An Exploration of Sacred India
Tamil Nadu, South India

Date: Postponed ~ TBD

Join us for this rare immersion in several sacred sites of South India, illuminated by teachers grounded in the practices of Ayurveda and Jyotisha, as we explore the human capacity to heal.

From the comfort of our lively retreat center, we will make daily sojourns to local temples and other cultural locations by chartered coach. Every day will feature educational discussions relevant to that day’s itinerary.

Without the stress of relocating to multiple hotels, we will be able to focus on exploring, learning, enjoying ourselves, and deepening our understanding of healing.

Dive Into the Wisdom and Mystery of Mother India

During this inspiring tour, you will…

  • Explore ancient temples and learn about traditions that honor prominent deities including the 9 planets of the ancient Indian astrology system
  • Expand your understanding of the healing process and how to support your own vibrant health through daily educational satsangs and discussions
  • Relax and rejuvenate in beautiful natural surroundings with delicious organic meals in an eco-conscious retreat center with grand turn-of-the-century villas and an on-site museum
  • Make true connections with other like-minded students of life drawn to the ancient teachings and spiritual practices of India
  • Support the charity activities of Vaidyagrama Healing Village through your participation in this retreat of a lifetime

Our Tour is an Exploration of a Living Culture

Our days will be focused around visits to the Navagraha temples that honor the Indian culture’s foundational worship of the cosmic forces that are understood to define reality. We will also visit traditional bronze-work artisans, sculptors and painters, and experience traditional music and dance.

In addition to cultural and spiritual excursions, we will enjoy daily discussions on topics from Ayurveda, the traditional healing art of India, as well as Jyotisha, the ancient system of Indian astrology.

Discover the Navagraha of Southern India

Our retreat center is located centrally between 9 temples dedicated to each of the 9 planets of ancient Indian astrology or Jyotisha (nava means “nine,” and graha means “planet”).

Each day of our tour will be dedicated to a different planet, featuring a visit to that planet’s temple and in-depth explorations of the themes of healing and right-living that the featured planet-deity personifies. You will even have the opportunity to receive traditional palm-leaf astrology readings with local astrologers, or jyotishis.

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Feel Nourished by our Dynamic Retreat Center

Our home base for the retreat will be the INDeco Hotel in the town of Swamimalai, Tamil Nadu, on the outskirts of Kumbakonam. From here we will take day trips by chartered air conditioned coach to local sites.

INDeco Swamimalai is a destination in itself. On forested grounds, this stately heritage hotel is composed of a variety of buildings reflecting different styles of architecture, including a restored 1896 villa and an ancient palace brought to the site in pieces to be painstakingly restored.

With countless activities on site, there is much to see, including the wild deer, geese, and the resident peacocks. Other activities include bullock cart rides, cow milking, bicycle rides to the nearby village, and kolam drawing (using colored powder to draw patterns on the ground, also known as rangoli). On a quiet afternoon, you may choose to have an Ayurvedic oil massage or other treatment.

The on-site Indian Heritage Museum represents traditional Tamil lifestyle, artifacts and practices with pieces preserved from many different sites and brought to the museum, which has garnered many awards and commendations.

The hotel offers old world charm in a traditional rural village atmosphere. The simple, clean rooms come in double or single occupancy with bathrooms featuring modern western toilets. The tile roofs and abundant greenery make you feel like you are in a picture book.

Delicious Freshly Prepared Meals

Our meals will be held at our retreat center and will feature organic fruits and vegetables grown in the in-house garden and milk from the in-house dairy. The fresh and local produce prepared for a diverse clientele assures that the food is of the highest quality.

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Magnificent buffet meals feature traditional South Indian delicacies and dishes unique to the region including long lost recipes that have been rediscovered.  

Be Inspired by our Dynamic Faculty

Our faculty includes Vedic Astrologer Emily Glaser, Yoga Teacher Ivy Ingram, and Ayurveda Physician Ramkumar, co-founder of Vaidyagrama Healing Village.


Ramkumar is a student of Ayurveda and other traditional Indian knowledge systems. Over the last 2 decades, he has given talks and conducted workshops in the Americas, Africa, Europe, Australia and many parts of Asia, promoting health, happiness and contentment.

Ramkumar is a Founder-Director of the Punarnava group in Coimbatore, who are committed to “Authentic Ayurveda for Universal Well Being.” Punarnava Ayurveda is currently engaged in the creation of vaidyagrama – an experimental green self-sustaining authentic Ayurveda healing community on the outskirts of Coimbatore in South India. (

Emily Glaser, RN, LMT

Emily has a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing with a specialization in Neuroscience and Hospice. Interested in world medicine she worked internationally in China and Nepal with Global Volunteer Network, Cambodia with Angkor Hospital for Children and Tanzania with St. Lucia Nursing Home. After Emily quenched her thirst for world travel she returned home to New Mexico, graduated with a degree in Culinary Arts and started her journey into the deep and profound science of Ayurveda. In 2009, Emily had the great honor to study under Dr. Vasant Lad at The Ayurvedic Institute. Shortly after, she spent 6 months at vaidyagrama in southern India where she furthered her study of Ayurveda and Panchakarma therapy with chief physician, Dr. Ramadas. Emily is a graduate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners AADP.  Her practice is inspired by the depth and profound healing that the ancient teachings of Ayurveda have brought to her life and the lives of the people she loves. For more information, visit

Ivy Ingram, MA, AP

Ivy is an Ayurveda Practitioner and yoga teacher specializing in women’s health. With a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, she has been helping clients experience deeper health and healing for over 18 years. She is a former faculty member of the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico under the direction of the world-renowned Dr. Vasant Lad. She received her Ayurveda Practitioner certification from Dr. Lad after an intensive 2-year clinical training program. She also studied Ayurveda at Vaidyagrama Healing Village in southern India for 6 months in 2011. She has returned to India nearly every year for further training or treatment. A certified 500-hour advanced yoga teacher, she has been teaching yoga since 2002, including teaching patients in cancer treatment, the clinical staff at a Harvard teaching hospital, and inmates in the Oregon and Texas prison systems. For more information, visit

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Support India’s Villages while Immersing in Her Sacred Sites

All profits from this adventure will go to support the charity activities of Vaidyagrama Healing Village of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Some of our ongoing projects include free medical camps in nearby villages, meal provision for the elderly, a children’s home on the Vaidyagrama campus, and women’s empowerment programs.

Make Plans to Join Us!

The Navagraha Temple Tour

October 16-26, 2020

Dates TBD

Arrive Friday at Tiruchirappelli (Trichy) International Airport in Tamil Nadu. We will arrange your ground transport for the 2 hour ride from the airport to our retreat center.

Depart ten days later on Monday by included ground transport back to the Trichy Airport.

A sample day will include…

  • Morning or afternoon visit to a navagraha temple honoring the featured planet of the day or other deity
  • Other excursions to view bronze artisans or sculptors at work, local silk sari weavers, or watch the creation of traditional sand drawings called rangoli
  • Daily satsang, or group discussion, with Dr. Ramkumar and astrologer Emily Glaser exploring the ancient roots of the healing sciences of Ayurveda and Jyotisha and their relevance today
  • Mouth-watering traditional south Indian meals with fresh fruits and vegetables from the in-house garden raised with eco-friendly techniques

Travel Visas

Non-citizens of India must have a visa to enter India from most countries. You are responsible for obtaining the necessary visas to enter India.

Supporting our Global Village

100% of the profits generated from this retreat will go to fund the life-changing charity activities supporting the rural communities near vaidyagrama Healing Village in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Since the founding of vaidyagrama in 2008, innumerable outreach projects have been conducted to uplift the lives of our village neighbors. Thank you for helping us make an impact.


Single Accommodation: USD $3,300
Double Accommodation: USD $2,900 per person

Early Bird Price:

Single Accommodation: USD $2,900
Double Accommodation: USD $2,400 per person

These prices do not include your flights to Tiruchirapelli (Trichy), India from your home. They do include your ground travel from Trichy Airport, all ground travel during the retreat to our cultural sites, 10 nights accommodation, all meals, all educational sessions, all tours, and all yoga sessions.

Optional Add-On Tours

For those who are inspired to extend your time in India after our Navagraha Temple Tour, we invite you to come with us to Vaidyagrama Healing Village to experience its peaceful ambiance and traditional Ayurveda treatments – the perfect culmination of our time together.

After our exciting explorations, you will be ready to relax and receive some deep nourishment, surrounded by nature.

We will travel directly to Vaidyagrama in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, after our tour ends. There are two Add-On Tour options, either a full 21-Day Panchakarma detoxification and rejuvenation visit, or a 5-Day Relax and Renew visit. Contact us for more information.

To Register…

The number of participants in the Navagraha Temple Tour is limited to maintain an intimate group and provide ample opportunity for personal interaction with our faculty. We expect to sell out, so contact us soon to register!

To start the registration process, please click the button below to notify us of your interest. One of our coordinators will contact you to answer any questions and to complete your registration. When you are ready, a USD $500 non-refundable deposit will save your place. We look forward to meeting you!

Still Have Questions?

We would love to talk with you to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to click the button above and let us know your question, and we will be in touch right away. You are also welcome to call us at +1 (505) 438-1163. We look forward to talking with you!