Yātrā, a sanskrit word meaning journey, refers to a pilgrimage to spiritual places, such as temples, monuments and other sacred or historical sites.
Please be aware that the yatra is not a vacation, but a spiritual pilgrimage. For this reason it is recommended that you have visited one of our ashrams and are accustomed to our routine. Quite frequently our days will begin at 5:30 or 6:00 AM for meditation, yoga asana or other spiritual practice.
The pilgrimage starts from Nemmara (Swamiji’s birth place) in Kerala and will end at his Mahasamadhi place at Sivananda Kutir, Netala, Uttarakhand.
On our way we will visit many sacred sites and places of interest – please see the website for a full list.
Yes. We have split the yatra up into three segments – you can join one, two or all three parts. The segments are divided as follows:
- 1st Segment (Nemmara to Gudur) 24 Sept – 12 Oct 2018
- 2nd Segment (Gudur to Delhi) 12 Oct – 23 Oct 2018
- 3rd Segment (Delhi to Neteala) 23 Oct – 11 Nov 2018
The pilgrimage officially begins in Nemmara in Kerala on 24th September, but we will meet in our ashram in Kerala beforehand (Dhanwantari Ashram, Neyyar Dam). We recommend arriving two to three days before the official start date (around 20th September) to allow time for rest and acclimatising to the weather and food etc. We will travel together from the ashram to Nemmara on the morning of 23rd.
Dormitory accommodations will be provided for the nights we are staying in ashrams (men and women separate). The hotel accommodations are double occupancy (2 people sharing 1 room, same gender) with an attached private bathroom. Hotels are modest rooms in simple accommodation..
Sometimes we have extra rooms depending on the initial reservation and the final number of guests. Please contact us to inquire about availability. Extra fees will apply.
We will be travelling in a comfortable air conditioned bus.
|Segments||Date||Price(Foreigners)||Price (Indian nationals)|
|1 – Nemmara toGudur||24 Sept – 12 Oct 2018||US $2,000||INR 50,000|
|2 – Gudur to Delhi||12 Oct – 23 Oct 2018||US $2,000||INR 50,000|
|3 – Delhi – Uttarkashi||23 Oct – 11 Nov 2018||US $2,000||INR 50,000|
|All 3 segments||24 Sept – 11 Nov 2018||US $6,000||INR 150,000|
This includes accommodation, travel within India, entrance fees, vegetarian meals, yoga asana classes, satsangs and other special cultural programmes. Please contact us on [email protected] for more information.
Our Cancellation & Refund policy is:
- For cancelling the registration more than one week before the start of the JSY, refund will be done after deducting 10% as administrative charges and less an additional Rs 5,000 if an international bank transfer is required.
- For cancelling the registration one week or less before the start of the JSY, the original payment will be refunded less 50% of the JSY fee.
- Once the JSY starts, if the student decides to leave no refund will be issued.
The ashram is located in Neyyar Dam, Kerala. The closest airport is Trivandrum (TRV), which is approximately a 1-hour drive from the ashram (35 km).
Inside the airport after you exit customs, there is a pre-paid taxi booth. Ask to be taken to the Sivananda Ashram in Neyyar Dam. The drivers are familiar with the location of the ashram. Expect to pay 900-1000 Indian Rupees.
As we will be travelling through many different states, we will encounter different climates. We begin our yatra at the end of the monsoon season, so for those travelling on segment 1 (Nemmara to Gudur) we can expect a little rain. As we move from Kerala through Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to Andhra Pradesh, it will usually be dry and sunny, with average temperatures of 30°C.
On segment 2, (Gudur to Delhi), we can expect dry and hot weather as we travel from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi. Temperatures average from 30-35°c.
During the third segment (Delhi to Netala), weather is usually very dry as we make our way from Delhi through many places in Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir. As we ascend further north the temperatures drop from an average of 30°C to 15°C. The weather can be below freezing at night in some places, so best to be prepared with warm clothing.
To help you prepare for your trip here is a list of things we suggest to bring:
- Scarves and shawls (women are required to wear a shawl in temples. We also recommend a warm shawl/blanket to cover up during rides in the AC bus). See below for more information on clothing to bring.
- Shoes that easily slip on/off (It is Indian custom to take off your shoes when entering a temple or house), for this reason it is recommended to bring flip flops or other sandals that can easily be taken on and off
- For sunny days a hat, sunblock and sunglasses
- In case of rain an umbrella or rain poncho
- Yoga mat and meditation cushion (see below …)
- A towel
- Reusable water bottle
- Mosquito repellant
- toilet paper (can be purchased inexpensively in the ashram)
- An adapter for electrical items
Depending on which segment you will be joining us on, you will require different items of clothing. For those travelling on the first and second segment, modest yet light, airy clothing is recommended as the weather will be warm. As we ascend up the Himalayas during the third segment, the temperature will drop, and though it may be sunny in the day it may be very cold at night, so warm clothing will be needed – a few thick sweaters and trousers, socks, gloves and a hat.
It is recommended to bring your own yoga mat as we will be staying in many places which will not provide them. You can also purchase a yoga mat in the Neyyar Dam ashram before the pilgrimage begins – the mats range in price between 650 and 800 Indian Rupees. Depending on your comfort sitting on the floor, you may require a meditation cushion as well. Simple cushions can also be purchased inexpensively in the ashram (200 Rupees)
Insurance is not provided for the JSY. You may procure a health and other relevant insurance covers prior to your travel to India.
You will need to dress modestly while in India, especially women. In temples your shoulders, knees and chest must be covered. A shawl is recommended to cover the chest. While on the yatra, do not wear tank tops, sleeveless shirts, short skirts or short trousers. Modest clothing is also required for yoga asana classes and while swimming. Traditional Indian dress for women in temples is either a sari or churidhar (2 piece pant suit). If you do not have any suitable clothes, consider arriving in India a few days before the pilgrimage begins and go shopping.
The left hand is regarded as unclean in India. While in temples always use your right hand to make an offering or accept prasad (blessed food).
Please consult your local health authority (or family doctor) regarding whether or not you require vaccinations while travelling.
Yes, all foreign nationals require a visa to visit India. Please apply for a tourist visa for the pilgrimage. Contact your local Indian consulate for more information.
Medical care is of a high standard in India and is widely available if you happen to require medical attention during the yatra.
Clean and filtered water will be available on the pilgrimage (no extra cost). Please bring a water bottle that can be refilled. We do not recommend drinking tap water while on the yatra.
Nutritious vegetarian food will be provided, with the cuisine varying according to the region of India we will be in. You can expect mildly spiced food such as rice dishes, dal, dosa, wheat chapati (also known as roti or naan), idly (steamed rice cakes), coconut chutneys and Indian sweets.Bottled water, tea and fruit juice will also be available.
Rice dishes are widely available in India as an alternative to wheat. Please notify us on arrival.
Photography is not allowed in most temples. Please follow instructions from the staff as to when photography is appropriate. Some temples do not allow cellphones or tablets to be taken inside. The staff will indicate when these items are permitted.
We recommend arriving two to three days before the start of the yatra at our Neyyar Dam ashram.
Yes, you are welcome to arrive anytime. Some guests prefer to arrive several days early to adjust to the time difference before the pilgrimage begins. You can stay in the Neyyar Dam ashram in the dormitory. No prior reservation is required. Please see our website for the current fees for extra nights in the ashram (this fee includes meals, yoga asana classes, satsang, asana coaching and philosophy lectures). During this time you can also visit our onsite Ayurvedic clinic for consultations, massages and other traditional Ayurvedic treatments. Visit the website for more information.
The yatra’s final programme ends in Netala on 11th November. From there we will travel back to Haridwar in the evening, and stay overnight (no extra charge). From there you are free to continue your journey onward, in India or to your home country.
Every day will be different due to travel and our location, but you can expect one satsang and yoga class, and three meals per day. Travel time will be up to 8 hours daily