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A Mindful Journey Through India

A Mindful Journey through India
16th Feb – 3rd Mar 2024 – 16 nights

About the Journey

Join Buddhist teacher, Grahame White, and North Indian Tour Leader Sunit Tiwari on a magical pilgrimage to some of the most sacred sites in India. In the north we shall visit the holy towns of Bodh Gaya, Sarnath & Varanasi.

A journey not to be missed

As well as visiting these Buddhist sites, we will take an amazing journey through Uttar Pradesh (home of the Taj Mahal) & Rajasthan, where we will visit many of the most iconic sites and take in the colourful life of these regions.

During this pilgrimage, local guides will further our knowledge about the historical sites we are visiting. Daily meditation practices, led by Grahame, will also be offered most mornings and evenings to enhance our mindful journey.

This pilgrimage will be suitable for those with some meditation experience as well as beginners who have an interest in learning Vipassana meditation and exploring the teachings of the Buddha within India. In our daily meditation practice we will be concentrating on Vipassana meditation in daily life. On the cushion, off the cushion.

We invite you to join us for this unique opportunity to enhance your Vipassana meditation practice, amongst the beauty of India.


Daily Tour Itinerary

16th Feb – Arrive Kolkata International Airport – The City of Joy

One of India’s most historic and cosmopolitan cities, Kolkata has been at the centre of activity of various civilizations. Large populations of Chinese, Armenian, Jewish, and other immigrant communities have
all called Kolkata home, and the city’s stunning architecture pays testament to its social, political, and cultural richness.
• Arrival at Kolkata International airport
• Group will be meet by our bus and tour leader, outside the airportand transferred to the hotel
• Hotel check in, early night sleep

17th Feb – Kolkata | Bodh Gaya

  • Breakfast and orientation meeting with Tour Leader and Grahame, followed by some sightseeing in and around Kolkata, including Mother Theresa House, Queen Victoria Memorial and more if time permits
    • Back to hotel for lunch and hotel check out
    • Group transfer to Kolkata train station to catch afternoon Rajdhani Express train to Gaya. (Departs at 4pm and arrives Gaya 10pm)
    • Enjoy an evening scenic Indian train ride
    • Group bus pickup at Gaya train station and transfer to Bodhgaya

18th Feb -Bodh Gaya |Enlightenment site of the Buddha

  • Breakfast at the hote
  • Morning meditation at Maha Bodhi Temple followed by a guided tour of the sacred site
  • Visit to historic Burmese Vihara
  • Back to hotel for lunch and rest time
  • Late afternoon visit to Tibetan Temple
  • Dinner at the hotel

19th Feb – Bodh Gaya – The Root Institute for Wisdom & Culture

Root Institute for Wisdom Culture is a beautiful oasis of tranquility located near Bodhgaya in the north Indian state of Bihar. With close vicinity to the Mahabodhi Stupa where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, Root Institute is a unique place for practice, contemplation and blessings.

  • Early morning we head to the Root Institute for Wisdom Culture – a beautiful oasis of tranquility located and is a unique place for meditation practice, contemplation, and blessings
  • Back to our hotel for breakfast
  • Continue with sightseeing in/around Bodhgaya, visiting all the temples and places of worship
  • After lunch afternoon visit to Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women’s Nunnery. The nuns will offer meditation and chanting in the Tibetan tradition
  • Dinner provided at hotel
  • Evening meditation at Maha Bodhi Temple

Stay 3 nights in Bodhgaya

20th Feb – Varanasi – The Holy Hindu City

The Holy Hindu City Also known as Benares or Kashi, Varanasi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and is regarded as the spiritual capital of North India. The Ganges is considered the most sacred waterway in India, to people of Hindu faith. Pilgrims descend on the holy city each year to cleanse their sins in its purifying waters

  • Depart Bodh Gaya after breakfast for a scenic rural drive to Varanasi, the spiritual heartland of Hinduism
  • Arrive by lunch. Check into hotel. Afternoon rest/free time
  • With our local guide we shall take a beautiful sunset guided walk along the famous “ghats” on the Ganges River to witness the life along the Ghats
  • Evening meditation with Grahame before group dinner

21st Feb – Varanasi

  • Sunrise boat journey along the Ganges River to witness all the morning rituals and bathing and puja by the locals
  • Return to hotel for group breakfast
  • Meet in reception at for further sightseeing tour in/around Varanasi
  • Sunset we shall experience the Holy Hindu Arti/Fire ceremony on Ganges. Arti is a fire puja ceremony ritual devotion conducted by Hindu priest in worship to Mother Ganga

22nd Feb – Varanasi – Sarnath

Sarnath located 10kms outside of Varanasi, is where, circa 528BC, at 35 years of age, Gautama Buddha taught his first Buddhist sermon after attained enlightenment at Bodhgaya.

  • Morning meditation session with Graham overlooking the Holy Ganges River
  • Group breakfast back hotel
  • Today we take an excursion to Sarnath, where Buddha first preached the 4 Noble Truths to his disciples in the 5th Century B.C
  • Afternoon FREE time & group dinner

Stay 3 nights in Varanasi

23rd & 24th Feb – Delhi /Agra – The Taj Mahal

Delhi India’s capital city is a big metropolitan city. Agra is legendary as the home of the Taj Mahal, the immortal marble mausoleum and an ode to love

  • Check out of Varanasi hotel taxi transfer to domestic airport for flight to Delhi (mid morning)
  • Arrive Delhi, and bus transfer immediately to Agra (approx 3 hour drive)
  • Check into hotel and evening meditation with Grahame before dinner
  • Next morning sunrise entry into Taj Mahal & visit Agra Fort (1 ticket for both sites)
  • Evening meditation and dinner at hotel

2 nights stay in Delhi

25th, 26th & 27th Feb – Jaipur – The Pink City

The beauty of the Pink City the capital of Rajasthan is known across the globe. Surrounded by Aravalli Hills and residing next to the Thar desert, Jaipur is a splendor of history and culture

  • Depart early to Jaipur, (approx. 4-5hrs)
  • Check into hotel relax
  • Next day Local guide for our sightseeing around Jaipur, Including visiting the City Palace complex and Amber Fort
  • Evening meditation with Grahame and dinner

Stay 3 nights in Jaipur

28th & 29th Feb – Jodhpur – The Blue City

Jodhpur is famous for its 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort, a former palace that’s now a museum, set on a rocky outcrop, overlooking the blue painted houses

  • Depart early from Jaipur (approx. 4 hrs) to Jodhpur and enjoy the beautiful rural countryside, passing through small villages and stopping for chai along the way
  • Arrive Check into hotel. Relax, dinner in hotel
  • Next day local sightseeing tour with guide in and around this the Blue city, including a walk up the Mehrangarh Fort, and sightseeing tour inside
  • Last day to explore further around the old town and shopping and cafes/local restaurants

Stay 2 nights Jodhpur

1st & 2nd Mar – Aurangabad – Ellora & Ajanta Caves

These incredible caves are universally regarded as masterpieces of Buddhist religious art. The Ajanta Caves constitute ancient monasteries and worship-halls of different Buddhist traditions carved into a 75-metre (246 ft) wall of rock. The caves also present paintings depicting the past lives and rebirths of the Buddha, pictorial tales from Aryasura’s Jatakamala, and rock-cut sculptures of Buddhist deities. Textual records suggest that these caves served as a monsoon retreat for monks, as well as a resting site for merchants and pilgrims in ancient India.

  • Early morning flight to Aurangabad by Flight (via Mumbai)
  • On arrival transfer to hotel relax
  • Next day full sightseeing with local guide of the all the caves
  • Evening meditation class with Grahame

Stay 2 nights in Aurangabad

3rd March – Fly Mumbai home

  • Morning of meditation with Grahame
  • Lunch followed by afternoon domestic flight to Mumbai to connect with our evening international flight back back to your home countries

A Mindful Journey Through India Tour Package Price

$5,895 AUD per person (twin share)
Single Room Extra – $2,185 per person

Tour Includes….

  • Mix of 4 & 5* hotels with breakfast
  • Group Tour bus with driver
  • Train from Kolkata to Gaya
  • All group airport & hotel transfers
  • 2 meals per day (breakfast & dinner)
  • Oneway domestic flight to Mumbai
  • All sightseeing with local guides
  • All meditation classes with Grahame White
  • All entrance fees to temples and sights
  • Indian Tour Manager –Mr Sunit Tiwari

Tour Excludes….

  • International Airline tickets
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Indian tourist visa
  • Tipping | Local Payment – $200 USD /16,500 INR for tipping of whole journey. ie Tour leader , driver, restaurant waiters, hotel staff, temple donations, carrying of bags in hotels, airports, train stations, shoe minding, security staff etc.
  • Any meals food or drinks outside included meals in itinerary
  • Any costs associated with changes in itinerary, such as additional bookings of hotels for extra nights due to delays beyond the control of Tiwari Travel

Bookings & Enquiries

  • 30% non-refundable tour deposit required to book and confirm a spot
  • 70% final balance is due 2 months prior to departure

Our Tour Leader

Sunit Tiwari is a highly experienced tour manager and guide. He has been leading group tours around India for 18 years. He is from Varanasi a devout and practicing Hindu. Sunit has lived in also in Australia & Europe and will be a great source of support for our group journey.

Our Teacher

Grahame White has been involved in Buddhist meditation practice for over 40 years. He began his study of Buddhism in England in 1969 before being ordained as a Buddhist monk for one year in Bodh Gaya, India in 1971. He took a primary role in the establishment of Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw in Australia and co-founded the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Center. He currently leads introductory and day-long courses in Sydney and Wollongong. As well as being the teacher for Vipassana Illawarra he is a guiding teacher for Vipassana Hawaii, where he teaches regular retreats. Grahame has also helped pioneer the workshop format of teaching meditation that enhances the transfer of mindfulness from the formal sitting practice into daily life.

Our Australian Travel Agent

Meredith Wilks is the manager/owner of Tiwari Travel Sydney, Australia office. An experienced Tour Operator/Travel Agent for India & Sri Lanka for the past 18 years. She is super passionate about her business. She has explored over 30 countries and lived on & off India for many years. One of her proudest personal achievements was trekking solo to Mt Everest base camp. Meredith is available for enquiries about the tour and booking of international flights, visas & travel Insurance

$5895 AUD per person (twin share)
Single Room Extra – $2185

(Inclusive of all service fees & local taxes)

Tiwari Travel