About Ananda Pilgrimages
Ananda Pilgrimages are not so much about sightseeing and doing as about being—being in a place of high spiritual vibration and learning to relax and open your heart to receive the blessings. Meditating as a group in these holy spots reinforces their power and gives us access to places not available to individual travellers. Having someone else take care of all the travel logistics means the pilgrim can concentrate on being a pilgrim.
On pilgrimage we meditate together in the mornings, as well as at each place we visit. In the bus we chant and tell stories. There are social times, like at meals and when travelling, but the flavour of the pilgrimage is inward—one of communion and meditation.
Ananda has been leading meditative pilgrimages to experience spiritual power points in India since 1986. Popular trips include tracing the River Ganges up to Badrinath at 3350 m (11,000 ft). Other trips follow in the footsteps of Paramhansa Yogananda and his line of gurus as described in the Autobiography of a Yogi: Kolkata, Puri, and Mahavatar Babaji’s cave. Haridwar and Rishikesh are spiritually charged destinations.
We believe travel in India is always a great adventure, but need not be a great hardship. Our trips feature incomparable spiritual destinations and meaningful contact with people from many walks of life—combined with comfortable and affordable accommodations. After a day of travelling in India, it is reassuring to come home to good food and a nice hotel. We seek hotels that are clean, Western style, and comfortable without being luxurious and having a luxurious price tag to match.
We also seek a happy medium in modes of transportation. A 2nd-class train ride through Indian villages and countryside can be much more fun than waiting in airports for flights. At the same time, if there is an alternative to a long bus ride on busy roads, we’ll take it even if it costs more.
Our pilgrimages are open to seekers on all spiritual paths. Your own practice of meditation, though not essential, is highly encouraged.
Residents of India are welcome on all Ananda pilgrimages and retreats.
On most Ananda pilgrimages in India we also welcome those coming from other countries. This combination of Indian residents and non-residents makes for a delightful cultural and spiritual exchange.
We can make special arrangements for pilgrims coming from outside India. We pick them up at the airport and offer them some cultural orientation and a chance to get over jet lag for 1 or 2 days before the pilgrimage begins.
These pilgrimages are led by Keshava and Daya Taylor of Ananda Sangha, India. They will be assisted full-time by professional guides from Discover Tours, the Indian tour operators who have served our pilgrimages for over 20 years
Keshava and Daya live in India and are continually making new Indian friends and new contacts that enrich each of our pilgrimages. Many of our pilgrims are also our Indian meditation students, and each year we bring a group of Indian students to Ananda Village and the shrines of Yogananda in California. Where possible, we invite both Westerners and Indians on our pilgrimages in India.
The Expanding Light, Ananda’s yoga and meditation retreat in California, offers an ayurvedic retreat in Kerala and pilgrimages to Europe and India.
Ananda’s retreat centre in Europe offers pilgrimages and retreats in India for Europeans:
Visit Ananda Sangha India’s Web site for news of upcoming pilgrimages as well as retreats in Rishikesh and other devotional locations: