Rajasthan & Goa
A short introduction...
This journey first dives into the cultural riches of Rajasthan, the state of Maharajas and medieval forts, bright colours, camels and elephants. We can marvel at the beauty of the Pink and White Cities with their lakes and palaces, and explore the crafts(wo)manship in traditional clothes-making.
Our first stop in Goa is a Spice Farm in the middle of lush jungle, where we can to turn our attention to our inner treasures and spend a few days in retreat. Supported by some mindfulness and meditation instructions, we will deepen our sensibilities to the inner landscapes that unfold. Sights and sounds of the rich flora and fauna, and excellent home-cooked food will give our bodies and minds plenty of nourishment.
Via a couple of days in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi (Karnataka), with the extensive 7th century temple ruins, we will make our way to Agonda Beach, in South Goa, the final stop. Here we can absorb our experiences while we carry on with a relaxed programme, with plenty of drenching in sun and sea.
This is a journey that will fill up our senses with colours and richness, on the outside and within.
Provisional programme (to be confirmed):
1. day (28.11.): flight (Saturday afternoon or evening). I will suggest flights, so we arrive around the same time
2. day (29.11.): arrival New Delhi early or late morning. Drive to Jaipur (4.5 hrs) and transport to hotel. Three nights in Jaipur, where our cultural and historical tour commences.
3. – 4. day (30.11. – 1.12.): Time to rest and for sightseeing in Jaipur, the Pink City. We will visit historic places like the Amber Palace – on the back of an elephant, the Palace of the Winds and the City Palace. The Jantar Mantar is an ancient observatory, and the Galta Ji are a series of temples on the outskirts, in the ring of hills around Jaipur. We will be able to observe how the traditional block printing of cloth is done.
5. day (2.12.): Drive to Pushkar (3 hrs). Two nights in Pushkar.
6. day (3. 12.): Sightseeing Pushkar, a city that is bordering the Thar Desert. We will spend some time at the holy lake, and enjoy sitting there for the sunset. Also we will visit the temple dedicated to the Hindu creator-god Brahma – one of the very few in existence.
7. day (4. 12.): Drive to Udaipur (5 hrs). Three nights in Udaipur, the White City.
8. – 9. day (5. – 6. 12.): Sightseeing Udaipur, the historical Jagdish Palace and City Palace. We will take a boat ride to Jag Mandir, and visit the Sadhna Women’s Cooperative, a foundation to empower women, doing beautiful artisan work.
10. day (7. 12.): Morning Flight to Goa, transfer to Tanshikar Spice Farm (2 hrs). Four nights at the Spice Farm for retreat life in the jungle resort, exploring inner worlds and riches.
11. – 13. day (8. – 10.12.): Three full days for guided meditation and mindfulness practice - both sitting and walking directly in the jungle – a possibility for inspiration and rejuvenation in the beautiful surroundings of an organic spice farm – fabulous food included.
14. day (11. 12): Travel to Hampi, the ruins belonging to the erstwhile medieval Hindu kingdom of Vijaynagar. Three nights in Hampi
15. – 16. day (12. – 13. 12): Two days to see Hampi Monument and surrounding temple ruins and museums, and admire the excellent craftsmanship.
17. day (14. 12.): Early morning travel back to Madgaon and Agonda Beach. Five nights in Agonda.
18. – 21. day (15. – 18.12): Beach life in Agonda: swimming, sunbathing, relaxation – a perfect place to conclude a rich inner and outer journey, and let it all settle.
22. – 23. day (19. – 20. 12): Transport to airport an flight from Goa to Mumbai and connecting flight home. Arrival 20. Dec.
Mindful travel ...
We travel in order to discover unknown parts of the world – maybe also unknown aspects of ourselves. Everyone who has travelled to India can vouch for the fact that it is a very different place than the Western or European cities most of us live in. New sights, smells and sounds open us to deeper differences; show us alternative ways of living, of communicating, present us with different sets of meaning and values. While a lot of the trip will fascinate and inspire with new vistas, some of it might baffle us, some even invoke dislike.
In a spiritual setting, travel like this is sometimes described as a pilgrimage: ‘a journey, often to an unknown or foreign place, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about the self, others, nature, or a higher good.’ The journeys that Play of Now offers follow this spirit of pilgrimage: not just focused on outer sight-seeing, they seek to introduce participants to new and foreign ways of living in the world, and maybe inspire reflection on the choices we make in our own lives.
While not structuring the trip with typical elements of a pilgrimage, like prayer or devotion, we will mix some practices of mindfulness and meditation into the journeying: a conscious encounter with new outer impulses, as well as what they spark inside of us. We will have some time to reflect and discuss as well as to see and experience.
From the experience of facilitating journeys in India over more than 22 years it has become clear that these trips offer the possibility to reflect deeply and give new impulses, even change lives. With this offer we do not want to lead anyone to a specific spiritual path, but would like to help participants to use this opportunity as fully as they choose to do.
Cost and practical details ...
The price for this 23-day tour will be £2899/ 3299€* (or equivalent). Prices include all accommodation (in twin rooms) with full board, all transport in India, including two flights and entrance fees. The flight to India is not included. (More details on the booking form – please apply or get in touch if you have any questions.
As flights are organised by the participants themselves (but we are happy to help!) it is possible to either arrive earlier or stay on longer. We can also assist with the arrangements of hotels and transport for independent onward travel if desired.
Please get in touch with any question or for the booking form with all additional details.
Continued below ...
The team ...
Jaya has been assisting people on trips to India since 1997. Having practiced Buddhism for nearly 40 years she can offer guidance for meditation practice and introductions to the Buddhist teachings for those who would like to try it out. She will be a bridge for Western participants, and especially help people become more at ease in the different ways of Indian culture and customs.
Feroz is from Kashmir and is very familiar with the land and people. He speaks good English, as well as the local languages, is very friendly and helpful, and his main concern is that all participants have a brilliant trip! He lives in Srinagar and has been organising tours in the Himalayas for many years.
Both tour guides will try and help in all possible practical ways to enable participants to have a wonderful journey.
Cost and practical details continued ...
*The Euro cost is the basic one. The exact amount in other currency might need to be adjusted according to the exchange rate at the time of booking.
Disclaimer: Both guides have many years of experience of travelling in India, and accompanying groups on their journeys. Our wish is to share our fascination with the beauty of the land, culture and people with our friends, and others who would like assistance on their trip there.
We are not a travel agency and therefore cannot offer the insurance cover that is part of a journey with an agency. We would like to stress that participation on this trip is undertaken entirely at an individual’s personal request and at their own risk. The journey is to be understood like one that is organised by each individual themselves, with our advice and support in matters of route and organisation.
Participants are advised to have medical and travel insurance before travelling to India. In the unlikely event of accident or injury, health or medical issues or misadventure, missed travel connections or delays, accommodation or food/beverage issues, political or any other unforeseen issues, changes to the itinerary might be necessary. We cannot be held accountable for additional costs arising from this. If the participant is unable to take part in a portion of the tour, due to illness or for any other reason, no financial compensation can be made.
We do however want to stress that we joyfully see our task as making the trip for our groups a happy and entirely enriching experience, which will be looked back on as the journey of a lifetime. Security and comfort of all participants are most important to us. All routes and modes of transport, as well as hotels and guesthouses are chosen accordingly. As you can see in the comment section, we have had fabulous feedback from participants so far, who felt well cared for.