Pilgrimage to Varanasi
Cradle of Kriya Yoga

28-30 January 2022

The oldest surviving city in the world radiates timeless wisdom. Many of India’s greatest saints, like Adi Shankaracharya, Gautama Buddha, and Mahavatar Babaji lived here. It was here that Paramhansa Yogananda first met Swami Sri Yukteswar.

Here lived the now-famous but ever humble Lahiri Mahasaya, who, with the blessing of Mahavatar Babaji, resurrected Kriya Yoga and began a quiet revolution that has spread around the world. We’ll visit Satyalok, an ashram which has been passed down in Lahiriji’s family. We’ll meditate there, close to a portion of Lahiri’s ashes.

We’ll visit Varanasi’s famous Kashi Vishwanath temple, and Dasaswamedh Ghat where Babaji and his sister Mataji appeared before Ram Gopal Muzumdar. Another stop is the temple of Trailanga Swami, Lahiri Mahasaya’s 300-year-old friend, with whom he would meditate.
Our hotel is less than a 10-minute walk to Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Manikarnika burning ghat, and Dasaswamedh Ghat, where at sunset we plan to attend the Ganga arati.

Ananda Moyi Ma’s ashram, where we’ll meditate.
We’ll take a boat on the Ganga, chanting, meditating, and watching the sunrise and set.
We’ll visit peaceful Sarnath, just outside Varanasi, the place of Buddha’s first discourse after achieving enlightenment.

This pilgrimage will be led by Keshava and Daya Taylor and teachers from Ananda Sangha Delhi.

This trip is for those who are fully vaccinated only and presumes that it will continue to be safe to travel.


Proposed Schedule

Friday, 28 January

Arrival on your own at the hotel, check-in

2:00 pm Lunch at hotel
3:00 pm Opening gathering
Darshan of Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Sunset Ganga Arati at Dasaswamedh Ghat
Dinner at hotel

Saturday, 29 January

6:15 am Sunrise meditation on the boat, Energisation exercises, chanting, & view of Varanasi
Breakfast at hotel
10:00 am Meet to walk to Lahiri Mahasaya’s home, darshan outside his door
Meditate at Satyalok, by Lahiri’s ashes
Walk to Dasaswamedh Ghat
Free time
Late afternoon boat to the ashram of Anandamayee Ma for meditation
Sunset on the boat
Optional Ganga Arati
Dinner at hotel

Sunday, 30 January

6:30 am Boat to Trailanga Swami temple for meditation
Breakfast at hotel
Optional visit to Kashi Vishwanath temple or Manikarnika Ghat
11:30 am Depart hotel
Visit Sarnath
Lunch at your own expense
4:00 pm Arrive airport

Our Hotel

Hotel Ganges Grand, Godowlia Crossing, Varanasi. Rooms have simple furnishings, a/c, and an attached bath. Breakfast and dinner included.

Getting  Around

Our itinerary in Varanasi means lots of walking. The pavement can be uneven, with many steep steps. Many narrow alleys can be crossed only on foot.

Arrival and Departure

You would arrive on your own to the hotel. Taxis from the airport may take 1½  hours, cost around Rs. 2000. Hotel Ganges Grand is located in the main market, just 500 meters before Dasaswamedh Ghat. Access from the airport is by private taxi only.

The pilgrimage officially begins at the hotel before lunch on the 28th and ends at Varanasi airport around 4:00 pm on the 30th.

Flights

Suitable flights arrive from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore 10:00-11:35 am on the 28th. Flights depart Varanasi starting 18:15 on the 30th. Many trains also reach Varanasi.

You can also choose to arrive a day early or stay a day later in Varanasi, on your own. This may also better suit the flights you have available. Hotel cost for extra nights is about Rs. 4200 single, Rs. 4600 double, including dinner.

Programme Fees

Double occupancy: Rs. 18,000 per person.
Single occupancy (private room): Rs. 22,000 per person

If you don’t have a roommate, we’ll try to connect you with another single pilgrim of the same sex. If a roommate can’t be found, you’ll 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 group activities, lodging, two breakfasts and dinners and Friday lunch, and group tips. Not included in the fee are other lunches, snacks, and beverages; travel to and from Varanasi; transfer from airport or train station to the hotel; donations at ashrams; and personal hotel expenses.

Payments

Completed application form and payment are both needed to confirm your space. We ask for full payment at the time of application.