Synchronicity is what led us to Northern India.
Kundun and I had decided to go on a retreat for the summer solstice, so we booked a room in the Brocéliande forest in Brittany.
Less than two weeks before the summer solstice we received several signs indicating that we should go to Northern India, specifically to the source of the Ganges river. Here is my account:
Invitation to travel:
I go with Bérengère, a friend from Biarritz, to the store “Mineral Do Brasil” in order to pay for an order I had placed the week before.
It’s like Ali Baba’s cavern; there are so many beautiful stones everywhere!
I choose many new stones, and the saleslady introduces me to the owner, Jean-Jacques Eclancher, whom I didn’t know.
I tell him his store is wondeful, and ask him what led him to create a store like this 35 years ago. He explains that it was following an encounter with Mr. Drouot. We continue our discussion and I explain that I am just starting to work with stones, that I have been drawn to them ever since the elevation of my spiritual level. He asks me how all of this began and I explain the role of Guru Madan.
At this point he asks me to follow him to his office so he can show me something. And there, for 30 minutes, he gives me a complete description of his trip to Nothern India…and tells me later that we should go as well.
We were given a precise date when we should be at Tapovan, located about 4,800 meters above sea level.
That same evening I made a decision and the following day I left for Brussels to request a visa (we were to fly out the following week). As always, when things are meant to happen, everything falls into place at the right moment.
The preparation: We were going trekking in the mountains, so we had to find a guide, porters, equipment, and we had to train for at least one week before leaving.
Once in India we still had to drive for 3 days on implausible roads. During those 3 days, we stopped from time to time to visit temples and to meditate.
DAY 1: PARIS – DELHI Daily departures
Departure for Delhi, dinner and one night on board the plane or transfer to a hotel depending on the airline.
DAY 2: DELHI
In the morning, arrival in Delhi and departure for Rishikesh.
DAY 3: DELHI – RISHIKESH
Drive to Rishikesh, which claims to be the “world capital of yoga.” 6 to 7 hours on the road.
You will taste the calm and relaxed atmosphere of this city, surrounded by hills on three sides, located at 356 meters above sea level.
The sacred Ganges River, which is almost limpid here, flows through the city. Ashrams and sadhus (ascetics) abound along the riverbanks. It’s an ideal place to study yoga, meditation, and other aspects of Hinduism.
In the 1960s, Rishikesh gained sudden worldwide fame when the Beatles came to stay with their guru, maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
The Beatles stayed in India from February to April 1968, in Rishikesh, a city in Northern India at the foot of the Himalayas and on the banks of the Ganges River. They went there with their wives and friends in order to receive the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of Transcendental Meditation. This trip came 6 months after their initial introduction to the practice in Bangor, Wales, during a workshop of several days in August 1967.
Almost all of the songs on the White Album, released in November 1968, were written during the Beatles’ time in India, as well as songs on Abbey Road and Let it Be, in addition to songs on solo albums released after the group split up.
Rishikesh is also the starting point for Himalayan pilgrimage routes, such as Badrinath, Kedarnath, and Gangotri. En route, we visited Haridwar and Har-Ki-Pauri.
This temple was built in honor of a master who meditated for a big part of his life in a cave located in this magical space where peace and harmony reign supreme.
We meditated in the mosquito-filled cave, where there were so many that it seemed that they had set up their headquarters there. Yet the energy in the cave was extremely powerful.
Since the cave was very dark we couldn’t see the mosquitos, but the noise they made was extremely disconcerting. However, after several moments we were in a meditative state and had completely forgotten our insect friends.
To our great surprise, after half an hour in the cave we had at most one mosquito bite, which didn’t hurt at all.
DAY 4: RISHIKESH – UTTARKASHI
Drive to Uttarkashi, the regional center and district administrative center, 148 km away from Rishikesh. An altitude of about 1,885 meters in 6 or 7 hours of driving.
The Nerhu Institute of Mountaineering (training center for mountain guides) is located in Uttarkashi. Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest, was trained here. Pilgrims flock to the Vishwanatha temple, which is dedicated to Shiva..
DAY 5: UTTARKASHI – GANGOTRI (Bhagirathi)
Drive to Gangotri, referred to here as Bhagirathi, at 3,038 meters above sea level and 101 km that you can reach in about 5 hours. The large number of pilgrims bring animation to the village.
We first spent a night in Gangotri, a holy city where the road ends in a cul-de-sac and most of the pilgrims end their journey.
The air already feels different at this altitude, dry and light at the same time.
There are a number of very high energy points in this place, where the Ganges exerts a tremendous power.
This place is magical, but very touristy…Purists continue on their path despite the considerable energy that emanates from certain places.
DAY 6: GANGOTRI – BHUJBASA Trek
Gangotri is the most sacred place in all of India. The source of the sacred river is 18 km to the North. But most of the pilgrims remain here in order to pray on the steps (ghats) of the Gangotri temple and in the river’s icy waters.
Early in the morning you can watch all the pilgrims make offerings of lights, flowers and incense.
This woman invited us to her home as we were exiting a temple. She offered us drinks in her litle hut where she was living with her husband and her two young daughters. They have several animals and a little vegetable garden…The love emanating from this woman was unconditional and exemplary, one of the most beautiful moments of the trip. A woman who has nothing from a material point of view, yet to us she had everything.
Departure for the first day of the trek (3,658 meters). We followed the Bhujbasa River for about 14 km, with a magnificent view of the Shivling and Meru peaks. .
DAY 7: BHUJBASA – GAUMUKH – TAPOVAN Trek
Departure for Tapovan, 4,440 meters above sea level, about 8 km in 3 hours of hiking.
Arrival in Gaumukh, the true source of the Ganges. We crossed the Gangotri glacier and then climbed towards the superb Tapovan meadow, where you have a majestic view of the Shivling and Meru peaks.
DAY 8: TAPOVAN – BHUJBASA Trek
Descent of the Tapovan trail back towards Bhujbasa, 8 km in 2 hours of hiking. Night in the tent.
DAY 9: BHUJBASA – GANGOTRI – UTTARKASHI Trek
Departure for Uttarkashi via Gangotri, 14 km in about 4 hours.
Visit of the temples in Gangotri:
The rest of the trip to Uttarkashi was by car, around 101 km in 5 hours.
We were also able to meditate at the foot of this open-air temple that is largely. This temple also had superb energy.
It is said that a man attained enlightenment beneath the tree.
Initial Program :
DAY 10: UTTARKASHI – RUDRAPRAYAG
Drive to a holy site, Rudraprayag (160 km in 5 to 6 hours).
DAY 11: RUDRAPRAYAG – JOSIMATH – BADARINATH
Drive to Badarinath (148 km in 6 to 7 hours). On the way, visit of the temples of Josimath. Night in a hotel/bungalow.
DAY 12: BADARINATH – RUDRAPRAYAG
Return to Rudraprayag by car (5 to 6 hours). Night in a hotel.
DAY 13: RUDRAPRAYAG – RISHIKESH
Drive to Rishikesh (170 km in 6 to 7 hours). On the way, visit of Srinagar, Pauri, and Deoprayag. Arrival in Rishikesh, time to settle into the hotel, free evening. Night in the hotel.
DAY 14: RISHIKESH – DELHI
Drive back to Delhi, a distance of 225 km in 7 hours. Arrival in Delhi and evening flight to Paris or night in a hotel depending on the airline..
Modifications to the program :
Starting on days 9 or 10, the program evolved based on the people we met and and thanks to the attentiveness of our guide or guides.
We won’t reveal the location of this site due to the risk of desecration, all the more so because it isn’t a tourist destination but rather a place that will come to you if it’s meant to be.
This moment was the climax of this trip for me. A piece of my soul remains there. The deep inner peace that I experienced in this place is indescribable.
The harmony that I found here is something that I hope everyone can experience, everywhere on earth, so that we may finally live in peace.
Day 11: RUDRAPRAYAG – JOSIMATH – BADARINATH
Drive to Badarinath (148 km in 6 to 7 hours). On the way, visit of the Josimath temples.
We spent several hours with master Pandit, who spoke to us at length about who we were and all that we would accomplish. We are extremely grateful for his guidance and brotherly love. H
Master Madan Gautam is one of the masters in our lineage, he transmits Shaktipat. We spent several days meditating with him. We carry him deeply in our hearts, he is great master who actively contributes to the world’s awakening.
This journey showed us that life is all about simplicity, unconditional love, and the inner quest.