14-Day North India Tour Itinerary
+ extension tour to South India
 Visit Shrines and Temples Sacred to the Goddess Energy
Meet Holy Saints, Trek in the Timeless Himalayas

On our awesome Goddess Tour to India, we will:



 

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Day 01        Welcome to Delhi

Fly overnight to India. Transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Hotel: The Park, Intercontinental, Orchid, or Similar

The Intercontinental is one of the finest Hotels. It has an added advantage of being situated in the business and commercial district of Delhi also it is within close proximity of India Gate, Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Purana Qila. Located in the city's main business and shopping district of Connaught Place. Within easy reach of all major government offices, financial districts,theatre area international trade fair grounds and major sight-seeing attractions.

With 2 restaurants, 1 bar, Spanish, Indian & Continental cuisine, swimming pool and credit card facility, the world meets at Hotel Inter-Continental for a one-stop meeting solutions, consistent standards, attention to detail & personalized service. The meeting place guarantees you a cost-effective & stress-free event. Hotel Inter-Continental gives you a premier meeting facility & a world class accomodation. 

Address: Barakhamba Avenue, Connaught Place, New Delhi, 110001. Distance from Airport: 23kms, Distance from Railway Station: 2kms, Distance from Bus Station: 6kms. From Indiria Gandhi Int L Airport Delhi: 15 Mi/24km Taxi 30 Minutes

Hotel Description: Full Service Five-Star Deluxe - Hotel Year Remodeled - 1998

Surrounding Area
: District : Business - Financial - Shopping - Theater

Amenities : 24 hr coffee shop, Laundry, Gymnasium, Games, Swimming Pool, Disco, Beauty Parlour, Halls, Bar, Baby Sitting, Doctor on Call, Safe Deposit, Shopping Arcade

Total No. Of Rooms:444 Double: 391 Suite: 53. Well appointed rooms and suites, each with individual climate control, bath and shower, colour television, direct dial telephone and minibar.

Business Features :Executive Lounge, Cyber Web Stations, Business Centre, Courier, Banquet Facilities, Separate Executive Floor, Conference Facilities, Audio Video Equipments, E-Mail / Internet, Fax Service, Photocopy

Room Amenities For All Rooms: 220 Ac / Bath Tub / Bathroom Amenities / Cable/satellite TV / Desk / Free Newspaper / Hairdryer / Mini Bar / Movie Channels / Radio / Refrigerator / Remote Control Tv / Shower / Telephone / Voice Mail

 Property Information
On-Site Facilities: Bar, Barber/beauty Shop, Elevators, Gift Shop, Lounge, News Stand, Steam Room, Safe Deposit Boxes, Leather Shop, Souvenir Shop, Boutique, Jewelry Shop

On-Site Recreations: Exercising, Fine Dining, Shopping, Steam Bathing

On-Site Services: 24-Hour Front Desk , 24-Hour Room Service, Airline/travel Desk , Airport Shuttle, Business Services, Concierge, Currency Exchange, Doctor On Call, Mail Services, Porter/ bellmen, Safe Deposit Box , Valet Parking, Limousine Service

 Area Activities: Delhi Zoo 3 Mi, Hauz Khas Village Shops 9 Mi, India Gate 1 Mi, Jantar Mantar 1 Mi, Lakshmi Narayan Temple 3 Mi, Nat Gallery Of Modern Art 1 Mi, National Museum 1 Mi, Parliament House 1 Mi, Purana Oila 3 Mi, Raj Ghat 1 Mi, Santushti Shops Complex 4 Mi, US Embassy 4 Mi, World Bank 2 Mi


Day 02        Explore Old Delhi & New Delhi

After breakfast, full day sightseeing of Old & New Delhi including Rickshaw Ride in the narrow crowded lanes of Old Delhi, Rajghat ­ Where Mahatma Gandhi was criminated, Humayun's Tomb, Qutab Minar, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan (President's House), Laxminarayan Temple & Kalibari Temple. Overnight at hotel.
Hotel: The Park, Intercontinental, or Orchid or Similar (Meals ­ Breakfast)

Delhi is no fairytale city but a city where dreams come to reality. Its strategic location was one of the prime reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. Delhi is truly a symbol of the old and the new; a blend of ancient well preserved monuments and temples along with jam-packed burger joints and up market shopping malls.

Kali Bari Temple: A stone's throw from Birla Mandir to the right is the much smaller but quite popular temple devoted to the Goddess Kali. Especially dear to the Bengali community of Delhi, it is the centre of celebration during the festival of Durga Puja held every October. Since, Kali is believed to be the manifestation of Durga in her most terrifying, warlike avatar, liquor is offered to the goddess in this temple. The temple is rather small and very simple in design. From within the temple grows a huge 'peepul' tree that pierces through the ceiling to shade the temple. Hindus consider the peepul sacred and red threads are tied around its bark when beseeching a boon.

   

Day 03        Temple Tour in and Around Delhi

After breakfast, Visit Lotus Temple, Kalkaji Temple, Chattarpur Temple & Sheethla Devi Temple (Gurgaon). Transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Hotel: The Park, Intercontinental, or Orchid or Similar (Meals ­ Breakfast)

Kalkaji Temple dedicated to the goddess Kalka Devi. This domed twelve-sided Shakti Kalkaji temple, also known as Kalika or Kalka Devi lies on the same hill. Its oldest section dates back to 1764 and additions were made in the mid-19th century, yet, most of the building is modern. This popular Kali shrine is at the heart of a village and the Hindu worship of its 'Mahants' (important sadhus) makes a fascinating contrast with the brash new faith of the Baha'is.

Sheethla Devi Temple (Gurgaon): One of the major Hindu pilgrimage is the Sheetala Devi Temple located near a pond at Gurgaon village, a suburb of Gurgaon, in the state of Haryana. Also referred to as a 'Shakti Peeth', the presiding deity of this temple is Mata Sheetala Devi.

Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple during the Hindu month of 'Chaitra' corresponding with the months of March and April. Situated near a pond, this temple witnesses hordes of pilgrims throughout the year, except during the month of 'Shravana' (July-August). People also come to this temple to conduct the 'mundan' (shaving the heads) ceremony of their children.

      

  


Day 04        Delhi/Jammu/Katra

After breakfast, transfer to airport for flight to Jammu, IC # 821 at 11.30 Hrs. Arrive Jammu at 12.40 Hrs. Transfer to hotel. Day at leisure till evening. In the evening, transfer to Katra by surface. Reach Katra and trek to Vaishno Devi Temple (Holy Cave, 15 Kms/06 Hours). (DARSHANS DEPENDS ON THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE PRESENT, MAY BE IT CAN TAKE ONE FULL DAY) After darshans, free time at the Holy Shrine and visit other temples and then trek back to Katra. Reach Katra and leave back for Jammu by surface.
Hotel: Hari Niwas Palace or Similar (Meals ­ Breakfast)

Hotel: Airport: 10 km., Railway Station: 8 km., Bus Station: 2 km. 40 Rooms, 1-Deluxe Non A/C, 35-Suites Non A/C, 4-Cottage  
Guest Rooms: Accessible without stairs, Air Conditioned, Alarm Clock, Bathtub / Shower, Cable TV / In Room Movies, Desk / Work Area, Direct STD/ISD Fan, Hot & Cold Water, Non-Smoking Rooms, Phone, Radio, Refrigerator, Safe, Tea/Coffee Facilities.
Facilities: Beauty Parlor, Swimming Pool., Money Changer, Banking, Safe Deposit, Baby Sitting, Valet, Travel Desk, Baby Care, Bar, Barber / Beauty Services, Billiards, Business Center, Car Parking, Children Welcome, Doctor On Call, Fan, Fax Service, Fire Safeguards, Free Newspaper, Game Room, Health Club, Laundry Facilities, Lift available, Live Entertainment, Money Changer, Non Smoking rooms, Parking, Photocopy Service, Power Back-Up, Restaurant, Room Service, Safe Deposit, Safe available, Shopping Arcade, Swimming pool, Tennis, Travel Desk.
Restaurant & Bars: 2 Restaurants and 1 Bar available in the hotel. Cuisine: Indian, Chinese, Continental, Mughlai, Dogri, Kashmiri.

JAMMU: King Jambulochan founded the city of Jammu which he called 'Jammu Nagri' and transfered his capital to the new city from the Bahu fort. Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu & Kashmir state is perched like a guard. It also has great importance as a communication center, being the railhead for the entire Jammu & Kashmir and the starting point for visiting the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi at Katra. There are several temples in this charming city, but none as beautiful as the Raghunath temple in the heart of the city.

 


Day 05        Katra OR Jammu
Hotel: Hari Niwas Palace or Similar (Meals ­ Breakfast)

Vaishno Devi Temple: Faith has moved mountains. From a cave shrine tucked away deep in the Trikuta Mountains of Kashmir to a bustling religious centre, the call of Mata Vaishno Devi has drawn and converted many a non-believer. Those who come as tourists leave as staunch followers singing her praises. This is the ultimate refuge of the helpless. The one place that answers your prayers. Where all dilemmas are resolved.

The holy cave shrine of Vaishno Devi is nestled in a beautiful recess of the Trikuta Mountains forming a part of the lower Himalayas. It is located 61 km north of Jammu at a height of 5,200 feet above the sea level in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. In the cave there are images of three deities viz. the Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati.

The shrine is visited all through the year, but the path is difficult during the winters when the route is often blocked by snow-fall.

      

Legend of Vaishno Devi: During the time when the Goddesses were wreaking havoc on the evil Asuras, the 3 main manifestations, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati, pooled their collective strength and sent a divine child to be born in the house of one Ratnakar. She was to uphold righteousness and attain a level of consciousness by which she would merge with Vishnu.

An extraordinary child, she went deep into the forest, in search of god. Intrigued by reports of her piety, Gorakhnath the MahaYogiGuru sent his disciple Bhairon Nath to look for her. But he began invading her privacy and even suggested that she become his wife. To escape him, Vaisnavi left Trikuta mountains.

While passing through a ravine she shot an arrow into the earth from where water gushed out -- this stream came to be known as Banaganga. Charan Paduka, marked by the imprints of her feet, is the place where she rested. The Goddess then meditated in the cave at Adhkawari. It took Bhairon Nath nine months to locate her, the reason why the cave is known as Garbh Joon. Mata Vaishno Devi blasted an opening at the other end of the cave with her Trident when Bhairon Nath located her.

On arriving at the Holy Cave at Darbar, she assumed the form of Maha Kali and cut off Bhairon Nath's head which was flung up the mountain by the force of the blow and fell at the place where the Bhairon Temple is now located. The boulder at the mouth of the Holy Cave according to the legend is the petrified torso of Bhairon Nath who was granted divine forgiveness by the benevolent Mata in his dying moments.

The Shrine Discovered: Legend goes, that the holy shrine was discovered by a Brahmin, Pandit Sridhar about a thousand years ago. He used to live in Hansali village at the foothills of the Trikuta Mountains. One day, as he was grazing cattle, he met a beautiful child, Vaishnavi, on the hills. She urged him to call the people of his village to a feast. By mid-day when his guests arrived he had still not made arrangements for any provisions.

Suddenly, he saw Vaishnavi coming out of his hut and she asked Sridhar to call his guests saying the food was ready. He watched in amazement as all the villagers went inside his small hut and finished their meal. As they left, he called out to young Vaishnavi knowing that the answer to the mystery lay with her. But she was not to be found.

His search for her led him to a cave up a cliff where he thought he spied her. But in vain, as he wept in anguish a light shone on him, and he had a vision: Vaishnavi was transformed into a transcendental beauty with eight arms and astride a lion. She told him she was Shakti and in this cave she was manifested in her three forms of Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Sridhar's progeny have been worshipping the Goddess in this Holy Cave since those hoary days!

The Aarti (Prayer): The two-hour long Aarti or Prayer is performed twice a day, first at sunrise and again at sunset. The holy cave is closed to pilgrims at this time. Only the priests, attendants and an officer is permitted in the holy premises.

The Yatra Route: The Yatra (pilgrimage) begins at Katra and pilgrims have to cover 15 km of terrain on foot to reach the Darbar. One kilometer away from Katra, is Banganga, place where Mata quenched her thirst and at 06 km further down, is the holy cave at Adhkawari.

The entire 15 km route is quite wide and tiled. Besides, the whole path is lit up every night by powerful sodium vapour lamps. The whole route is swept and cleaned from time to time throughout the day.

Shelter cum sheds and shelter cum cafeterias are setup throughout the route. Pure vegetarian food is available at these outlets. Price charts are exhibited at all these outlets prominently. Drinking water has been made available all along the route, with water coolers and storage facilities.

   

Public utilities with automatic flushing systems along the track and at the Bhawan. After 6 km. of trekking, you would reach Adhkawari, the holy cave where Mata meditated for nine months. Do visit the cave. After 9.5 km., you would reach Sanji Chhat where you can rest for sometime. Accommodation is also available at this place. Bhawan is just 3.5 km. away.

       

Day 06        Jammu/Delhi

After late breakfast, transfer to airport for flight to Delhi, IC # 825 at 15.00 Hrs. Arrive Delhi at 16.10 Hrs. and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Hotel: The Park or Orchid or Similar (Meals ­ Breakfast)


Day 07        Delhi/Nalagarh

After breakfast, leave for Nalagarh by surface. Reach Nalagarh and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Hotel: Nalagarh Fort (Meals ­ Breakfast)

Nalagarh was the capital of the kingdom of Hindur founded by Raja Ajai Chand in 1100 A.D. It was ruled by the Chandela Rajputs. The Chandela kings were great patrons of art and architecture. Raja Ram Chander, another illustrious ruler of the same dynasty, was also a great builder who constructed the Ramgarh Fort and the town of Ramshere. Raja Surendra Singh was the last ruler of Nalagarh and his son, Raja Vijayendra is the present ceremonial ruler of Nalagarh.

Hotel: Nalagarh Fort has a series of structures that are mostly built in the Mughal style of architecture. These have been exhaustively renovated and are now a quality heritage resort with panoramic view of Shivalik Hills. The Fort Resort Nalagarh - A Heritage Experience.

Location: Nalagarh is the gateway to Himachal Pradesh in North India. It is 300 km north of Delhi, 60 km from Chandigarh, 40 km from Kalka and 20 km from Rupar.

Hotel: The Fort is located on a hillock at the foothills of the mighty Himalayas affording a panoramic view of the Shivalik Hills beyond the Sirsa river. The Garh rises above a 20 acre estate of forest and orchard and is built on five levels, three of which have well manicured lawns. The fort and the palace of Nalagarh have a series of structures that are mostly built in the Mughal style of architecture. These have been exhaustively renovated and are now a quality heritage resort.   

Accommodation: 22 Deluxe rooms and suites, all air conditioned with all modern amenities, TV, running hot and cold water, telephones.

   
   

Dining: Dining room serving lip smacking Indian and Continental cuisine. Well appointed bar offering the choicest liquors.
Facilities, Activities: Swimming pool, badminton, tennis, TT, croquet, treks, picnics, barbecues, ayurvedic nature cure centre. Doctor on call.

   

Day 08        Nalagarh/Dharamshala

After breakfast, leave for Dhramshala by surface. Reach Dharamshala and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Hotel: Surya Resorts or Similar (Meals ­ Breakfast)

Hotel: Welcome to Mcleod Ganj - Dharamshala - the land of awesome peaks, of Tibetan monasteries, and of meandering streams cascading down the majestic Dhauladhar range. Surya Resorts is the epitome of peaceful ambience that greets the visitors  everywhere. Nestling in  the shadows of Dhauladhar range, Surya Resorts enmeshed with pine and oak trees, is situated at Mcleod Ganj-the hub of tourist activities and Seat of His Holiness The DALAI LAMA.

As one enters the lobby, the neat and spacious interiors with pastel decor, stand invitingly to its warm homely environs. And to pamper you, The hotel is a 53 room property with all rooms having wall to wall carpeting, CTV and running hot & cold water. The hotel also provides a multi cuisine restaurant and room service.

Amenities: Rooms service, concierge service, travel desk to assist in local sight seeing, trekking & air/bus/train reservations can be handled from the Surya Resort itself.

   

Restaurants: The Oriental  Restaurant serves authentic Continental, Chinese, Tibetan and Indian cuisines. The decor matches the tibetan culture with dragon paintings adorning the roof and the walls, while full size windows provide panoramic view of the Dhauladhar range. The Himalayan Lounge has an attached bar making it perfect place to talk business over drinks. The Pyramid Cofee shop: the 24 hours Coffee Shop ensures delectable snacks on your arrival at Surya, any time of the day or night.

 

 


Day 09        Dharamshala

After breakfast, visit Chamunda Devi Temple, Kangra Art Museum and monastery. Transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Hotel: Surya Resorts or Similar (Meals ­ Breakfast)

 

Chamunda Devi Temple: It is an enchanting spot with glorious views of the mountains, the Baner Khud, Pathiar and Lahla forests. 15-km from Dharamshala a tiny village of Dadh on Palampur road is the famous temple dedicated to Goddess Chamunda Devi. On reaching the temple a glorious view of Dhaula Dhar on three sides and 'Baner Khud' flowing alongside the temple. The temple has artistic carvings on its lintel, pillars and the ceiling.

Behind the main temple is a small shrine of Lord Shiva in the Shikhara style. There is another platform in front of this temple where two very old peepul trees provide shelter to the visitors. From this platform a bird's eye view of most of the land marks in the town including Chaugan, Circuit House, most of the temples and river Ravi can be had. There is a Shiva 'lingam' under the rock where the temple of Chamunda is sited. There are no legends about the lingam. The idol is called Nandikeswar. So the sacred site is called 'Chamunda Nandikeshwar'.

Legend of Chamunda Devi: In Jallandhar Mahatmya, Chapter VI reference is made to 'Chamunda Nandikeshwar' and people believe the reference is to these two deities 'Chamunda' and 'Nandikeshwar'. The legend associated is well known. In 'Satya Yuga' two 'Daityas' (demons), 'Shumbh' and 'Nishumbh' engaged themselves in deep meditation and were blessed by Lord Brahma with immense power.

The Daityas deified 'Indra' and other Gods. The Gods were terrified of the Daityas and resorted to Jadrangal village and propitiated 'Jagadamba Devi'. The Devi was pleased and promised to rescue them from the Daityas.

She created a Devi out of her body, a beautiful person 'Kaushika'. Kaushika was given the assignment of destroying Shumbh and Nishumbh. The two Daityas heard of her beauty and wanted to bring her to them. They failed to persuade her to come to them through a 'doot' (messenger) who was scornfully sent away. Kaushika sent word through the messenger that she could only be won by a war.

A dreadful war started. Kaushika Devi created 'Kalika' Shakti from her forehead and Kalika cut off the heads of 'Chund' and 'Mund', two brave and fearless commanders of the two Daityas. The destruction of the Daityas followed and the three worlds were relieved of the Daityas. Kaushika Devi blessed Kalika Shakti and asked her to be seated at Jadrangal village and be known as Chamunda. She would fulfil the desires of the needy persons. This mythological story is based on Devi Bhagwati, Markandey Puran and Durga Saptsati.

 

Day 10        Dharamshala/Paragpur

After late breakfast, day free till noon. Afternoon, leave for Paragpur by surface. Reach Paragpur and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Hotel: The Judge's Court (Meals ­ Breakfast)

     

Day 11        Paragpur/Jwalamukhi/Chintpurni/Paragpur

After breakfast, leave for Jwalamukhi and visit Jwalamukhi Temple and Chintpurni Temple. In the evening, return back to Paragpur. Transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Hotel: The Judge's Court (Meals ­ Breakfast)

   

Hotel:Completed in 1918, the Judge's Court stands in a large orchard and here, the area's rural life goes easily by. Built in the 'haveli' style, but with a largely European floor plan, the 300 year old ancestral home has been meticulously restored using original techniques but with modern plumbing and lighting. The property became famous as 'Judge Sahib Ki Kothi', and hence it came to be known as The Judge's Court. It has a private suite with a kitchen, sitting room, dressing room and study with an open terrace overlooking the Dhauladhar mountains. In keeping with his pre-eminent status, Justice Sir Jai Lal built the splendid manor at Pragpur. The building designed in the best Indo-European tradition was constructed by his father Bhandari Ram Kuthiala and completed in 1918. It stands on an 8 acre orchard, just a short walk from the village courtyard. The orchard consists of mango, lychee, grape, plum, parsimon, citrus and exotic trees like camphor, clove and cardamom. The milk and dairy products used in the kitchen come from The Judge's Court dairy in the grounds. Water is exclusively piped from an ancestral mountain spring.
Special features:
Located near the village courtyard with ornamental tank, and approached by a cobbled street, this courtyard has captured its original era, offering an unusual intimacy in the midst of a medieval village.
Facilities available:
The Judge's Court has 10 rooms in this larger building, one twin sharing set in an annex in addition to the suite in the ancestral courtyard. The rooms go by names such as the 'Dhauladhar', 'Kipling', 'Hardinge', 'Kangra', and are tastefully decorated in simple elegance. As the Judge's Court has been restored, and is being run by the owning family, it offers a rare kind of intimate hospitality.

Pragpur: The little village of Pragpur in Kangra's sylvan tracts, has an endearing beauty. Narrow cobbled lanes flow past old houses, and flowering Bougainvillaea drape their colours over pipul and banyan trees. And to the north, the snow clad Dhauladhar ranges frame this picture of pastoral beauty.

Jwalamukhi Temple (The Flaming Goddess) recognized as one of the 51 Shaktipeeths of India, Jwalamukhi's Devi Temple, tended by the followers of Goraknath, is set against a cliff. The picturesque temple, built against a wooded spur, in the Indo-Sikh style, has a dome that was gilded by Mughal Emperor Akbar. An eternally burning flame that issues from a hollow rock in the sanctum is considered the manifestation of the goddess Devi.

The Legend of Jwalamukhi:Jwalamukhi is a famous temple of goddess Jwalamukhi, the deity of flaming mouth, built over some natural jets of combustible gas, believed to be the manifestation of the Goddess. The building is modern with a gilt dome and pinnacles, and possesses a beautiful folding door of silver plates.

Under the gaze of the Dhauladhar range and set amidst the undulating hills that character sub-Himalayan Himachal Sati's tongue is believed to have fallen at Jwalamukhi and the goddess is manifest as tiny flames that burn a flawless blue through fissures in the age old rock.

Raja Bhumi Chand Katoch of Kangra, a great devotee of goddess Durga, dreamt of the sacred place and the Raja set people to find out the whereabouts of the site. The site was traced and the Raja built a temple. The burning flames and the complex have come to be known as Jwalamukhi.

The temple located on a small spur on the Dharamsala-Shimla road at a distance of about 20-kms from the Jwalamukhi Road Railway Station attracts lakhs of pilgrims every year. No idol is located in the temple but only the flames, which come out from the crevices of the rock, are worshipped. They are natural jets of combustible gas.

There is a small platform in front of the temple and a(check usage) big mandap where a huge brass bell presented by the King of Nepal is hung. Usually milk and water are offered and the ahutis or oblations are offered to the sacred flames in the pit, situated in the centre of the temple in between the floor pillars supporting the roof.

The deity is offered Bhog of Rabri or thickened milk, Misri or candy, seasonal fruits, milk and arti is done. There is a mystic Yantar or diagram of the goddess, which is covered with, shawls, ornaments and mantras are recited. The puja has different 'phases' and goes on practically the whole day. Arti is done five times in the day, Havan is performed once daily and portions of "Durga Saptasati" are recited.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh paid a visit to the temple in 1815 and the dome of the temple was gold-plated by him. Just a few feet above the Jwalamukhi temple there is a six-feet deep pit with a circumference of about three-feet. At the bottom of this pit there is another small pit about one and a half feet deep with hot water bubbling all the time.

Chintpurni Temple: A winding road goes up to the temple dedicated to 'Bhagwati Chinmastika' or Goddess 'Chintpurni' who grants all wishes.

The Legend of Chintpurni:Along with hundreds of mythical legends about the origin of a temple in different parts of India, the very popular temple of Chintpurni temple is of the same type. The legend is that one 'Bhagat Mai Dass' was a great devotee of Durga deity and worshipped her with great devotion and never bothered over mundane affairs. He was a married man and his family along with others had shifted from Patiala side to village 'Rapoh' in Una district of Himachal Pradesh.

The legend is that one-day Bhagat Mai Dass was going to his father-in-law's place and felt tired while by a jungle and slept under a tree. He had a dream: a young girl appeared before him and wanted him to stay there and worship her. He woke up in bewilderment.

He came back to the particular spot from his father-in-law's place and went on praying to Durga. The girl appeared this time in human form and told him the whereabouts where he would find her in the form of a 'pindi' (a round stone-ball). He should install the Pindi in a temple. The Devi blessed him that he would have no fright, as it was a 'Devasthan' (site of Gods) though so deserted. She disappeared and Mai Das discovered the Pindi and installed it in a temple.


 Day 12        Paragpur/Naina Devi Temple/Nalagarh

After breakfast, leave for Nalagarh en route visiting Naina Devi Temple. Reach Nalagarh and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Hotel: Nalagarh Fort (Meals ­ Breakfast)

Naina Devi Temple: It is one of the 51 'Shakti Pithas'.

The Legend of Naina Devi:According to a belief, Shiva's consort Sati once burnt alive in 'yagna' to avenge an insult. The distraught Shiva picked her corpse and gyrated his horrific dance. Then Vishnu, the preserver unleashed his discus and cut the body in to 51 pieces to save the earth from Shiva's wrath.


Day 13        Nalagarh/Chandigarh (Visit Mansa Devi Temple)

After breakfast, leave for Chandigarh by surface. Reach Chandigarh and transfer to hotel. Visit Mansa Devi Temple. Overnight at hotel.
Hotel: Mountview or Similar (Meals ­ Breakfast)

Hotel: The 5-star Hotel, located amidst lush green lawns and majestic trees, with the backdrop of the resplendent Shivalik hills, is perfect get-away from the humdrum of a mundane and workday life it. It sprawls over seven acres of landscaped environs and is located adjoining the famous Leisure Valley of Chandigarh. An excellent & pleasant environment blended with the tranquility of the Leisure Valley & the famous Rock Garden. You will find an ambience of comfort, luxury and warm hospitality set amid beautiful, landscaped settings of the 'The City Beautiful'. 

Rooms: Centrally air-conditioned hotel, offers elegantly appointed rooms (145) and luxuriously furnished suites (11), some with private balconies offering tranquil sights of the verdant landscaped areas. Each room has satellite cable TV, direct dial telephone, channel music, refrigerator and room service round the clock by trained and experienced attendants.

       

Dining:
THE MAGIC WOK: (Chinese Specialty Restaurant) it is an exclusive rooftop restaurant, which has a Chinese connotation in every manner-food, Ambience & spirit. "The Magic Wok" is the City's Beautiful Gateway to China.
RUSTLES: (Multi-cuisine Restaurant) The restaurant offers an option of rich gourmet fare to Indian, Continental, Chinese and Italian cuisine. The innovative recipes delight the most discerning guests. Dim lights, strains of light music from a live band, and the rustle of maple tree leaves create the perfect ambience for a delightful meal. And at the other end of the restaurant awaits an exotic selection of the choicest liquor at the 'Oak Bar'.
ROUND THE CLOCK: (24hrs. Open Coffee Shop) The coffee shop, which attracts families and executives alike, offers a rich fare of South Indian and Continental delicacies, a varied choice of soups and desserts. A special breakfast buffet is spread out every morning.
LA PATISSERIE: (Pastry Shop) savor fresh preparations from the Hotel Bakery. Place an order for delectable cakes & pastries for special occasions.

Business Center: Multi-media work stations, internet, e-mail, Photostat and secretarial services. 

Health Club: Nirvana Health Club to rejuvenate your mind and body through Jacuzzi, steam, sauna, chill pool, beauty saloon and of course a modern gym. A swimming pool to unwind yourself. 

Plus More : Shopping arcade for handicrafts and curios, books and magazines, flowers, a travel counter.

City Information: Charles Edouard Le Corbusier's Chandigarh is a captivating destination without many historic monuments. Though the city of Chandigarh is dotted with several beautiful and well-maintained gardens. Among the many gardens at Chandigarh the Rose Garden and the Rock Garden should not be missed. The other must visit at Chandigarh is the Capitol Complex. For recreation you may stroll or boat at the Sukhna Lake. You may even visit the old temple dedicated to the Goddess Chandi. The city of Chandigarh derives its name from Her.

Mansa Devi Temple: A typical example of North Indian architecture Mansa Devi Temple, lying in Bilaspur village, about three kilometers east of Mani Majra in Chandigarh, has two temples dedicated to the goddess. It is believed that the older temple was built by the ruler of Mani Majra.

The Legend of Mansa Devi: According to a popular legend, the shrine was originally in the territory of erstwhile princely state of Nahan. Some hill people cut off the stream, which supplied water to the pilgrims visiting the temple, causing distress to the pilgrims. Thereupon, the goddess appeared in dream of Gurbaksh Singh, ruler of Mani Majra and asked him to construct a temple for her at this place.

This temple contains thirty-eight panels of wall paintings besides floral designs painted all over the ceiling and the arches leading into the temple. The drawings of the temple are not of high standard but a great variety of themes is illustrated. The other temple is said to have been constructed by Maharaja Karam Singh of erstwhile Patiala State to commemorate his success in the battle against the Gurkhas.

  


Day 14        Chandigarh/Delhi

After breakfast, visit Rock Garden & Rose Garden. Afternoon, leave for Delhi by surface. Reach Delhi and transfer to IGI Airport and tour terminates.

Those staying on to participate in South India Ayurveda Extension tour will board a plane for Trivandrum airport (TRV), Kerala, India. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Hotel:
Kovalam Ashok Beach Resortor Similar


Day 15 onward, as long as you want to stay.       
Trivandrum

Relax and rejuvenate on Kovalam Beach and, if you choose, take Ayurvedic treatments at an awesome Ayurvedic clinic in Trivandrum, or see the sights of the state of Kerala, India, including the backwaters, amazing dance performances, and visit to the ashram of Ammachi, the "hugging saint" of Kerala.
Hotel:
Kovalam Ashok Beach Resortor Similar

The first, finest and largest Five star beach resort of Kerala offers 196 rooms including 4 Royal Suites in the Halcyon Castle, the summer retreat of the Travancore Maharaja. The hotel has 3 fresh water swimming pools.

19 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram Airport. 15 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram Station. 19 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram Bus terminal. 19 Kms from City East Fort.

  

Looking inland from the blue waters of the Arabian Sea, the Kovalam shoreline appears as a gently curving beach, fringed by tall swaying palms. Almost hidden behind the green of the palm fronds, you catch a glimpse of the Kovalam Ashok Beach Resort, a unique architectural concept that merges into the landscape, with the Sea, Sun, Sand and palm grooves of Kerala. The Kovalam Ashok Beach Resort is one of India's finest holiday destinations - set at the southern most tip of the fabled Malabar Coast, fanned by balmy breezes, its golden beaches washed by the Arabian Sea.

Amenities: Front Desk, Business Center, Elevator, Free Newspaper, Free Parking, Restaurant, Safe Deposit Box, Coffee Shop, Room Service 24 Hours, Bus Parking, Indoor Parking, Outdoor Parking.

Services: Post, Laundry, Internet, Travel Desk, Currency Exchange, In Room Telephone Service, Express Check-In, Express Check-Out, Gift Shop, Luggage Storage, Wake up service.

Room Type: Standard
Room Facilities: AC, Cable TV, Direct Phone, Channel Music, Attbath, Shower/Bath Tub, Work Desk, Radio, Safe Deposit Box, Double Bed.

Facilities: Swimming pool, hot & cold running water, Doctor on call, channel music, CCTV in all rooms, pool side bar-be-que, yoga, massage, jogging track, water sports, beach volley ball and tennis court.

Restaurant: Multicuisine restaurant and bar.

Address: Kovalam Ashok Beach Resort, Trivandrum, Kerala


TRIVANDRUM (official name Thiruvananthapuram), lying on the southwest coast of India, is the capital to the state of Kerala. The city extends from latitude 8°29' N to longitude 76°59' E. The place is well connected to most of the other major cities of India through rail, road, and air network.

Climate: Because of its nearness to the sea, the climate of Trivandrum is tropical. This also gives Trivandrum a very pleasant weather round the year. The average maximum temperature can go up to 36.2°C in summer months and to a minimum of 18.0°C in the winters. Monsoon comes to Trivandrum in the month of May and remains there until November.

History: The city, according to the legends, boasts of being associated with King Solomon whose ships landed at a port called Ophir. Traders have been coming to these parts as far back as 190 AD for spices, sandalwood, and ivory.

The city derives its name from the deity at the Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswami Temple, one of the major landmarks of the place. The name of the city is derived from the words Thiru-Anantha-Puram, meaning the town of Anantha. Although no records of the antiquity of the temple really exists, the temple nevertheless is believed to be several thousands years old. This temple is one of the 108 Divya Sthalas of Lord Vishnu. Lord Padmanabha is in a reclining position here, and the temple is maintained by the Rajahs of the city.   

Thiruvananthapuram shot into prominence in the 18th century when the capital was shifted here form Padmanabhapuram, a little down south. The erstwhile kings of the then Travancore State, taking on the title of Padmanabhadas (servant of Lord), had dedicated themselves completely to the service of the Lord residing in the temple here. By the terms of this dedication, the deity owns the kingdom while the king is the mere executor of the trust. After independence, the city was designated as the capital of Kerala.

Bhagavathy Temple: The temple is called as Sabarimala for the women, as the temple is visited mostly by women devotees. A visit to the Padmanabhaswami temple is considered incomplete until a person visits this temple also.

Mata Amritanandamayiis said to be an avatar--an incarnation of Mother Divine in human form. She is the first Indian saint to give her blessings by hugging each aspirant who visits her. To receive a hug from "Ammachi," as she is called by her devotees, is to experience the nectar of divine love flowing into your heart and illuminating your mind. This is something that has to be experienced in order to understand its power. A feeling of true spiritual grace is bestowed upon every person who visits this wonderful saint.


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