camp before returning to the hotel. The next day we will leisurely explore the area in and around Pushkar.

On Monday the 26th, we will head in the direction of Vrindavan, stopping midway at Fatepur Sikri where we will enjoy a catered lunch before exploring the ruins of this most famous ghost town. Later in the day we will reach Vrindavan, the holy city of Lord Krishna, located only a few kilometers from Agra. The next morning we will rise early in order to enjoy the sunrise at the fantastic Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, a must see for all who travel to India.

After our visit to the Taj Mahal, we will drive to Delhi airport to board a plane to Goa around 2PM. When we arrive, taxis will take us to Patnem in South Goa where we will check into a complex of fabulous huts in the jungle with all the amenities, a stone's throw from the beaches of Patnem and Palolem.

The next day, we will walk to Palolem Beach from where we will board a fishing boat that will take us dolphin watching. Goa has long been a favorite of western vacationers and it is reflected in the multi-cuisine gourmet restaurants throughout the state.

The last day will be a free day with options to visit some of Old Goa's Portuguese architecture or you will be able to simply rest, go to the beach or have a massage at the hotel.

On Saturday, October 31st, we will fly to Mumbai at 1:45PM, arriving an hour later. We will check-in to our hotel in Colaba, the southern tip of Mumbai and home to the famous Taj Mahal Palace and the Gate Way of India.

On Sunday, we will take a boat trip to Elephanta Island to visit the famous cave- temples that house statues carved out of the rock, that were discovered by the Portugese in the 16th century.

Monday the 2nd, will be a free day as we will prepare for late check out as the flight home will be early into the night of the 3rd.

We look forward to you joining us on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Namaste,

Jessica and Andre Vaillancourt