An Eleven-Day Immersive Tour of
the sacred sites of Tamil Nādu

– Dec 28th, 2022 – Jan 8th, 2023
– Optional trip extension to Rameshwaram
– With Christopher Hareesh Wallis and Hannah Muse
– 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!

The most Southern state of India, Tamil Nādu, is like a country unto itself with its own language and its own unique variations on traditional Indian religions. It features some of the most astonishing temples in all of India, partially because this is the only region, along with Kerala, that was not conquered by the Muslims. Also possibly for that reason, there’s an innocence and charm to the culture of this region, though it can also be rough around the edges due to the pressures of modern life. Many people in Tamil Nādu are far more kind and hospitable and relaxed than those you tend to meet in North India. 

We will go on the pilgrimage of a lifetime in Tamil Nādu, visiting what might be the most powerful goddess temple in India, as well as the temple of the original Śiva Nataraj, the cosmic dancer or lord of the dance. We will also stay in truly unique Indian hotels that are luxurious in their own way but unlike Western hotels. And we will practice together in all of these places as well as hearing extensive talks on the philosophy, spirituality, religion and culture of pre-modern India, as well as some talks on modern 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?!

Woven together with daily āsana practice and guided meditation, this journey will nourish your body, mind, and senses.

Itinerary Overview

– Dec 28: Arrive in Chennai

– Dec 29-30: Mamallapuram/Mahabalipuram

– Dec 31-Jan 2: Tiruvannamalai

– Jan 3: Chidambaram

– Jan 4-5: Kumbakonam

– Jan 6-8: Madurai

– Jan 8-10: Optional Rameshwaram Extension 

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 yoga and meditation with Hannah

–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 like at Chidambaram

— 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 Dec 28th, 2022

— Departure transfer on Jan 8th, 2023

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

— Laundry services  or phone bills.

— Anything not specified in the left-hand column


Meet Your Guides

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.

Hannah Muse

Hannah Muse (she/her) is a midwife of possibility, and a beloved teacher of mindfulness, mysticism and yoga. With deep devotion to social change and the spiritual path, Hannah is known for her profound ability to weave the opposites, integrating the mythical and practical, spiritual and physical, the intellectual and mystical. In her retreats, yoga teacher trainings, morning meditations, and Yoga Church classes (all available online now), she has a rare gift of grounding ancient wisdom into the relevant realities of modern life, making practices accessible and applicable to the students who find her.

For the past decade Hannah has guided dozens of retreats and teacher trainings  in India (alongside Christopher Hareesh Wallis, scholar of classical Nondual Saiva Tantra, and with Sri Ram Ashram, the orphanage founded by her root teacher Babaji), Bali, London, Guatemala, Mexico, Portugal, and across the U.S.  Hannah’s teachings have been called paradigm-shifting, an agent of fierce compassion, radically tender, and life-giving.


PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING
VERY IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS

  1. INDIA requires proof of two doses of vaccination to enter the country. 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 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 June 26th, 2023.
  5. An Indian e-visa is required to enter the country.
  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.
  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.
  8. Whether you choose a private or shared room, EVERYONE will be tripled up in rooms while staying one night in Chidambaram. This is a very special and sacred temple, and the hotels here are all very small. The only way to see this temple, which is NOT to be missed as it houses the first Śiva Nataraj statue ever created, is to share rooms in this way.

Book Your Spot Below!

50% to reserve your place – payment in full by October 31st

WHEN

Dec 28th, 2022 – Jan 8th, 2023

WHERE

Tamil Nādu
India

HOW MUCH?

Twin room rates start at $3,750 for eleven nights.
Rameshwaram extension starting at $550

Immersion retreat credits do not apply to the pilgrimage.

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

FAQ

Yes. In order to avoid being denied entry into various spaces on the trip we require vaccination. While it’s true that India will accept a negative PCR test, a lack of vaccination complicates matters for the organization and effective operating of the pilgrimage for all who attend.
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.
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.
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 $45 if you are the only person arriving at that time and can take up to 8 people for $120, 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 Chennai airport anytime during the day on the 28th of December. There is an optional outing that afternoon if you are able to arrive in the morning, but otherwise the tour begins with a welcome dinner the night of the 28th.

If you are leaving on the 8th of January, book your flight no earlier than 10am from Madurai. If you staying for the Rameshwaram extension and leaving on the 10th, book your flight no earlier than 4pm on the 10th from Madurai.
Two additional days of visiting temples and sacred sites, talks and meditations with Hareesh, yoga with Hannah, and meals and lodging. Rameshwaram is an island on which we find Ramanathaswamy Temple, a temple dedicated to Lord Śiva. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples. It is a Hindu pilgrimage site with ornate corridors, huge sculpted pillars and sacred water tanks. Devotees bathe in the waters of Agni Theertham, off the beach east of the temple.
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!
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 28th. 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 27th, 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