Itinerary for

Holy Pilgrammage Through India

Adventure Awaits on this Sacred Journey with Lauren Rainbow

India | January 19th – 30th, 2023

Extension to Nepal | January 30th – February 3rd, 2023

Important pre-journey dates:

  • Photocopies of your passport are due no later than November 15th, 2022
  • Payment in full for your journey is to be completed no later than November 15th, 2022
  • Signed forms are to be returned to Lauren no later than November 15th, 2022
  • Photocopies of your arrival & departing flights are due to Lauren no later than November 15th, 2022

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.

Jan 19 – Arrival Day in Delhi!

Arrive in Delhi today and transfer to the hotel in a private vehicle. There will be a meet and greet dinner for those who have arrived.

You must arrive NO LATER than this day. We start to move as a group on the 20th!

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

Jan 20 – A day in Delhi

Enjoy a full-day excursion to Old and New Delhi, exploring the medieval and pre-modern aspects of the historic capital of India 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.

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!

Jan 21 – 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.

Jan 22 – 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 on the journey, but we will take some breaks for a stretch and some chai!

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

Jan 23 – 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 known as 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 that pilgrims carry back the water from the Ganges.

According to Shaivites, “Har” means “Lord Shiva,” who is the god.

Jan 24 – Drive to Rishikesh

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. The world-famous pilgrimage town of Rishikesh, in Hindu mythology, is the place where Lord Vishnu crushed the demon Madhu.

Abounding in natural beauty, the town of Rishikesh (Uttaranchal) proves to be 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.

Jan 25 & 26 – Rishikesh

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.

In this area, there will be some personal time for enjoyment and some teaching moments with Lauren.

Ganga Aarti is a ceremony to thank and praise the goddess Ganga. Goddess of the sacred river Ganges. As we visit three of the oldest and holiest cities in India: Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Varanasi. So you will get to experience at least three different aartis and participate in the oldest living rituals in the world. These ceremonies are centuries-old!!!

Jan 27 – Journey to Varanasi

We will have an early breakfast at the hotel and then leave for Dehradun, where we will catch a flight to Varanasi!

You will be met and transferred to the hotel upon arrival in Varanasi.

We will spend some time visiting the temples of Varanasi and visiting the Ganges River.

Assi Ghat is where pilgrims pay homage to Lord Shiva by worshipping a huge lingam under a peepal tree. This ghat is a lively space, rippling in chaos and commotion, and one that vividly captures the ancientness of Varanasi. The oldest and holiest city in India and probably the world.

Jan 28 – Varanasi

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!

Overnight stay in the hotel.

Jan 29 – Fly to Delhi

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the Airport for the flight to Delhi.

You will be met and transferred to the hotel upon arrival in Delhi.

We will have a group dinner and process the India portion of the journey.

Jan 30 – Transfer to the Airport (Home or to Nepal)

India Only: Departure Day to Home!

Nepal Extension Begins. Click here for the Nepal Extension Itinerary

Included in the INDIA ONLY portion of the journey

  • 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 & 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 January 19th. (These can be scheduled for you by our team at an additional cost.)
  • Tip for your guide and tour manager, Kapil. We will collect $160 per person to honor his time. $200 in total for those on the Nepal extension

Jan 30 – Journey to Kathmandu, Nepal

After breakfast at the hotel, we will head to the airport and take a short flight to Kathmandu, Nepal!

Upon arriving in Kathmandu, we will meet our Nepalese guide and transfer to our hotel for check-in.

Pick up from your hotel, visit Pashupatinath Temple, and attend an evening aarti.

Visit the Pashupatinath temple area to witness cremation sites, explore temples, meet sadhus (saints), and enjoy an aarti ceremony.

Pashupatinath temple and Arati program in Bagmati river bank.

We will visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square, where you will observe palaces, temples, and Newari art, architecture, and lifestyle.

After visiting Bhaktapur Durbar Square, visit Patan durbar square, known as the city of arts, where you will explore museums, monasteries, and palaces. Finally, you will eat lunch enjoying the beautiful scenery of Patan. We will also visit the Soyambhunath (Monkey temple), where you can get an incredible view of Kathmandu Valley and observe the cultural harmony of Hindus and Buddhists.

Afterward, you go to Kathmandu Durbar Square, where you will visit Freak Street to taste old-style coffee started by Hippies. Then receive the blessing of Kumari before visiting other temples of Kathmandu Durbar Square.

In the evening, we will experience a Nepalese traditional dinner program with a cultural dance performance.

Feb 2 – Kathmandu

First, we will visit the Boudhanath stupa, visit the monastery, meet monks and learn about Thangka painting.

After visiting Boudhanath, We will drive to Jarsingpauwa via Sankhu, which takes about one and a half hours. We will start our trek from Jarsingpauwa to Nagarkot. The trail is dust-free, flanked by green hills and Kathmandu valley on either side. Along the trail, you can observe the simple lifestyle of villagers. Great views of Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Shishapangma, Dorje Lakpa, Gauri Shankar, and Everest (if you are lucky!) are visible.

Feb 3 – Kathmandu to India

Pick up from your hotel for a Rickshaw tour around Spice and vegetable market. You will be visiting a traditional vegetable and spice market by pollution-free Pedal driven Rickshaw.

Depending on the flight back to India, you will have time to rest and relax.

We will then fly back to India, and you will have a hotel near the airport to check-in before your departure. Most flights leave India in the early AM. Therefore, booking your flight home on February 4th is advised.

What is included in your Nepal Extension Cost

  • Flights to Nepal and returning in India
  • 4-5 start hotel accommodations
  • Nepalese Guide
  • Entrance Fees to all sites
  • All travel within Nepal
  • Certain meals within Nepal

What is NOT included in your Nepal Extension Cost

  • International Flight Home from India
  • Gratuity for your Guide
  • Some meals
  • Visa For Nepal

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 January 19th, 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. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/travel-insurance/best-pandemic-travel-insurance/