The Yoga of Synthesis alone will develop the head, heart, and hand, and lead one to perfection. This can be achieved by the practice of the Yoga of Synthesis. H.H. Sri Swami Sivananda



October Sunday 6 – Friday 11
See Programs at Sivananda Yoga Vidya Peetham.

We will be traveling in A/C busses and staying in very comfortable lodging. As much as possible we will keep to our now established daily routine of early morning meditation, sunrise worship and yoga class. In some locations we may have to adapt our timing and program.We are very happy to announce that Dr. Sarah Plumer-Holzman* (see note below) will be teaching the morning Ashtanga Yoga Classes during the 10 day Yatra. We will be ‘on pilgrimage’ maintaining an adaptable attitude while visiting temples for darshan according to local custom and belief. At each place we will relate the puranic story of the devas and reflect on its meaning. We will also visit a number of ashrams where saints have lived. There will be time for shopping, sightseeing and enjoying some of Kerala’s amazing nature reserves, backwaters and beaches. Note: We are still establishing the best route for our pilgrimage. Since there are an abundance of places to visit we want to make sure that we make the best of our time. This may well depend on what temple festivals are happening. These are set in a special calendar. Dates and places are under review and we will publish a detailed itinerary when all are known. The list below is presently only for general reference.

October 11 Friday
We will first travel by bus to
Ananthapura. (1 1/2 hours) This is the only lake temple in Kerala, the original seat of Ananthapadmanabha Swami. Then to Udupi, (2 hours) famous for the Lord Krishna Temple and its well known ‘Udipi Cuisine’. Known as ‘Temple City” this is a famous place of pilgrimage and is well known as the place where the saint Kanaka Das was given darshan by Lord Krishna. Night halt.

October 12 Saturday
We will then proceed to Kollur (1 1/2 hours) Muhkambika where the 1,200 year old Temple of AdiParashkati (YogaMaya), an important Goddess of Shaktas of South India, is situated. Night halt.

October 13 Sunday
We then travel to Sringeri. (3 1/2 hours). Here Adi Guru Sankaracarya, the main exponent of Advaita Vedanta philosophy, established his first peetham (monastic seat of learning). Many important temples are here, including that of Sharadamba, the Goddess of Learning. The temples may be very crowded since we arrive during the very auspicious Navaratri Festival – the nine night worhsip of the Mother Goddess. Night halt.

October 14 Monday
Then on to Dharmasthala (2 1/2 hours) where there is a unique temple of Lord Siva as Manjunatha, worshipped by Vasihnava priests and managed by Jains. Disputes in the region are settled by the deity. Here we will halt for the night.

October 15 Tuesday
Proceed by bus to Kukke Subramanya. (1 1/2 hours) From there after darshan we will depart by 10:30 AM  we will head south to Mangaluru (2 1/2 hours) and board the 2 PM train, arriving close to midnight in  Kochi where we will relax at a beach resort on Vaypeen Island on the shores of the Laccadive Sea, part of the Arabian Sea.

October 16 Wednesday
Rest, relax, swim in the ocean and enjoy Kochi shopping and sightseeing including the Paradesi Synagogue.

October 17 Thursday
From Kochi to Manarshala Sree Nagaraja Temple (2 hours). This is the largest temple in Kerala devoted to the King of Serpents. By tradition there is an enclave forest area with cobras and thousands of small naga murtis bathed with milk and turmeric powder, and a resident female oracle. Our travels onward to Kollam include a backwater boat trip.  We will halt for the night in Varkala.

October 18 Friday
After a papa snaanam on the beach and darshan of Sri Janardanaswamy, we will travel further by bus past Thiruvananthapuram, via Nagercoil another important Naga Temple,  the southernmost tip of India for our night halt. At Kanya Kumari we’ll witness sunset and, on the following morning, sunrise from the same spot. Here we’ll take an ocean holy dip, have darshan of Bhagavaty Amman and visit the Vivekananda Rock Memorial.

October 19 Saturday
Saturday being Hanuman’s day, we will head back north via Suchindram to have darshan of the 22-foot high Hanumanji and offer him an 18-foot Tulasi Mala, thanking Him for a successful Yoga and Yatra Synthesis. He stands in the Suchindram Temple of Lord Siva. Much to see and visit on our trip back to our final night at the beach resort near Thiruvananthapuram.

October 20 Sunday
Padmanabhaswamy Temple
is the most important abode of Lord Vishnu in Kerala. Climactic darshan of the Lord in this beautiful temple! We will have to get permission and women will have to wear salwaar kameez or saris and men dhotis and bare chests. Very traditional temple run by the royal family of Travancore. Please read all about it. Then it is final shopping, sightseeing and farewell feasting.

Book your flights home from Thiruvananthapuram International airport on the evening of October 20 or arrange any onward journey. Om Shantih! Shantih! Shantih!

Google Map of Itinerary October 11 – 15. Koddakad to Mangaluru

Google Map of Itinerary October 15 – 20. Kochi to Thiruvananthapuram

*DR. SARAH PLUMER-HOLZMAN has been a dedicated yoga practitioner and teacher for more than 20 years in the Ashtanga yoga tradition. She began studying with Eddie Stern in 1996 and subsequently began teaching at his center in 2000 after completing third series. She taught at AYNY for 8 years prior to moving to Seattle, WA where she started an Ashtanga Yoga program offering traditional classes and worked towards a degree in Physical Therapy. She now holds a doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Washington and is a board-certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist.  She is also an alumna of the North Carolina School of the Arts in contemporary dance and danced professionally in New York City for 15 years, performing in both modern and contemporary ballet companies.