DYC Journey to Dharamsala
September 27 - October 10, 2018
Teachings and Private Audience
H.H. the Dalai Lama
Explore the hillside town of Dharamsala known as 'Little Tibet'.
Visit the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and more.
Take a trip of a lifetime to Dharamsala, a city in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh surrounded by cedar forests on the edge of the Himalayas. This hillside city is home to H.H. the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile. Ever since the Dalai Lama and his entourage escaped the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959 and were granted a new home in the district of Dharamsala, the area has been known as 'Little Tibet" and a magnet for adventurers and explorers alike.
The tour begins with 3 days of sightseeing lead by David Sunshine in both Old Delhi, New Delhi and Agra as the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort and other ancient and modern sights are not to be missed when visiting India. The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”. Described by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore as “the tear-drop on the cheek of time”, it is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India’s rich history.
Then with the monks of Namgyal Monastery, you will be guided on a magical journey into the rich Tibetan Buddhist cultural and spiritual heritage that has been thriving in the hillside town of Dharamsala since the Tibetans took refuge there. The tour will be dedicated to exploring the Buddhist temples, monasteries, schools, medical centers and meditation hermitage sites in the area. And in addition this tour includes an incredible opportunity to study Buddhist philosophy with H.H. the Dalai Lama as well as a very special private group audience with him.
Travel in India is an exciting and enriching experience that can change your life. Please join us for this unique spiritual adventure, and experience for yourself the rich beauty and extraordinary wonders of India and the ancient Buddhist culture of Tibet as it lives today in Dharamsala. Be sure to sign up soon. The number of participants is limited and first come, first served.
Sorry but this retreat is full.
September 27 - Pick up at airport. Arrive at hotel in New Delhi and check in. Rest at hotel and dinner.
September 28 - Orientation and welcome breakfast. Tour the cobblestone narrow streets of Old Delhi with its array of bazaars. Visit Jama Masjid (1656), lunch and visit the Red Fort.
September 29 - 6:00 am drive to Agra to visit Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Lunch at the famous Oberoi Hotel. Shopping for gifts and souvenirs.
September 30 - Enjoy sightseeing in New Delhi. Explore Humayn's Tomb (1565) the Lotus Temple and the Sikh Temple Bangla Sahib (1664) topped with its gold domes.
October 1 - 7.00 am Drive to Dharamsala – on arrival check-in at Himachal Tourism Hotel - a hotel best suited for those who want to visit the Tibetan monasteries and their traditional culture as it is located very near to the Dalai Lama’s residence.
October 2 - After breakfast visit to Namgyal Monastery, meet with Namgyal Abbot & visit to Library of Tibetan Works and Archives and visit to Gangchen Kyishong Central Tibetan Administration and meet with Prime Minster Dr. Lobsang Sangay and visit to Men-Tse-Khang (Tibetan Medical Centre)
October 3 to 6 - Attain four days of teaching by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on topic on Chandrakirti’s Entering the Middle Way (uma jukpa) at the request of Taiwanese.
October 5 – Afternoon visit to Norbu Lingka & Gyuto Tantric Monastery.
October 6 – Evening visit to Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts for Cultural Program.
October 7 - Private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Photo Session and then visit the Tibetan Children’s Village. Meet with His Holiness Dalai Lama's younger sister and on the way visit to remote Meditation Hermitages.
October 8 - 9.00 am Visit to Bir Sherap ling Monastery and Teaching by Chamgon Kenting Tai Situpa.
October 9 - After Breakfast: Drive to Delhi – check in hotel
October 10 - Return Back to U.S.A. as per individual flight schedule.
Important: You will need to book your airline ticket yourself based on this itinerary. Be sure to remember to thoroughly check your travel plans. You lose a day when flying to India from the US. And many of the departing flights from Delhi leave right after 12 am so you have to plan your flights accordingly. AND be sure to get a Visa!
Accommodations / Pricing
Sorry but this retreat is currently full.
After registering a application / liability waiver will be sent to you. Please fill it out and return it to email@example.com.
From the net income: 20% will be donated to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Library and Museum for construction 15% will be donated to Tibet Drive expenses in Ithaca and 15% will be donated as seed money for Kalachakra Ritual ceremony program.
David Sunshine and the Monks from Namgyal Monastery
This journey will be lead by expert guides whose focus it is to help ensure your safety and comfort for an adventure of a lifetime. David Sunshine will welcome you to India, help you get adjusted and lead the first few days of exploration in Delhi. Then your main tour guides while in Dharamsala will be the Tibetan monks of Namgyal monastery, the Dalai Lama's personal monastery.
Namgyal Monastery was founded in 16th-century Tibet by the second Dalai Lama, Gendun Gyatso. Since its founding, the Namgyal monks have assisted the Dalai Lamas in public religious affairs and have performed ritual prayer ceremonies for the welfare of Tibet. The monastery was also established as an esteemed center of learning, contemplation, and meditation on the vast and profound Buddhist treatises. Namgyal Monastery has played an integral role in the Tibetan religious establishment over the centuries and it is a special honor to have these venerable lamas lead the tour.
David Sunshine, owner and director of DYC, has visited India numerous times and taken multiple groups to visit sacred sites and to study yoga and meditation with many contemporary spiritual and yoga luminaries. David began his journey into the East as he was initially exposed to Eastern philosophy, healing and mysticism in high school. At Hampshire College, David majored in Buddhist Studies with a focus in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and had the opportunity to live in India, teach English to young Tibetan monks at Ganden Monastery and receive teachings from H.H. the Dalal Lama on numerous occasions. He loves to share his passion for India and continues to explore the wisdom of Yoga, Eastern philosophy, meditation, somatic movement techniques and the principles of Ayurveda.
Namgyal Monastery was founded in 16th-century Tibet by the second Dalai Lama, Gendun Gyatso. Since its founding, the Namgyal monks have assisted the Dalai Lamas in public religious affairs and have performed ritual prayer ceremonies for the welfare of Tibet. The monastery was also established as an esteemed center of learning, contemplation, and meditation on the vast and profound Buddhist treatises. Situated in Lhasa next to the Potala Palace the original Namgyal has been the private residence of the Dalai Lamas. Today Namgyal Monastery has been beautifully rebuilt in Dharamsala and continues to play an integral role in the Tibetan religious establishment.
Library of Tibetan Works and Archives
The LTWA was set up in 1970 by His Holiness the fourteenth Dalai Lama to restore, protect, preserve and promote the culture. Today, the LTWA is one of the premier institutes in the world specializing in Buddhist and Tibetan studies, providing comprehensive resources and attracts a vast number of scholars, researchers, students and visitors from across the globe.
Central Tibetan Administration
The Central Tibetan Administration is an organization based in India. It was originally called Tibetan Kashag Government in 1960, then later renamed to "the Government of the Great Snow Land". The CTA is also referred to as the Tibetan Government in Exile which has never been recognized by China. The CTA attends to the welfare of the Tibetan exile community in India, who number around 100,000. It runs schools, health services, cultural activities and economic development projects for the Tibetan community.
Tibetan Medical Center
Men-Tsee-Khang was formally also known as Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute, is a charitable institution based in Dharamsala. The institute was founded by the 13th Dalai Lama, in Lhasa in 1916. In the aftermath of the Chinese occupation of Tibet, the 14th Dalai Lama came to India where he reestablished the institution in 1961 with the following missions:
To promote and practice Tibetan Medicine as well as Tibetan astronomy and astrology.
To provide healthcare and social service to people regardless of caste, colour or creed.
To provide health care based on service orientation.
The institute was started with Ven Dr Yeshi Dhonden as the doctor/teacher of the medicine department, and Ven Dukhorwa Lodoe Gyatso as the astrologer of the astrology department.
Norbulingka is a unique institute dedicated to the preservation of the Tibetan Arts and Culture. Norbulingka is a self-sustaining community located in Dharamsala dedicated to ensuring that the integrity of Tibetan artistic traditions is maintained for generations to come. Art is a large part of Tibetan culture, and by maintaining artistic lineages, Norbulingka helps to conserve the unique identity of Tibetans and the sacred traditions which took root in Tibet.
Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts
The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) is one of the pioneering cultural institutes established through the vision of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The institute was founded on August 11, 1959. Based in Dharamsala, the institute aims to preserve and promote Tibetan musical heritage and associated arts.
Gyoto Tantric Monastery
The Gyuto Monks are masters of Tibetan Buddhist tantric ritual and their lives are dedicated to practicing tantric ideals. To be with them, to observe and be touched by their humanity, is to see kindness in action. Gyuto's monks are known for their unique tradition of overtone singing (also described as "chordal chanting") which is said to have been transmitted by their founder. Theirs is a tradition dating back 600 years.
Tibetan Childrens Village
From its humble beginning 54 years ago, Tibetan Children’s Village has today become a thriving, integrated educational community for destitute Tibetan children in exile, as well as for hundreds of those escaping from Tibet every year. It has established branches in India extending from Ladakh in the North to Bylakuppe in South, with over 16,726 children under its care.
Tibetan Meditation Hermitages
Scattered throughout the valleys and hills around Dharamsala are places of meditation that monks and nuns have retreated to over the years. We will have a chance to explore some of these sacred sites, perhaps meet some meditation masters and get a glimpse into their mystical world.
The Taj Mahal is an enormous mausoleum complex commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the remains of his beloved wife. Constructed over a 20-year period on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, India, the famed complex is one of the most outstanding examples of Mughal architecture, which combined Indian, Persian and Islamic influences. At its center is the Taj Mahal itself, built of shimmering white marble that seems to change color depending on the daylight. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983, it remains one of the world’s most celebrated structures and a stunning symbol of India’s rich history.
Agra Fort is a historical fort in the city of Agra. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty till 1638, when the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi. The Agra fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled city.
What To Pack
Refunds & Cancellations:
Total less 50% will be refunded before September 1, 2018. No refunds after September 1, 2018. Due to arrangements made with our vacation hosts, there can be no exceptions to this policy.
Please read the following information carefully:
All participants are advised to check with their health insurance carrier as to coverage abroad and for precautionary medical treatment for travel in India. Dallas Yoga Center requires that all participants have both health coverage and emergency evacuation insurance for the duration of the trip. Travel insurance is also highly recommended. Although this program is designed to accommodate people of varying ages, please note that there will be periods of aerobic walking and stair climbing due to the design of some temples and the steep topography of certain areas. All participants are advised to see their health care provider well in advance to ensure that they are in good health at the onset of the trip. We also require that you inform Dallas Yoga Center of any chronic or acute health problems that might impact your travel in India.
Dallas Yoga Center, Namgyal Monastery and the program instructors will take the utmost care and precaution in all stages of the planning and executing this program, but there is always the potential for physical dangers. Please be advised that we cannot always guarantee your safety, but we can assure you that your safety, comfort, and the quality of your experience are of paramount importance to us. Neither Dallas Yoga Center nor the Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies can be held accountable for any unforeseen occurrence or changes to the schedule that should happen while the tour is underway in India.
In the unlikely case of cancellation by Dallas Yoga Center due to insufficient enrollment or logistical problems (acts of God, war, strikes, etc.) that may impede trip operations, please refer to the policies outlined in the more detailed application and liability waiver provided upon reservation.
Participants will be required to sign the application and liability waiver to participate on this trip.
It is up to each individual as to whether one chooses to get vaccines. Please visit the CDC to see recommendations.
We HIGHLY recommend that you consider purchasing Travel Insurance. DYC recommends World Nomads. Travel insurance companies like World Nomads offer policies that insure your investment in case you need to cancel (including “cancel for any reason” coverages), coverages for expenses incurred due to to weather & travel delays, personal property loss and emergency travel medical. Please review policies carefully to choose the coverage you need.