Nov 22-25, 2018
Dev Dipawali is celebrated every year in Varanasi on the Kartik Purnima; with the belief that the Godly beings descend on earth on this auspicious occasion. This celestial event is considered to be an even more comprehensive victory of good over evil and harmony over chaos than the festival of lights celebrated on a new moon night all across the country. The ghats of Kashi get decorated with earthen lamps and floral rangolis to celebrate this grand and divine occasion. Maha-aarti at the Dashashwamedh Ghat is the centerpiece of the celebration, and various classical and cultural programmes adorn the occasion.
- Subah-e-Banaras at Assi Ghat - Ganga Aarti, Vedic hymn recitation & live classical music at dawn will transport you into a Hindustan that one can only dream of.
- Ganga Arti at Dasaswamedh Ghat - It may not be an exaggeration if we call this a surreal experience resplendent with ethereal grandeur; the aura and charm of such an evening can revivify and purge human spirit at its core.
- Be a witness to the haloed ghats (boat ride on the Ganges) - Almost all of this vast country, its states, culture, and rituals is magnificently represented in nearly 100 ghats of Banaras. Exploring the ghats is akin to traversing the length and breadth of Bharat.
- Trip to Sarnath for contemplation and historicity - Sarnath is a town located 13 km north-east of Varanasi near the confluence of the Ganges and the Gomati rivers in Uttar Pradesh. The deer park in Sarnath is where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha first came into existence. It is a pilgrimage as well as an opportunity to traverse through time exploring the different civilizations of the bygone era.
- Kashi Vishwanath Temple (optional) - Kashi Vishwanath temple located at the western bank of holy Ganges is considered as the 12th of all the Jyotirlinga. Lord Shiva is the main deity in Hinduism and Kashi is the oldest city of the world in history and known as the city of Lord Shiva. Due to the festive time, the temple may have a surge of people, making it very crowded and hence those desiring can visit alone or in small groups. Time permitting we may visit one or two more ancient temples of this city, viz. Sankat Mochan (Hanuman Mandir) etc.
- Kashi bazaar and delicacies - It will be an impromptu activity in the little spaces of time while walking down the road. Though not very formal, the spontaneity of this exercise is a source of joy for one and all, till you keep it simple and don’t get lost.
- Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya - The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is one of the four holy sites related to the life of the Lord Buddha, and particularly to the attainment of Enlightenment. The first temple was built by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century B.C., and the present temple dates from the 5th or 6th centuries. It is one of the earliest Buddhist temples built entirely in brick, still standing in India, from the late Gupta period. We typically intend to participate in Sutra chanting early morning, followed by Yogasana with the main temple as the backdrop and then walk around as pilgrims seeking understanding and blessings.
- Experiential Yoga / Meditation sessions - We will practice outdoor Yoga facing the Ganges at Varanasi and also at Bodh Gaya overlooking the Mahabodhi Temple; the group will have the blessed opportunity to silently meditate at Sarnath and rejoice in Sutra chanting at the Bodhi tree – the timeless symbol of the quest of Awakening, Enlightenment & Liberation.
Travel Plan (Tentative)
People can reach Varanasi and leave from Bodhgaya also on their own. However, those wanting to travel in a group from Kolkata will tentatively take a direct flight on the 22nd morning to Varanasi and return via an afternoon flight from Patna on Nov 25th.
The group will go to Bodh Gaya from Varanasi and then to Patna from Bodh Gaya by road.
Varanasi to Bodh Gaya 255 km (5-6 hours)
Bodh Gaya to Patna 110 km (3-3.5 hours)
Accommodation / Meals
Shared accommodation (twin sharing) for two nights at Varanasi and one night at Bodh Gaya. We serve vegetarian food only. Smoking/drinking/consumption of non-veg food not permitted during the Retreat period.
Retreat Fees – Registration
- Rs. 19,500.00 for payment received on or before 15th Sep 2018 (To pay non-refundable Rs. 9,500 on or before 15th Sep and remaining amount by 31st Oct)
- Rs. 22,500.00 for payment received on or before 15th Oct 2018 (To pay non-refundable Rs. 12,500 on or before 15th Oct and remaining amount by 31st October)
Retreat Fees is inclusive of - Road transport, shared accommodation, all meals (vegetarian), boat ride, yoga/meditation classes, scheduled pilgrimages /sightseeing
Retreat Fees does not include - Train/Airfares, medical expenses if any, water bottles, refreshments at the airport/in-flight and anything not mentioned as included above. As and when requested the participants will have to submit valid ID proof, fitness certificate from a registered medical practitioner, photographs, emergency contact details and fill in and sign a waiver form as well. It is the sole responsibility of the participant to consult his/her physician to establish their suitability for undertaking such a trip.
Mystic Yoga or the Mystic Coaches can in no way be held responsible for any increase in trip cost, also partial or complete cancellation of the trip, due to flight delays, traffic snarl, changes in government policies, natural calamity, political agitation, basically for any reason beyond their reasonable care and control. Any increase in trip cost due to reasons beyond the scope of the organizers will have to be directly borne by the participants themselves.