Tiruvannamalai, South India

Tiruvannamalai, South India

December 5th – 12th 2019

Shiva & the Mysticism of the Pancha Bhootas

Realizing and Purifying the Elements

Ancient & Powerful Arunacheswara Shiva Temple

Join Us

For this chance to experience India at her most powerful. We have drawn together a combination of idyllic rural location, deep ancient knowledge and powerful practice. Our combined lived experience as dedicated Yogis, Teachers, and decades of pilgrimage to this sacred land mean we offer a breadth of practice and knowledge, that is not often found. Together as Sangha we will all explore ancient temple energies, the power and presence of Lord Shiva and the transformational potency of the 5 Elements.

We can’t wait to share this with you! Swami Ayyappa and Swami Premajyoti

About the Retreat

Over 7 days and 8 nights, we will join together as Sangha in our own private little Ashram Village. Our accommodation is in a quiet rural setting just 5 km outside of the ashram and temple town of Tiruvannamalai.

We will have the benefits of the peace of our own space to learn, practice and grow right in view of the sacred Shiva mountain Arunachula, while also being close to all of the sacred places, great eating places and social areas of the town itself.

This is an intimate small-group retreat – Space is limited


Payment Terms and Conditions at end of page

Retreat Program

Most days will include:

  • Morning Group Mantra Chanting
  • Yoga Class
  • Group Meditation
  • Learning about Shiva and the Pancha Bhootas
  • Yoga Nidra
  • Time for reflection and silence

Program will also include:

  • Group visits to Arunacheswara temple for Puja, Aarti, Sadhana
  • Cleansing practices to purify the body and the elements within
  • Group visit to Ramana Ashram and Ramana Maharishi’s cave for meditation
  • Time to explore Tiruvannamalai, it’s many delicious restaurants and chai spots.
  • Some excurtions to nearby temples in the surrounding local area.

Watch this Space – For a more detailed program as the magic unfolds!

About Swami Ayyappa

Swami Ayyappa Giri is a direct disciple of Mahavatar Kriya Babaji and was initiated into Kriya Yoga in 1971, by Yogi S.A.A. Ramaiah, the well known Kriya Master and disciple of Babaji. For more than 20 years, Ayyappa served under his direct and close guidance.  He was sent to India many times to implement the work of the Dharma, including the building of Babaji’s birthplace Temple at Parangipettai, South India.  Over, decades, he continued to practice Kriya Yoga, in the Siddha tradition of Saiva and Advaita Siddhanta.

Swami Ayyappa on the Sacred Ganges, Varanasi – Guiding Pilgrimage 2017

Over subsequent years, Swami, guided by Sathguru Babaji, went on to receive initiation and instruction from several powerful holy men in India.  He completed many arduous and soul-fulfilling Pilgrimages, including Mt. Kailash in Tibet,  Amarnath Cave in the Kashmir Himalayas, the 12 Jotir Lingams spread throughout India, the Char Dham in the Himalayas, the 18 Siddhas Shrines, the 5 Element Shiva Temples, most of the 52 Shakti Peeths, and 18 years of Sadhana and pilgrimage associated with his namesake, Ayyappa Swami at Sabari Malai and Mt Shasta, California.   Read More About Swami Ayyappa

About Swami Premajyoti

Swami Premajyoti’s journey into yoga began in 2008 with the discovery and study of advanced meditation practices under the guidance of Swami Shantimurti Saraswati. The depth of this connection to ancient teaching and techniques both stirred and fueled her development within yoga. From this beginning, she completed formal Yoga Teacher training with Ashram Yoga in 2009 and continued on to become a fully trained and broadly experienced Teacher, Instructor, and Meditation Guide. 

Swami Premajyoti at Kedarnath Temple in the Himalayas Guiding Pilgrimage 2018

In 2012, she received initiation into the Saraswati order of Dasnami Sannyasins and soon after initiation as a Tantric Pujari within Kaula Marg Tantra from Swami Ayyappa.

Swami Premajyoti’s background spans several traditions of yoga including, Hatha, Raja, Kriya and Tantra. She regularly travels to India both in leading Pilgrimages and to refresh and reconnect with the energies and the home of yoga. Her teaching blends techniques firmly rooted in these classical traditions with a background and past broad experience as a professional counselor. Read more about Swami Premajyoti Here

About Tiruvannamalai

Thiruvannamalai is an ancient temple town in Tamil Nadu with a unique historical back ground. It has been written about by anicent siavaite poets, and revered as a place of pilgmrimage for spiritual seekers for many centuries.

Tiruvannamalai is one of the greatest Saivite shrines in Tamil Nadu, India, drawing hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every full moon. The hill here is considered to be a manifestation of Shiva. Tiruvannamalai is one of the Panchabhoota Stalams signifying the 5 elements of wind (Kalahasti), water (Tiruvanaikka), fire (Tiruvannamalai), earth (Kanchipuram) and space (Chidambaram). Kartikai Deepam festival here is of great significance.

Arunachaleshwarar Temple is the very center of town, the temple complex covers 10 hectares, and is one of the largest in India. It houses four gateway towers known as gopurams. The tallest is the eastern tower, with 11 stories and a height of 66 metres (217 ft), making it one of the tallest temple towers in India. The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Annamalaiyar (the form in which Shiva is being worshipped here) and Unnamulai Amman (his wife Parvati) being the most prominent. The temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the thousand-pillared hall built during the Vijayanagar period. Foreigners are allowed to visit the inner sanctums.

Sacred Arunachala – Revered as Shiva himself

Arunachala Mountain is considered an incarnation of Shiva and emanates a very subtle but intense special energy. People go around the mountain (“Giripradakshina”, takes 3 to 4 hours), climb up to Skandhashram, Virupaksha Cave where the sage Ramana Mahirishi has been meditating for years (accessible from behind Ramana Ashram or behind Arunachalshwarar temple) or even to the top of the mountain (follow a path from Skandhashram) or just abide peacefully in its presence as many sages have done throughout history.

Ramana Ashram a place where lots of Indian and foreign devotees of Ramana Maharishi and Advaita Vedanta philosophy gather. Ramana Maharishi was a sage who lived on Arunachala Mountain all his life after his sudden enlightenment at the age of 16. He is considered the greatest realized sage of the 20th century.

The relatively quiet part of town around Ramana Ashram is where you can see lots of middle-to old-aged foreigners in white cotton clothes, especially during the winter season. Many are long time stayers and come to meditate in the Ashram, on the mountain and to attain spiritual gatherings with local and foreign teachers. The area features many good restaurants, local crafts and health food shops.

This holy town is home to Sri Ramana Maharishi’s Ashram and also the cave in which he spent countless hours in deep meditation.

The Arunachalesvara Temple there, also called Annamalaiyar Temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located at the base of Arunachala hill. It is a very significant and powerful temple for devotees of Lord Shiva, and as one of the temples associated with the five elements, the Pancha Bhoota Stalas. It is dedicated to the the element of fire, or Agni. Shiva is worshiped here as Arunachalesvara or Annamalaiyar, and is represented by the lingam, with his idol referred to as Agni lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Unnamalai Amman.

Our Accomodation

Just 5km outside of town in a quiet rural area, we become Sangha for the week in our own private little Ashram Village.

Shiva-Shakti Main House

This space embodies the god- Shiva & goddess- Shakti. It is a sacred space designed to inspire divine love, balance, wholeness and the dance of consciousness within each of us. It was designed using the ancient vedic science of vastu shastra (balancing the natural elements of earth, fire, water, air and space) to create a sense of deep connection, harmony and security. Aiming to align guests with their own prana (life force) and the prana of their environment. This balanced masculine & feminine space is deeply nurturing and loving. It is surrounded by the nature (colourful flowers and connection to shiva’s mountain- Arunachala). It is a home for self healing, writing, relaxing, meditating, bodywork, yoga, chanting, playing music and to be by the foot of lord Arunachala, the Shiva mountain.


  • King Bed Room – 1 bed, sleeps 2
  • Queen Beds Room – 2 beds, sleeps 2
  • Double Bed Room – 1 bed, sleeps 1

Saraswati Studio Cottage

This space embodies the goddess Sarasvati. It is a sacred space designed to inspire creativity and connection to the arts (music, chanting, dancing, writing or any creative pursuit). This is a generous sized studio with enclosed courtyard. It includes dining and sitting areas, small kitchenette and indoor bathroom with western toilet and shower.


  • Double bed – Sleeps 1-2 people

Maha Lakshmi Studio Cottage

This space embodies the goddess Maha Lakshmi. It is a sacred space designed to inspire pure, delightful abundance. A rustic and generously sized studio cottage with small kitchenette with dining and lounge/meditation area. Toilet and shower nearby in garden area.


  • Double Bed – Sleeps 1-2

Our Ashram Village Grounds

All Inclusive Retreat Pricing:

$415.00 – $583 Per Person, depending on accommodation type



  • Accomodation for 7 Nights
  • Access to private rural garden and meditation areas
  • All meals on site at the Retreat
  • Entry into temples including Puja offerings and donations
  • All transport for group activities within the local area
  • Expert yoga and spiritual teaching, initiation into mantra and practices relating to Shiva and the Pancha Bhootas
  • 1:1 Guidance for Sadhana following the retreat
  • Yoga classes, Guided Group Meditation, Yoga Nidra, Kirtan
  • Pre-retreat guidance regarding items to pack and getting to and from Triuvannamalai

Not Included

  • Flights
  • Transport to and from Tiruvannamalai
  • Meals and activities outside of the Retreat setting
  • Accommodation on the way to and from the Retreat
  • Room cleaning – Retreat is self-catering therefore participants are responsible for keeping their own area clean and tidy
  • Laundry


Payment Terms and Conditions

  • Deposit becomes non-refundable after October 31st 2019
  • Retreat place is secure upon signing of Retreat Agreement
  • Remaining Balance due in full by September 7th 2019