::: Frequently Asked Questions: before contacting us, kindly check if the answer to your query is on this page or the GOOGLE SATELLITE MAP :::
When you arrive say “Narmade Har!” – we recognize that our Sacred Rivers are connected.
SwAr Ashram Yoga & Library, Madhya Pradesh INDIA , a Narmada Riverfront location. SwAr Ashram is a Teaching Facility for Yoga & we have an Advaitic Yog Vedant Library on site. We do not have hotel or restaurant – so this is NOT your destination address for visa or landing card purposes.
What is the destination address for my visa and landing card? Labboo’z Cafe & Lodge, Ahilyawada Gate, Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh 451224 INDIA – Manager 91.777.100.4818 The place where you will sleep at night is what the visa & landing card needs on record.
The Lodge & Ashram are separate entities under the same Heritage ownership in the same Fort. The orange pin in the upper left corner of the map is your lodging. It literally takes 3-4 minutes to leisurely stroll between the 2 pins. It looks farther in the photo because it is very zoomed in.
SwAr ASHRAM HAS THE RIVER FRONT YOGA TEACHING FACILITY, CLASSROOM & LIBRARY AS WELL AS 2 MANDIRS, ALL SET IN PICTURESQUE PRIMITIVE PARTIAL RUINS. YOU WILL STAY AT BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED HERITAGE LODGING (below) VERY NEAR SWAR ASHRAM, IN OUR SAME FORT.
FURTHER UPDATES WILL BE MADE REGARDING VISA APPLICATIONS AS SOON AS THE ANNOUNCEMENTS ARE MADE AS THE COUNTRY IS ON LOCKDOWN, ALL OF INDIA AWAITS THE NEWS OF HOW WE MAY WELCOME OUR GUESTS IN THE FUTURE. THE INDIA FRO WEBSITE WILL BE THE FIRST PLACE TO FIND THESE UPDATES.
Where / how do i apply for the visa? Detailed questions when filling out the forms will be answered in the PDF which is sent to all Registered Guests. It is a simple process which needs to be done 2-4 weeks in advance of travel and requires a recent 2″ square color photo and valid passport. Each country of origin has varying rules as to how long it will issue the visa. It is payable on this OFFICIAL SECURE SITE for a TOURIST VISA. Since the pandemic, the site is updated with new regulations as the gov sees fit. You will need to navigate through those updates before filling out the application. go forth bravely in this new world! Since the new regulations, those travelling from place to place around the sub-continent and planning a week or less in our town get the Tourist Visa. Those Registering for a Yoga Course or innerYatra lasting more than a week at SwAr Ashram will now be required to apply for a Student Visa under Yoga. When you register you get full instructions in PDF format. In either case, you print out your own visa and carry it in your wallet or hand luggage along with your passport – it gets stamped at the airport. No need to fed-ex your passport or spend a day to wait in a queue at said embassy.
What is the nearest airport? Your final airport destination is Devi Ahilyabai International Airport , INDORE (Madhya Pradesh). This is a small airport, they fly International only to/from Saudi Arabia. Indore is equally distanced from Mumbai and Delhi (about a 1 hour flight to Indore). You may conveniently choose your Major International Airport according to which has the best rates when you are ready to book your flight.
What is the best route/ airline to fly here? INTERNATIONAL: One airline flies non-stop from New York to India. AirIndia. There are numerous, cheaper, 1-stop flights. The Middle-Eastern airlines all seem to have the most competitive rates. Since there are so many options, and you can price-compare Delhi vs Mumbai for your stopover, some people opt for a travel agent. A good trustworthy NY based Indian Travel Agent whom i personally know is Suma Travel. We do not have any business affiliation with them but they have been specializing in India trips for 4 generations and can do online or phone bookings. DOMESTIC: The 1 hour flight to Indore runs practically every hour from sunrise to sunset and are well under $100 depending on how far in advance you book on any one of the Indian domestic airlines’ websites. The International booking agents don’t get these super cheap deals on these smaller airlines, so unless you don’t mind paying $200 on average for the agent to book it, we have tips in the PDF how to shop around for the best cheap rate on the domestic airlines. Planning ahead is the key to all travel success.
Once you have paid your Registration Deposit to us, we send you a detailed PDF. If you need this info before-hand, just ASK.
What is the nearest Train Station? Indore again has the nearest Train Station. Train tickets may be booked securely online now even with international cards. Train travel is not recommended by us if you are an inexperienced traveller in rural parts. No one will speak English, the signs are in Hindi. Crowds and rare foreign faces are an easy backdrop for thefts. If you must travel by train please opt for one of the First Class AC Business Sleeper cars, they are not considerably more expensive compared to other modes of travel and yet the perks of these cars as well as the companions you will meet travelling by these cars are an entirely different elephant from the majority of the rest of the train. We will also pick you up at the Train if that is your mode of transport.
What is the nearest Bus Station from the Train? There is one major Bus Station where you may travel from Indore to Maheshvar. Busses run every hour in the mornings and evenings including express (3ish hours ride) busses, and not so frequently with full stops (up to 4.5 hours ride) mid-day. REDBUS is the online option to book or see the schedule in advance. Unless you are a seasoned traveller in rural towns, we do not recommend the local busses, they are not equipped for luggage, are very crowded and since there are rarely any foreign nationals on the bus, you are a very likely target for theft. There is a new A/C bus for tourists travelling with luggage that has not been tested yet by anyone we know. There is a stop in Dhamnod even for the express bus.
How do i get to SwAr Ashram from the Indore Airport? Maheshvar is 2.25 hours drive from the airport. We pick you up in a large luxury A/C vehicle for each small group arriving and departing. Factored into your ‘all-inclusive’ price are group airport transfers. This is the most safe, easy and comfortable way to go. You will be much less likely to arrive exhausted and frazzled. We normally send our charming & lovely Guest Ambassador, Lali to meet you with the Driver, Pintu.
TIP: Most International flights arrive in the wee hours of the AM. Transferring to a domestic Indore flight at between sunrise and 7 or 8am will give you enough time to disembark, go thru customs, shift to the other end of the large terminal to the domestic side and then you can expect to board your pre-booked domestic flight anytime between 7:00 and 9:00AM without feeling stressed for time and arrive in Indore between 8:00 and 10:00AM. If you are able to use this common schedule when booking a retreat, then none of our guests are waiting too long for the others. Usually, it is not difficult to arrive within an hour of each other, you have just enough time to sample the splendid Coffee & Snack shops in the Indore waiting area. The airport is small enough that you will probably easily spot your fellow SwAr Ashram guests. Whatsapp, IG or fB will help connect you on the free wifi.
What is included/ not included in the cost of Retreat Packages such as YOGA of VOICE or YOGA & CONSCIOUS YOGA – innerYatra Esoteric Yogic Experiences, Teachings, Technologies, Therapies & Ancient India Experiencial Tours Package?
- Group (large vehicle) pick-up /drop-off at the Indore Airport between designated times.
- AM & PM daily Hatha Yoga & Meditation Programs inside & in front of SwAr Ashram on the banks of Narmada.
- Yoga Nidra grounding on your first evening.
- Agnihotra Sandhya Sadhana with full educational module about this ancient pyro-dynamic healing. (steel boxed copper kunda & kit is optional to purchase to take home)
- Aarti and Pujas including education & experiences.
- Circle Satsang gatherings on the Ghat in front of SwAr Ashram.
- EITHER 7 half-days Yoga of Voice workshop by world class Indian classical musician, vocalist & Acharya, Deepak Kumar Pareek. Planned & spontaneous performances thru the 11 days.
- OR 7 half-days of innerEvolution Conscious Yoga for Trauma Survivors workshop by Niradhara Amma.
- innerYatra : every day there will be a module of Esoteric Yogic Experience Tours, created, curated, produced & guided by Niradhara Amma.
- 2 Boat Yatras on Narmada to Baneshwar (Ancient Stargate Temple) with ceremonies
- Shabdha Snan (sound bath).
- Kirtan on the boat, in Ashram & Temples..
- Boat on Narmada to Shalivan Ashram & Naodotia Village.
- Trek along the banks of Narmada to Saptamatrika (Pleaidean Mothers) Temple
- Car journey to Omkareshwar, east on Narmada, Darshan of the Jyotir Lingams, picnic & shopping for spiritual, altar and gift items.
- Car journey to Sahastradhara, (rapids) with Special Kundalini Kriya Experience
- Satsangs incl. Mandukyopanishad, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, secrets of Vedic herbs, plants & stones, Paradigm Shift MC & the Goddess, Gauraksha (cow protection)
- Sanskrit Naming Ceremony for those who wish it
- Walking tour of the Ghats, Fort, Temples and charitable works
- Traditional Indian cooking (and eating) class
- Hygienic RO water, refill bottles
- Tasty, Vegan or Vegetarian meals prepared with love, local mostly organic food 3 times a day
- Attend a Shakti Girls Yoga Camp & MC Satsang for Amma’s girl students to educate about their bodies & Amma’s students get a designer stitched pad set with comic book, to encourage them to stay in school during their Moon Cycles.
- Mehndi & Rangoli Party! Amma’s girl students are masterful at henna designs and the amazing rangoli kolams that are drawn on the floor with colored sands pinched between tiny fingers, these artistic young ladies share their art with you.
- wi-fi at the Lodging and Ashram.
- Access Pass to SwAr Ashram Library (use our laptops if needed).
- Drop in, see our Yoga, English & Library students – teach a class (optional).
- Experience Local Veg Market on Tuesday.
- Very Special Metta Meditation.
- Opening and Closing ceremonies.
- Welcome Bag filled with local gifts to make your stay even more wonderous!
- Spiral Bound support materials book by Amma.
- 1 Ayurvedic massage, facial or Reflexology, (more at very low cost is optional).
- YACEP credits with certificate for existing Yoga Teachers.
- 11 nights exclusive accommodation in the beautifully restored Gatehouse to our Palace, incl. A/C, wi-fi, RO water refills.
- Surprises, Prasadam, Love, Deep Caring, Sat Cit Anand!
- Basically, everything is incl EXCLUDING AIR FARE AND SHOPPING CASH.
- Slide gallery of some guest events. SEE ALL OF OUR SLIDE GALLERIES HERE>
Is this course Yoga Alliance Accredited? Yes. if you are an RYT we can give you (x) number of CEUs depending on the workshop, retreat, private time – for the time spent learning under Amma Niradhara. Generally 40=60 hours per 10 day retreat.
Will i get a Certificate? as a YACEP provider, we will issue you an e-cert as well as a laminated hard copy with a beautiful ceremony at the end of your program if you are a Registered Yoga Teacher with YA – please notify us in advance if you are seeking this.
Should i get travel insurance? This is up to you & your comfort level with travelling. Although we do everything in our power to house and feed and transport you in the safest humanly ways possible, (and we have never had an incident) it is always recommended, but of course not necessary.
Should i get vaccinations, take tablets? This is entirely up to you and your beliefs about vaccines and perhaps western medicines in general. Be guided by your own choice if it is not required by your own gov. Some people choose to do so based on their doctor’s recommendation. Some people do not believe in vaccines and we have not ever had any incident with insect bites or other diseases in these 12 years with our Guests. Some are vaccinated and some are not. Some take tablets and some do not.
Can you cater to special dietary needs? Yes, please let us know upon Registering so that we may prepare for anything unusual. By default, we serve all Pure Plant Based Vegan meals and offer Pure Vegetarian on request, so this is “the usual”. We commonly cater to gluten intolerance. Our Cafe staff has been trained to make a few non-Indian requests, but basically, we are here to experience and enjoy the culture along with all its marvelous variety of tasty & healthy food! One or 2 meals will be at SwAr Ashram where you can participate and learn cooking on an outdoor Chulha (a small camp-type fire). Here we will sit on the floor, eat with our (washed!) hands off of fresh hygienic banana leaves as plates. Guests always remark that this is their favorite meal-time experience.
Be informed that there is no meat nor alcohol served in our entire town or any of the places we visit on excursions. This is an Indian Gov regulation among all the Sacred Sites of Hindus. If you really need a chicken dinner or a beer, a private rickshaw can be hired and you can go on your own, at your own cost of course, a few kms away. There is no cow slaughter allowed in our entire State of MP. The food is so amazing, healthy and well balanced, you will not miss the meat!
Is there wi-fi? Yes. Both SwAr Ashram and the Lodge & Cafe have wi-fi. You are supplied with passwords. In case of power cuts, the Lodge & Cafe have a generator. SwAr Ashram will issue you a Temporary Guest Library Pass where you may use our laptops & wi-fi as well as borrow from Guruji’s vast collection of both rare & classic Advaitic Yoga Vedanta books (that must be returned before departure). There are no free open wi-fi signals on the road or about town. There are no internet cafes in town. That said, since we are on the opposite side of the Earth to most of your home=folks whom you wish to contact, the evenings/ overnights at the Lodge and early AM hours at the Ashram are normally your most frequently needed times of communications. Your work and loved ones ought to be sound asleep while we are traversing about all day. If you need an urgent mid-day use of wi-fi, Amma has a portable wifi device with a limited GB data usage, which she will carry on all outings.
Can I participate with your charities while there? Yes. An informal interaction with our NGO’s programs or observation of them is encouraged. You are welcome to participate as a cultural immersion experience that is also part of your Yoga Sadhana see the VOLUNTOURISM page – this is also known as Karma Yoga and often called Seva. Visiting an NGO as a casual observer or lending a spontaneous hand, is not ‘volunteer work’ by gov standards. THIS ARTICLE addresses some of the facts about the various forms of visas. Formal full-time volunteerism is not able to be supported here. Our small NGO can not bear expenses to host a full time, year-long volunteer with a work visa. We are not internationally funded, we are funded by teaching Yoga to Tourists. It is economically illogical for our situation to consider the expense of a work-visa, accommodation and food for a foreign volunteer vs simply hiring a local. SEE OUR SLIDE GALLERY. ASK AMMA if you have further questions.
What type of charitable work may I observe? There are daily English lessons with our Board Teacher Manish-ji. A Girl’s Yoga Camp is scheduled 4 times per year, with Health, Safety & Hygiene Module (MC Desi Shakti Pad Program). Each of our innerYatra Retreats have one of these Yoga Camps included as a scheduled day of interaction for you with our Community based charitable initiatives. The girls will decorate you with Mehndi as a thank you for being with us. You may learn how to prepare some Indian dishes by assisting the cooks with the camp meals. You may enjoy the Traditional Arts module and learn about the creative and colorful local culture. We have various holiday and field trip programs throughout the year for our local Students including a visit to an Organic Farm with solar power, Christian Church in the next town and Agnihotra goshala. Library & Technical assistance was mentioned above. You help our students practice English simply by normal conversations.
FREE 1 HOUR INITIATION AT YOUR OWN SANDHYA TIME WITH PURCHASE OF ANY KIT OR KUNDA
GET YOUR e-Book, KUNDA OR FULL KIT HERE the Phyr-O-Sutras : Praying with Fire : Agnhotra e-book is FREE with the Kund or Kit purchase.
REGISTER HERE for the FREE LIVE e-lesson OFFERING FIRE TO THE SUN & Initiation.
FREE PRAYER REQUESTS
Your request will we entered in the next available Sandhya Time Agnihotra. Specify the duration of times you would wish to keep your Request Active.
༺🔥༻FREE –Live e-lesson (OFFERING FIRE TO THE SUN) & instant download Phyr-o-Sutras : printable e-book – PDF when you order ANY KUNDA KIT
नर्मदे हर NARMADE HAR! ༺🔥༻ – is a regional greeting in and around the Narmada River route among locals, parikramavasi-s and tourists. When we say this we recognize the Divinity of Narmada in you.