Enjoy Yoga Holidays in India

During your Stay at the Ashram

All of our retreats have six days of classes and the seventh day is a day-off, for optional tours, to explore the cultural and spiritual beauty of the places nearby. You will have the opportunity to enjoy your yoga holiday in India and join with other students on these day-trips that we organize to the following places:

1. Mysore, Karnataka

Well known as the cultural/spiritual capital of South India, Mysore is an ancient place steeped in art and culture, which was kept unbroken for centuries by the rule of Hindu kings until it merged into the newly created India in 1947. Today Mysore is popular for its palaces, temples, museums, flowers, silk, spices, colourful street markets, several parks/gardens, lakes, food, coffee, and more than 20 yoga centers. There are several cultural and spiritual activities besides yoga to make this place a favourite hangout for backpackers!

Approximate costs: $10 – $20/person.
More about Mysore:
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/india/karnataka/mysore
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysore
http://wikitravel.org/en/Mysore

2. Bylakuppe & Coorg

Bylakuppe is the largest Tibetan Colony outside Tibet, even bigger than Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh in North India. One can see some of the biggest Tibetan Temples and monasteries in this area. It is a great place for shopping too.

Coorg is a rain-forest-hilly area closer to Bylakuppe and is famous for several Waterfalls, Elephant park, Coffee plantations – that’s where most of the coffee is grown and exported to the West.

Approximate Costs: $20-$40/person, depends on number of people.
More about these places:
Bylakuppe, Tibetan Settlements in Karnataka
http://wikitravel.org/en/Kodagu

 

3. Wild-Life and Wayanad, Kerala

Wayanad District in Kerala, at 70 kilometers from our AyurYoga Eco-Ashram, is one of the protected Forest Reserves in India, mostly filled with thick forests and hills, while you can see a few spice and tea/coffee plantations in between. This scenic drive also goes through the Kabini Dam and Nagarhole Forest Reserves where you can get to see plenty of deer, wild elephants, and if you are lucky, a tiger! It’s the ultimate trip to experience Nature without taking the trouble of hiking/trekking, which is also possible if you go separately for two days time.

We organize a day-trip to Wayanad in Kerala to give you an experience of ancient forests filled with many sacred/herbals trees, which are the major source of ayurvedic medicines today. Other than driving through forest and wild life, we stop at Kuruva Islands, Edakkal Caves, Banasura Dam and other Natural and Cultural places, if time permits.

Approximate Costs: $20-$40/person, depends on number of people.
More about Wayanad:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayanad_district
http://www.wayanad.org/content/wayanad-outdoor-trail

 

Before/after your stay with us

The location of AyurYoga Eco-Ashram is at the heart of South India which makes it easy to travel around to many tourist attractions in Karnakata, Kerala, and Tamilanadu within a few hours of drive. Besides the day-trips we offer during your stay here, we can also help our students in traveling before/after the retreats, with our suggestions and co-ordination with Voyage Bird Travels who organizes trips around South India.

Here is the list of some of recommend places to explore in South India. Please check out Google Maps to locate these places and distances from our place.

Recommended Places in Karnataka

Mysore
Other than the day-trips we offer during your stay, if you have more time, Mysore deserves more than one day-trip to stay and to explore its culture, shopping and doing yoga classes, besides visiting a lot of parks, museums, palaces, temples and ashrams. We recommend our students to stay at Krishnaprem Homestay in Gokulam, which is affordable and central to all yoga places.
Buddhist and Jain Temples at Shravanabelagola-Belur-Halebidu
Other than Bylakuppe, the largest Tibetan settlement, there are three Temple Towns famous for classical rock architecture with stone and sculpture. Please google for shravanabelagola –Belur – Halebidu. All three places can be covered in one day, while staying in Mysore. There is also one amazing temple with stunning sculptures in Somanathapura, at 40 km. distance from the ashram.

Hampi

Famous hangout for backpackers, Hampi is popular for its stone work and sculptures in many temples in that area. Many travelers stop here for a day or two on their way to Gokarna or Goa Beaches on the west coast of Karnataka. There are regular luxury buses between Goa and Bangalore that pass through this town. For more info: http://wikitravel.org/en/Hampi

Gokarna & Goa

Alternative to crowded Goa, Gokarna is famous for its peaceful, not much developed beaches and quiet time for backpackers. It is located on the west coast of Karnataka and a few hours drive before entering Goa – which is also famous for many tourists looking for beaches and partying – though we don’t recommend Goa after/before yoga retreats.

Possible Routes: Mysore-Buddhist & Jain Temples – Bangalore-Hampi-Gokarna/Goa-Mumbai
Major Airports: Bangalore. Mangalore/Mumbai, if you want to start with Gokarna/Goa

Recommended Places in Kerala

  • Wayanad District, for Nature, Trekking, Outdoor Activities, Spice/Coffee Plantations
  • Malabar Coast: Talassery and Kappad Beach near Calicut Airport are famous for Beaches, Ayurveda, Theyyam Dance
  • Trichur, Cultural Capital of Kerala, famous for annual Elephant Festival, Elephant Park
  • Munnar, famous for miles of amazing hills filled with tea plantations
  • Fort Cochin, popular hangout near Cochin, is famous for it’s Portuguese Heritage and shopping souvenirs. Tourist generally stop for short stay after, or in middle of tiring busy travel itineraries, to chill out with western cafes and music etc…
  • Allepy – backwater boat trips and Amma’s Ashram
  • Varkala Beach – that’s where most of the tourists hangout for weeks/months to chill out with plenty of yoga, restaurants, cultural programs, besides the beach. Comparing to many resorts/homestays in Kerala, which are expensive, Varkala is a paradise for backpackers and long-term stays with affordable accommodation and food.

Possible Routes: Wayanad-Calicut-Trichur-Munnar-Fort Cochin-Allepy-Varkala-Trivandrum to fly in/out.
From Cochin, you can also go to Kodaikanal-Bodhizendo-Madurai in Tamilandadu, via Munnar.
You can also make a triangular tour of Kerala and Tamilandu via Trivandrum-Kanyakumari.
Major Airports: Calicut, Cochin and Trivandrum

Recommended Places in Tamilnadu

Ooty Closest Hill Station from AyurYoga Eco-Ashram
About three hours drive from our Ashram, Ooty is a popular touristy spot and well known hill station to escape the heat of summer. It’s a good place to experience Nature, Hills, Forests, for a day or two during a busy travel itinerary.  During winter season, it can be really cold out there and no reason to be there unless you miss the snow and cold from back home.  More info: http://wikitravel.org/en/Ooty
Kodaikanal: Hill station with plenty of Nature, outdoor activities, forests
About 7 hours drive from AyurYoga Eco-Ashram, Kodiakanal is another Hill Station at the height of 7200 feet – a popular hangout for backpackers. You can easily stay for a week or more in exploring the Nature, Tribes, Trekking, Paragliding and other outdoor activities. More info:  http://wikitravel.org/en/Kodaikanal , http://www.karunafarm.in

BodhiZendo – Zen Meditation Center

If you are scared of sitting 10 hours/day in a Vipasana Retreat, Bodhi Zendo offers a light version of intensive meditation retreats. We recommend many of our students to book a place here months ahead as it is generally always fully booked. More info:  http://www.bodhizendo.org

Madurai - Ancient Grand Temples and Grand Bazars

A few hours away from Bodhi Zendo Madurai, is a must visit to witness one of the biggest temples in the world – an ancient Mother Temple and ancient bazars famous for their business with Greeks and Romans much before Silk Route. If you are in Madurai, you can either go down to KanyaKumar – the tip of India – to enter in Triavandrum/Varkala area of Kerala. Or else you can go up to Thiruvannamalai – Auroville – Mahabalipuram-Chennai.

Thiruvannamalai – For all things spiritual

Well known for Ramana Ashram and Jnana Yoga Philosophy Discourse, Thiruvannamalai is popular with spiritual seekers from around the world. Accommodation is economical and makes it a heaven for backpackers.  Check out various spiritual retreats/courses offered there during cooler months between November and March. Summers are too hot. On the way from Madurai to Thiruvannamalai, you can also stop for other famous temples complex in Chidambaram, Tanjavore and Trichy.

Auroville – An Experimental International Community

On the East Coast of India, closer to Chennai, Auroville is 5000 acres of man-made forest and a huge experimental township under the guidance of Mother and Aurobinod. Today it is one of the top-most places for all things ecological in India. It is a great place to volunteer and to study Ecology. We recommend all our students to visit this place at least once: http://auroville.org  Mahabalipuram Beach, another popular spot for backpackers, is closer Auroville and on the way to Chennai.

Possible Routes: Ooty-Kodaikanal-BodhiZendo-Madurai-Thriuvannamalai-Auroville-Chennai

Major Airports: Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai.

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