india adventure january 2015
I cannot begin to express how excited I am that you have a longing in your heart to experience India! The time I've spent there has been incredibly transforming, eye-opening, and perspective shifting for me. It's truly like no other place in the world. My recent trip to India solidified a dream that I've had for quite some time: to lead a retreat where others can experience India for themselves first hand!
Bookings were just finalized and I am honored to extend this invitation to you: Won't you join me (and my amazing partner, Michael!) on the trip of a lifetime?! Come away to India and be guided through an array of experiences in this vast land! The journey is split into 2 parts; choose just one or do both and make it a Grand Adventure (the latter is highly recommended!). We want to keep this a relatively intimate experience, so we've limited the size of the group. Below you will find specific information about the two different segments of travel.
Part one: Kerala Journey
KERALA is a narrow strip of beautiful territory that slopes down the Western Ghats in a cascade of lush green vegetation, and reaches to the Arabian sea. It is known for its backwaters, mountains, beaches, tea, and spices. It is a colorful land of diverse cultures and religions known as "God's Own Country". We have partners on the ground in India who have helped us curate the perfect exploration of this reigon. The following details the journey we have put together; please note that some elements are being finalized and are subject to change. We promise to give you an unforgettable taste of amazing Kerala! Yoga/meditation will be offered when possible during this part of the journey. As we explore the culture and sights, enjoy the elements of bringing your yoga practice off of the mat and into the world!
KOCHI (also known as Cochin) is a major port city on the west coast of India by the Arabian Sea. A blending of several small villages on the southwestern coast where sunset strolls, sampling fresh fish from seaside vendors and boat rides through the islands just offshore top visitors' to-do lists. Art centers showcase the area's traditional dance, Kathakali. European influences are seen in the 16th-century Portuguese-built churches and forts, while the mark of early Chinese traders is visible in the unusual fishing nets dotting the shoreline. (2 nights)
Day 1: The adventure begins here! Arrive by the afternoon of January 10th. Check into the hotel and put your feet up...you've come a long way! In the evening, enjoy a sunset cruise along the harbor to unwind from your travels and take in the city from a distance. Enjoy a good night of sleep.
Day 2: Today we visit the sights including the Dutch Palace, with its murals from the Ramayana, the Jewish Synagogue in Mattancherry, and St Francis’ Church in Fort Cochin. Take a stroll around the Jew Street to hunt for antiques, spices and handloom before proceeding back to the hotel. This evening we enjoy Kathakali, a traditional dance performace form of Kerala before retiring to the hotel.
MUNNAR is South India's largest tea-growing region set at an altitude of 6000 ft in the Idukki district. The rolling hills are carpeted in emerald-green plantations, contoured, clipped and sculpted like ornamental hedges. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, and trekking make Munnar a unique experience. The mountain scenery is magnificent: you’re often up above the clouds watching veils of mist clinging to the mountaintops in a sea of a thousand shades of green. A true connection to nature! (3 nights)
Day 3: After breakfast, drive to the famous tea county of Munnar. stopping at a couple of beautiful waterfalls along the way. Arriving in Munnar, check into the hotel and then spend the rest of the day relaxing/exploring town.
Day 4: You have the whole day to enjoy the beautiful views of the stunning mountains and sprawling tea estates. Visit a Tea Museum and Tea Factory. Later take a walk through the mist covered tea plantations to see the workers plucking the tea leaves.
Day 5: The final day in Munnar is a leisure day. Simply relax at the resort if you wish, or there will be options to go on a scenic hike and/or visit an elephant sanctuary.
PERIYAR is home to 485 square miles of Southern India’s best known Nature Reserve in the Cardamom Hills. Periyar encompasses a large lake home to bison, sambar, wild boar, langur, 900 to 1000 elephants, and tigers. Kumily, 4km from the sanctuary, is home to a growing strip of hotels, spice shops, chocolate shops and Kashmiri emporiums. (2 nights)
Day 6: Leaving Munnar after breakfast you are driven southwards. Enjoy a spice garden visit to learn more about the spices grown in this region and later enjoy an elephant ride in the plantation. Late evening learn to cook with spices at the evening cookery classes at your resort. The focus is on Kerala cuisine, with the accent being on (of course) the effective use of spices.
Day 7: Morning at leisure. In the afternoon, enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Periyar to spot herds of wild elephants, bisons, sambar deers, nilgir langurs, and variety of species of birds. Evening at leisure to explore the spice town.
KUMARAKOM is the hub of Kerala's backwaters, home to a vast network of waterways and more than 1000 houseboats. It is graceful and greenery-fringed, disappearing into a watery world of villages, canoes, and toddy shops. It is famous for its scenic beauty, sprinkled with traditional houseboats, country crafts, rural lifestyles and tranquility. Float along and gaze over rice fields of succulent green, curvaceous rice barges, and village life along the banks. This is one of Kerala’s most mesmerisingly beautiful and relaxing experiences. (2 nights)
Day 8: After breakfast, drive to Kumarakom. Check into your backwater resort. Enjoy the remainder of the day relaxing and taking in the unique scenery and explore the area. The slender coconut palms standing here, there and everywhere, its never ending paddy fields, meandering lagoons and backwaters, mangroves nesting birds of a hundred varieties can peacefully calm and invigorate your mind with renewed inspiration for your vocation and life. You have the option to take a rejuvenating Ayurvedic Massage.
Day 9: Morning at leisure. This afternoon you’ll enjoy lunch and a relaxing cruise through the rural villages of the back waterways. For the people living on the banks, the backwaters are a part of their day to day life. You stop to look at paddy cultivation, watch local fishing, and see historic churches and local temples. During the evening, you can generally see the people of the community meeting and relaxing by the backwaters. Evening disembark from the Houseboat. Overnight at the backwater resort.
Day 10: Wake up and head to the Railway Station to board the overnight train to Goa. Travel in an A/C sleeper car.
Pickup from Kochi International Airport (COK) on 1/10
Accommodations for 9 nights in Kerala
Ground transport & all group tours
Meditation/yoga sessions with Tristina & Michael
Train ticket to Goa
part Two: goa getaway
Unwind after your journey through Kerala or meet us just for this part of the trip! GOA is a glorious slice of India renowned for its swaying palms, sparkling waters, and idyllic beaches with the random cow strolling by. Hugging the western coastline and bounded by the Arabian Sea, it was a Portuguese outpost in India for almost 500 years. The influence of colonial rule can still be seen in the exquisite, crumbling architecture. Nowhere else in India will you find the laid-back easy charms of its people.
AGONDA BEACH is simply divine: wide, quiet and picturesque, perfect for a long lazy day or a sunset walk on its gorgeous beaches. Nearby areas have more hustle and bustle, but Agonda encapsulates relaxed, romantic Goa at its very best. We will diversify your stay with activities and trips to see local beach culture, all the while providing free time to enjoy your own experience,
We will be the only guests at a beautiful property, quite literally just steps away from the beach and guess what?? They are building a yoga practice space just for us! The beach huts are set up in a beautiful lush garden where there is space to relax in various lounge areas. All huts are equipped with en-suite bathrooms, ceiling fans, and balconies. The property offers cleaning, fresh towels, and laundry service. (7 nights)
This is the part of the journey that you will be able to chill out...PERIOD! After your long travels, you will have the space to integrate the experiences of your journey into a daily yoga practice. Connect with yourself and the extraordinary environment, all the while taking in the most beautiful beaches India has to offer. You will have the opportunity to settle into a routine of meditation/yoga. In addition we will offer specialized workshops (Partner Yoga, Thai Massage, The Art of Play) that will leave you feeling blissful and rejuvenated.
Example of a daily schedule:
Visit the grounds of a historic temple
Shop at a local street market
Day trip to Patnem Beach
Evening beach bonfire with live music
Optional excursions (click the links for more details):
Breakfast at property (included)
Lunch and free time
Excursions, workshop offering, group/free time
Enjoy dinner, an evening out, relax!
Pickup from Goa Airport (GOI) on 1/20 or transport from train station if coming from Kerala
Accommodations for 7 nights in Agonda Beach
Ground transport for all group excursions
Daily meditation/yoga sessions with Tristina & Michael
Unlimited stunning sunsets like you have never seen before!
Maximum is 14 guests for each part of the trip (double occupancy rooms)
Cost of the Kerala Journey is $1500 per person ($350 non-refundable deposit due at registration).
Cost of the Goa Getaway is $1100 per person ($250 non-refundable deposit due at registration).
Not included: flights, any additional transport fees, baggage charges, visa/passport fees, travel insurance, Ayurvedic services, gratuities, optional activities, and all personal expenses.
50% of remaining balance is due 120 days prior to the trip.
Final balance is due 60 days prior to the trip.
Payments made by credit card will incur a 3% fee.
You will be responsible for obtaining a visa prior to leaving for India. Please read details about the requirements here. Please note that your passport must be valid for 6 months from the day of application.
Whether you want to do one or both parts, please let us know your intention ASAP! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email us today!
For the Grand Adventure (Kerala & Goa): one way flight to Kochi (COK), arriving by the afternoon of 1/10. Depart via a one way flight from Goa (GOI) on the afternoon of 1/27.
For the Kerala Adventure only: round trip flight to/from Kochi (COK), arriving by the afternoon of 1/10 & departing on 1/19.
For the Goa Getaway only: round trip flight to/from Goa (GOI), arriving by the afternoon of 1/20 & departing on 1/27.