A 12-day pilgrimage of the inner and outer landscapes
with Hareesh and Briala
27th December 2017 - 7th January 2018
Back by popular demand, the Sacred India Tour is a journey unlike any you've experienced. We will visit incredible temples and sacred sites of Yoga and of Shaivism while engaging in deep practice and contemplation of spiritual teachings.
This time we travel to Tamil Nādu, the spiritual heartland of yoga. Sanskrit scholar Hareesh (Christopher Wallis), who first visited India more than 20 years ago, will be your guide to these sacred sites and their teachings, while vinyāsa flow yoga teacher Briala Silva will enliven your body and senses with a daily practice informed by 18 years of experience.
Adventure meets luxury
You can relax into your experience knowing everything is all taken care of. The price is all-inclusive (except flight and tips), and every detail is attended to with loving care. We stay in luxurious hotels with a traditional flair, because why skimp on what might be the greatest pilgrimage of your life?!
Join us as we visit some of the most powerful sacred sites of South India and explore Tantrik philosophy right where it flourished over a thousand years ago.
Woven together with daily āsana practice and guided meditation, this journey will nourish your body, mind, and senses.
Basic Itinerary (with space allowed for surprises!)
27th December 2017: Arrive in Chennai
28th-29th December 2017: Mamallapuram/mahabalipuram
29th-31st December 2017: Tiruvannamalai
1st-2nd january 2018: chidambaram (nataraja temple)
3rd january 2018: thanjavur (brhadishawa temple)
4th-6th January 2018: madurai (meenakshi temple)
07th January 2018: Our tour ends and you can choose to continue your travels in India or return home.
You are held
India can be a wild ride. This retreat offers an opportunity to be held and guided in a way that allows you to put all of your energy into opening your heart to the teachings, sacred sites, and practices.
You will be in the best of hands: Hareesh, Briala, trip coordinator Melissa Pontius, and local experts Southern Trails Ltd. have all worked together before on prior India trips with great success. The photo gallery below is from the places we'll visit!
After you complete the registration form above, secure your spot with a nonrefundable deposit.
Register now to take advantage of our Early Bird Rates until September 1st. You can either pay a $600 dollar nonrefundable deposit or the full price of the trip. After September 1st early bird ends and prices increase.
You can choose to pay in full by selecting 'Briala full payment single room' or 'Briala full payment double room' from the dropdown bar below.
* Note that the all-inclusive prices listed are for the deposit PLUS the final payment so your total will range from $3,075 to $3,875 Early Bird or $3,500 to $4,300 (after September 1st) depending on your room type and when you choose to pay in full.
**Hareesh is also doing a special trip which is ONLY open to Siddha Yogis or friends of Surabhi Katherine Dobson. The dates are November 26th - December 6th 2017. The itinerary is exactly as described on this page. However, there will not be a professional asana teacher on this trip. Click the drop down menu below and select "Surabhi Trip."
Make your payment here:
Who is our guide?
Hareesh (Christopher Wallis) will offer yoga philosophy discourse and accompany you on the entire pilgrimage. In addition to the experienced guidance of Hareesh we also have a local tour guide we’ve worked with for all our retreats who speaks fluent English and will be devoted to us for the entire trip.
What is included?
All historical and spiritual talks and guided meditations with Hareesh
All yoga and meditation with Briala
All hotel rooms stays at heritage hotels and eco-resorts
All meals at the hotels and enroute
Admissions to the monuments
Transportation in a comfortable air-conditioned tour bus
Local tour guide
Tips for hotel staff and waiters
How much does it cost? When is payment due?
Early Bird Prices:
Nonrefundable Deposit to hold space- $600
Double Room Per Person- $3,025
Single Room Per Person- $3,875
Early Bird full payment is due by September 1, 2017
Double Room Per Person - $3,425
Single Room Per Person - $4,275
Full payment is due by November 1, 2017
Nonrefundable Deposit of $1000 is due to hold your space immediately.
We have a total of 26 spaces so reserve early!!!
What is NOT included?
still camera/video camera use fees in the temples (a few dollars at most)
Tips outside of our hotel
Transport to and from the airport
When traveling to India do I need a visa?
You do need a visa; The process is becoming easier every year. If you want to apply now you can Find out all of the instructions here. There is an option for US citizens to obtain a visa on arrival but that still means you need to meet the 7 points of eligibility and submit the online forms 30 days in advance of your arrival in India. You can see all the details and fill in the online forms here if you want to go with that option rather than obtaining a visa in advance. https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html
Are there required or recommended vaccines?
Vaccines are not required but if you want to find out about recommendations then you're welcome to visit your Doctor or a travel clinic. We won't be in a malaria affected area on this tour but you may want to bring malaria pills with you just in case.
You will book your own flight with a travel agent or online. You will be flying into Chennai International Airport on December 26 or 27, 2017. You are welcome to arrive earlier but your first night of included accommodation will be December 27, 2017. Your final night of included accommodations is January 6, 2018 in Madurai. For the return there are two options. If you plan to continue traveling in India, you can fly domestic from the local Madurai Airport (IXM / VOMD). For those who are returning home, a coach will take the group back to Chennai. You will fly out of Chennai International Airport, the same airport you flew into. We'll help you arrange a private car with driver to the airport for your connecting flights if you wish.
*Keep in mind that many flights arrive in India in the middle of the night. For example, if you arrive at 12:30am December 27th, remember that your room won't be ready until around 3pm in the afternoon on the 27th, usual check in time. Some people may want to book an extra night or two and I'll be sending out more details about our first hotel once I hear back from our coordinators in India so that you can do so.
How much money should I bring with me?
Since your basic costs are already covered consider what you want to bring for tipping, any extra excursions you plan to go on, airport transfers, and shopping.
I'd like to connect with others on this trip beforehand. How can I do that?
We have created a Facebook group to begin connecting with others who are going on this adventure. Join here!
I have more questions. Who do I contact?
I’m ready to complete my payment. How do I do that?
Scroll up to the payment button and click "add to cart."