Thoughts on India by Corrine
I have been to India seven times now in the past eight years and am now living there four or five months a year. I find India helps me to remember what is important…love, community, family, God, kindness. Not that I don’t find these things in the west, it is just that I seem to experience these things daily in India. I find that India embodies the best and worst of everything. It is an assault to the senses! Sights, sounds, tastes and smells are intense everywhere...all of the time. It is amazing! Though not for the faint of heart, India is not for everyone, that is for sure.
I fell in love with India during my first trip there in 2001 with Deepak Chopra. I spent 3 weeks, a short amount of time really, but just enough to know that I wanted more.
I thought I knew what to expect the second time I departed for India on December 3rd 2004, but Mother India is where to expect the unexpected. I found myself in the tsunami on December 26th, 2004 on the beaches of southern Kerala running from the water and up to safety on a rooftop. After experiencing the tsunami and sleeping on a rooftop for a few nights, I headed to Tiruvinammalai (Tiru), to welcome in the New Year. I fell in love with Tiru and stayed for two months. Tiru, the home of the sacred mountain Arunachala...the oldest mountain on earth. For thousands of years people have been coming to Tiru to worship the mountain as it is said that the Arunachala is Shiva! One million come to Tiru every month on the full moon to do Pradakshana...the spiritual practice of walking the 16km around the mountain. It is a site to see and experience. During my stay in Tiru in 2004 I broke my left foot and had a caste and crutches for six weeks. I also got terribly ill with parasites. I got to know the nurses and doctor at the local hospital very well. I learned to smile through the pain and discomfort and I also experienced a pure acceptance of what is through my perils and that feeling has stayed with me in my life over in the west ever since.
Tirvinammalai is a magical place. Even through the hardships, it was amazing! You see people of all backgrounds, classes, levels of income and education and they all live together in India. You see a vast variety in just walking a few blocks. And so there is an innate sense of appreciation that most everyone has in India. Everyone seems to be thankful for what they have. Whereas in North America we seem so separate or at least that is our experience. We are raised an individuals, feeling separate from everyone and not experiencing the variety of cultures and economic classes on a daily basis. We always want more rather that appreciating what we already have. That is a pretty big difference when it comes to general daily happiness. Indians have a sense of acceptance and happiness with exactly what they have. Not that I they don’t more. They work very hard to make life easier for the next generation. However, they are also happy with what they have. That is my observation and one of the many reasons that I love India.
My third trip to India was much easier on my body and I fell not only in love with the country even more but I also fell in love with an amazing Indian man from Tiru! I started my trip January 8th 2007 with a group of brave American women who entrusted me to take them on a yoga tour to India. We had the most amazing two weeks and I really enjoyed showing people India through my eyes and also seeing India through their eyes. We started each day with a yoga class on the roof and finished each night by chanting in the moonlight. Inbetween we received wonderful ayurvedic massages, hiked up Arunachala, meditated with a 'silent Saint', shopped and shopped some more, visited an orphanage, rode a bull cart around Arunachala, ate amazing South Indian food, got blessings in ancient temples, laughed a lot, drank daily fresh coconuts, rode is rickshaws and left India fully transformed.
My new love Satya and I now do the tours together. For upcoming tour dates please click on the 'tours to India' link or you can go to http://wannagotoindia.com When it is your time to go to India the pathways will clear and magic will happen to get you there. The call is so loud you will not be able to help but respond.
One other thing I would like to mention. When I broke my foot in India in 2004 I had an wonderful rickshaw driver who took very good care of me. I asked him what I could do for him and he said all he wanted was for his son to receive a good education. So now, every year I pay $300 for my friend Kumar's son Krishor to go to a local private school where he is getting an excellent education. $300 pays for his tuition, cloths, books and transportation for one year…amazing! Krishor is six now and will get a great education and be able to help his sister, mother and father as he gets older. in the past few years since I have met this wonderful family Kumar's wife now speaks excellent english and is in computer school. So this small amount ends up changing an entire families’ life (If you are interested in sending a child to school in India you can click on the 'make a donation' button on the India page and 100% of your donation will go to sending an Indian child to school).
Tours to India
Travel to South India with Corrine and Satya
Two Weeks in South India
February 14 - 26, 2010
Travel in comfort with all accommodations, transportation, meals and tour included. International Airfare will be your only added expense. A confirmation package that includes step by step instructions on everything you will need to do to prepare for your trip will be sent upon registration.
Join us in India
I love India, and after many requests from friends asking me to take them on my next adventure...I decided to book the trip! I love the people, the culture, the food: I even love the filth. India can be an assault to the senses with the intense smells, colors, sites and sounds; yet there is such a beauty in the people and their ancient way of life. The clothes, food and living conditions in some places have not changed for thousands of years. Life is simple and the people of India are full of innocence and love. My favorite place in India is the home of the sacred mountain Arunachala in the Tiruvinnamalia, the south of India: and this is where my partner Satya comes in: Our local tour guide who is South Indian, will take us to ancient sites and to visit Saints that only a local would know about.
Satya speaks nine different languages and has beening living in Tiruvinnamalai for ten years.
Join us for an adventure of a lifetime.
Your Tour Guide
Being born of the Brahmin Caste, as a child Satya studied the Sanskrit language, Vedic Astrology and Intuitive Counceling. As an adult he took this knowledge and left his home in Chennai for adventures that took him all over India. He continued to travel extensively in India discovering many of its hidden corners and learning life from it's rich tapestry of traditions and culture. Satya has also spent time in Germany and Spain. For the last ten years Satya has settled himself at the feet of his beloved Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai and has a Guest House, restaurant and Yoga Center.
Day 1, 2, 3, 4
Upon your arrival in Chennai/Madras we will drive one hour to Mamallapuram where we will spend three days at a quaint Inn on the beach to ease gently into India. We will do yoga daily on the rooftop, dine on fresh Indian food, visit local temples and chant in the evenings. Mammalapuram is a very small and charming beach town that has many wonderful artists and is most famous for it’s fantastic sculptures that are shipped all over the world. A slow and easy integration to Mother India is our goal for these first three days.
Day 5 to 10
Morning rooftop yoga and breakfast. Three hour drive to Tiruvannamalai on air conditioned bus. Tiruvannamalai, an ancient temple town, at the foot of the hill, Arunachala the heart of Shiva consciousnes. Bullock cart ride around mountain. Visit Patcha Ama Temple. Dinner. Evening Chant. Fall into bed with dreams of Shiva and chanting. Days in Tiru will include options of early morning walks around the mountains inner path which is 7kms, short walks up the mountain to Skanda Ashram cave to meditate, visiting the many temples in the area, sitting with Saints and meditating, visiting gurus and enlightened beings, getting massages and laying by the pool at the foot of Arunachala, visiting chai shops in the afternoons, chanting in the evenings. Six days will fly by in this amazing town…one of the most powerful places on earth.
Day 11 to 14
Less than a three hour drive away is the famous colonial city of Pondicherry. With a pretty setting on the Bay of Bengal Pondi has a different feel and look than the rest of India because of the strong French influence. The famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram is just down the street from our hotel. Shopping is wonderful in the town as the 800 acre development of Auroville is just ten minutes up the road. This conscious community exports high quality clothing and other goods that are made on the property.
Enchanting South India Tour
Two Weeks in South India
$2208 per person double occupancy
$3208 single occupancy
$444 deposit due upon registration
(If we have 10 or more participants, you will receive $150 off of your registration price...so bring your friends!)
We limit each tour to 14 people so please pay your deposit as soon as you possible.
Total price of tour is due 45 days prior to departure date.
Tour price includes all transportation including airport pickup and drop off, accommodations, meals, temple fees, daily yoga classes. International Flights must be booked and paid by individuals on their own. Roundtrip India airfare runs from $1000 to $1800 depending on what part of the country you fly from. Singapore Air, Malaysia Air and United are great choices as well as many others. Fly in and out of Chennai (aka Madras)
My philosophy for the tour is less travel/bus time and more time in the sacred towns to settle in and get a feel for each place. Our accommodations are very nice for India standards and most will have air conditioning when needed and hot water. India is however, a third world country and so the rooms will be quite different than our comforts in the USA. Our shuttle bus is very nice with a/c and comfy seats. We will sleep and eat in comfort and safety so that you can most fully enjoy your two weeks in India. We will save the pilgrimage for your second trip!
Weather: The weather in south India in February is about 85 degrees with cool evenings and some rain and high humidit
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