India

A Symphony of Extremes

Millions of years ago, the Indian Subcontinent was an island, surrounded by the ancient ocean that would eventually bear its name. As the eons passed, the geological forces smoldering under the Earth’s crust propelled India northward, sending it crashing into the coast of what is now Tibet. The island struck the Asian continent with a force great enough to rupture the land and birth the world’s tallest mountain range, the Himalayas. India thus found itself geologically united with Asia, but this tectonic shotgun wedding had little bearing on the Subcontinent’s deeper identity. Throughout history and to the present day, India has remained a world apart.

For millennia, India has summoned travelers, explorers, and pilgrims to seek out the secrets hidden in its steamy jungles and atop its misty mountain peaks. This exotic land beckons the spirit with whispers hidden in the rustle of prayer flags and songs cloaked in the tones of ancient bells. Many of the world’s major religions and spiritual paths originally sprung from India’s fertile river valleys, and even today seekers from across the globe find their way to the Subcontinent in search of deeper understanding and self-mastery.

How, though, does one reconcile such a mythos with the reality of contemporary India? As deep and quiet as its old bones may be, the modern face of the Subcontinent is an ever-shifting whirlwind of stimuli. Travelers arrive expecting a mystical land of peace and enlightenment only to find themselves subsumed in pandemonium.

India’s great cities are among the largest, loudest, and most chaotic on the planet. Fruit carts, spice shops, and clothing stalls festoon streets with colors so bright that they threaten to overflow the eyes and drip into other senses. Musicians and hawkers battle with taxi horns and truck engines for hegemony of the urban soundscape. The nose is assailed again and again until it finally surrenders to the indecipherable mixture of delicacy and indiscretion that dominates the air. It is overwhelming.

Perhaps, though, it is India’s fantastic counterbalancing of extremes that makes this land so compelling for spiritual seekers. The framing device of modern India propels us into a visceral experience of the here and now by forcing us to ask ourselves hard questions about our lives and our priorities. The mirror becomes bright and relentless.

SoulBuffalo does not shy away from India in any sense of the word. From the majestic Taj Mahal and the hallowed steps of Sarnath to the haunted city of Fatehphur Sikri and the terrifying Black Hole of Kolkata, SoulBuffalo will show you India with no holds barred and no punches pulled. We will float down the Ganges through the holy city of Varanasi and scale the pink buttresses of the desert city of Jaipur. Perhaps best of all, we will be accompanied throughout our expedition by a professional meditation guide who will help us maintain clarity of mind as we explore this maelstrom of life and color.

The Subcontinent has been known throughout the ages for its ability to awaken the human spirit. Come with us to India and come back different.

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