Śabda Pañcabhūta Yātra – January 2023

Join us for the experience of a lifetime for the Śabda Pañcabhūta Yātra in South India from the 26th January - 5th February 2023.

A yātra (pronounced yAH-trAH) is much more than a vacation. It's a sacred journey where the outer reality of the site fuses with our inner experience of the divine, and transforms us on all levels. To go on a yātra is to embark on a path that is mysterious and adventurous. We return from a yātra changed, not only because of the novelty of traveling to exotic lands, but because we've been touched by the grace of these sacred sites.

This journey is such a yātra. Beginning in Chennai and ending in Madurai, this 11-day, 10-night journey will take us deep into sādhanā.

Pañcabhūta = five elements. On this yātra, we will visit the five famous sacred sites where Śiva manifests as one of the five great elements. The Śiva liṅga (pillar) at every site is unique with a different aspect of creation being rooted into our physical reality. Each of these sites is like a vortex of power, energy and stillness that is rooted in one of the five great elements. At each site, in addition to visiting the temple, we will dive into element-specific practices and satsanġas. 

This is not a vacation or touristy trip. This is an excursion into the three pillars of practice - darśana (view), abhyāsa (practice) and upādāna (application) - all at once and in an explosive, experiential way. 

We will return having imbibed the transformative resonance and power of these powerful centers.
The trip will be led by Dr. Kavitha Chinnaiyan, and joined in portions by Dr. Sumit Ashok Kesarkar.

Although the yātra occurs over 12 days, it will begin months before, including an immersive preparatory experience preceding the physical journey. We will have exclusive online satsanġas on the significance of the sites, provide you with study materials, practices and advice on how to prepare yourself to fully imbibe the energy of the yātra. Unlike any other experience, you will enter this yātra prepared to turn inwards and transform.

Places are limited to preserve the sacred intention of the trip.

Sign-up to the yātra includes attendance in the 5-class live Pañca Mahābhūta Course, which will explore the 5 great elements in practice. Here, we will explore the nuances of the five great elements specifically as they relate to the experience of life and their applications in sādhanā or spiritual practice. Regardless of the path of an aspirant, these teachings are relevant and applicable to the moment-to-moment unfolding of life, hormonal pathways, conscious actions and subconscious patterns. 

AIR TEMPLE The Śrī Kālahastīśvara temple has the Śiva liṅga rooted in the Air element, and is known as the Vāyu Liṅgam. Lord Śiva is worshipped here as Śrī Kālahastīśvara and Goddess Pārvatī is worshipped here as Jñānaprasūnāmbikā.

EARTH TEMPLE  The presiding deity here is Śiva who manifests as the liṅga of the Earth element and is worshipped here as Ekāmbareśvara. The Śiva liṅga here is known as Pṛthvī Liṅgam. Goddess Pārvatī is worshipped here as Elavarkuzhali (Ela-vaar-kulla-li).

FIRE TEMPLE Aruṇācaleśvara is the place where Lord Śiva is believed to have appeared in his ‘Ardhanārīśvara’ (half-male and half-female) form to bless his devotees. The Śiva liṅga here is the manifestation of the Fire element and is called Agni Liṅgam (or Jyoti Liṅgam, which also means pillar of light). Goddess Pārvatī is worshipped here as Unnamalai Amman.

SKY TEMPLE  The Chidambaram temple holds Lord Śiva in the form of the cosmic dancer, Natarāja. This Temple is dedicated to both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Here the Śiva liṅga manifests as the Space element and is called Ākāśa Liṅgam. Goddess Pārvatī is worshipped here as Śivakāmasundarī.

WATER TEMPLE The ancient Jambukeśvara temple is where the Śiva liṅga manifests as the Water element known as Āpah Liṅgam (Jambu Lingam). It is submerged in water and a perennial sub terrain spring gushes around the liṅgam. Here, Lord Śiva is worshipped as Jambukeśvara and Goddess Pārvatī is worshipped here as Akhilāṇdeśvarī.  

As we move from one sacred spot to another, we will imbibe the profound understanding of the five elements and their manifestations in our life - our health, genetics, ancestral patterns, relationships, states of mind, and the flow of consciousness. Importantly, the experiential knowledge of being at these places can be immediately applied in life and spiritual practice to enable immediate and long-term shifts in perspective, opening to light and beauty.

Informational video


26th January – 5th February 2022

  • 1 night - Chennai 
  • 1 night - Srikalahasti
  • 1 night - Kanchipuram
  • 3 nights – Tiruvannamalai
  • 1 night – Chidambaram
  • 1 night - Trichy
  • 2 nights - Madurai

All transport will be via bus.

This yātra is a spiritual journey that is planned entirely around the experience. This is not a luxurious journey. It is a pilgrimage. However, we will stay in comfortable eco-resorts wherever possible. Some of these temples are located in cities with more basic accommodations and we will need to be flexible! The food provided will be simple, delicious and light, to aid in turning inwards towards sādhanā.  We can guarantee a lot of fun!

The weather will be hot, and this journey involves long bus-rides. Please discuss with your doctor if this is suitable for you before signing up. By signing up, you are accepting all liabilities for your health and safety. 


$5500 – shared double room (two beds will be available in the rooms)
$6100 – single room (there is a very small chance that in more remote locations, you may need to share a room based on availability. This is unlikely, and single rooms will be provided as much as possible)


  • Sign-up to the yātra includes attendance in the 5-class live Pañca Mahābhūta Course, study materials, practices, and advice on how to prepare yourself for yātra 
  • Śivoham self-study course
  • Two meals a day (breakfast and dinner)
  • 10 nights of accommodation
  • All transport beginning in Chennai and ending in Madurai
  • Temple visits and entry to the main sanctums
  • Pūjās, including a potent Rudrā Abhiśekham
  • Exclusive teachings with Kavithaji and Sumitji 
  • All daily tips for drivers, hotel staff, restaurants, temples 

                  This cost does NOT include:

  • Travel to Chennai and from Madurai 
  • Personal expenses such as laundry or water
  • Tips for our facilitator (approx. $10 - $20 a day)
  • Anything else not on the 'included' list
  • Time for shopping or other activities will not be made during the yātra
  • Visa fees


  • A non-refundable deposit of 50% is required upon signing up. This will not be refunded for any reason, including failure to procure a visa, contracting COVID, or flight limitations. Please ensure you have done your research before signing up.
  • Payment in full must be made before 26th November. No refunds will be made 60 days preceding the trip. 
  • The only exception to refunds is if India closes their borders due to COVID. If this happens 30 days prior to the trip, you will receive an 70% refund. After that, no refunds will be made. Refunds will not be made if your country changes their restrictions, so please consider the appropriate travel insurance coverage. By signing up, you are agreeing to all of these terms. 
  • It is a requirement that you take out travel and health insurance, and that you provide proof of this. 
  • COVID requirements are strict in India - you are responsible for ensuring that you are able to meet these requirements for travel and access to temples etc. Proof of double vaccination is required for this trip, and masks must be worn in all public spaces. 
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