Itinerary for

HOLI India Retreat & Journey

Celebrating Your Soul’s Expression
with Lauren Rainbow and Jeffrey Warren

India | March 16 – 26, 2024

Extension to Varanasi | March 27 – 30, 2024

Important pre-journey dates:

  • Photocopies of your passport are due no later than January 16th, 2024
  • Payment in full for your journey is to be completed no later than January 16th, 2024
  • Signed forms are to be returned to Lauren no later than January 16th, 2024
  • Photocopies of your arrival & departing flights are due to Lauren no later than January 16th, 2024

It is helpful to remember that life is in constant motion, so things change, miracles appear and plans shift. Be open to changes in the itinerary as there will be some unexpected magical moments! Please help everyone by listening to the information provided each day of the journey and joining us at agreed-upon times.

March 16  – Arrival Day in Delhi! 

Arrive in Delhi today and transfer to the hotel in a private vehicle. You will get to meet with those who have arrived and get some rest after your flight. 

You must arrive by this day. We start to move as a group on the 17th! 

March 17 – A day in Delhi & Old Delhi

Enjoy a full-day excursion to Old and New Delhi, exploring the medieval and pre-modern aspects of India’s historic capital, personified by the Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk. Take a food walk in the Chandni Chowk market and visit Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar. 

Delhi offers a harmonious blend of architecture and history, from remnants of the Mughal Empire and British Raj to contemporary India. Delhi will charm you with its eclectic mix of the old and new – from magnificent monuments to bustling Old Delhi markets and stunning high rises. 

Overnight stay in the hotel. 

India is a lot to take in! The sites, sounds, colors, and smells, and we are going to get you acclimated to the unique culture in the world on this day!

There is much order that lives within the perceived chaos of this land!

March 18 – Drive to Agra

After breakfast, drive to Agra. Here we will visit the Agra Fort, Itmad –Ud- Daulah, and Mehtab Bagh.

Overnight stay in the hotel. 

March 19 – Taj Mahal & Journey to Hardiwar (holy city)

Sunrise transfer to the Taj Mahal, where we will spend the morning at this beautiful monument and fall in love. After the visit, return to the hotel for breakfast. 

Leave for Haridwar by bus. This is the longest travel day, but we will take some breaks for a stretch and chai! 

Upon arrival, we will check in at your hotel on the Ganges’ ghats. 

March 20 – Haridwar (Temples and River Aarti)

After breakfast, we will leave to explore the temples of Haridwar, which are also Shakti Peeths (or seat of “Shakti”)– Chand Devi, Mansi Devi, and Maya Devi temples. The feminine divinity in Hinduism is known as Shakti, considered the most significant creative force in the universe. In the evening, attend an aarti ceremony at Hari Ki Pauri Ghat.

Overnight stay in the hotel.

Haridwar is one of the most popular Hindu pilgrimage places. River Ganges enters the North Indian plains at Haridwar. Haridwar, or’ Gateway to Gods’, is called Mayapuri, Kapila, and Gangadwar. Hindu pilgrims and devotees gather at Haridwar to offer prayers on auspicious occasions. The water of the River Ganga is sacred at Haridwar, and pilgrims carry back the water from the Ganges. According to Shaivites, “Har” means “Lord Shiva,” who is the god.

March 21 – Drive to Rishikesh (SPRING EQUINOX)

Breakfast at the hotel, then we take a short drive to Rishikesh along the River Ganges. Finally, arrive in Rishikesh and check in at the hotel.

Take a walk along the river Ganges and visit some Ghats.

Overnight stay in the hotel.

Located in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas, the town of Rishikesh abounds in temples and ashrams. In Hindu mythology, the world-famous pilgrimage town of Rishikesh is where Lord Vishnu crushed the demon, Madhu.

Abounding in natural beauty, the town of Rishikesh (Uttaranchal) is an ideal destination for tourists interested in pilgrimage travel and adventure sports. In addition, the ashrams of Rishikesh are renowned worldwide for studying yoga and meditation.

March 22 – 25 – Rishikesh Retreat and HOLI Celebration

While in Rishikesh, we will visit the infamous abandoned ashram where the Beatles famously spent time with Maharishi in India. We will also visit other temples and ashrams in this area. Also, participate in Gange’s river aartis.

During the Rishikesh Retreat portion of the journey, Lauren and Jeffrey, you will experience healing sound baths, meditations, spiritual teachings, chanting sessions, and more to help heal, restore, and rejuvenate your soul.

We will be staying at the beautiful Gange Kinare Hotel in Rishikesh, which has a private entrance to the Ganges for sacred ceremonies, delicious meals, and a beautiful spa for massage opportunities.

Ganga Aarti – is a ceremony to thank and praise the goddess Ganga. Goddess of the sacred river Ganges. We visit two of India’s oldest and holiest cities: Haridwar and Rishikesh. So you will get to experience different aartis and participate in the oldest living rituals in the world. These ceremonies are centuries-old and a way to bless the earth and receive blessings in return!

March 26 – Journey to Delhi / Celebration Dinner

We will return to Delhi and have a group dinner to share the love with anyone returning from this point. If you are not doing the Varanasi Extension, you should plan your flight to leave very late on the 26th or early on the 27th. (Most international flights out of Delhi are in the early morning hours.)

March 27, 28, 29 – Journey to Varanasi

You will take a quick flight to Varanasi in the morning of March 27 for the Varanasi Extension. Explore some of the areas on the way to check in to your hotel.

While in Varanasi, we will visit Varanasi’s temples and the Ganges River.
Assi Ghat is where pilgrims pay homage to Lord Shiva by worshipping a massive lingam under a peepal tree. This ghat is a lively space, rippling in chaos and commotion, vividly capturing Varanasi’s ancientness—the oldest and holiest city in India and probably the world.

Enjoy a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges to see all the beautiful ghats and temples that line the sacred river’s edge!

As we move down the river, you will see a glimpse of the history of Hinduism while still living today in the centuries-old tradition. You may see everything from devotees taking a sacred bath to sadhus and brahmins meditating on the river’s edge. You can observe the daily life of the natives, and we will take a walk in the narrow street of Varanasi (Old Varanasi).

We will even see the infamous burning ghat where the sacred fire for those who have transitioned to spirit has burned for centuries, never extinguished. People worldwide travel to Varanasi often at the end of their time here on earth to be cremated by this sacred fire.

We will explore temples and other sacred places during our time in Varanasi! I promise this land will live in your heart forever!

Included in the cost of your journey for HOLI India and the Varanasi Extension

  • All 4-5 star hotels in India
  • 90% of your meals
  • All transportation within the dates of the trip
  • All in-country flights
  • Tips for drivers
  • Your tour manager and guides, Lauren Rainbow, Jeffrey Warren & Kapil Yadav

Vaccinations for India

Covid – 19 – Should be fully vaccinated with up-to-date boosters or a negative PCR test to enter the country.

Typhoid Fever – strongly recommended, not required

Hepatitis A&B – strongly recommended, not required

Please consult your doctor to see if they have any other personal recommendations while traveling in India.

You do not need a negative test to return to the USA from India. (We will keep you informed of any changes!)

What is NOT included in your journey cost:

  • International flights to and from India
  • Some lunches and dinners around India. (90% of your meals are covered in the cost of the journey)
  • Travel & Health Insurance and other items of a personal nature
  • Visa to enter India.
  • Airport arrivals before March 16. (These can be scheduled for you by our team at an additional cost.)
  • Hotels before March 16. (We can assist you in booking any early arrival hotels and getting you to and from the airport. We can add the cost and payment to your journey fees.)
  • Tip for your guide and tour manager, Kapil. We will collect $160 per person to honor his time. $200  in total for the HOLI India and Varanasi Extension.

Cancelation Policy: Due to this new era we are living in, we have had to make some changes to our previous cancelation policy. Please remember the deposit is non-refundable as listed on the sales info. Before 60 days to the arrival date of March 16th, cancellations may receive a partial refund not exceeding 50%.

Cancellations less than 60 days to departure date are non-refundable. Regarding booking these journeys, it is essential to know that we are making deposits and payments to our vendors prior to the trip to secure hotel, travel, and other bookings. Therefore, these cancellation policies are strictly held in place. 

Purchasing traveler’s insurance is highly recommended!! Should you need to cancel your plans for emergency purposes such as health-related issues. We are happy to help provide the appropriate paperwork in this event to help you secure your insurance payments. 

Here is a link to the best new travel insurances that all cover Covid Cancellations.