The highlight of this trip is the beautiful hillside where Lahiri Mahasaya is said to have first met Mahavatar Babaji in the autumn of 1861, and which contains the cave where Lahiri spent a previous incarnation. Babaji gave Lahiri Kriya Yoga initiation on this spot, thus launching its spread around the world. We'll spend most of a day together on this hillside, taking turns meditating in the cave itself. And we'll spend one day in retreat at Woodsvilla Resort, with an air of deep peace, and high mountain views. On this pilgrimage we'll be blessed by the presence of Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi, spiritual directors of Ananda Sangha worldwide.
This quiet area of Kumaon has a strong spiritual vibration and also offers saints, ashrams, and stunning Himalayan views. We’ll visit the Kainchi Ashram, with tangible vibrations of Neem Karoli Baba. We'll chant and share spiritual stories on our bus trips. We’ll spend 3 nights in Ranikhet, and 1 night on the train.
Thursday 22nd October (Dusshera)
Train departs Anand Vihar station in East Delhi
Train arrives Kathgodam
Proceed to Ranikhet, stop at Kainchi for meditation at Neem Karoli Baba ashram
Check into hotel
Satsang and dinner at hotel
Friday 23rd October
This retreat day at Woodsvilla Resort includes meditation, yoga, discourses, introspection, and nature awareness. It provides rest from travel, and a spiritual preparation for our visit to Babaji's cave. Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi will share with us on this day.
Saturday 24th October
Bus to Babaji's cave.
Start walking to cave
Babaji's Cave, meditation, and free time
Drive back to Ranikhet Dinner at hotel
Sunday 25th October
Chanting and meditation at hotel
Drive down hill.
Gathering & Dinner at restaurant in Kathgodam
Ranikhet Express leaves Kathgodam
Monday 26th October 3:55 am
Train arrives Old Delhi Station
Physical Fitness for This Trip
The central activity will be visiting Babaji's cave, at an elevation of about 2000 metres. This requires a walk which takes 45-60 minutes each way for a healthy person. Those who need it can take a jeep for the first part of this walk. However, everyone must climb the last part which might be 30 minutes uphill for a very fit person. This is an established rough path of dirt and rock. It can be quite steep in places, at an angle up to 45 degrees. In places there are rough steps formed by large rocks. The steps are at uneven heights, some perhaps a foot high. It is definitely a hike or climb, not a casual stroll. If someone is a slow walker or gets winded easily it is no problem. You can take this path as slowly as you wish. The climb would not be possible for someone who cannot climb stairs, or cannot walk on uneven ground.
Accommodations, Meals, and
Train transportation from Delhi will be by chair-car Shatabdi, returning on the overnight 2-tier a/c Ranikhet Express. All other transportation will be by two 27-passenger buses. We'll stay in the 3-star Woodsvilla Resort in Ranikhet, with high Himalaya views. Breakfast and dinner are included. Those from other cities can arrive in Delhi on Thursday, 6 Nov and leave on Monday 10 Nov.
These costs are still being determined.
Please note: If you do not have a roommate, we will try to
connect you with another single pilgrim of the same sex. If a
roommate cannot be found, you will need to pay for single occupancy.
If you snore, we ask you to room with someone you know well, or
pay for single occupancy.
The programme fee includes train Delhi-Kathgodam-Delhi; all group transportation; lodging; 2 meals a day; mineral water; and hotel tips.
Not included in the fee are most lunches, snacks, and beverages; medical insurance or medical care should you need it; donations at ashrams; and personal hotel expenses.
Completed application form and 1st payment of Rs. Rs. 5,000 are needed to confirm your participation. Payments by cheque or bank draft payable to "Ananda Sangha", by online transfer or in person in Delhi by cash. Your participation is confirmed only when we approve your application and receive deposit. Balance of the fee is due by 15 September. In case of cancellation, Rs. 1,000 of fee is non-refundable. Cancellation close to date of departure may incur additional costs.
Preparation for Pilgrimage
Weather? What to pack? What to wear?
We'll help you through all these questions and more by e-mail, with letters on preparation and answers to any individual questions.
"Truly life-changing, like no other trip I've ever taken. This pilgrimage surpassed my expectations in terms of blessed fellowship, destinations, accommodations, activities, food—everything." —P. H., North Carolina, USA
"Since the pilgrimage I've felt a new lightness of being—a new lease on life, spiritually. Meditation is easier and more enjoyable. Time flies when I meditate. When I hear a chant, I find myself immersed completely in it—I feel I could sing all day!" —J. T., New Delhi
"Meditating in ancient caves is fantastic and really helps deepen the meditation practice. Now, I'm looking forward to the next pilgrimage!" —S. G., Gurgaon
This pilgrimage will be led by Keshava
and Daya Taylor of Ananda Sangha Delhi and Dharmarajan and Dharmini Iyer, directors of Ananda Sangha Chennai. They will be assisted full-time
by a guide from Discover Tours, the Indian tour operator that has guided
Ananda pilgrimages for 28 years.