Sacred Sounds of South India
A Two-Week Journey of Ecstasy and Heart-Opening Exploration
We are excited to announce an upcoming collaboration between Sajida Ben Tzur and Yuval Ron. Seven years after our unforgettable journey of sacred music in the Rajasthan desert, we are thrilled to share with you another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: an exploration of the rich cultural traditions of South India.
Join us on a two-week journey of spiritual and emotional elevation as we immerse ourselves in the magic of sacred and ritual music. Led by Sajida Ben Tzur, an entrepreneur and owner of Sajida's Boutique Travels, and Yuval Ron, a renowned Grammy-nominated musician and educator with a remarkable voice in cross-cultural projects around the world.
We invite you to experience the spirit of India through an unforgettable voyage. During our journey, we will have the opportunity to meet living masters and scholars. We will indulge in the breathtaking natural beauty of Kerala, visit traditional South Indian dance schools, drummers, and experts of their trade, who will open a gateway for us into ancient cultures that have been passed down through oral traditions for over 1000 years.
Apart from visiting historical temples, Sufi shrines, and sacred places of worship, we will also travel to natural spice farms and enjoy the exquisite cuisine of Kerala. We will take some relaxed time to sail and stay in a houseboat to explore the backwater riverside of some of the most beautiful landscapes in Southeast Asia. While our tour is stimulating and full of adventurous experiences, we will be staying in 4-5 star hotels and resorts.
This is an invitation to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey of spiritual exploration, cultural practices, and music. Two weeks of ecstasy, heart-opening experiences, and unforgettable memories. There are only 40 seats available on our bus! To reserve your place, please fill out the form below to receive the entire tour itinerary and costs. We are looking forward to having you with us on this upcoming extraordinary experience.
With love and regards,
Sajida Ben Tzur and Yuval Ron.
"Travel brings power and love back into your life.” - Rumi
02/25/2024: Flying to India
Need to reach Mumbai on the morning of Feb 26th, which will be the first day of our tour.
02/26/2024: Sufi Culture in Mumbai
After landing in Mumbai and settling into our hotel, we'll take some time to rest before beginning our journey. We'll then head to the Haji Ali Dargah, a stunning Sufi Shrine located in the middle of the Arabian Sea, and a symbol of faith and architectural brilliance. Here, we'll have the privilege of meeting traditional Qawwal singers and hearing them perform Qawwali music, a devotional genre of music that originated from the Sufi tradition. Our guide, Sajida, will provide us with insights into the Sufi culture and the Chishti order of Sufis, to which Saint Haji Ali belonged. We'll return to our hotel in the evening for dinner and a good night's rest.
02/27/2024: Mumbai and the Dhrupad Music Experience
After breakfast, we'll explore some of Mumbai's iconic sites before heading to the Gurukul of Ustad Bahauddin Dagar, a true master of the Rudra Vina and an important figure in the special Dhrupad school of music.
Ustad Bahauddin Dagar, comes from a long lineage of musicians and is dedicated to preserving and promoting the art of Dhrupad. Here, we'll have the privilege of learning about this ancient instrument and musical form from Ustad Bahauddin Dagar himself. This is an exclusive meeting with a living master. We'll return to our hotel in the evening for dinner and a good night's rest.
02/28/2024: A glimpse into the Carnatic music of Madurai
After having breakfast, we will take a local flight to Madurai. Once we arrive and check-in at the hotel, we will meet and interact with Carnatic musicians in the afternoon. We will learn about the traditional South Indian classical music form, which dates back over 2,000 years, and listen to some of this ancient music. Afterwards, we will return to the hotel for dinner and a good night's sleep.
02/29/2024: The Art and Heritage of Thanjavur
After breakfast, we'll take a local drive to Thanjavur. Our first stop will be at a workshop of a Carnatic Vina maker, where we'll get to see how these beautiful string instruments are made. We'll then visit the Brihadeeswara Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest temples in India. Here, we'll be exclusively accompanied by Kombai S Anwar, a renowned scholar and writer in the field of Tamil literature and Islamic studies. Kombai S Anwar will provide us with insights into the temple's history and significance. We'll then return to the hotel in Thanjavur for dinner and a good night's rest.
03/01/2024: The Spiritual Traditions of Meenakshi Temple
After breakfast, we'll drive back to Madurai, where we'll have the opportunity to meet and interact with Odhuvar singers. These singers are an integral part of the temple rituals and perform devotional songs in praise of the deities. We'll learn about their traditions and listen to their mesmerizing renditions. After lunch, we'll visit the Meenakshi Amman Temple, a stunning example of Dravidian architecture and one of the most important temples in South India. We'll be accompanied by the temple singers, who will perform during our visit. Kombai S Anwar will also join us to share some of the secrets and history of this ancient place. We'll then return to the hotel in Madurai for dinner and a good night's rest.
03/02/2024: Nature Walk and Spice Exploration in Periyar National Park
After breakfast, we'll drive to Thekkady and take a stroll in nature around the picturesque Periyar Lake, where we'll enjoy the scenic beauty of the surroundings.
Periyar National Park, also referred to as Periyar Tiger Reserve, is located in the Western Ghats mountain range of southern India's Kerala state. This wildlife sanctuary is home to a diverse range of animals, including tigers, elephants, Indian bison, rare lion-tailed macaques, leopards, and sambar deer.
Later in the day, we'll visit the vibrant Spice Bazaar of Periyar, where we'll get a glimpse into the world of exotic spices and their uses.
We'll then return to the hotel in Thekkady for dinner and a good night's rest.
03/03/2024: A Serene Unwinding in Kumarakom & Exclusive workshop with Yuval Ron
Following breakfast, we'll drive to Kumarakom, an idyllic village nestled alongside the banks of Vembanad Lake in Kerala's backwaters. Our accommodations at a stunning hotel will provide the perfect setting to unwind and bask in the peaceful ambiance. During the day, we'll revel in the tranquility of the lake and the charming scenery. At evening we'll enjoy an exclusive workshop with Yuval Ron on healing sound meditations from Ayurvedic medical tradition of India.
Dinner at the hotel and retire for the night.
03/04/2024: Tranquil Houseboat Cruise in the Backwaters of Kerala
After breakfast, we'll embark on a magical houseboat cruise in a traditional and luxurious Kerala-style houseboat. We'll spend the day cruising the backwaters of Kerala, enjoying the peaceful and scenic beauty of the surroundings. We'll spend the night on board the houseboat, enjoying the calm and peaceful backwaters of Kerala. We'll enjoy dinner and retire to sleep at the house boat for the night.
03/05/2024: Kochi's Cultural and Historical Treasures.
Following breakfast on the houseboat, we'll drive to Kochi. Kochi is a fascinating city that reflects the diverse history and culture of Kerala, with influences from Indian, Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonialism.
We'll start our tour of Kochi by visiting the Old City and Jew Town, where we'll be surrounded by a vibrant mix of cultures and religions. Here, we'll see the beautiful architecture and bustling bazaars that showcase the rich history and culture of the region.
Next, we'll visit the iconic Chinese fishing nets, which have become a symbol of Kochi.
These unique fishing nets were introduced to India by Chinese traders in the 14th century and are still used today by local fishermen.
We'll also visit the Paradesi Synagogue, which is located in the heart of Jew Town. This beautiful synagogue dates back to the 16th century and is the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations.
Finally, we'll visit St. Francis Church, the oldest European Church in India, which dates back to the 16th century.
After a full day of exploration, we'll return to the hotel for dinner and a well- deserved rest.
03/06/2024: Thrissur's Rich Heritage and Spirituality
After breakfast, we will drive to Thrissur, a city located in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Known as the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur has a rich cultural heritage and is home to historic landmarks.
We will explore the Vadakkunnathan Temple, one of the most prominent and ancient temples in Kerala. The temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is renowned for its stunning architecture and intricate murals depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.
Our visit will provide an opportunity to explore the temple complex and learn about its rich history and cultural significance.
In the evening, we will enjoy dinner and spend the night in Thrissur.
03/07/2024: Rural Life and Kathakali Dance in Palakkad
After breakfast, we will embark on a scenic drive to Palakkad for an immersive rural experience. Our first stop will be a local farm where we will enjoy a plantation walk and get to taste various local rice varieties. We will then participate in an exclusive interactive cooking session where we will learn to prepare regional dishes using traditional ingredients.
We will also experience toddy tapping, a local tradition where the sap from Coconut Palm trees is fermented to produce a unique and famous beverage. Later we will visit the Kathakali Village to witness and interact with the Kathakali dancers, who will exclusively perform for us a traditional form of dance-drama that originated in Kerala.
Kathakali is a classical dance form known for its elaborate makeup, costumes, and facial expressions. The dance-drama typically narrates stories from Hindu mythology and is performed by male artists who are trained in the art form from a young age. The dancers use intricate hand gestures, facial expressions, and body movements to convey emotions and tell stories.
We will attend a lecture demonstration on Kathakali and witness a stunning performance. This will give us a deeper understanding of the art form and its cultural significance.
After a day of cultural exploration, we will return to our hotel for dinner and an overnight stay in Thrissur.
03/08/2024: Relaxing and Unwinding at Marari Beach
After breakfast, we will drive to the stunning Marari Beach, famous for its pristine coastline in Kerala. This tranquil and serene destination is perfect for those seeking peace and quiet. We will spend the day at a beautiful retreat abode near the seashore, where we can unwind, connect with ourselves, and reflect on our journey. In the evening, we will gather for an enchanting and memorable farewell party with music by Yuval Ron.
Dinner and an overnight stay at the Marari Resort.
03/09/2024: Yoga and Ayurvedic Massage at Marari Resort and sound meditation with Yuval Ron
We will wake up to a relaxing yoga session at the beautiful Marari Beach. Throughout the day, we will spend some peaceful time at a lavish resort, indulging in a nourishing Ayurvedic massage at a pampering Kerala-style spa. In the afternoon we will attend an exclusive workshop with Yuval Ron focusing on Nada Yoga, the Yoga of Sound Meditation practice.
By evening, we will enjoy dinner before driving to Kochi airport for our flight back home.
03/10/2024: Final Farewell: Departing from Kochi Airport.
End of our journey, traveling back home.
Cost of the tour
20-24 Travelers - $4200 per person
25-29 Travelers - $4075 per person
30-40 Travelers - $4025 per person
International Flight ticket:
To be taken care of and paid for by the client.
Visa to India:
To be taken care of and paid for by the client.
To be taken care of and paid for by the client.
The tour price displayed here is for each traveler in a group of 20 or more travelers, with the traveler staying in a room for 2 (or a double room).
Single room supplement: $930
A room with a partner will be available if a suitable partner is found.
The price of the tour is applicable to the tour plan that is presented here. Should any unforeseen circumstances or changes in flight schedules, weather conditions, or tourism services occur during the tour, the traveler will pay the additional costs to cover the related adjustments.
Payment for the tour is made by bank transfer or credit card. Transfer fees are paid by the traveler.
The tour cost includes:
• A domestic flight ticket from Mumbai to Madurai.
• Accommodation in 4-star hotels, based on double occupancy.
• Catering: 2 meals a day, breakfast and dinner, (excluding free time
lunches), and a 1-liter bottle of mineral water per participant per day.
• All activities as per to the tour plan.
• Guidance by Sajida and local guides for site tours.
• All transportation, as per the tour plan, in air-conditioned vehicles.
• All activities listed in the tour plan and entrances to all sites.
• An Online preparation meeting with Sajida, approximately 3 weeks to a
month before the tour departure date.
• Everything listed here is limited to the 'tour plan' and is in accordance with it.
• The tour itinerary includes exclusive opportunities to participate in
workshops and meetings with musicians, scholars, and experts in their respective fields. In the event that a scheduled activity or program is cancelled, a suitable alternative activity or meeting will be arranged.
The tour cost does not include:
1. International flights to India.
2. Visa (entry permit to India) - cost is around $30 per traveler. Obtaining the visa and flight tickets to India are the responsibility of theparticipants.
3. Travel insurance (mandatory).
4. Tips for service providers, with an amount of approximately $120 per traveler based on the group size. The Tips will be distributed among drivers, waiters, local guides, and other service providers.
5. Additional bottles of mineral water.
6. Payment for photography permits at sites.
7. Personal expenses such as massages, spa treatments, phone calls, laundry, personal shopping, souvenirs, gifts, personal orders in hotels, etc.
8. Any expense caused by a change by the traveler or any other unforeseen factor in the original itinerary that is not included in the overall group plan.
9. Anything that is not included in the "tour plan" and not mentioned in the "tour cost includes" section.
Terms and Conditions:
Cancellation of registration for the tour can only be performed in writing, via a detailed notice that includes the participant's full personal information. This notice must be sent by email to email@example.com. It is important to note that the cancellation will only take effect after the notice has been received and processed, in accordance with the date on which it was received.
• Cancellation made more than 90 days prior to the tour date will be subject to a $150 administrative fee.
• 25% cancellation charge will apply if cancelled within 90-75 days of the arrival date (inclusive).
• 50% cancellation charge will apply if cancelled within 74-61 days of the arrival date (inclusive).
• 75% cancellation charge will apply if cancelled within 60-46 days of the arrival date (inclusive).
• 100% cancellation charge will apply if cancelled within 45 days of the arrival date.
Please note that the guide and the company are not responsible for any cancellations or changes in the tour itinerary due to circumstances beyond their control. This includes flight delays, changes required by third-party companies, tour cancellations due to security situations, pandemics, force majeure, or weather conditions. Additionally, the guide and company are not responsible for any instances of food poisoning, property damage, or other damages that may be caused to tour participants during the tour.
The participant is required to purchase comprehensive travel insurance for the entire duration of the tour. The insurance should cover trip cancellations, medical coverage, accidents, and property damage. A copy of the insurance policy should be provided to the guide prior to the tour departure. By participating in the tour, the participant acknowledges and agrees to this requirement.
About Sajida Ben Tzur:
Sajida Ben-Tzur is a cultural tourism expert and founder of a boutique travel company that provides unique experiences throughout India. Having grown up in a house in Ajmer, India, that has served as a prominent center for Sufis for decades, Sajida was exposed to the spiritual philosophies and practices of the region from a young age. With a passion for music, culinary art, and travel, Sajida has crafted exceptional tours in India that engage all the senses, offering travelers a deeply personal connection with the region's people and landscapes.
Her extensive experience guiding groups from Israel and the United States allows her to create unforgettable journeys. Sajida's expertise in India's diverse cultural heritage and spirituality makes her the perfect guide for those seeking a meaningful and transformative journey. She offers a personalized and authentic travel experience that immerses travelers in the region's cultural traditions and fosters cross-cultural understanding.
About Yuval Ron:
Yuval Ron is an award-winning composer, touring and recording artist, educator, peace activist and record producer. Among his many honors, he composed the songs and score for the Oscar winning film West Bank Story in 2007, received commissions for site-specific scores from the Getty Center, Fowler Museum in UCLA, Japan-America Center, artist Lauren Bon and Farm Lab, choreographers Daniel Ezralow (American Repertory Ballet), Ashley Roland (ISO dance company), Oguri (Renzoku Dance Company) and Zen priest and visual artist, Hirokazu Kosaka. Yuval has been involved in the world of music therapy since a 1990 commission from researcher Robert Monroe of the Monroe Institute for a Hemi Sync music composition using Binaural Beats Brain Entrainment modality. He has collaborated with neuroscientists Mark Waldman, and Dr. Andrew Newburg, psychotherapist Dr Sanjay Manchanda, pioneer healers Dr. Richard Gold and Gail Lynn, and is the founding director of the record label Metta Mindfulness Music which produces quality intentional healing music for use in clinics and treatments centers worldwide. Yuval was invited to perform meditative music for the Dalai Lama, the Sufi Sheikh Sidi Muhammad, collaborated with the Sufi leaders Pir Zia Inayat Khan and Pir Shabdah Khan, with numerous master musicians including Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Estrella Morente and Deva Premal, and with the Zen Buddhist priest and master artist Hirokazu Kosaka.
Yuval has lectured in America’s top schools such as Yale, John Hopkins University, University of Chicago and UCLA to name a few and have been a faculty member at Esalen Institute, The Shift Network, University of Sufism and 1440 Multiversity.
His awards include the Los Angeles Treasures Award in 2004 and prestigious grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, American Composers Forum, California Council for Humanities and Rockefeller Foundation. His TV and films scores include the PBS/Nova special, Breaking the Maya Code, Proteus, Spiral Staircase, Golda’s Balcony, scores for stage include Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Yeats’ Amer’s Jeleasy and Beckett’s Casscando. His book Divine Attunement: Music as a Path to Wisdom won Gold Medal for the Best Book Award in the Spirituality Category in the Indie Book Awards 2015, and in early 2020 he received the Presidential Gold Medal Award for volunteering for founding and leading the charity non-profit organization Inspired Sound Initiative. For more info: www.yuvalronmusic.com
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