Take advantage and make some experience of internal connection: call to go to an ashram or monastery to do yoga, meditation, breathing techniques or service (or all together!). Even visit a spiritual teacher, yours or one recommended, that if you are lucky that he is not traveling may be able to receive you or participate in any activity with him or her. Each one can organize it via web and add it to your itinerary or ask your travel agent.
It’s good to go with a tour, especially if you have little time: India, you’ve heard it a thousand times, it’s intense, and the containment of an organized trip frees you from tiring management and gives you shelter (with the comfortable hotel waiting) when you feel that your heart will burst with so much emotional, visual and auditory stimulation. That combo does not fail: a little silence and a little bit of noise; a bit of spiritual flowering and a little bit of absolute reality. As you already know, opposites are attracted and the extremes complement each other. Maybe when you go to Paris you are not thinking where to do an ashtanga yoga session, but if you travel to the East, one cannot escape from its millennial and holy origin.
Now, India is not “spiritual” in itself (bath! No more than another country, if we understand that everything is spiritual), but it is fertile ground for the branches of Vedic philosophy, Hinduism, Buddhism, if you are willing to dig them up. But it is good to clarify this, because for many it can be very disturbing, far from any harmonious experience that provides well-being. So if you’re between going to an all inclusive in Cancun or a little hotel in Varanasi, believe me you’re going to have to revise your priorities!
It is the main center of Hindu pilgrimage. It is believed that if someone dies here, go directly to heaven (that’s why it is a ritual to cremate the corpses) and that when you bathe in the Ganges (where the corpses sink!). While these waters are not crystal clear as in Rishikesh, center yogi par excellence, men and women dive daily. Of course, it is not contaminated, something like a miracle or the assumption that its minerals maintain their purity.
The most special moment is at dawn, from a barge (typical ride) you see the sun rise on the horizon on the other side of the river, where the Municipality decided not to build anything to avoid subtracting Varanasi its mystique. Take advantage to meditate.
In one of the Ghats (stair berths) one night we had the experience of a private aarti, the fire ceremony in gratitude to the gods, which began with offerings of candles and flowers to the river, followed with sacred songs and ended with a delicious Typical dinner By day and by night, this city seems to be taken from a millennial story. We will always be short, India is boundless, even for the Lonely Planet, but that’s good: everyone can build their own story, because when you come back, everyone you know will ask you: “How did India hit you?” Because, for different reasons, you will no longer be the same
Something about the religion Hinduism
More than 80% of the Indians are Hindus and every corner of the country is full of statuettes that symbolize their gods. We give you a top 5 for google and you know who you’re praying to!
- Ganesh: in the shape of an elephant, represents wisdom and is the remover of obstacles. If you have a problem, it is him that you have to ask.
- Shiva: is the destructive and regenerating god. Many times he is represented with his lingam (penis). In front of each temple of Shiva you can find a bull, which is your vehicle.
- Laxmi: is the goddess of well-being. She has four hands and she is usually found sitting. If you want fortune, you know who to ask for it.
- Saraswati: She is the goddess of learning, music and poetry. For your children to pay attention in school, it is to her that you would have to light a few candles.
- Krishna: He was a soldier and the eighth reincarnation of Vishnu, the god he keeps, and he is the idol of the Mahabharata, a sacred Hindu book.
Planning a trip to India, here are the list of best tour packages of India.