The Institute’s 30-acre campus is the ideal setting for sadhana. Surrounded by hills and forest preserves, it is blessed with natural beauty and tranquility. Here you will experience heaven on earth. The Sri Vidya Shrine awaits you in this idyllic setting. The shrine’s Sadhana Chamber and Maha Mandapa are open for daily meditation practice. The Garbha Griha, the innermost chamber of the shrine, is open during specific hours so you can pay your respects to the Sages of the Himalayan Tradition.
Key amenities are provided for your comfort:
Lounge and reference library, shared kitchenette, UV purified and filtered drinking water, freshly prepared vegetarian meals using locally grown produce, comfortable private accommodations with en suite baths, laundry facilities, and complimentary Wi-Fi during specific hours (subject to availability)
Personal Sadhana Retreat
October 1–March 31 annually
Single room: $525/week
Double room*: $412/person/week
1 bedroom suite (up to 2 people): $1,000/week
2 bedroom suite (up to 4 people): $2,000/week
*You must be accompanied by another person in order to book a double room
Two ways to apply:
Apply online for your Personal Sadhana Retreat. Click the button below and complete the application form. Retreats are offered on a space availability basis. We will contact you to confirm your retreat and process your payment.
Register By Mail
Download the application. Print, read, sign, and mail your completed application.
Attn: Spiritual Excursions
952 Bethany Turnpike
Honesdale, PA 18431 USA
Q: What is a Personal Sadhana Retreat?
A: A Personal Sadhana Retreat is a self-guided retreat focused on spiritual practice and includes the opportunity for continued spiritual practice at Himalayan Institute India at Khajuraho and the Sri Vidya Shrine on campus. The Sri Vidya Shrine and the HII Khajuraho campus offer all that drew yogis and aspirants to the Himalayas in ancient times—extraordinary beauty, serenity, and spiritual energy that spontaneously transports us to our pure and pristine inner core. A Sadhana Retreat in this spiritually uplifting oasis is designed to help you accelerate your practice and become more firmly established in your experiential wisdom. The structured practice of hatha, pranayama, meditation, prayer, and purashcharana are the central elements of this experience. But the most important element is the environment, which cannot be replicated.
Q: What will a Personal Sadhana Retreat encompass?
A: Your self-guided Personal Sadhana Retreat (“Retreat”) at Himalayan Institute India at Khajuraho (“HII Khajuraho”) has an emphasis on meditation, spiritual practice, and self-study. There will be time for reading, journaling, walks in nature, and contemplation.
The Himalayan Institute’s 30-acre Khajuraho campus, surrounded by hills and forest preserves, is blessed with natural beauty and tranquility. You will have the opportunity to meditate in the Sri Vidya Shrine, reflect on your commitment to personal healing and empowerment, and accelerate or conclude your spiritual practice in this spiritually-charged setting.
Q: How can I prepare in advance for my Sadhana Retreat?
A: You may want accelerate, refine, and/or complete your practice in India. The Sri Vidya Shrine in Khajuraho awaits you, with the prayer and trust that while you are there, you experience the love and compassion of the Sages, rekindle your own inner wisdom, and share the same with all following your return home.
Q: Where will I meditate?
A: The Sadhana Chamber and Maha Mandapa of the Sri Vidya Shrine are available for seated meditation. The shrine is open daily from 5:30 to 10:00 a.m. and from 3:00 to 9:30 p.m. The shrine is closed between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Q: Can I medidate in the Garbha Griha?
A: The Garbha Griha is the innermost chamber of the shrine. The Garbha Griha is open during specific hours for paying your respects and having darshan of the sacred energy residing in that space. Sitting in the Garbha Griha is not permitted. The Sadhana Chamber and Maha Mandapa are available for seated meditation.
Q: Where can I do yoga?
A: Our large, covered outdoor pavilion is the primary location for practicing yoga. Covered verandas on the first floor of the main building and guesthouse are also available for hatha yoga practice. A large area on the upper level of the shrine, adjacent to and below the havan kund level, is also available for hatha yoga if havan (fire offering) is not scheduled.
Q: What is there to do when practice is finished for the day?
A: After practice, there will be time for study, reading, journaling, walks in nature, and contemplation. There are several interesting walking routes in the area and on campus which you may take advantage of, including the Siddha Baba hike, the palace walk, and a nature loop through the surrounding forest preserve. Our campus is also the perfect place for walking, bird watching (more than 46 species of birds, including some endangered species, have been identified on our campus), drawing, photography, and watching for monkeys and nilgai in the nearby hills.
Q: How many people will be there when I am on my retreat?
A: Depending on the length of your stay and the time of year, the number of sadhakas can vary from 4 to 20, or more.
Q: What is the weather like in Khajuraho?
A: Summer: April through August. The summers are hot with temperature ranges from 80° F (27°C) to 118° F (48°C) or higher.
Monsoon or rainy season: Monsoon generally begins in the month of July and lasts until September. This period is characterized by heavy rainfall and frequent bouts of drizzle. The temperatures usually remain high.
Winter: October through February/mid-late March are the winter months in Khajuraho. Winters are cold with temperatures dropping to 40° F (4° C), or colder at times, and daytime highs ranging from 75° F (24° C) to 82° F (28° C). Highs in October and March may reach 90° F (32° C) or more.
Q: How do I get to India?
A: Many U.S. and international airlines have flights to Delhi, India. On the east coast of the U.S., flights depart from New York (JFK or EWR at Newark, NJ) to Delhi. Other major airports throughout the U.S. offer flights to India. Numerous flight options to Delhi from other countries around the globe are also available. Check with one of the online providers, airlines, or your local travel agent for the flights most convenient for you. You may also be able to book round-trip tickets from your city of origin in the United States to Khajuraho if you fly on Air India or Jet Airways.
Q: How do I get from Delhi to Khajuraho and back?
A: It is recommended that you fly round-trip Delhi-Khajuraho-Delhi. Jet Air and Air India currently offer flights to Khajuraho from Delhi (Air India from Delhi only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays). Air India and Jet Air offer flights from Khajuraho to Delhi. Schedules and carriers can change seasonally and as the airline industry in India expands. Check with these and other carriers for their current schedules and fares. Flights with 1 to 2 stops are recommended.
Q: Will someone meet me when I arrive in Delhi?
A: Arrival in Delhi is on your own. Metered taxis are available at the international arrivals area of Indira Gandhi International Airport. One-way fares range from INR 275 to INR 800 depending on the taxi hired and hotel location. Negotiate the rate before entering the taxi. Some Delhi hotels may offer transfers at no charge or for a fee; inquire when you make your room reservation.
Q: How do I get from my Delhi hotel to the airport?
A: Taxis are readily available at Delhi hotels or the hotel front desk will be happy to arrange for a taxi to take you to the airport for your flight.
Q: Will someone meet me when I arrive in Khajuraho?
A: An HI Khajuraho representative will meet you at the Khajuraho Airport for transfer to campus on the date your Retreat begins. Look for the “Himalayan Institute” sign.
Q: Can I visit the town of Khajuraho during my immersion, and how do I get there?
A: We have found that changing from a hectic daily routine to a quiet, meditative lifestyle takes time. To enhance that process, it is best to have fewer distractions. To help maintain inner focus, it is suggested that a participant remain on campus for the first week of a 14 night or longer program. Thereafter, it is helpful to limit off-campus trips for necessities to once per week. This gives you the opportunity to participate more fully in the program so you will gain the maximum benefit.
The Institute’s 30-acre campus is 7 miles (11 km) from the world-famous Khajuraho temples, a
UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main 22-temple complex, Jain temple complex, and temple of 64 Yoginis where Swami Rama first got a glimpse of the Divine Mother, are about a 30 minute taxi ride from our campus. For more information visit mptourism.com. Note: We have found that changing from a hectic daily routine to a quiet, meditative lifestyle takes time. To enhance that process, it is best to have fewer distractions. To help maintain inner focus, it is suggested that a participant remain on campus for the first week of a Retreat. Thereafter, it is helpful to limit off-campus trips for necessities to once per week. This gives you the opportunity to participate more fully in the Retreat so you will gain the maximum benefit.
Recommended reading for background on Khajuraho and to learn more about Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Swami Rama, and the Himalayan Tradition: Living with the Himalayan Masters, At the Eleventh Hour, Touched by Fire, and The Himalayan Masters, A Living Tradition.
It is not advisable to be off campus before sunrise or after dusk given the remote location of the HI Khajuraho campus. For your safety when going off campus, those on Retreat are asked to return to campus before dark. This curfew is in effect whether hiking locally or going to town by car.
Q: Do I need a passport or visa?
A: A Passport valid at least 6 months after your return date and India visa are required. It is recommended that there be at least 3 blank pages in the back of your passport. Each individual is responsible for obtaining their passport and visa. Cox & Kings Global Services Pvt. Limited (CKGS) is the only authorized Service Provider for the Embassy of India and its Consulates across the USA for Visa support services. Note: According to the Consulate of India website, the Embassy of India and its Consulates in the USA do not recognize any other agency to provide Visa services. If you would like to look into the process for obtaining an India visa in the United States, information can be found at Cox & Kings website (www.in.ckgs.us). Those residing outside of the continental U.S., check with your local Indian consulate for visa requirements in your country of residence.
Q: Where do I apply for my visa?
A: Your India visa processing site depends on where in the United States you currently reside, also known as “jurisdiction”. You can find a listing of the states in each jurisdiction (“application centers”), in addition to the hours, addresses and contact information for each site by using the following links within the Cox & Kings website: Washington D.C., New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta. Those residing outside of the continental U.S., check with your local Indian consulate for details and visa requirements in your country of residence/citizenship.
Q: What immunizations do I need?
A: No immunizations are required for travel to Delhi and Khajuraho. If you are traveling to other parts of India, you’re welcome to check the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization websites for their list of recommended vaccines.
Q: Are there natural ways to enhance my health before going to India?
A: Himalayan Institute Chyawanprash is highly recommended in preparation for your journey to India, and anytime. Described in ancient Ayurvedic texts, Chyawanprash is a synergy of specifically selected herbs and fruits in a nutritive tonic. The principle herb Amla (Amalaki) is one of the world’s most concentrated naturally occurring sources of antioxidant Vitamin C. A spoonful a day of this 2,000 year old formula is a tasty way for people of all ages and constitutions to nourish mind and body, while supporting healthy immune function.* Take it regularly for several months before your departure to strengthen and build your immune system.
Q: Is the water safe to drink in India?
A: Bottled (mineral) water is recommended when staying in hotels in India. Groundwater wells are the source of our water at our HII campus in Khajuraho. This well water is UV-treated, carbon-filtered and made available for drinking, and for filling your water bottle while on campus.
Q: Can I brush my teeth and do neti with the tap water?
A: The tap water in your room on our HII campus is safe for brushing your teeth. Use sterile bottled water in your Neti Pot everywhere. When in hotels, bottled water is recommended for brushing your teeth and rinsing your toothbrush.
*The statements made here have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If taking any medication, consult with a healthcare practitioner before using this product. Do not use during pregnancy or lactation unless recommended by a healthcare practitioner. As with any herbal preparation, consider size, age, weight, constitution, and lifestyle as guidelines for use.
Q: What are the accommodations on campus?
A: Each guest room is equipped with beds with mattresses and an en suite bath for shower or bucket bathing and a Western-style toilet. Two sheets, one pillow with cover, one thin wool blanket, one thick wool blanket, and one Indian-style towel are provided, as well as a mosquito net for the bed (seasonally). Sleeping bags are essential during the months of November-February. There is no heat and electricity is unreliable in our area. Solar heated hot water is available on demand for bathing on our campus
Accommodations for the Retreat are on single or double occupancy. Double occupancy rooms are only available for couples or individuals travelling together.
For the comfort and safety of all during your stay, we ask that you avoid wearing perfumes, fragrances, or essential oils, or burning incense or candles in your room or elsewhere on campus or in buildings.
Q: Is laundry service available?
A: Laundry facilities are available for guests on Personal Sadhana Retreats. You may also be able to send out laundry for a fee.
Q: Will meals be provided during my stay on campus?
A: Lacto-ovo vegetarian breakfast, lunch, supper, and homemade chai one to two times per day are included in the cost of your stay. Meals are prepared with fresh ingredients from local growers. Meals and chai are self-serve, buffet-style, at specified times.
Q: Do you serve gluten-free and dairy-free (vegan) meals?
A: Dairy-free options are generally available at meals. With advance notice to the Retreat Organizer, gluten-free options may be available. Meals are prepared with wholesome vegetable oil and gently spiced. Signs identify the items served.
Q: What do I need to bring?
A: A suggested packing list will be sent after registration with a list of recommended items. Here is an overview only: Sturdy walking shoes, a sleeping bag (during winter months), clothing for layering including a coat or jacket for warmth on cold nights and mornings, a pair of shoes or slippers dedicated for indoor use in the Main Building and Guest House. A limited number of used yoga mats are available to borrow during your stay. Pillows, mats and blankets are available to borrow for meditation in the shrine. You are also welcome to bring your own yoga mat and meditation cushion.
Bring soap, shampoo, and personal toiletries for bathing when on our campuses.
If you are taking prescription medication, bring an adequate amount with you. Although some medicines are available in India, their supply and quality are not reliable.
Toilet paper will be provided; however, the quality is likely to be different than what we are used to. If you want to use toilet paper on campus you may bring some with you. The best thing, however, is to adjust to and practice “elimination management” Indian style—using water to rinse and a small towel to dry, rather than toilet paper, which often clogs septic systems and toilets.
Things to leave at home:
- hair dryer, curling iron, hair straightener, electric shaver, iron, hot water pot, heating coil, and similar
- electrical items
- too much clothing
- incense and candles
- non-essential electronics (this is the perfect to “unplug”)
Q: What’s the culture like and how should I dress?
A: Conservative, clean, loose-fitting modest attire is appropriate for your stay in India and at HII Khajuraho. Due to cultural customs in India, Retreat Organizer asks women to refrain from wearing shorts of any length, capris shorter than ankle length, tops with spaghetti straps, halter tops, tank tops, plunging necklines or backs, sleeveless tops; form-fitting clothing; and short skirts or miniskirts. Men are asked to refrain from wearing muscle shirts. Shirts and footwear must be worn outside. Outside shoes are to be removed before entering the Shrine and other Institute buildings. Shoes or slippers designated for indoor use are to be worn in the Main Building and Guest House.
Q: Where can I change money?
A: Change currency into Indian rupees before exiting the Customs area at the Delhi airport. Traveler’s checks are no longer widely accepted, therefore, plan to bring cash for exchange. State Bank of India, near the baggage claim area (across from carousel 14) and before the Customs exit, is recommended for currency exchange. Count your rupees before leaving the window and be sure you are given an encashment certificate for your transaction. Retain this encashment certificate to use for exchanging any excess rupees at the end of your travel. ATM machines are also available in the baggage claim area and before you exit the airport, as well as in the town of Khajuraho.
Q: Can I get a local phone or local SIM card to use in my mobile phone?
A: Phone connections and service at HII Khajuraho is unreliable and generally poor. Phone connections in the town of Khajuraho are stronger and generally more reliable.
Several local telephone carriers are located in the international arrivals area of Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport. Inquire about options and cost at Idea upon arrival in India. Note: SIM cards purchased in Delhi may not be reliable in Khajuraho.
If you plan to use a local SIM card in your GSM mobile phone, have your local service provider unlock the phone before your departure for India. CDMA phones may require additional attention to avoid roaming charges with a local SIM card. Check details with your service provider.
A “pay phone” is also available for use while on campus for emergency and occasional calls to home and business. The rates, subject to change, are:
INR 1 per minute for calls within India
INR 8 per minute for calls to the U.S. and Canada
INR 10 per minute for calls to the U.K.
INR 10-15 per minute for calls to Europe (varies by country)
Q: Is internet available on campus?
A: Internet is available in the town of Khajuraho only. Several internet facilities and hotels offer wi-fi and wired connections at rates ranging from INR 40 per hour to INR 300 or more per hour (at hotels). Copies may also be printed for an additional per page charge. Rates are subject to change.
Q: Can friends visit me while I’m at HII Khajuraho?
A: In order to maintain the meditative atmosphere of campus and to maintain continuity of your Retreat, we recommend that you not invite visitors during your short stay at HII Khajuraho. Unexpected drop-ins and casual visitors will be turned away by the gatekeeper. Prior arrangements and approval of the Manager are required for anyone wishing to have a tour of campus. Approved visitors must sign in with the gatekeeper, be announced upon arrival, and be accompanied by a staff member during their visit.
Q: How do I pay for my stay?
A: Payment in U.S. dollars by check or credit card can be made to our Excursions office in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Paying by check helps to support the Institute’s global humanitarian efforts such as our Total Health Revolution, clean water projects, bringing water wells to villages in need, educational scholarships, tree plantation, and more. See the Application for Sadhana Retreat for additional terms and conditions. To pay your balance due by credit card, call (800) 822-4547 x6 or (570) 253-5551 x6.
Q: How do I register for my Sadhana Retreat?
A: Complete the Application for Personal Sadhana Retreat and return it to the Himalayan Institute, Attn: Excursions, 952 Bethany Turnpike, Honesdale, PA 18431 U.S.A. Or, click here to visit the online registration page.
Q: What if I need to cancel?
A: Should you need to cancel your registration, kindly notify us in writing and refer to the Cancellation policy outlined in the Terms and Conditions of your Application.
Q: Can I change my dates of stay after I apply?
A: We ask that you carefully choose the dates for your Retreat; however, if you need to change your dates after you apply, your new registration request will be contingent upon availability of space for the new dates. A change of Retreat dates will be treated as a cancellation and a new registration will be required; cancellation and/or administrative fees apply. Refer to the Application for Personal Sadhana Retreat for details.
Q: Can my retreat be extended after I arrive in Khajuraho?
A: It may be possible to extend your stay after you arrive in Khajuraho, contingent upon availability of space and prior approval. The rate in effect at the time of request for a pre-approved extension is payable in advance and can be paid in India in U.S. dollars or charged to your credit card in U.S. dollars. Additional travel or other expenses resulting from extending a Retreat are to be borne by the participant.