The word “Hima” in Sanskrit is “snow” and the word, “alaya” means abode. But the mighty mountain ranges of the Himalayas are more than just an abode of snow. They are Mother Nature’s biggest miracle. The Himalayas are the roof of the world, overwhelming us with their sheer magnificence and size and humbling us by giving us a true perspective of how small and insignificant we humans are.
Before you are too weak or too old, you must meet and merge with the beloved Himalayas – this is my wish and my blessing.
Home to eight of the ten highest mountains in the world with Mount Everest being the highest, the Himalayas is revered the world over. While adventurers look at Himalayas as a constant challenge that helps them discover their inner strength, for those on a quest for beauty, the mountain ranges offers the most virgin, pristine and stunning landscapes ever known to man. But for individuals on a spiritual journey, Himalayas is the ultimate destination.
The ancient mountain is considered an abode of the Gods and the spiritual center of the world. Hundreds of temples and shrines dot the Himalayan foothills even as the mist-shrouded snow-capped peaks have given birth to many mythological stories and legends that form the backbone of Indian culture and religions. In fact, a trip to the Himalayas is considered to be the ultimate pilgrimage in South-East Asia.
Himalayan Sojourn, a program by Isha Sacred Walks, offers you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of embarking on this journey to the beautiful temples and sacred spaces of the Himalayas. Here are seven reasons why you should not miss the chance to be a part of the Himalayan experience.
▵ Abode of Shiva
According to Hindus, the Himalayas is the abode of Lord Shiva. It is home to India’s most significant spiritual spaces such as Kailash Manasarovar, Amarnath, Vaishno Devi Temple, the Char Dhams — Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri – many beautiful monasteries and Buddhist Gompas among many others.
▵ God of Snow
The Himalayas are also known as Giriraj or the “King of Mountains”, which is a deity by itself in the Hindu pantheon. The Himalayas have also been personified as the God Himavat, the “God of Snow”, who is father of Ganga and Saraswati who became rivers, and Parvati who married Shiva.
▵ Mystical & Enchanting
The mystical, enchanting Himalayan mountains is a treat to all your senses. View some of the most breathtaking panoramas of Mother Earth, enjoy the crisp mountain air on your skin, listen to the chants of devotees along with the songs of the wind and smell the wondrous fragrance of the mountain trees and flowers.
▵ Source of Primary River Systems
The Himalayas is the source of the Indus Basin, the Yangtze Basin and the Ganga-Brahmaptura, which are three of the worlds primary river systems.
▵ Geologically Alive
Geologists have performed tests over the years to prove that the Himalayas, covering an area of 612,021 sq. kms, across six countries — Bhutan, India, Nepal, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan — are geologically alive. The mammoth mountain range is said to be moving approximately 20mm every year!
▵ Sacred Mountains
The Himalayas have always been the source of immense peace, tranquility and enlightenment for countless sages, yogis and spiritual gurus including Adi Sankaracharya, Guru Gobind Singh, Vivekananda and many others. Sadhguru always felt a deep affinity for these sacred mountains as well.
Every year, devotees undertake the holy trek in spite of all the challenges they face due to extreme geographical and weather conditions. This is the beauty of these sacred spaces.
For all these reasons and more, a trip to the Himalayas with the Himalayan Sacred Walks is an intense spiritual experience, complete with the inclusion of meditation sessions, satsangs (community chanting), spiritual discourses and much more. This sojourn will take you through Haridwar, Rishikesh, Uttarkashi, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Gangotri, Guptkashi, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Himalayan Sacred Walks offers you the opportunity to soak in the sacred energies of these enchanting and majestic mountains and come back deeply transformed.
With our team of highly skilled, trained and dedicated teachers and volunteers ever ready to help you with every step you take on this memorable journey, you will be enveloped in a sense of endless energy, tranquility and oneness.
We meet at New Delhi and begin the journey together to Haridwar, one of the most sacred cities in India. Along the way, we stop to enjoy lunch and reach Haridwar in the early evening.
Enjoy the beautiful vistas that unfold while driving to Uttarkashi.
Visit the powerful, two-thousand-year-old Kashi Vishwanath temple in the evening.
DAY 3Gangotri / Uttarkashi
In the early morning, drive to Gangotri and visit the temple
dedicated to Goddess Ganga. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the sacred Bhagirathi river and meditate on its rocky banks. Travel back to Uttarkashi for overnight stay.
Enjoy a rugged but spectacular drive to Pipalkoti where we will stay the night.
Enroute to Badrinath, have a glimpse of Karnaprayag, Vishnuprayag and Nandaprayag.
At Karnaprayag marks the confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Pindar. It is here that Karna is said to have propitiated Surya to acquire an impregnable shield for battle.
Vishnuprayag is the confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Dhauliganga, where Lord Vishnu appeared before sage Narada.
At Nandaprayag, Lord Krishna’s father Nanda, is supposed to have conducted a great sacrifice, where rivers Alaknanda and Nandakini come together.
Badrinath is known for its ancient Vishnu temple and its natural hot springs. Visit the Badrinath temple, Vyasa cave, Bheempul and Mana – the last Indian village near the Indo-Chinese border.
A Satsang and meditation will follow in the evening.
Guptkashi, also known as secret Kashi is famous for the ancient Vishwanath Temple, said to have been consecrated by the legendary sage Agastya himself. Along the way, have a glimpse of Rudraprayag, a confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Nandakini. According to legend, Shiva appeared as Rudra to sage Narada, who was in an intense state of meditation here.
Trek to the ancient and powerful Kedarnath temple, which houses one of the 12 Jyotirlingas and known as one of the holiest pilgrimages in India. Sadhguru says “Kedarnath is a very heady mixture of energies. This is a place that has witnessed thousands of yogis and mystics of every kind.” We will have a meditation process near the temple.
After the immensity of Kedarnath, visit the ancient Vishwanath Temple for a satsang and meditation process. This is also the place where Sadhguru Sri Brahma spent few months in meditation along with his disciples.
DAY 9Haridwar / Rishikesh
During the return journey, we stop at Devprayag – meaning “holy confluence” – which marks the place where river Alaknanda merges with Bhagirathi, giving birth to the river Ganga.
Participate in the spectacular evening Aarti on the banks of the Ganga at Rishikesh, often referred to as the Gateway to the Himalayas.
The day is free to explore the city on your own or you can join us for a scenic ropeway ride up the mountain to visit Mansa Devi Temple. This is also an opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of Haridwar.
DAY 11New Delhi
The journey comes to an end as we travel back and reach New Delhi around 6pm.
The itinerary may vary slightly depending upon several factors.
For Group B
- Dedicated Isha team to manage the entire sojourn.
- A qualified and well-equipped doctor will accompany the group.
- Basic yet comfortable accommodation on twin sharing basis.
- Wholesome vegetarian meals and mineral water.
- Entrance fee for all places on the itinerary.
- Bus travel from New Delhi onwards for the entire sojourn.
- A collection of select photos will be shared with you after the sojourn.
Additional Conveniences for Group A & S
- Best available hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis.
- Deluxe bus travel from New Delhi onwards for the entire sojourn.
- Helicopter ride to and from Kedarnath.
- If the weather conditions do not permit helicopter rides, horses will be provided to and from Kedarnath.
Isha takes utmost effort to make this sojourn a unique and memorable experience for all. Every individual is looked after with genuine care and attention.
- This sojourn requires you to be physically and mentally fit.
- Please note that this trek is not advised for pregnant women and those suffering from chronic health problems, like epilepsy, heart ailments, uncontrolled blood pressure and diabetes, asthma, chronic infections, psychological problems, physical disabilities and obesity.
Inner Engineering Program
- The Inner Engineering Program with initiation into Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya Meditation is a prerequisite for this sojourn.
- These simple but powerful energy processes for inner transformation will greatly enhance your experience of the vibrant places that you will be visiting. More about Inner Engineering
- For upcoming programs near your city, visit the Inner Engineering Programs locator.
The journey involves travelling to an altitude of 13,000 feet. To make the most of Himalayan sacred walks, we strongly recommend that you start an exercise regime at least a month prior to the trip which includes:
- Daily brisk walking or jogging for 5 km.
- Isha meditators are advised to do their daily practices.
- Smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages and taking recreational drugs are strictly prohibited for the entire duration of the sojourn.
As we will be traveling by bus, it is advisable to pack as light as possible. A 25-30L backpack with a waterproof cover is required for the trek and to carry daily essentials during the bus travel.
- Waterproof Rain Gear(not water-resistant)
- Trekking shoes with good tread/grip (available at Decathlon stores in all major cities in India)
- Jacket with hood
- Gloves – 1 pair
- Warm Clothing
- Fleece Jacket / Sweater
- Warm shawl
- Thermal inner wear – 2 pairs
- Woolen cap and scarf
- Woolen socks – 3 pairs
- Other Clothing
- Personal clothing – 6 sets
(Please avoid saris/dhotis)
- General footwear
- Sunscreen lotion (50 SPF or more
- Wide-brimmed hat
- Small flask (for hot beverages)
- 1 liter water bottle
- Inflatable pillow
- Towel (quick dry towels only)
- Toilet tissues
- Wet wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Face masks
- Powerful flashlight (with extra batteries)
- Few large ziplock bags (to protect clothes from moisture)
- It is important to carry a personal medical kit with electrolyte packs, painkillers, muscle relaxant cream, band-aids, knee-cap, medicines for fever, common cold, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, and any other medication necessary.
All cell phones work fairly well in the Himalayan region.
Temperature and Weather
Temperature and Weather Conditions
Weather conditions from May to September can be expected to be dry and sunny, with precipitation in July and August. Daytime temperatures can be as high as 20 to 25 degrees centigrade. Night-time temperatures can drop as low as 0 to -5° Celsius.
Isha offers this program not as a tour, but as a possibility for deep spiritual transformation. Imbibing the overwhelming power, energy and grace of the Himalayas opens one up to higher dimensions of life, more so when the guidance of a realized master illuminates every step.
Contact Sacred Walks
ISHA SACRED WALKS
Thannerpandal, Velliangiri Foot Hills, Ishana Vihar Post,
Coimbatore – 641 114,
Tamil Nadu, India
INDIA REGISTRATION CONTACT
TAMIL NADU, KARNATAKA & KERALA
+91 9488 111 333
ANDHRA PRADESH & TELANGANA
+91 9488 123 999
REST OF INDIA
+91 9488 111 555 / +91 9488 123 555
OVERSEAS REGISTRATION CONTACT
USA & CANADA
UK & EUROPE
+44 7415 990433
SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA & AUSTRALIA
+65 8771 3634
+971 50 802 4893