A Ten-Day Immersive Tour of
the sacred sites of Karnataka

– Jan 14th – 24th, 2023
– Your guide: Christopher Hareesh Wallis
– Facilitated by our longtime expert Indian guide and friend, Yusuf Gaffar
– Explore South Indian temples and sacred sites
– Join 30 Tantrikas in community pilgrimage
– Pricing starts at $3750

Join us for a pilgrimage of the
inner and outer landscapes of India!

This is a powerful group experience where we go deep into the inner life of India in a way that few tours ever do, a way that requires guidance from someone who has studied the culture their whole life.

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?!

Karnātaka: Sacred Heartland

For many centuries, Karnātaka was the heartland of Shaivism (the religion of Shiva). Poet-saints sang of the beauty of its wilderness, including the great female poet-saint Akka Mahādevī. We will explore the ecstatic devotional poetry of this region of southern India while we traverse its sacred sites and perfectly preserved exquisitely carved temples. We will also visit the ancient Badami caves featuring perhaps the earliest depictions of Ganesh and Shiva Nataraj. And as the centerpiece of the trip, we will spend quality time in the astonishing otherworldly landscape of Hampi, the location of the last great Hindu empire, the fabled Vijayanagara kingdom.

Trip highlight: Hanuman’s Birthplace (in Hampi)

Hanumān — as the paradigmatic devotee we all aspire to be — replied, “From the point of view of this body, I am your servant, O Lord. From the point of view of the mind, I am your devotee. And from the point of view of the Absolute Truth, I am you.”  The hill said to be Hanumān’s birthplace is one of the most powerful and beautiful spots in the otherworldly landscape of Hampi.
(See image below.)

Trip highlight: Badami Caves

An incredible ancient power center, reminiscent of Sedona AZ, and known for its cave temples that are cut out of the extraordinary sandstone rocks which surround the Agastya Lake. Three among the four cave temples are dedicated to deities of Hinduism and one temple is dedicated to Jainism. (See image below.)

Itinerary Overview

14th Jan 2023 : Arrival in Bangalore & transfer to Hotel

15th Jan 2023 : Morning Drive to Hassan

16th Jan 2023 : Visit Belur & Halibed  

17th Jan 2023 : Drive to Hampi with a stop for lunch  

18th Jan 2023 : In Hampi / Explore the beautiful monuments

19th Jan 2023 : In Hampi / Explore the beautiful monuments

20th Jan 2023 : In Hampi / Explore the beautiful monuments

21st Jan 2023 :- Morning drive to Kudala Sangama – Bagalkote

22nd Jan 2023 : Drive to Badami

23rd Jan 2023 : Badami Caves

24th Jan 2023 : Tour concludes, transfer to Hubli airport

Would you like to tour some of South India’s most sacred sites with a guide who is a Scholar/Practitioner of the traditions practiced there?

What’s Included:

–All historical and spiritual talks and guided meditations with Hareesh

–All hotel rooms stays at heritage hotels and eco-resorts

–All meals at the hotels and en route

–Admissions to the monuments

–Transportation in a comfortable air-conditioned tour bus

–Our local tour guide, Yusuf, accompanies us always.

–All tips for hotel staff, restaurants, washrooms, and temples.

–Unlimited bottled mineral water on the whole journey

–Fruit and snacks on the whole journey

–All local taxes

What’s NOT Included:

—  Any special pujas at any of the temples

— Any special entry for the Main sanctum of any temple

— Video camera or still camera fees

— Airfares to and from India

— Visa fees

— Arrival transfer on the Jan 14th, 2023

— Departure transfer on Jan 24th, 2023

— Tips for our guide ($10 – $25 per day)

— Laundry services  or phone bills.

— Anything not specified in the left-hand column


Meet Your Guide

Hareesh Wallis

Christopher Wallis, also known as Hareesh, is a scholar-practitioner with thirty years of experience, having been initiated into the practice of yogic meditation at sixteen, and fifteen years of formal education. His degrees include a B.A. in Religion and Classics from the University of Rochester, an M.A. in Sanskrit from U.C. Berkeley, an M.Phil. in Classical Indian Religions from Oxford, and a Ph.D. in Sanskrit from U.C. Berkeley. His doctoral dissertation focused on the role of spiritual experience in the tradition of Tantric Shaivism. Additionally, he received traditional education at yoga āshrams in upstate New York and India, training in meditation, mantra-science, kīrtan, karma-yoga, and pedagogy. He currently teaches meditation, yoga darśana (practical philosophy), Tantrik philosophy, Sanskrit, and mantra-science.


PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING
VERY IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS

  1. While INDIA does not require vaccination, all major hotels still require proof of two doses of vaccination as well as a negative PCR test. Furthermore to enter the country you must have a valid Covid test. You must provide this to us when you register, or no later than October 26th, 2022.
  2. You are required to purchase travel insurance for this trip, no later than 10 days after registration. Please send us proof of travel insurance ASAP. The level of coverage you choose is up to you, just ensure to obtain travel insurance that covers the risks you are unwilling to assume.
  3. CANCELLATION POLICY – You must cancel 60 days prior to travel or NO REFUND will be issued. There are no exceptions to this rule, including COVID related country closures. This is a risk you assume. Please read the full policy here.
  4. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from our entry date to India. Check today and start the renewal process now if your expiration date is prior to July 16th, 2023.
  5. An Indian e-visa is required to enter the country. More details will be provided about this.
  6. As of February 14, 2022, all international travelers age 5 and older arriving in India, must upload either a negative RT-PCR report taken within 72 hours of the start of their journey or a certificate of completion of full primary series COVID-19 vaccination to the Air Suvidha portal. We are recommending vaccination to ease travel across the border.
  7. All international passengers must visit newdelhiairport.in/airsuvidha/allairports and submit a self-declaration form at least 72 hours prior to departure for India.

Book Your Spot Below!

50% to reserve your place – payment in full by November 15th

WHEN

14 – 24 January, 2023

WHERE

Karnataka, India

HOW MUCH?

Twin room rates start at $3,750

For further information please contact india@tantrailluminated.org
We are here to help.


FAQ

Yes. While it’s true that India will accept a negative PCR test, vaccination is still required for all major hotels as well as various private spaces.
No, you can purchase any travel insurance you like. World Nomads is good and http://insuremytrip.com will allow you to compare different companies. Please just make sure you purchase a plan that covers the amount of risk you are unwilling to assume. World Nomads does NOT offer “cancel for any reason” insurance, which would cover you in case of country closures due to covid, so if you are wanting that you will need to find insurance that offers a “cancel for any reason” clause.
For visiting temples, yes. Shoulders and knees must be covered, as well as no leggings, tight jeans, or tight pants unless there is a skirt over covering to the knee. You may wear yoga leggings while we’re at the hotel actually doing yoga. More details about clothing will be covered in an informational email sent to all participants closer to the trip, but still with plenty of time to plan, purchase and pack.
The shuttle will be a car or a van (depending on how many people are scheduled to arrive) that will transport only people in our group who are arriving within a 30 minute window. So you will never have to wait more than 30 minutes for your shuttle. You must tell us your flights in advance so we can have a shuttle ready. The shuttle will cost a maximum of $60 if you are the only person arriving at that time and can take up to 8 people for $240, split between them. The cost varies depending on how many people share a shuttle and we will help everyone coordinate so that as many people share costs as possible. You will pay our guide Yusuf for the shuttle in cash after arriving, but you must book it well in advance and you can do so through the registration page when you sign up.
You may arrive at Bangalore airport anytime during the day on the 14th of January. You may arrive earlier to adjust to the timezone by booking extra nights when you register (you can also add extra nights via email to india@tantrailluminated.org after registration). The tour begins with a welcome dinner the night of the 14th. The hotel we intend to book is 250 meters from the airport so you do not need an airport transfer for your arrival. In the case that we cannot reserve that hotel and must get another one, you will need to book a transfer and we will be sure to let you know of this in advance.

On the last day we will be in Badami, which is 3 hours from the closest airport: Hubli. If a minimum of 20 of us are all leaving after 2pm from Hubli, we can share a bus at the cost of $40 per person. Otherwise, your transfer to the Hubli airport (3 hours from Badami) will cost a maximum of $120 or as little as $40 if 8 people can share a shuttle together. In this instance book your flight no earlier than 2pm from Hubli. Please be advised, the bus ride from Badami to Bangaluru (Bangalore) is almost 9 hours so please plan on booking a flight out of Hubli and connect via plane through Bangaluru or elsewhere to your final destination.
Yes! Once registered, you will receive a welcome email. Sometime closer to our trip, but still with PLENTY of time to prepare, you will receive a much more detailed email with information about getting your India tourist visa: how-to and what you need to know, daily schedules, what to pack, Indian customs, clothing, and how to show cultural respect, how to stay connected (wifi, data plans, etc..), money: exchange rates, credit cards, atms, and how much to bring, how to stay healthy while you travel, dietary restrictions while traveling in India, and more!

You are also encouraged to read “Lonely Planet – South India & Kerala” for lots of practical information about clothing, customs, etiquette, packing, food while traveling, money and more in an easy to reference format.
The short answer is no. You will need to book an extra night if you want to check into your room prior to 2pm check-in time. For many of us, flights will be arriving at 5am or 7am on the morning of the 14th. You are welcome to come to the hotel and hang out in the lobby. However, if you want to check-in to your room, have a shower or nap, you will need to book an extra night, the 13th, which you can do through us during the check-process, or later when you book your flights.

Appreciations from past India pilgrimages

This trip was absolutely wonderful! I learned so much about the culture: history, religion, society, yoga, music. The food was fabulous, and the accommodations were excellent. Our group was well cared for the entire time. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I am so grateful for.

Jamie C

What an unforgettable experience! I am a yoga therapist and brought my husband along with me, who did not have any interest in going to India at all! Hareesh, Hannah, Yusuf, and Susan took such great care of all of us, and my husband had a wonderful time, of course! The accommodations were fantastic, food was delicious, traveling was comfortable, and the rest of the attendees were positive, accepting, friendly, and fun! The tour was very organized, and consisted of daily yoga with Hannah, and visiting various temples, caves, spiritual sites, and more, and ended with kirtan or satsang with Hareesh nightly. I not only took part in activities that I would never be able to do on my own, I learned so much about life through the beautiful lectures led by Hareesh. My husband and I will definitely be going on retreat again with Hareesh and Hannah.

Ashley M

This trip was fun and profound–Hareesh and his staff led an awesome journey on all levels–traveling through the real India and making contact with the deep spirit of India, her people and ourselves. The food and accommodations were great and the yoga and tantrik teachings were excellent.

Kathy G

I was a little concerned because of the number of people going. How ever this was never an issue at all. We were all very well looked after from before the trip started to the end. Hareesh, Hannah, Melissa and Yusuf were the perfect guides, teachers, and friends. Lots of powerful learning experiences all the way, combined with laughs, insites, new friends and a lot of love made this trip worth every cent. The best accommodation and delicious food.

Gaye S

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