By Rashmi Goyal
Are you an India buff languishing around some hotel in Delhi secretly wishing for an awesome journey of awakening to suck you in like quick sand? Having resolved to embrace the vagaries of nature, are you seeking to be swept away by a mystic India tour, seeking an inner courage, confidence and silent spiritual strength while leaving behind all that was familiar. Then let your footprints map the length and breadth of India – a land that has been home to an ancient and highly advanced civilization flourishing for more than 9,000 years. At every footstep you find decent accommodation.
India is home to a colorful mixture of people speaking 18 different languages and 850 dialects. India is the envy of the world as no other country, even continent, has so many different people living and working together. Start from your Delhi hotel to travel just 250 km to the banks of the Ganges at Haridwar and take part in the Harki Pauri Arti (Ceremony of Lamps). For thousands of years, Hindus have gathered here to pay their respects to revered river Goddess Ganga.
Continue north to the mountain village of Sripur, famous for its grand shrine, Kamleshwar Muth. Continue into the Himalayas to the revered Badrinath Temple at 11,300 feet. Trek through the Himalayas, home to 92 of the 94 tallest peaks in the world! Crossing a pass at 18,000 feet reach the sacred peak of Mount Kailash and the holy shores of Mansarovar, the source of four mighty Indian rivers – Indus, Brahmaputra, Karnali and Sutlej.
Negotiate the deepest gorge in the world cut by the Kali Gandki between Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri in the Annapurna Mountain range. Eventually reach Muktinath at 12,500 feet, where an ancient temple of Lord Vishnu gloriously stands to this day, encircled by 108 waterspouts. Many an enlightened soul embarked on an inner journey here, performing austerities in rare yogic postures for years, growing older and wiser.
Descend from the mountains, passing through peaceful villages, through a land adorned with grand monuments, palaces and relics of stone, exploring Indian architecture and its paradise of styles, forms and shapes.
Head through the rainforests of Assam, the jungles of Sunderbans to the shores of Jagannath Puri in Orissa, where the annual Rath Yatra (Festival of Chariots) is celebrated. Every year, for thousands of years, millions of pilgrims flock here to pull the chariot of Lord Jagannath. A conch shell blows along with boisterous clanging of plates. Hundreds pull the chariot with four massive ropes. Pilgrims cheer, sing, dance, and throw vermillion into the air. An awesome sight of thousands in a sea of colors fills your vision.
Follow the eastern coastline to arrive in South India at the 12th century Rameshwaram Temple which has 1,212 pillars and a stone corridor 1.2 km long. Go through the temple towns of South India and backwaters of Kerala to end your journey at village Loj in Gujarat. It’s back to Delhi then, having covered 12,000 km in effect for the awakening – to courage, confidence, love, truth, and tolerance – the essence of Indian culture and the greatest gift India offers the world!
(on right ) Kerala backwaters
Hotels in Delhi will have an in house travel help desk that will make you become part of any great cultural event of India, at any time, at any spot . So go ahead and get your awakening itinerary organized by the experts.