Articles worth reading
12 Kid-Friendly Places In Bangalore

12 Kid-Friendly Places In Bangalore

access_time March 24, 2016

Love Banglore? Well, Manisha Desai has some great advice and suggestions to make your kids love Banglore too!   Bangalore...

Best Places To Go Backpacking In Canada

Best Places To Go Backpacking In Canada

access_time March 28, 2013

Canada is an underrated country often forgotten by travellers when planning their world trip. Nevertheless, I thought me and my...

Cox & Kings Customer Review: Andaman Delight Tour

Cox & Kings Customer Review: Andaman Delight Tour

access_time December 6, 2016

Contemplating a trip to the Andamans? Here’s what our customers have to say about their amazing experience on the Andaman...

Awaken Your Spirituality At These 10 Places In India

Awaken Your Spirituality At These 10 Places In India

access_time June 21, 2016 chat_bubble_outline 0 comments 2788 views

A lot of us shy away from the idea of spirituality. Not everyone has it in them to sit in one place and focus on things which are not displayed on a gadget screen with brightness adjustment. Technology can get as advanced as possible, but the age-old art of yoga and meditation is what saves the day for those looking at inner peace.

Enjoy all the material joys of this world, for that’s no crime. Just enhance your life experience with some soul-searching quests on these top 10 spiritual holidays in India!

Disconnect from things to connect with others and yourself; osho.com

Disconnect from things to connect with others and yourself; osho.com

#1 Osho International Meditation Resort, Pune

Chief Patron: Osho

Philosophy: Man is essentially a part of this world. He must absorb the positivity and the negativity with a calmness that extends out into the spiritual world as well.

At the Osho centre in Pune, there are sessions of Tai Chi, Chi Gong, and Zen archery; travelpod.com

At the Osho centre in Pune, there are sessions of Tai Chi, Chi Gong, and Zen archery; travelpod.com

The Place 

Trademarked with black marbles, tall trees and wide open spaces, Osho International Meditation Resort covers the areas of meditation, body-mind-spirit, philosophy, contemporary social issues, comparative religion and spirituality. Start your mornings with some relaxing one-hour drop-in sessions of Tai Chi, Chi Gong and Zen archery. Later, attend the 10 meditation sessions that start at 6 am. The resort pampers you with an Olympic-sized pool, spa, gym, cyber café, tennis courts and three dining areas serving everything from Asian mains to coffee and pastries. It also houses a small bank and a store where residents can buy the maroon and white robes required for meditation, magazines and more. As the night falls, the resort comes alive with meditation sessions, music performances and movie screenings under the full moon.

How To Get In?

The resort is open to anyone who is willing to pay for their stay and passes the HIV/AIDS test.

#2 Sivananda, Kerala

Chief Patrons: Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda

Philosophy: Serve. Love. Give. Purify. Meditate. Realise.

The surrounding beauty of Sivananda in Kerala perfectly complements your meditative state; path2yoga.net

The surrounding beauty of Sivananda in Kerala perfectly complements your meditative state; path2yoga.net

The Place

Stretched across 12 acres of coconut palm-filled lands, Sivananda provides a perfect arena for sun salutations (surya namaskar). Popular among celebrities and tourists alike, their high season starts in October and lasts till April. The accommodation arrangements for men and women are separate. Please note that children below 6 years are not permitted during the high season. Participants are served meals twice a day. However, they can munch on snacks and salads that are available at the Health Hut throughout the day. Everyone is expected to remain silent from 7:30 am till when the lights go out at 10:30 pm. The participants are allowed to leave the premises on the weekly day off, but they are expected to attend morning and evening satsangs.

How To Get In?

To be a participant, you have to sign up for the two week long beginner or intermediate course. A residential programme for kids is offered as well.

#3 Root Institute, Bodhgaya

Chief Patrons: Lama Tsong Khapa, Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Philosophy: The teachings of Buddha

Unlike other institutes, it is not necessary to enroll in a course to stay at Root Institute in Bodhgaya; popcultureactivist.blogspot.com

Unlike other institutes, it is not necessary to enroll in a course to stay at Root Institute in Bodhgaya; popcultureactivist.blogspot.com

The Place

Every year thousands of people visit Bodhgaya to retrace the steps of Buddha who received enlightenment here, Root Institute plays a major role in the life of these people. Amidst flower filled gardens and tall trees, students are taught meditation and philosophy. Every year from October to March, they offer a variety of courses ranging from two days to ten days that help students feel peace, happiness, wisdom and compassion for others. One day sessions are available as well! During the course, men and women are expected to live separately and celibacy should be maintained. Unlike other institutes, it is not necessary to enroll in a course to stay here. Asian, Western and Indian vegetarian meals are served three times a day with delivery options for students in a strict private retreat. Laundry services are provided but there is no telephone or internet access on the premises. Students are prohibited from leaving the premises during the course.

How To Get In?

The introductory courses offered in Hindi and English are open to all.

#4 Vipassana International Academy, Igatpuri

Chief Patrons: Sayagyi U Ba Khin and S. N. Goenka

Philosophy: Self-cleansing by defeating the three reasons for unhappiness- craving, aversion and ignorance.

The goal is to eliminate three causes of all unhappiness- craving, aversion, and ignorance; holidayiq.com

The goal is to eliminate three causes of all unhappiness- craving, aversion, and ignorance; holidayiq.com

The Place

As the name suggests, the academy preaches ancient Vipassana meditation techniques which dates back to the time of Buddha. Rigorous in its approach, the students of the academy are expected to observe complete silence in addition to abstinence from intoxicants and sex. Even non-verbal communication is frowned upon! A typical day at the academy commences at 4 am and no sound can be heard here except for the limited interaction between the student and the teacher. Most of the courses here are for 10 days but shorter ones are available as well. To be eligible to apply for some of the shorter courses, completing the 10-day course is mandatory.

How To Get In?

The academy is open for everyone but people with serious mental health issues and highly restrictive diets should reconsider. An online application should be filled in order to be a part of the academy.

#5 Krishnamurti Foundation, Chennai

Chief Patron: J. Krishnamurti

Philosophy: Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, not by any religion, not by any sect. Truth cannot be organised.

Krishnamurti Foundation in Chennai is essentially a paradise for avid readers; cntraveller.in

Krishnamurti Foundation in Chennai is essentially a paradise for avid readers; cntraveller.in

The Place

6.5 acres of green and quiet greet you at the Krishnamurti Foundation. A reader’s paradise, this foundation is essentially a library filled with resources about J. Krishnamurti’s teachings. Weekend retreats are hosted wherein a group of about 20 people come together and discuss his work. They also have a lively interaction about the fundamental problems of human existence. This form of meditation is meant for people who immerse themselves in the study and prefer breaking away from the daily routine. Individual study for three months or longer is also possible, but this is not structured.

How To Get In?

Fill an online application form on their website.

#6 Auroville, Pondicherry

Chief Patrons: Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa (known as the ‘Mother’)

Philosophy: Based on Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s dual vision of an ideal, multicultural township. Learn by doing!

Matrimandir, the giant gold-plated orb, is the star attraction in Auroville, Pondicherry; auroville.org

Matrimandir, the giant gold-plated orb, is the star attraction in Auroville, Pondicherry; auroville.org

The Place

Auroville promotes the concept of sustainable community and hosts about 2400 people from nearly 50 countries!  At the centre of this township is an iconic giant gold plated orb, Matrimandir, that is surrounded by 12 parks symbolising the birth of a new consciousness. While there is Internet connectivity in some parts, if you are looking for a quiet place to concentrate and to discover your consciousness, then Auroville should be on your wish-list.

How To Get In?

Entry is free for everyone, but people who wish to live at Auroville must arrange for their own accommodation or wait until Housing Service makes options available. They also need to make monthly payments and support themselves financially. Volunteering, student exchange programmes and academic/field research are welcomed at Auroville.

#7 The Art of Living International Centre, Bengaluru

Chief Patron: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Philosophy: A human mind free from stress and worry makes progress towards a peaceful world.

The Art of Living International Centre of Bengaluru, wher everyone gathers for satsang in the evening; holidayiq.com

The Art of Living International Centre of Bengaluru, where everyone gathers for satsang in the evening; holidayiq.com

The Place

Set against the backdrop of Panchagiri Hills, the institute is centered around the grand meditation hall of Vishalakshi Mantap. The main aim of the setting is to promote the theme of stress management. A typical day at the centre begins with yoga and meditation followed by breakfast and seva (voluntary service). Seva includes a wide range of jobs such as cooking, cleaning, administrative and office work, etc. The idea is to overcome personal barriers and live with no expectations. Residents are served sattvic meals prepared by using vegetables and grains from the on-premises gardens. As the sun sets, everyone gathers together for satsangs where they meditate and celebrate with song and dance.

How To Get In?

The institute is open for anyone above the age of eight. Visit their website for bookings and payments.

#8 Isha Yoga Centre, Velliangiri Mountains

Chief Patron: Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Philosophy: To dig out your ultimate potential from within by probing the science of inner well-being.

During Mahashivratri, satsang goes on throughout the night at Isha Yoga Centre, Velliangiri Mountains; cntraveller.in

During Mahashivratri, satsang goes on throughout the night at Isha Yoga Centre, Velliangiri Mountains; cntraveller.in

The Place

The headquarters of the Isha Foundation in India enjoys 150 acres of picturesque and serene lands and hosts a community of full-time volunteers, Brahmacharis and residents. Volunteers can choose from the four paths of yoga offered here- kriya (energy), gnana (knowledge), karma (action) and bhakti (devotion). The foundation houses a massive meditation hall—a pillarless structure with a dome—and an underground water body. It also provides on-site accommodation for people with families. The centre can be visited throughout the year, but it attracts the maximum crowd during Mahashivratri, when the satsang lasts the entire night. This spring celebration is attended by over a million people. Another highlight is the Isha Fest, a carnival of sorts that is held in September.

How To Get In?

Anyone can join the foundation course called Inner Engineering. There’s yoga for children too.

#9 Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh

Chief Patron: H. H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj

Philosophy: Be your best when you serve God and perform good deeds for your fellow humans.

At the Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh, all devotees are expected to attend the evening aarti; flickr.com; Sumeet Malhotra

At the Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh, all devotees are expected to attend the evening aarti; flickr.com; Sumeet Malhotra

The Place

Set against the backdrop of the gorgeous Himalayas, Pujya Swamiji’s heaven in the hills is popular among locals and tourists alike. The centre boasts of having hosted journalists from The New York Times and CNN-IBN. The institute lets you focus on yoga and meditation while having the option of returning to basic comforts such as a western-styled bathrooms with running hot water. The centre has over 1000+ rooms overlooking beautiful gardens and white snow-capped Himalayan peaks. Every evening, the devotees are expected to gather together for the Ganga Aarti- sunset prayers accompanied by music on the banks of the holy river. The accommodation is available to the devotees for a duration of 15 days. However, the stay can be extended with special permission. There are stringent rules to be followed. Devotees are prohibited from drinking, smoking and playing cards. Listening to radio, watching television and eating onion and garlic is forbidden too.

How To Get In?

The courses are open to anyone who registers seven days prior via e-mail or telephone. There are yoga courses for people with no prior experience, five-week teacher training courses, a specific Kriya Yoga course, a more advanced intensive yoga course and a spiritual retreat. Parmarth Niketan also hosts an annual one-week International Yoga Festival.

#10 Transcendental Meditation, Delhi

Chief Patron: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Philosophy: TM turns a blind eye towards religion, belief, lifestyle or diet. It believes in keeping distractions at bay.

World famous personality, Oprah, paid the TM fees for 400 of her employees; she believes in becoming a 1000% better human through TM; allevents.in

World famous personality, Oprah, paid the TM fees for 400 of her employees; she believes in becoming a 1000% better human through TM; allevents.in

The Place

Known for its unique style of meditation, TM has centres in over a 100 countries including India. The aim of the organisation is to teach a notably different style of meditation wherein the students reach a state of restful alertness. They are taught various techniques to quieten their conscious mind and to go beyond all thoughts to reach a state of pure consciousness. This state is twice as deep as the deepest sleep and is supremely relaxing. The effects include improved memory and focus, alertness, problem-solving skills and creativity, and increased self-confidence. It also reduces exhaustion and blood pressure problems, as well as the likelihood of heart disease. Moreover, TM barely requires any force or concentration. No matter in what part of the world you undertake TM, the course remains standard everywhere. The duration of the course is five days with every session lasting two hours.

How To Get In?

The courses are open for everyone. Children as young as 10 years old can be taught the technique.

In case you think we have missed out on any other meditation centres in India, please do let us know in the comments section below.

folder_openAssigned tags

About author

Cox & Kings

Cox & Kings is the longest established tours and travels company in the world. Established in 1758, we are headquartered in Mumbai with a presence in over 13 countries worldwide. Our services include destination management, domestic and international holiday packages, luxury travel, business and MICE, NRI and foreign exchange solutions, as well as insurance.

View more articles

No Comments

comment No comments yet

You can be first to leave a comment

Leave a comment

info_outline

Your data is safe with us!

We promise not to share your email address with anyone.