WCCM (World Community for Christian Meditation) Pilgrimage to Kashmir & Ladakh

WCCM (World Community for Christian Meditation) Pilgrimage to Kashmir & Ladakh – July 2017

monastery

This WCCM pilgrimage follows in the tradition of meditative visits of engagement to the sub-continent begun in 1998 with the first Way of Peace event. On this occasion our encounters will be in that special part of North India which is Kashmir and “Little Tibet”. Ladakh, high in the Himalaya, and culturally and spiritually close to Tibet, is serene and beautiful. The old Princely State of Kashmir, with its uniquely Islamic heritage, is equally beautiful, and with many layers of spiritual history.

ladakhi-monks

We will explore these Islamic and Buddhist threads, in quietness and openness, and meditate in thin air as well as in close atmospheres. We will also undertake one of India’s most spectacular and wonderful pilgrimages, the ascent to the holy cave of Lord Siva at Amarnath. This involves a full day of hill walking (or you can take a pony!) up to the cave at 13,000ft, in company with Hindu pilgrims from all over India – strenuous, but unforgettable. On the way to the lakes and mosques of Srinagar we will also visit the holy Sikh city of Amritsar, where we will be guests at the Golden Temple, one of India’s most magnificent and serene buildings.

orange-dust

The pilgrimage will be accompanied and managed by Kenneth Wilson of Soul of India, and Clement Sauvé of the World Community for Christian Meditation, who jointly managed the WCCM 1998 Way of Peace Pilgrimage, and the WCCM visits to India in 2005, 2007, 2013 and 2015. Kenneth is the author of Orange Dust: Journeys After the Buddha.

To the extent possible the daily practice of Christian Meditation and other commitments of Christian life will be observed during the pilgrimage. Clement Sauvé will oversee this part of the programme.

This tour is open for members of the World Community for Christian Meditation – please see http://wccm.org/content/become-member

Because of the high altitudes involved in this itinerary prospective participants with respiratory or other health issues should consult their doctor prior to registering.

WCCM Pilgrimage to Kashmir & Ladakh, 8 – 25 July 2017

Delhi – Amritsar – Srinagar – Amarnath – Kargil – Nurla – Leh

wccm-pilgrimage-india

Itinerary:
Day 1: Saturday 8th July: International departure

Evening depart London on BA flight, arriving in Delhi at 08:20 the next morning.

(Guests joining from outside the UK, please get in touch)

Day 2: Sunday 9th July: Delhi.

Transfer from airport to Hotel Surya. Late afternoon visit to the Sufi shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin.

Day 3: Mon 10th July: Amritsar

Early morning transfer to New Delhi Railway Station to catch train to Amritsar: “New Delhi – Amritsar Shatabdi Express” train no. 12031 departing Delhi at 07:20 and arriving at Amritsar Junction at 13:45 (journey time 6 hours 25 minutes).  Transfer to Hotel Vivanta by Taj and afternoon visit to the Golden Temple.

Day 4: Tuesday 11th July: Srinagar

Transfer to airport in Amritsar to catch flight to Srinagar – SpiceJet SG-438 departing Amritsar at 13:10 and arriving at Srinagar (altitude 6000ft) at 14:00. Transfer to Wangnoo Heritage Houseboats on Nagin Lake. Boat ride and lake meditation.

Day 5: Wednesday 12th July: Srinagar

Visit to Mughal Gardens, the Buddha stupa of Harwan, and Takht-i-Suleiman, the “Throne of Solomon” in the Shankaracharya temple.

wccm-pilgrimage

Day 6: Thursday 13th July: Srinagar

Dialogue visit to Jamia Masjid, or Sufi Shah Hamdan shrine. Possible afternoon visit to the Yuz Asaf shrine, the burial place of Jesus in the Ahmadi tradition.

Day 7: Friday 14th July: Amarnath base camp

80km drive to Amarnath base camp at 9,000ft.

Day 8: Saturday 15th July: Amarnath pilgrimage

Amarnath pilgrimage or less strenuous  optional alternative for a leisure walk.

amarnath

Day 9: Sunday 16th July: Into Ladakh

Spectacular drive over the Zojila Pass (11,580ft) out of Kashmir and into Ladakh.  Stay at Highland Mountain Resort, Kargil.

Day 10: Monday 17th July: Nurla

Beautiful drive through spectacular scenery, including roadside Buddha carvings, and the passes of Namika La (12,400ft) and Photu La (13,400ft).  Two night stay at the Apricot Tree hotel, Nurla, on the bank of the Indus.

Day 11: Tuesday 18th July: Around Nurla

Visits to the stupa of Hemis Shukchapam, and meditation visit to Themisgam monastery.

Day 12: Wednesday 19th July: Leh

90km drive to Leh (11,000ft) via the monasteries of Alchi and Likir. Stay at the Grand Himalaya Hotel for five nights.

Day 13: Thursday 20th July: Leh

Morning meditation at the Gomang stupa.  Visits to Jamia Masjid and Soma Gompa.  Free afternoon.

Day 14: Friday 21st July: Leh

Dialogue visit to Thiksey monastery. Visit to Stok Palace and museum.

Day 15: Saturday 22nd July: Leh

Drive up to the Khardung La Pass, at 18,390ft believed to be the world’s highest motorable road, or visit to traditional Ladakhi shaman.

Day 16: Sunday 23rd July: Leh

Free day for shopping in Tibetan markets, etc.  Farewell dinner and cultural performance

Day 17: Monday 24th July: Fly to Delhi

Morning flight to Delhi, transfer to Ibis Hotel.  Late evening transfer to airport for return flight.

Day 18: Tuesday 25th July: Return flight

01:50 BA flight to London, arriving 06:30.

Buddhist tour India

The cost per person sharing a twin or double room:
£2,945
Single room supplement:
£545
The cost includes:
  • International and internal flights as per the itinerary in economy class. (Note for participants joining from outside the UK: if you wish to make your own travel arrangements to and from India the tour cost will be reduced by £670)
  • All group travel in India
  • Accommodation mostly on full board basis (bed and breakfast in Delhi and Amritsar and half board in Leh)
  • All entrance and guide fees
  • Full ATOL bonding
  • Services of Kenneth Wilson as Tour Leader
The cost does not include:
  • India visa fee. You can now apply for visa on arrival in India- please click here for more information. https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html
  • Any expenses of a personal nature like laundry, telephone calls, beverages, gratuities etc.
  • Camera fees at monuments and other places of interest.
  • Travel Insurance: It is essential to have adequate travel insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.
Please ensure:
  • It includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover
  • It provides cover for your whole trip
  • It covers you for all activities
  • It covers all your pre-existing medical conditions
  • Keep your Policy Number and Insurer’s 24-hour Emergency Number handy with you

If you wish to book this tour, please compete the booking form, sign and e-mail it to us. A non-refundable deposit of £400.00 per person is needed at the time of booking. Balance payments will be due 8 weeks before departure. You can make the deposit payment by debit card or electronic transfers to our bank. Credit card payment will be charge at 2% extra. Our Bank details are on the booking form. Bookings are confirmed on first come first served basis. When the tour is full we will take about 5 additional names on the waiting list to replace their booking with any cancellations etc.

CONTACT US

To enquire or make a booking on this tour, please call: 020 8901 7630 Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm, Saturday 11am – 4pm

TESTIMONIALS:
“I cannot recommend this company enough. Safe to say India has got under our skin and into our hearts, and when we visit again we will definitely be booking with this company - if you are thinking of going I urge you to do the same.”- Gillian and Ashley Iredale
``The whole experience was great, the most relaxing day of the holiday was the cruise up the backwaters when the whole group experienced it together``- Margaret Fortune
``A whole variety of experiences- worship, culture, scenery, friendliness of the people & their hospitality``- Daphne Brindle
``Being in India and witnessing the faith that the people of India have, Hindus, Muslim or Christians, seeing with my own eyes the devotion the people have`` - Steve Breward
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