Continuing Pilgrimage Package: Taj Mahal + Ganges River + Shakti Peeth

Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

MS
10 reviews
Mar 9 - 14, 2020
Group size: 4 - 9
Continuing Pilgrimage Package: Taj Mahal + Ganges River + Shakti Peeth
Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

10 reviews

$225
Mar 9 - 14, 2020
Group size: 4 - 9

About this trip

 2 NIGHTS AGRA + 2 NIGHTS HARIDWAR + 1 NIGHT TRAIN 


We invite you on this ongoing travel journey to further explore India and her marvels. The Taj Mahal is definitely one of the wonders of the world and will be our first stop, riding the energy of the full moon. There is an embracing calm and acceptance of the diversity of humanity I've experienced at this architectural triumph like no other. Visiting Agra where this awe-inspiring achievement resides promises personal witness of the power of love and vision. The city itself is an amazing and refreshing blend of different spiritual beliefs, coming together for a common cause of celebration of magnificence. 


From Agra we will ride an all-day train, taking us into the vastness of the Indian landscape, visiting with other train travelers and pilgrims to the ancient city of Haridwar. It is one of the major places within India of worship of the Ganges River and home to more Shakti Peethas (seats of the Goddess) where we will partake in time-honored practices of Goddess worship. 


We will visit Ganga Ma, lighting diya lamps, letting them float down the Ganges with our prayers, hopes and intentions. This is an epicenter for Goddess worship in her many forms and birth place of important Shakti mythology which we will go deeply into before we return back to Delhi by night train.  

 

Agra


Taj Mahal 

 

The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan (reigned from 1628 to 1658), to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal who died giving birth to their thirteenth child. The tomb is the centerpiece of a 17-hectare (42-acre) complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenelated wall. 


The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage". It is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India's rich history. 


Haridwar 


Haridwar, is translated as the "Gateway to God", and is one of the most holy places in India and a center of Hindu religion and mysticism for centuries. Located on the banks of Ganges (Ganga) River, at the point where the Ganges descends from the hills to the North Indian plains. Haridwar attracts a large number of Hindu pilgrims from all over the world. 


Sunrise and Sunset at Ganga River 


Har-Ki-Pauri 


Har-Ki-Pauri is Haridwar's focal point, where devotees gather to bathe and worship on the Ganges. According to legend, this is where a drop of nectar fell from the churning of the oceans when the world was created, and a stone wall has Lord Vishnu's footprint. Each morning and evening thousands gather and worship the river Goddess Ganga by putting diyas (floating lamps) in the river. 


Sri Dakshin Kali Temple 


This Kali temple is located on the outskirts of town, almost in the wilderness, next to the Chandi Ghat on the banks of the Ganges River an area known as "Neeldhara". The Ganga gently flows southwards and this is why this temple is called Dakshin Kali (Dakshin is South in Sanskrit). What is particularly special about this temple is worship is done at midnight at a fire that's been kept continually burning for 800 years! 


This is also the place where Shiva drank the poison that came out of the churning of the ocean. After drinking it and holding it in his throat, he felt the immense heat, and then he is reputed to have bathed in the Ganga here -- giving its name as "Neeldhara" one of the names of Shiva referring to his holding of blue poison in his throat. 


For the followers of Devi, this is the first seat of Devi for the collective of ten Goddesses called the "Dash Mahavidyas", ten goddesses of transformation.  We will experience firsthand the birth place of this important and powerful collective. Everyone will be introduced to sadhana's of the Mahavidyas. 


Daksheshwar Mahadev Temple 


This temple is at the heart of the oldest heritage area called the Kankhal. It is the venue of the story of Goddess Sati and Shiva. It is here we will explore Sati's mythology and its importance to the Shakta path. This is the big temple dedicated to Shiva and Sati with a huge Banyan tree next to it worshiped by the devotees visiting the temple. This is the place where Sati transformed herself with her own yogic fire. We explore this important mythology and its symbolism importance on the Shakta yogic path. 


  Dash Mahavidya Temple   


Right next to Daksheshwar Mahadev temple, is this spectacular temple dedicated to the ten Mahavidya forms of Devi. At the heart of this temple is a giant Sri Yantra. Surrounding it are the images of ten forms of Goddess as Mahavidyas: Kali, Tara, Tripura Sundari, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chhinamasta, Dhumavati, Baglamukhi, Matangi and Kamala.  This is an important temple for Shakti worshippers where we will meditate. 


Maya Devi Temple, the Shakti Peetha of Sati’s navel and heart 


In the 11th century the Maya Devi Temple is also one of the three ancient temples of Haridwar, which is still intact, other two being Narayana-shila and Bhairava Temple. Major attractions of the temple are images of Goddess Maya, Goddess Kali, Goddess Kamakhya and two other goddesses, who are all forms of Shakti. Goddess Maya, the main deity of the temple, is a three-headed and four-armed deity and is believed to be the incarnation of Goddess Shakti.  Here we will begin to explore the importance of the Goddess Kamakhya. 

  

Important Detail

 * We suggest if returning home after this leg of the journey to book your flight from Delhi to leave either late in the day of March 14 or on March 15. As we will be arriving in Delhi in the morning of March 14 and the train can be late sometimes. 


* Plus, you may have some last minute shopping you'd like to do and need one more day in Delhi to take care of last minute things. We can assist you to make your final days in Delhi hotel reservations and return to the airport transport. 


* Please register for this portion of the pilgrimage and pay in full no later than November 15, 2019. 

What’s included

  • 5 Nights/5 Days stay
    2 nights in Agra, 2 nights in Haridwar and 1 night on the train
  • Daily breakfasts
    Chai tea and local fare
  • Daily Meditation
    Daily we will explore a meditation, allowing you to relax into your inner world of self-discovery and connect with the sacred places we'll be visiting
  • Daily Devi Yoga
    We will practice as it flows daily to do so. Also, we are open to other yoga teachers to share your practice with the group should you like to do so.
  • All Entry Fees
    Into the sites we'll be visiting
  • All land transport
    Rickshaws, taxis, and trains
  • Diya lamp lighting
    Partake in this sacred practice
  • Sacred Shopping
    Time to barter at Indian bazaars for colorful treasures for your home and/or studio altar and for others
  • Trip preparation info
    You will receive detailed itinerary in January 2020 to prep for this next part of the transformational journey. and to leave with family and loved ones at home
  • Loving guidance
    With care and ongoing assistance we'll help you along as you prepare to continue to explore India and her wonders
  • Lunches and dinners
    By this time everyone will have gotten an idea of the foods like like to eat so, we are leaving more food choice autonomy here
  • Bottled Water
    All drinking water (cost about 5 cents a liter). All water must be treated. Also, recommended is traveling with a "Lifestraw" water bottle
  • Sacred Souvenirs
    Goodies for yourself, friends & family!

Available Packages

Single Room
Available until Mar 09, 2020Sold Out
$225
Double Room
Available until Feb 03, 2020only 3 left

* If desiring 3 people to room we will arrange for this. Please just know that it may be a situation at one of the hotels where it might be a cot or quality mattress on the floor that constitutes the third bed.  

$425

Your Organizer


MS
Mountain Shakti
10 reviews
Stephanie Renee dos Santos passion is empowering people to come into contact and potentially embody one's full Awareness through nondual Tantric wisdom and aligning with natural cycles. She’s known as an inspiring, loving, creative and compassionate teacher with the Hindu goddess Bhuvaneshwari-like quality to create sacred healing, creative-expressive and meditative spaces. Certified in Integrative Yoga and she's been given permission by beloved teacher Sally Kempton to share these teachings of the nondual Shaiva/Shakta and Shakta traditions. She holds a B.A in Studio Arts from Whitman College and is a working artist. In addition, she studies Bharathanatyam classical Indian dance and contributes spiritual writing to literary journal Lalitamba. She is a co-founder of "Devidance Yoga" with Ganga Devi. She guides "Mountain Shakti" sacred yoga backpacking pilgrimages around the world.

Reviews

I had a fantastic trip to India with Ganga and Stephanie. They took us to VERY special places that are off the yoga tourist path. Their Goddess teachings, dance, and yoga are soul deepening and realizing. They went above and beyond to keep us safe and comfortable during our stay. I'm so appreciative of them putting this trip together and sharing the love India has to offer. I met incredible women from all over the world and the friendships we formed with one another will last a lifetime.
Amazing experience with Stephanie and Ganga. Beautifully planned, unique programme of Pilgrimage, connecting to cultural heritage of India and Devi practices. Organisation was impeccable, we felt very supportive and taken care of. Enjoyed every moment.
ET
Thank you to Stephanie and Ganga Devi for the incredible opportunity to connect with the goddesses in all their forms. This trip will be etched in my memory forever! thank you!
My experience backpacking with Stephanie and her Goddess teachings have expedited myself to pure bliss. She takes us high up on top of mountains with spectacular views. Her guided meditations connects your soul to the earth in such a way that it lasts a long time. I've done two trips with her and each one was special and meaningful. Stephanie is very experienced and knowledgeable and I only wish she was my local Yogini teacher! I highly recommend going on a Goddess pilgrimage with her. It's life changing. Namaste.
This was an amazing retreat, you will not regret it. Stephanie was an amazing host and I’m lucky to have met her. We laughed, cried, danced, mediated, did yoga and had an amazing time. It was great to meet like-minded spiritual women and conquer the mountains together. This is what everyone needs in their life. I have developed life long friendships and experiences to never forget! Thank you Stephanie!
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