NOVEMBER 14th, 2019


What’s Included

– Yoga Classes ( almost daily)
– Chauffeur driven Air-conditioned cars for all Airport transfers, intercity transfers and sightseeing as per the Itinerary.
– English speaking Government Licensed city expert guides for all tours
– All tour fees
– All three interior flights (inclusive of 20 Kilos check In baggage and 7 Kilos hand baggage)
– 5 star accommodation in Delhi and Agra inclusive of buffet breakfast and taxes
– 4 star boutique hotel accommodation in Varanasi inclusive of buffet breakfast and taxes
– In Rishikesh All meals, consultation with Ayurvedic doctor (Vaidya), and a 2 hour treatment by two technicians.

Not included: airfare, Indian visa, travelers insurance, personal expenses, room service, telephone calls, tips to driver and guides, spa services, private sessions

Retreat fee is $4200 double occupancy/$5400 Single

Due to the issue of securing plane reservations, guests must place a 1/3 of their deposit when signing up ($1400/$1800), second payment September 15, and payment in full by October 15th, 2019.

  • Your retreat fee is payable by cash, check or credit card.
    -Credit card payments are processed via PayPal. Click the below link provided.
    OR payments are processed via Venmo @Nina-Siemaszko
    -Checks can be made out to “Joy is not optional Retreats” at 3940 Laurel Canyon Blvd #773 Studio City, CA 91604
    Guests outside the USA: If you will be using a bank account outside the U.S., please write to nina@joysisnotoptional.com for easy transfer options that will save you money on currency conversion.

    Cancellation Policy 

    If canceling one month before (October 10th) , 50% cancelation fee.
    Two weeks before the tour, no refund.

  • Your itinerary

    Day 01:

    Arrive in Delhi the capital city of India, a sprawling modern metropolis with a stunning backdrop of ancient architecture. Overnight stay at the  5 Star Hotel Imperial, New Delhi.

    Day 02:

    Old and New Delhi Sightseeing.
    Today post breakfast plunge yourself into the enriching experience of Delhi, the most diverse city in India. Start the day with a visit to Old Delhi, locally famed as “Purani Dilli” and with the name of Shahjahanabad, it was once the capital of Mughal India. A ten-minute heritage walk along the Red Fort leads us to the Chandni Chowk, the Bazaar of the Mughal’s. Board the Rickshaw and slither into the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk to witness the famous wholesale markets of beads, silverware, sari, decorative items and the famous spice market of Delhi. Later step into the newer part of the town famed as Lutyen’s Delhi. After lunch,
    enjoy a memorable country drive, passing through the Delhi suburbs, vast farms, and villages. Arrive in Agra and visit the astonishing UNESCO World heritage Red Fort. See the Mughal’s grandeur with a visit to the Pearl Mosque, Halls of Public and Private audience, Jahangir’s Palace, Khaas Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, and Musamman Burj.  Overnight stay at the 5 Star Hotel Radisson (Mansion Grand).

    Day 03:

    Sunrise visit to Taj Mahal.
    The Taj Mahal. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built this monument of Love in 1648 AD in memory of his wife Mumtaj Mahal. 22 years and 20000 skilled laborers, artisans and jewelers were needed for the construction of this grand memorial. 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”. It is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India’s rich history. Return to hotel for breakfast. Post breakfast we head to Delhi Airport for Varanasi – the oldest living city in the world. Overnight stay at Hotel Benares Haveli OR East view, a delightful 4 star boutique hotel.

    Day 04:

    Varanasi sightseeing.
    After a relaxed breakfast, enjoy temples and a city tour of Varanasi including  Bada Ganesh, Kaal Bhairav, Maha Mritunjay, Durga Temple, Sankat Mochan Temple, and Bharat Mata Temple.  In the evening we will enjoy the grand Aarti ceremony on the sacred Ghats of Ganges.Overnight stay at Hotel Benares Haveli OR East view.

    Day 05:

    Sunrise Boat Ride.
    We start the day with a sunrise boat ride on the holy river Ganges to experience early sacred rituals and offerings on Ghats. Enjoy some free time to explore the city. Overnight stay at Hotel Benares Haveli OR East view.

    Day 06:

    Today we travel to Rishikesh. From Varanasi Airport we board our flight to Dehradun. From Dehradun a quick ride to Rishikesh. Overnight stay at Ayurveda Sadan.

    Day 06:  to 12:


    Enjoy Ayurvedic treatments at the Ayurveda Sadan.
    Ayurveda is a 5000 year Indian way of medical system and is widely practiced in India. The word Ayurveda is a combination of Ayus (Life) + Veda (Knowledge) and as the name indicates, Ayurveda is more than India’s ancient art of healing; it is the knowledge about life itself and assumes the fundamental sameness of self and nature. Ayurveda believes in three bodily essences Vata (Air Principle), Pitta (Fire Principle and Kapha (Water Principle). These principles need to be kept in balance for a healthy body and mind. Unlike the allopathic medicines of the West, which perform on finding out what’s ailing and then killing it, the system of Ayurveda looks at the whole patient and disease is regarded as a symptom of imbalance. Once identified, it’s the imbalance that’s treated not the disease.

    Activities in Rishikesh
    -Sunrise Visit to Mother Divine Temple
    -See the Kunjapuri Devi Temple, located around 15 km away from Rishikesh. This temple is dedicated to one of the thirteen most important goddesses of Shivalik range. The temple is well-known among the travelers as it gives a beautiful view of the sunrise and the sunset from the greater Himalayan peaks. Snow ranges and peaks of Garhwali Himalayas like Swarga Rohini, Gangotri, Banderpunch and Chaukhamba can also be seen from this temple.
    -Excursion to Vasistha Gufa
    Visit the Vasistha Gufa cave, where the great philosopher and writer of Hindu Epic Ramayana meditated.
    -Maharishi Ashram
    Enjoy a visit to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram, also known as the Beatles Ashram. The ashram gained prominence in 1968 when The Beatles came to learn transcendental meditation. Through meditation, Maharishi Yogi imbibed a new vision of life in the Beatles. Their visit to this ashram suddenly brought Rishikesh in the limelight and made it a popular tourist destination. Their visit also changed the world’s opinion about Indian spirituality, yoga, and meditation.
    -Hike tour up to Neer Gaddu Waterfalls OR Jhil Mil Gufa to meet the Sadhus.

    Day 12:
    After breakfast, transfer to Dehradun Airport to board your flight to Delhi and home.

  • Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond the end date of the trip, and you’ll need two empty pages in the Visas section of your passport (make sure they are in the Visa section, not the Amendment or Endorsement section). Here is a link to apply for your passport. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/how-to-apply.html

    You will need to arrange an Indian visa before you arrive.

    The e-Tourist visa is good for 60 days in India and 2 entries (so, for example, if you were to take a side trip to Nepal or Bhutan, you can use the same visa to re-enter India).
    Go to https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html  to familiarize yourself with the process. To fill out the application you’ll need information from your passport, your itinerary, a passport photo to upload, a scan of your passport to upload, and a local Indian reference name, address, and phone number (which we will provide). For this visa, you will NOT need to send your passport anywhere.

    If you plan on staying in India longer than 60 days, there are many reputable places to go to to help you with the process. I have used Travisa and Arista Passport and Visa Services

  • On this retreat, we require that each guest carries travel insurance that covers emergency medical treatment and emergency evacuation and repatriation. It’s a relatively small expense and affords peace of mind.
    We suggest trip cancellation insurance, as well, as you never know what obstacles life can toss at you leading up to a trip.

    Barbara Watson of Travelstore can assist you with both.
    Her email address is:

    InsureMyTrip.com is a good place to see and compare many policies at once, and you can refine the options by what coverage you would like.
    World Nomads provides medical coverage and trip cancellation for guests under 70.

    Carefully consider your choice in travel insurance. What works for some people may not work for others, particularly if you have any pre-existing conditions. Please do take the time to consider the best policy for your individual needs.