This is one of our more off-beat religious studies tours in India, and is a great option for academic study tours as well as a fascinating holiday for anyone with an interest in Jainism and Indian religious history.
The Jain religion emerged in north India at about the same time as Buddhism around 2,500 years ago. Although the two religions have much in common, Jain teachings have a strong focus on the doctrines of non-violence and asceticism. The traditions of Jainism have left an incredible architectural and cultural legacy across India, with many of the most interesting and beautiful temples and shrines situated in the western Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat, which form the basis for this spiritual tour of India.
Fly from your home country for Mumbai.
Arrive in Mumbai and take the connecting flight to Bhavnagar and transfer to a heritage hotel for the night.
Today explore the old city and visit the Gandhi Smriti Museum which showcases books, rare photos and memorabilia linked to the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Overnight in hotel at Bhavnagar.
Today drive 50km to Palitana, an area strongly associated with many Jain legends and history. Overnight in hotel at Palitana.
Today climb the holy Jain hill of Shatrunjaya, and visit some of the 900 temples on its slopes and summit. Overnight in hotel at Palitana.
Drive to Junagarh (190 km) and check into hotel for overnight stay.
Have a day at leisure in Junagarh before catching the overnight sleeper train to Ahmedabad
Visit Sabarmati Ashram and Calico Museum of Textiles. Gandhi’s doctrine of Ahimsa was formed by the influence of Jains in his early life.
Morning train to Mount Abu Road and short drive to Mount Abu, the only hill station in Rajasthan. Sacred to Hindus and Jains, the area contains a number of Jain temples including the Dilwara Temples a complex of 11th century temples beautifully carved from white marble. Overnight in hotel in Mount Abu.
Spend a day at leisure exploring the hill station and sights of Mount Abu.
Today take the afternoon train to Ajmer, and a short drive to Pushkar, the peaceful small holy town situated around a small lake, famous for its annual camel fair and the only Hindu temple dedicated to Brahma the creator. Overnight at hotel in Pushkar.
Spend the day exploring the markets of Pushkar, visit the Brahma temple and walk up the nearby hill for spectacular views of the area. Overnight in Pushkar.
In the morning visit the shrine of Sufi saint Khawaja Moin-ud-din Chisti in Ajmer, and in the afternoon take the train to New Delhi, arriving at 22:15. Overnight at hotel in Delhi.
Orientation tour of Delhi or optional all-day visit to Agra for the Taj Mahal. Overnight at hotel in Delhi.
Morning transfer to airport for international departure. Due to the Jain tradition’s emphasis on ascetic practice, this Jainism tour can make an interesting additional extension to any of our yoga holidays in India.