In honor of this year’s 33rd annual Kalachakra Festival, Geringer Global Travel is offering an exciting new 15-day Kalachakra 2014 India Holiday tour (available July 1 through July 30th, 2014), featuring monastery visits and cultural experiences that will introduce visitors to the unique Buddhist heritage of India.
Kalachakra is a world-renowned Buddhist festival, presided over by the Dalai Lama, which aims to bring liberation from the material world through a series of prayers, meditations, dances, chants, vows and a construction of a large sand mandala.
Throughout this exclusive 15-day journey, travelers will visit the historical city of Delhi, the Buddhist-rich region of Ladkah which contains the splendid Thiksey monastery and the exquisite city of Srinagar in the Kashmir Valley.
Travelers will stay in luxury tented camp accommodations and enjoy unique experiences such as guided monastery visits, dinner with a Kashmiri family, participation in prayer rituals, a cultural dance performance, a camel safari and other optional activities.*
This itinerary is offered July 1, 2014 through July 30, 2014. Pricing begins at $9,840 per person, double, and includes all meals, domestic flights, transfers, and 14-night accommodations at luxury tented camps. International airfare, optional tours and cancellation insurance are not included.
- Visit the exquisite Thiksey Monastery and participate in the morning’s prayer ceremony;
- Visit the Kalachakra Festival 2014, presided over by His Holiness the Dalai Lama;
- Take a gentle evening cruise in hand-paddled, traditional shikara boat on the famous Dal Lake;
- Revel in a Bactrian camel safari on the sand dunes of Nubra.
- Enjoy a traditional meal in a Kashmiri home featuring the finest local delicacies made from ancient family recipes;
This 15-day journey will begin in the capital of modern India, Delhi. Here travelers will experience the juxtaposition of Old and New Delhi during an extensive tour of local monuments, including Humanyun’s Tomb and the Qutub Minar, well as a special rickshaw tour of Chandi Chowk, the “Moonlit square of India.”
The next several days will be spent in the region of Ladakh, “land of the lamas”, once an important location on the Indus Valley trade routes as well as a center of Buddhist culture and learning. Guests will visit popular landmarks including Leh Palace, formerly a royal residence, as well as the breathtaking Thiksey Monastery, both bearing a resemblance to the Potola Palace in Lhasa Tibet.
Visitors to the Thiksey will have the chance to join the monks in a morning prayer ceremony, witness a cultural dance performance, as well as enjoy a guided tour of the monastery’s beautiful prayer rooms, library and countless shrines. They will visit Hemis Monastery, the oldest monastic institution in Ladakh and a center of learning for young monks, Alchi Monastery, with its Tibetan and Gandhara-style murals, and the Basgo fort, once a center of power and politics in this region. Visitors will also have a chance to explore the Stok Palace, containing a museum of priceless costumes, paintings and headgear all belonging to the Royal Family.
The culmination of the trip comes with an opportunity to attend the world-renowned Kalachakra Festival, presided over by His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama. Roughly translated as “cycles of time,” Kalachakra focuses on three cycles – external, internal and alternative – with the aim to gain liberation from the material world through meditation, prayers and rituals.
On the eighth day, travelers will pass along the Khardung La Pass, the highest motorable road in the world, en route to the Nubra Valley. Here guests will spend two days, visiting the Hundu Monastery, Lachung Temple and Diski Gompa, the oldest and largest Buddhest monastery in the valley. They will also embark on an adventurous safari on the unique double hump Bactrian camel through the sand dunes of Nubra.
Winding back through Leh, visitors will fly to Srinagar on the eleventh day, a city famed for its picturesque gardens, lakes and houseboats. Here, visitors will tour the famous Mughal Gardens and Shalimar Bagh, a stunning achievement in horticulture, and embark on a cruise in a hand-paddled traditional “shikara” boats on the tranquil waters of Dal Lake. Guests can immerse themselves in the culture of the city by enjoying an intimate dinner with a Kashmiri family and visiting the home of a master weaver of world-famous Pashmina (Cashmere) and Kani shawls.
Towards the end of the trip, travelers will also spend a day at nearby Gulmarg, a mountain resort of exceptional beauty with the highest green golf course in the world.
For more information: http://geringerglobaltravel.com/kalachakra-2014-india-holiday/
*Guests also have the option to partake in additional experiences such as cycling through Thiksey Village, bird watching in the Himalayan region, a visit to Dachigan National Park and rafting on the Indus River.
About Geringer Global Travel: Susan Geringer, owner of Geringer Global Travel, is an experiential India travel specialist creating custom itineraries to India and the Subcontinent. Frequently traveling to India, Susan is able to keep a constant pulse on new properties, hidden gems, and discovering unique experiences that make her clients’ itineraries even more exciting. To understand a foreign culture, Geringer Global Travel feels there is nothing more important than one-on-one interaction with the local people for a chance to join them in their everyday lives. Susan is a member of ASTA, New York City Chapter as well as the New York City Chapter of PATA (Pacific Asian Travel Association).