The California Institute of Integral Studies Presents:

Journey to the Heart of India

January 4, 2018 - January 19, 2018

Please join us for an integral voyage: experience ancient Hindu temples, celebrate the harvest festival, explore wildlife preserves, discover palaces and relax in tropical paradise

Mahabalipuram Journey to the Heart of South India: Mammalapuram

Chennai - Mammalapuram

04 JAN '18 ARRIVE CHENNAI
The tour starts with your arrival in Chennai where the day/evening is at leisure for rest.
Radisson Blu, Feathers, Park Plaza or similar

05 JAN '18 CHENNAI TO PONDICHERRY VIA MAMMALAPURAM
After leisurely breakfast, late morning departure for seaside city Mammalapuram, which boasts some of India's most sublime rock-cut art. Continue south to Pondicherry, the former French colony settled in the early 18th century and situated on the Bay of Bengal. Evening "Welcome to India" dinner. 3 night stay-The Promenade, La Dupliex or similar hotel

Mahabalipuram art stone carvings Mammalapuram Art Stone Carvings

Pondicherry

06 JAN '18 PONDICHERRY WALKING TOUR & SRI AUROBINDU ASHRAM
After breakfast, walking tour of French architecture with local experts. Visit to Sri Aurobindo Ashram with introduction to Integral Yoga philosophy. Afternoon and evening at leisure.

Pondicherry French Colonial Architecture Pondicherry French Colonial Architecture

Pondicherry - Auroville - Tiruvanamalai

7 JAN '18 DAY TRIP TO AUROVILLE
After breakfast, visit nearby Auroville, the universal township founded on the principles of Sri Aurobindo and boasting the world's largest solar kitchen. Auroville is also a living experiment in human unity and sustainable resources and is a sister city to CIIS.

8 JAN '18 PONDICHERRY TO TIRUVANAMALAI
After breakfast, depart for Tiruvannamalai, a holy Hindu city located at the foot of Mt. Arunchala and believed to be the home of Shiva and his consort Parvati. Afternoon free time.
2 night stay -Sparsa Resort, Arpanaa Hotel, The Himalaya or similar

9 JAN '18 TIRUVANAMALAI
After breakfast, tour massive, living temple dedicated to Shiva in his fire incarnation, followed by walk around sacred Mt. Arunachala and visit to Ramana Maharshi ashram.

Pondicherry French Colonial Architecture Tiruvanamalai temple dedicated to Shiva

Bangalore

10 JAN '18 BANGALORE

After breakfast travel to Bangalore (also known as Bengaluru) the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka and a well-planned city of beautiful parks, long avenues and magnificent buildings.  Its elevation is 3,000 feet above sea level, the highest of India's major cities and is also known as the Garden City.   Afternoon tour--1 night stay - Davanum Suites, The Pride Hotel, Ardash Hamilton or similar

Bangalore Bangalore
Nagarhole Safari Nagarhole National Park

Nagarhole National Park Safari

11 JAN '18 NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast, travel to nearby national park, one of the richest wildlife habitats in India. Afternoon safari in jeeps specifically designed to facilitate wildlife sightings. In 1999, Nagarhole was declared the thirty-seventh Project Tiger Tiger reserve. Discover and explore its rich forest cover, small streams, hills, valleys and waterfalls. 2 night stay - King's Sanctuary, Kaav Safari Lodge or Red Earth Kabini or Similar


12 JAN '18 NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK
Early morning safari accompanied by a trained naturalist. Afternoon at leisure before a second game drive. Relax on your own or explore more of the park's lush scenery.

Nagarhole Safari Nagarhole National Park
Mysore Pongal Festival Mysore Pongal Festival Begins

Mysore Pongal Harvest Festival

13 JAN'18 MYSORE PONGAL FESTIVAL BEGINS
After early morning final safari and breakfast, travel 65 miles to Mysore, a center of sandalwood and incense production and where the four-day long festival of Pongal (harvest) begins. Pongal is the most popular festival in Tamil Nadu and marks the start of the sun's six-month journey northwards (Uttarayana). The history of the festival can be traced back to the Sangam Age circa 200 BC. Women decorate the central courtyards of their homes with beautiful Kolams, dne with rice flour, and people offer thaks to the cows and buffaloes and decorate them with bright colors. 3 night stay Royal Orchid Metropole, Radisson Blu Plaza, Windflower Resort and Spa or similar

14 JAN'18 MYSORE PONGAL FESTIVAL
City tour and visits to nearby Srirangapatnam Island & Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

15 JAN'18 MYSORE PONGAL FESTIVAL
Drive 22 miles to Somnathpur to visit the famous Keseva Temple, standing on a 16-pointed star-shaped platform. After sightseeing, proceed to Chamundi Hills to visit the magnificent five-meter tall Nandi Bull carved from a single piece of black granite.

16 JAN'18 COIMBATORE
After breakfast, travel to Blue Mountains for the breathtaking World Heritage Scenic Rail Ride. 1 night stay - Radisson Blu, Taj Vivanta, Le Meridian, or similar

17 JAN'18 KOCHI
Continue to the port city (and capital of Kerala) Kochi, one of the oldest European settlements in India and known as "Queen of the Arabian Sea." Aromatic spice markets and home to Ayuvedic healing traditions, Kochi is uniquely situated between the Arabian Sea and Kerala's backwaters. History comes alive in the Jewish Synagogue originally built in 1344, in the Catholic church where Vasco da Gama was buried in 1524 and a Dutch palace built by the Portuguese. 2 night stay, The Malabar House or similar property.

18 JAN '18 KOCHI
City tour of Kochi and visit the Chinese fishing nets, Santa Cruz Basilica and the 1510 St. Francis Church originally dedicated to Santo Antonio. Evening farewell dinner.

19 JAN '18 DEPART KOCHI
Day is free for personal exploring, relaxing poolside or last minute shopping before international flight home.


Costs:
$4,430 based on double room occupancy
$1,750 Single Supplement

Tour Price Includes:
Accommodations in 4-5 star hotels
All breakfasts, two lunches and four dinners
All entrance fees
All land, railway and boat transportation costs
Air Conditioned, comfortable bus
Airport arrival and departure transfers (arrival on January 4 - departure on January 19)
English speaking guides

Tour Price Does Not Include:
Tour price does not include cost of visa (required), international airfare or travel insurance (recommended).

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