Sorry You Missed It!

Our India 2016 Transformative Journey has come and gone. But don’t be sad. Learn more about what we did on this trip below.

Better yet, join us in Bali and Japan in 2017!

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India 2016 Transformative Journey

India 2016 Transformative Journey Itinerary and Highlights

Tour Segments

1. North Malé Atoll

 

Our exploration of India balances the excitement of foreign travel, compelling terrain, and cultural sharing with the deepening that comes with intentional relaxation. We start in the Maldives, recovering from jetlag in an area of the North Malé Atoll, amidst coral islands and atolls that feature pristine beaches, spectacular snorkeling, and idyllic sunsets. Imagine daily opportunities for yoga practice, meditation, walking, swimming, boating, or whatever calls to you.

2. Fort Kochi

 

Rejuvenated, we then fly to the historic spice trading port, Fort Kochi, expanding our minds and bodies in this vibrant city that is steeped in Indian and colonial history. In addition to our daily yoga and meditation, you’ll have ample opportunity to engage with this venerable city. Spread across islands and promontories between the Arabian Sea and Kerala backwaters, Fort Kochi’s history of foreign influence and settlement is reflected in an assortment of architectural styles. As you wander down its narrow lanes, you’ll come across spice markets, Chinese fishing nets, a synagogue, a Portuguese palace, India’s first European church, Dutch homes, and a village green that’s right out of the English countryside. We’ll also catch a Kathakali dance performance.

3. Dewalokam

 

From Ft. Kochi, we travel by air-conditioned minibus to tranquility, experiencing Dewalokam, a biodynamic and organic farm and retreat center.  Here you can relax and unwind in a peaceful, unspoiled heaven, enjoying the farm’s homegrown organic produce cooked in the traditional Keralan way. Sustainable travel is the motto of Dewalokam. Bio-diversity is maintained with the help of choice ayurvedic herbals and a variety of native fruit plants. Using fresh ingredients, picked daily at the farm, their chefs will take you on a culinary journey through Kerala’s delicious traditional food. In addition to our daily yoga and meditation practice, you can tour the farm, take a spice walk, raft the river, swim, hike, take in nearby village life, or just relax in a hammock and do nothing.

4. Alleppey

 

More adventure follows as we experience Alleppey and its maze of canals and romantic backwaters from a houseboat, witnessing life along the water bank as we drift slowly towards our next destination.

5. Varkala

 

We leave the liquid enchantment of water to spend the final days of the trip in Varkala, at an Ayurvedic treatment center set in lush greenery. Enjoy daily massages, herbs, and healthy food. Walk the beach and join the pjua beach rituals day and night.

Blog Posts for India 2016

Madonnas & Lotus Flowers: The Masala (“Mix”) of India

Madonnas & Lotus Flowers: The Masala (“Mix”) of India

Come along on a photo journey as I share the flavor mix we are experiencing on our Transformative Journey to India - happening right now! Next year, my colleague Barbra and I will be sending a similar array of photos from Bali... Perhaps you'd like to join us there?...

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SoulMat Soothes the Weary Traveller

SoulMat Soothes the Weary Traveller

I'm midway through a 5-week trip through India. For the first time, I brought a Somat with me--I can get stiff, tired and cranky after 14 hours on a plane followed by 5 hours at the airport in Dubai! Turns out lots of the travelers I'm with have found comfort on the...

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Kerala: God’s Own Country

Kerala: God’s Own Country

While Maldives gives us mostly relaxation, Fort Kochi will provide a bit of an urban experience, but one steeped in history. Relax, breathe deep, and step out in soft cotton shoes and a straw hat. At each and every nook of this island, something amusing awaits you. Fort Kochi is a world of its own, retaining architectural and cultural specimens of a bygone era, and still proud to wear them all.

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Maldives: The Sunny Side of Life

Maldives: The Sunny Side of Life

Our full India 2016 Transformative Journey begins in Maldives, “where sands are white as the smiles of the locals, where fish swim happily in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, where the weather is a dream, and the deep rays of the sun wait to engulf you in their arms.”

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Detailed Itinerary

January 19-25, 2016: North Malé Atoll, Maldives

Itinerary
  • Jan 19: Morning arrival Malé International Airport (MLE)
  • Jan 19: Boat transportation to North Malé Atoll
  • Jan 19-25: ASDU Sun Island
  • Jan 25: Boat transportation to Malé International Airport
  • Jan 25: 5PM flight to Cochin International Airport (COK)
Included in Price
  • Boat transportation to/from Malé International Airport
  • Daily yoga and meditation
  • 6 nights accommodation ASDU Sun Island
  • Daily continental breakfast, lunch, and dinner (set menu)
  • Mineral water at all meals
  • One soft drink, beer or glass of wine at lunch and dinner
Not Included in Price
  • Airfare to Malé International Airport
  • Snorkeling, diving, and other water sports activities
  • Special dietary meals or vegetarian dishes (may be ordered and paid for separately)
  • Additional soft drinks and alcoholic beverages at or between meals
  • Airfare from Malé to Cochin

January 26-27, 2016: Ft. Kochi, Kerala, India

Itinerary
  • Jan 25: Arrive Cochin International Airport
  • Jan 26: (Morning) Dhobi Wallas, Jewish Temple, and Jain Temple
  • Jan 26: (Afternoon) Free time for personal adventures, shopping, etc.
  • Jan 26: (Evening) Kathakali dance performance
  • Jan 27: (After breakfast) Bus ride to Dewalokam
Included in Price
  • Daily breakfast
  • Kathakali dance performance
  • Bus transportation to Dewalokam
Not Included in Price
    • Daily lunch and dinner

 January 27-30, 2016: Dewalokam, Kerala, India

 Itinerary
  • Jan 27-30: Dewalokam Kerala Homestay
  • Jan 20: (After breakfast) Depart for Allepey
 Included in Price
  • Daily yoga and meditation
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Daily tea time
  • Cooking lesson
  • Bus transportation to Alleppey
Not Included in Price
  • Ayurvedic massage

 January 30-February 1, 2016: Alleppey Backwaters, Kerala, India

Itinerary
  • Jan 30: Arrive Alleppey
  • Jan 30-Feb1: Houseboats on Alleppey backwaters
  • Feb 1: Depart houseboats
  • Feb 1: Visit Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple
  • Feb 1: Bus ride to Varkala
Included in Price
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Daily yoga and meditation
  • 2 nights houseboat accommodations
Not Included in Price
  • No exclusions

 February 1-7, 2016: Varkala, Kerala, India

Itinerary
  • Feb 1: Arrive Varkala by bus
  • Feb 1-6: Eden Gardens Ayurvedic Retreat Center
  • Feb 7: (Midnight) Bus ride to Trivandrum International Airport
  • Feb 7: Return flight from Trivandrum
 Included in Price
  • Daily yoga and meditation
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner (Feb 1-5)
  • Breakfast only (Feb 6)
  • Bus transportation to Trivandrum International Airport (TRV)
  • One daily Ayurvedic massage
  • Personal consultation with Ayurvedic specialist
Not Included in Price
  • Additional Ayurvedic massage
  • Lunch and dinner on Feb 6
  • Return flight from Trivandrum International Airport (TRV)

Registration Information

Additional Information

  • Airfare is not included in the price. Please do not book your flight until we have confirmed your registration.
  • Indian visa is required (apply online here)
  • 50% deposit required to hold your spot, and is non-refundable unless the tour is cancelled or you find someone who will take your place; balance due by November 30, 2015.

When Your Registration Is Confirmed and You’re Ready to Book Your Flights

While trip participants are responsibile for booking their own flights, Barbra and Chiara are available to advise and consult. Participants from the same region generally choose to travel on the same flights, but this is not a requirement. If you’d like to coordinate with others, Chiara and Barbra are at your service to help facilitate.

If you’re doing the full tour (Maldives and India), the recommended flight segments are as follows:

  • Home to Malé International Airport (MLE)
  • Malé International Airport (MLE) to Cochin International Airport (COK)
  • Trivandrum International Airport (TRV) to home

If you’re doing the short tour (India only), the recommended flight segments are as follows:

  • Home to Cochin International Airport (COK)
  • Trivandrum International Airport (TRV) to home

Airfares are a great deal right now. Keep in mind that airfare can change depending on how you configure your flight segments. Again, Chiara and Barbra are available to help. Here are some sample airfares we found for when searching Hipmunk:

  • RT Washington, D.C./India – approximately $1,200
  • RT Seattle/India – approximately $1,700
  • RT Los Angeles/India – approximately $1,400
  • Malé to Cochin – approximately $100 (on Spice Jet), for those doing the Maldives segment; we’ll help coordinate the suggested flight

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