Cultures and Religions of India

July 11-26, 2011
This study adventure, combines daily hatha yoga with Seattle yoga instructor, Fran Gallo, and an in-depth exploration of India’s rich cultures and diverse religions. We will explore Amritsar, the center of Sikhism, Dharamsala, home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Rishikesh, the ‘yoga capital of the world,’ Varanasi, the most sacred city for Hindus, capping it off with a visit to the Taj Mahal. Well-qualified local experts will share their knowledge of Indian philosophy, art, music, ayurvedic medicine, spiritual practices and daily life.

Our encounter of India begins in the capital city of New Delhi where participants will be oriented to this vast and diverse country. On the first day, participants will focus on the themes of Indian history and religious diversity, while experiencing life in India’s modern capital. Participants then board a train for Amritsar, from which we will take a bus to Dharamsala, home of the exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama. In Dharamsala we will spend two days exploring Tibetan Buddhism.

From Dharamsala, we will head east along the Himalayas, to the holy cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh, where the sacred Ganges River rushes out of the mountains and onto the Indian plains. Here we will study yoga, visit ashrams, and attend religious ceremonies so as to better understand the practice of Hinduism. We then take the train to Delhi and catch a flight to the ancient sacred city of Varanasi, Finally, the group heads for Agra, the site of the Taj Mahal, and from there returns to Delhi to make connections for the flight back to the USA–or contiunes on to one of the optional trips to more time in Agra or Kathmandu.

Cost, $3790.00 includes all transportation within India, hotel, breakfasts and dinners, hotel and driver tips, entrance fees, lectures, guide fees, airport pickup and dropoff, presentations, concert, and Yoga!

Great Cultures & Religions of India

July 11- 26, 2011

*Please note that itinerary is subject to change



Evening Location

July 11 Depart Home city for Delhi via Seattle Overnight flight
July 12 Arrive New Delhi, driver will meet you at Indira Gandhi International Airport and take you to the hotel.  Look for a placard with KNOW INDIA. Karolbaugh/New Delhi

Florence Inn


July 13 Morning: Yoga; Orientation to India. Visit Jama Masjid, Red Fort, and lunch in famous Chandi Chowk..

Afternoon: Train to Amritsar.

Evening: Rest

Hotel Ritz Plaza


July 14 Morning: Yoga and breakfast.

Afternoon: Visit Jallianwala Bagh and Golden Temple the heart of Sikhism

Evening: Yoga before dinner, then free to rest or explore

Hotel Ritz Plaza



July 15 Morning: Yoga, rest or explore.

Afternoon: bus to Dharamsala / McLeod Ganj. McLeod Ganj serves as the residence of His Holiness, The 14th Dalai Lama – Tenzin Gyatso, and the Tibetan Government in exile.  At a height of 1700 m, McLeod Ganj is an important learning center for Tibetan Buddhism. The whole area displays Tibetan culture and crafts at their finest.

Evening: Drive up to Namgyal Monastery, residence of the Dalai Lama, explore Lingkor, visit shops around McLeod Ganj.

Asian Plaza Hotel



July 16 Morning: Yoga; Presentation / Discussion on Tibetan culture.

Afternoon: Tour Dharamsala temples and monasteries, including Suglag Khang, the Dalai Lama’s temple complex.

Evening: Meet Rinchen Khando, sister-in-law of Dalai Lama if possible; Dinner at Kashmir Cottages.


Asian Plaza Hotel

July 17 Morning: Yoga; free time to explore.

Afternoon: Visit Tibetan Children’s Village (TVC), and place of the Tibetan Government in Exile.

Evening: Bus to Chakki Bank to connect with Hemkunt Express train to Rishikesh at 8:30 pm.

Overnight on train, AC 2nd class
July 18 Morning: Arrive in Rishikesh 8:00 a.m.  Transfer to hotel for breakfast and rest.

Afternoon: Walking tour of Rishikesh with discussion on Hindu temples and pilgrimage. Rishikesh has been nick-named “the world-capital of Yoga.”

Evening: Yoga before dinner. Free to rest or explore on your own.

Great Ganga Hotel,



July 19 Morning & Afternoon: Experience what it is like to stay in an Indian Ashram. We will go to Parmath Niketan, Swami Rama, or Swami Dayananda Ashram for yoga, meditation, and discussion on yogic tradition in India. http://www.dayananda.org/

Evening: Free

Great Ganga Hotel,


July 20 Morning: Yoga and free time in Rishikesh

Afternoon: Presentation / discussion on Hinduism.  Visit the beautifully carved Jain temple.

Evening: Shatabdi Express train to New Delhi 6:13 pm. Arrive Delhi 10:45 pm transfer to hotel

Florence Inn,

New Delhi

July 21 Morning: Yoga. Fly to Varanasi  )See: http://www.varanasicity.com/; India’s Holiest City)

Afternoon: Lecture and discussion on Ganga and her worship by Dr. Arvind Singh,

Evening: Aarti ceremony on the Ganges at the Dashashwameth Ghat




July 22 Morning: Yoga. Talk by Prof. Rana P.B. Singh on the importance of Varanasi.

Afternoon to early evening: Temple tour and Banaras Hindu University Museum

Evening: Indian classical music performance



July 23 Morning: Ganga boat ride at sunrise; guided walk in the oldest bazaar of the city; Yoga; Presentation and discussion on Indian art by Prof. M.N.P. Tiwari.

Afternoon: Visit Sarnath, birthplace of Buddhism and see beautiful antiquities at the Sarnath museum

Evening: Free



July 24 Morning: Yoga; Talk by senior professor from the Institute of Ayurveda, Banaras Hindu University on ayurvedic medicine.

Afternoon: Visit bazaar

Evening: Overnight train to Agra

Varanasi-Agra (overnight train)
July 25 Morning: Arrive in Agra, proceed to hotel for yoga, breakfast, and rest.  Prepare for tour of Taj Mahal.

Afternoon: Guided tour of the incomparable Taj Mahal.  Built in 17th century by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, it took 22 years and the labor of 20,000 men. The white marble for this perfectly proportioned building with its amazing delicate inlay work was transported to the site by elephants from a quarry 200 miles away. 

Evening: Free.  For those who want to shop, we will go to a place with exquisite Indian crafts.


Man Singh Palace Hotel

July 26 Morning: Yoga and breakfast. Take it leisurely before we depart for Delhi.

Afternoon: After lunch start for the Delhi Airport for the flight back home. Enroute visit Mathura, the birthplace of Krishna, (and Vrindavan, if time allows)

Evening: Transfer to the International Airport for onward flights to home cities.

Agra to Delhi, flight home.

Cost: $3790.00 Includes yoga, guide fees, all transportation within India, hotels, breakfasts and dinners, hotel and driver tips, and entrance fees.  Cost does not include tip for guide, drinks, room service, non-group activities, personal expenses, or international airfare. Group size is limited to 16.

To book this tour or get more info email kamal@justfares.com; or call Kamal toll free 1-888-302-3749 or locally at 206-204-2106.

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