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10 Days A Pilgrim's Journey - Visit 33 Ancient Temples with Meditation in Tamil Nadu, South India

Sri Akshardham, Mayiladuthurai Road, Vaitheeswaran Koil, Sirkahzi, Nagai, Tamil Nadu, 609117, India

Meditation Retreat in India

This listing has one of the 10 most popular offers available in India

The greatest mysteries of ‘Devotion’ are reflected in the Tamil Heart Land of Tamil Nadu and its ancient culture. 10 days as a pilgrim, on a spiritual quest, open that door for you as an 'experiencer' to connect to one's spirituality and one’s spiritual nature that you are born with. Here is an ancient living tradition where temples were built as a nucleus to one's life in spiritual places, that have history, teachings, and practices over 1,500 years and more that you will not see in any other part of India! You simply connect with the ‘roots.’

Meet the instructors

Sharwan & Rahul
Read more

Highlights

  • Meditation practice
  • Pilgrimage to 33 temples
  • All transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary
  • 24 hours hot water and air-conditioning available
  • Transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Wi-Fi available at the resort
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • Vegetarian meals

Styles


10 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Hindi
Group size: Maximum of 20 participants
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
16:00
Check-out Time:
12:00

Facilities

  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Café
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Conference room
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Tour assistance

Sri Akshardham is the retreat center for A Pilgrim’s Journey at Vaitheeswaran Kovil. This retreat centre is built on five acres of land on the main road between Tiruchirapalli, Pondicherry, and Chennai. It is 265 kilometers from Chennai International Airport (MAA).

It’s a center that has value, comfort, and convenience; it offers an array of amenities designed for travelers like you. The rooms are double occupancy with air-conditioning and bath attached. All the rooms are spacious and comfortable with amenities such as LCD TV, 24 hours hot and cold water, 24 hours room service, and a spacious modern bathroom.

The room has internet service where you can connect to the internet. There is a swimming pool for those who like to take a daily dip in the pool. There is a dining room where your daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served. Tea and coffee are available in the morning when you get up.

Program

Retreat information

A Pilgrim's Journey is offered throughout the year. There are no promotions and discounts as this is a social non-profit activity for people to benefit by going to these ancient spiritual places and getting connected there. To be one with an age-old tradition and practices of spirituality and to get connected.

All programs begin on any Thursday checking in by 4 pm on your chosen day. A Pilgrim’s Journey is not a tour but an experiencing and learning retreat for You to get connected directly.

A Pilgrim’s Journey is your journey on a spiritual quest to seek, experience, and discover for yourself your inner spiritual connection to the greater Self.

33 temples program has been specifically designed for the spiritual seeker to travel with Tyoga to be in such a spiritual ambiance and connect by being there in person. Here is your chance to deepen and connect.

The program takes care of you for all the 10 days you are on this journey. All you need to do is focus, enjoy, and connect with faith and surrender to have the best spiritual experience in your life. Open your heart sincerely with devotion in unconditional love and get connected. Journey with Tyoga and be a part of a growing spiritual community.

The history of Pilgrimage is an ancient practice for spiritual seekers on a quest. A pilgrimage is a journey, often into an unknown or foreign place, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about the self, others, nature, or higher good, through the experience. It can lead to a personal transformation, after which the pilgrim returns to their daily life.

This once-in-a-lifetime experience is open to seekers from around the world. Journey to find spirituality in you. It is Tyoga's signature chanting pilgrimage and meditation retreat in India now provided by experts.

Over time, they’ve taken westerners, easterners, and Indians within Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka to ancient spiritual places where ancient practices still prevail today towards devotion and bakti. A Pilgrim’s Journey facilitates their spiritual transformation in remarkable ways. The extent to which people are affected by the scope and depth of their transformation inspires them to return, repeatedly, very often a fourth and fifth time. Some even more!

The pilgrims return with Tyoga so many times because not only is spiritual transformation something they never stop engaging in but, more importantly, because they have designed a unique process that delivers this transformation consistently, deepening it each time one undertakes this spiritual journey.

During the pilgrimage, they take you to very special temples in Tamil Nadu introducing you to experiences that few westerners who travel in India can gain access to. They do this in addition to offering world-class retreat sessions that deepen your knowledge and spiritual experience through prayer, poojas, group singing, sitting meditations, and simply being silent.

They take care of all of the practical aspects of the journey so that the pilgrims can focus on their spiritual transformation. It is why one undertakes a journey like this: not just to have powerful spiritual experiences, but to have the means to understand them, channel them, and direct them in ways that take you to the next level on your spiritual journey.

These are intense spiritual awakenings, and they are right there, as facilitators, preparing you for them, holding the space while you have them, and then helping you assimilate them. The pilgrims return with Tyoga repeatedly because of how well they care for them during their time with them on many different levels.

During the pilgrimage and meditation retreat, the pilgrims shed psychic and sometimes physical weight as they awaken to the next level of their spiritual potential, and they empower their souls in ways that they could not have anticipated. They have designed their sessions and the programs that maximize your potential to grow and awaken spiritually.

As the experience unfolds progressively, old unwanted patterns are released and one begins to realize what is holding you back. Pilgrims are provided with tools and resources that can help them replace outmoded patterns with a new, empowering perspective. The intention behind this spiritual makeover in Vaitheeswaran Koil is for participants to return with power and confidence to wherever in the world they reside. Each pilgrim takes back specific spiritual empowerments relevant to their soul’s needs at the time.

Without exaggeration, Tyoga know that the places where they take the pilgrims are true spiritual power spots and spiritual hot spots, not only because of the ancient spiritual history of these locations but also because of the powerful programs and rituals they conduct in these spaces specifically for the pilgrims.

The environments they take the pilgrims to are also “thin spaces” where the boundaries between the visible and invisible worlds are thin, that is, transparent. The spiritual sensitivities are heightened in these spaces to which you bring the power and depth of your spiritual practices. As each day of the pilgrimage unfolds, your spiritual presence deepens.

Tyoga introduces you to the authentic, ancient Tamilian Bakti teachings and practices, and ensure that you are given the support, diet, and environments that allow you to dedicate your energies and attentions towards your transformation. The unique process they have designed and honed combines privileged access to sacred spaces and ancient rituals along with a homely retreat you spend the 10 days at.

As a yoga teaching center, they have come to understand what it means to be engaged in spiritual transformation. Your experience of a culture radically different from any other part of the world. They know this culture. They have grown in this culture that’s a part of them. Through their experiences, they help pilgrims transform with them. This is their specialty! When you are in Tamil Nadu with Tyoga, your journey and your focus work on profound levels of spiritual transformation. And then, during the pilgrimage, they are right there with you, helping shape and support your transformation.

Before each conducted experience, for instance, going out to a temple, Tyoga briefs you on the deep symbolism and how to approach this as a spiritual experience. And as they are not jumping from one spot to another, as in a typical travel schedule, you have enough time to assimilate each experience while preparing for the next. In this way, your transformation unfolds moment to moment, day by day, week by week. Each day you grow and develop spiritually in ways you cannot imagine or anticipate.

At the end of the pilgrimage, the pilgrims are more empowered than they were before starting on the journey. They are more awake, spiritually than before. And they touch, or deepen, places inside them that are hard to reach otherwise.

A Pilgrim’s Journey is one of the very few programs one can experience fully as a spiritual retreat. As a spiritual, this retreat is a one of a kind and one is very fortunate to be guided by Tyoga as each component of the pilgrimage is crafted with each participant’s spiritual journey in mind.

You are taken to 33 specially selected ancient temples. Depending on the sequence of temples you visit you will do two if not more temples daily in your spiritual quest to these ancient sites.

This retreat is unique in many ways and simply one of its kinds. It gives you an opportunity in-person to connect with ancient spiritual places and find your connection there. Centuries-old religious traditions infuse every detail in this southern Indian state, from the temples to the trees. A journey through its colorful layers of history reveals an India unlike any other.

Your journey with Tyoga takes you to 33 selected temples out of 68,749 known recorded ancient temples in Tamil Nadu. These temples have been carefully chosen so that you and the pilgrim on a journey will have the opportunity to be within the energy environment of that particular deity being the main deity of that temple and it’s energy field to bask in it.

You surround yourself in an ambiance where great spiritual activity has taken place over the 1,000’s and 1,000’s of years back. Thousands of temples with lofty towers dot the skyline of the southernmost state of Tamil Nadu in India. These temples are torchbearers of the glorious heritage of the Tamil speaking region and are repositories of the magnificent art forms that evolved over several centuries. Several of these temples have been glorified by the ancient Tamil hymns of the 1st millennium CE.

Tamil culture and tradition are big on spirituality. Tamil Nadu is the land of temples and is an abode of people practicing the ancient Saivite culture. South India bears testimony to this statement as it is replete with places of worship.

For any spiritual seeker, temples are more than worship places. They reflect the architecture and speak about the faith of the people around them. There’s nothing more serene and peaceful than getting in touch with the spiritual side of you. Any journey is incomplete without visiting such temples where spiritual traditions have been practiced for 1000’s of years.

Instructors

Sharwan Kumar

Rahul Singh

Location

Despite the wonderful array of ‘big’ sights in Tamil Nadu – temples, fortifications, great sweeping beaches, high mountains – it is the little things, the low-key and random interactions with local people which really give the Tamil people its true flavor.

Archaeological evidence points to this area being one of the longest continuous habitations in the Indian peninsula. Excavated ancient stone tools suggests that a human-like population existed in the Tamil Nadu region somewhere around 300,000 years before homo sapiens arrived from Africa.

In Adichanallur, 24 kilometers from Tirunelveli, archaeologists from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) unearthed 169 clay urns containing human skulls, skeletons, bones, husks, grains of rice, charred rice, and celts of the Neolithic period, 3,800 years ago. About 60 percent of the total epigraphical inscriptions found by the ASI in India are from Tamil Nadu, and most of these are in the Tamil language. Such is the land of Tamil Nadu.

Vaitheeswaran Koil, once an ancient temple village and a town now, is known for its Siva temple. Siva is worshipped as Vaidyanathar or Vaitheeswaran, meaning the "god of healing" and it is believed that prayers to Vaitheeswaran can cure diseases.

Vaitheeswaran is a Tamil derivative from vaidya (doctor) and Ishvara (god / master). The presiding deity is Sri Vaidyanathan. It is one of the nine Navagraha (nine planets) temples and is associated with the planet Mars (Angaraka). Such is the place you will be spending the 10 days in. The town is also known for palm leaf astrology readings called Naadi astrology in Tamil.

Vaitheeswaran Koil is located 265 kilometers from Chennai, 27 kilometers from Chidambaram, 110 kilometers from Thanjavur and 16 kilometers from Mayiladuthurai. Vaitheeswaran, situated on the northern side of the river Kaveri, is a typical example of countryside Tamil culture and everyday way of life of village people.

Features

General

  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Café
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden

Services

  • Conference room
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Tour assistance

Food

The meal plan is totally traditional vegetarian South Indian Tamil cuisines. The food and drink culture is based on a healthy diet and to detoxify your system. The food is cooked in a traditional way where some of the recipes are over 2,000 years still used today in its original form. Much of the food is Siddhar-based in its preparation.

With stories describing feasts in the palaces and poems recounting a lunch in the countryside, the ancient Sangam Literature offers abundant references to food in the Tamil country. Food in ancient Tamil country was based on the landscape and easily available resources.

The ancestors had a specific order in which food was supposed to be eaten, the meals were started with something spicy and ended with sweets. This was because spicy foods activated digestive juices and acids ensuring smooth digestion process, meanwhile, sweets slowed down the digestion process that is why they were recommended to eat in the end. The unique flavors, the tangy twist, the sweet infusions and the plethora of vegetables used in any recipe is a head-turner for most vegetarians.

Sitting on the floor while eating: In an age when there were no dining tables, everyone sat on the floor while having food and very few suffered from lifestyle diseases that have become so rampant. According to experts, sitting on the floor cross-legged while having food as practiced in India is typically a yogic posture called Sukhasan which is said to massage the abdominal muscles, boost circulation in the lower part of the body, and increase flexibility.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Local shopping
  • Special poojas

What's included

  • 33 Ancient Temples
  • Meditation practice at select temples
  • Poojas at all temples for our Pilgrim's
  • 9 nights 10 days accommodation in a double room with bath attached - twin occupancy sharing
  • 24 Hours Hot and Coldwater
  • Wi-Fi available at the resort
  • Vegetarian meals as per retreat plan offered - Breakfast, Lunch Dinner
  • Morning Tea or Coffee South Indian style
  • All transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary

What's not included

  • Travel cost from the pilgrims' home to the retreat and back
  • Any kind of personal expenses or optional tours / extra meals ordered
  • Cost of special poojas, offerings for the pooja, and dakshana for the poojari at any of the temples
  • Anything not specifically mentioned
  • The services of the vehicle are not included other than as per the itinerary and route took to complete the programs offered
  • Beverages or any starters you may wish as extra including mineral water or any kind of snacks
  • Medical and travel insurance

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Chennai

The driving distance between Chennai to Vaitheeswarankoil is 265 kilometers. It takes approximately 6 hours to drive from Chennai to Vaitheeswaran Koil.

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Chennai International Airport (MAA).

Arrival by bus

AC overnight buses are available from Chennai and Bangalore. Day buses are available from Chennai every one hour. Local government buses are available from any place in Tamil Nadu.

Arrival by train

From Chennai, daily train services are available from Chennai Egmore railway station or Tambaram railway station to Vaitheeswaran Koil itself southbound.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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