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 South India, which we last visited in 2015. Here, in the most Christian part of the country, the tradition goes right back to the visit of St. Thomas the Apostle. St. Thomas is said to have founded eight churches, and we will visit several of them. Although the actual presence of St. Thomas is hard to prove, we will see clear relics of Christian practice from the fifth century.
There are very important roots of the Christian Meditation movement here also. The Hindu saint Sri Ramana Maharishi strongly influenced Swami Satyananda, and hence John Main himself. Ramana also inspired the founders of the Christian ashram at Shantivanam, later made famous by Bede Griffiths. Fr. Bede played a significant role in the development of the Christian Meditation Community.
At the heart of our pilgrimage will be visits to three important Christian ashrams – Shantivanam, the “forerunner” of Shantivanam known as Kurisumala, and the Aanmodaya ashram. We will all stay at Shantivanam. The other ashrams can accommodate smaller numbers, and some will stay in local hotels in these cases. All participants will have the opportunity to stay in at least two of the ashrams if they wish.
We will also visit fabulous Hindu temples, ancient mosques, remains of the Jewish presence in South India, and World Heritage religious rock carvings. We will enjoy scenic road, rail and boat trips, and may even find time to enjoy some of South India’s beautiful sandy beaches.
The Mar Thoma Indian tradition is clear that St. Thomas arrived in India, landing in what is now North Paravur, in AD 50 or 52. He lived in India until his martyrdom in Chennai on 3 July 72. He spent most of the intervening years in Kerala, where he baptised, and founded eight churches.
There was a significant Jewish presence in South India at that time, and it was in this community that St. Thomas preached. His converts became known as “Nazranis”, the followers of Jesus of Nazareth.
There is a record of “John” a “bishop of India and Persia” at the Council of Nicea in 325. When the Portuguese first arrived in India in 1498 they were amazed to find that the Christian faith had reached India before them.
Christian Ashrams And St. Thomas Churches
- International flights as per the itinerary
- All group travel in India
- Accommodation on full board basis
- All entrance and guide fees
- Full ATOL and ABTA bonding
- Services of Kenneth Wilson as Tour Leader in India
- £200 donation to WCCM
- Dinner out on day 14
- 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 etc.
- Tips and gratuities
- 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.
- To book this tour , please compete the booking form, sign and e-mail it to us. A non-refundable deposit of £500.00 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. 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.
- If you wish to join the tour and fly from any country other than United Kingdom please contact us for land only arrangements.
- 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 To get a competitive quote for comprehensive travel insurance click here