Going to India? Here are our recommendations!

I get a lot of people asking for India recommendations, and I understand why! India is incredible. The colour, smells, tastes, energy, culture, spirit, smiles and devotion are sure to lure you back again and again. Below are some of our favourite places to visit that will give you a deep and spiritual experience of this ‘land of the gods’. Enjoy!

FYI - We are in process of putting together DIY retreat guides for Mahasoma, which will include a few in India! So stay tuned for those more detailed guides coming soon.

Tamil Nadu - South India

It always seems to be hot in the south of India. Any time of the year is good to visit - but you’d want to try and skip the peak summer times (April-June) if you don’t want 45 degree heat!

  • Pondicherry - meditate in the Ganesha Temple, visit Sri Aurobindo’s Mahasamadhi, walk the waterfront promenade and eat salad thalis and cardamon lassis at Domus.

  • Auroville - book into the star-wars-esque Matrimandir and meditate in a golden orb, play with the visionary instruments at the SVARAM musical school, eat your body weight in croissants, smoothies and truffles at Bread and Chocolate.

  • Thiruvanamalai - chant mantra at the Ramana Maharshi Ashram, meditate on the Arunachala mountain with the ‘heart of fire’, visit Shiva at the Arunachalesvara Temple and eat delicious organic vegan food at The Dreaming Tree Restaurant.

  • Sri Purum (near Vellore) - experience one of the most alive and activated feminine Devi temples in India. Meet Sri Sakthi Amma, perform daily ceremonies, help out in the greenhouse, school or food hall, and eat the incredible south indian food when you stay at the ashram. Email pro.yuvaraj@sripuram.org to stay at the ashram Kamala Nivas Guest House.

  • Brihadeeshwara Temple in Thanjavur - visit Shiva in this ancient powerful temple and meditate at sunset. You can also visit the Swami Malai Temple (Murugan Temple) and the Gangaikonda Cholapuram.

Himalayas - North India

Best time to visit the far north of India is September. July-August is monsoon and the roads get quite wet and dangerous! October is also good (nice and quiet) but it’s also very very cold.

  • Rishikesh - explore Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula by foot, meditate in an ancient cave at Vasishtha Gufa and swim in the flowing Ganga, visit the mountain high Kunjapuridevi Temple and view the Himalayan mountains, wander through the abandoned Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ashram and engage in the nightly ‘ceremony of light’ to the Ganga River at Parmarth Niketan ashram or Triveni Ghat.

  • Kedarnath - helicopter in to the highest Shiva temple in India, perform an auspicious ceremony at sunrise, take a walk up the mountain to the Bhairavi Temple and soak up the atmosphere of this powerful spiritual destination.

  • Badrinath - drive windy mountain roads to this special pilgrimage destination, perform ceremony at the Vishnu Temple, marvel at the colours and richness of the sweet little town, walk to Mana and visit more sacred sites, meditate in Vyasa’s cave and if you’re feeling fit trek to Vasudhara waterfall.

  • Valley of Flowers - walk (or helicopter) from Govindghat to Ghangharia, stay the night, then walk into the beautiful National Park. Meditate in a valley of flowers, feel the presence of great masters of the Vedic tradition then wander/helicoptor back to base camp or stay for an extra night and trek to Hemkund.

  • Gangotri, Gaumukh and Tapovan - drive another long and windy route to Gangotri and visit the sacred temple, perform ceremony on the banks of the Ganga, then pack your trekking gear and walk to Gaumukh (the glacier source of Ganga) over night. If you’re game, continue the trek to Tapovan, another sacred site for meditation beyond the glacier at over 4000m altitude.

Laura Poole