Arunachala, Tiruvannāmalai, India
7 days, 6 nights

Agni Kshetra

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About the experience

What will I experience?

At Agni Kshetra, you will immerse yourself in the transformative practice of Agnihotra, performing fire rituals that involve precise mantra chanting and offering natural substances to the sacred fire. This daily ritual fosters a profound connection with traditional elements, enhancing your spiritual practice. Additionally, your experience will be enriched with yoga sessions and Ayurvedic teachings, complemented by meditation practices. These elements are seamlessly integrated, providing a holistic approach to spiritual wellness in a serene setting, allowing for a truly authentic engagement with ancient Indian spiritual disciplines.

Benefits of this experience

Participating in the Agni Kshetra retreat offers you a unique opportunity to deepen your self-awareness by engaging in rituals like Agnihotra that focus on surrendering to cosmic consciousness. Through disciplined practice, you'll align with natural cycles and rhythms, fostering a surrender that transcends the self. This process not only cultivates a heightened state of awareness but also connects you more deeply with the broader universe, enhancing your spiritual journey.

Incorporation in daily life

Start by performing the Agnihotra ritual at sunrise or sunset, utilizing the specific mantras and offerings you practiced during the retreat.

About the Destination

Shivalaya Ashram, nestled in the spiritually potent surroundings of Arunachala, is an ideal setting for your Agni Kshetra retreat. Here, you'll engage deeply with the Sun's energy through tailored practices that include sun salutations at dawn, enhancing your physical and spiritual alignment. The ashram also hosts Agnihotra ceremonies, where the ritualistic fire ceremonies at sunrise and sunset help purify your environment and deepen your connection to solar rhythms, facilitating a profound sense of wellbeing and spiritual awae. This immersive experience is designed to strengthen your innate connection with nature's cycles, promoting holistic wellness.

About the Specialist

Shankara is a seasoned wellness guide specializing in traditional Indian spiritual practices, with over a decade of experience in hosting retreats at Arunachala, Tiruvannāmalai. His expertise lies in integrating the principles of Agnihotra and other Vedic rituals into daily practices that enhance mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. Shankara's approach is deeply rooted in nurturing a connection with the natural cycles of the sun, fostering profound sense of self-awareness. His personalized guidance helps individuals achieve balance and harmony, making him a respected and credible figure in the field of holistic wellness.


Place of Retreat

Arunachala, located in Tiruvannāmalai, India, is revered as a sacred site symbolizing the element of fire and is believed to embody the divine energy of Shiva. The serene and powerful atmosphere of Arunachala offers a unique setting for spiritual practices, promoting profound inner peace and self-awareness. Pilgrims and seekers drawn to its slopes experience enhanced wellbeing through meditation, prayer, and the sacred practice of Girivalam, walking around the mountain, which fosters deep spiritual connection and renewal.

Most suitable time to visit

The most suitable time to experience the Agni Kshetra retreat at Shivalaya Ashram is during the cooler months from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and conducive to outdoor meditative and yogic practices.

Ancient & modern provenance

Ancient texts and treatises:

Ancient text name: Dharmasutras (circa 600-300 BCE)

  • Context: These texts outline the rules of conduct, duties, and ethics according to the Vedic tradition.
  • Mention of Agnihotra ceremony: Includes references to Agnihotra as a duty for householders, suggesting its importance in cultivating a sense of responsibility and self-awareness, and its effects on personal and environmental harmony.

Ancient text name: Atharvaveda (circa 1200-1000 BCE)

  • Context: One of the four Vedas, containing hymns, mantras, and incantations rooted in daily rituals and healing practices.
  • Mention of Agnihotra ceremony: Describes the Agnihotra ritual as a purifying fire ceremony intended to cleanse the atmosphere and promote health and prosperity, directly contributing to environmental and personal wellbeing.

Ancient text name: Grihya Sutras (circa 500-400 BCE)

  • Context: These texts are manuals of domestic ceremonies, detailing rituals connected to the stages of life in the Vedic tradition.
  • Mention of Agnihotra ceremony: Specifies the procedures for daily Agnihotra rites, emphasizing the role of this ritual in fostering a disciplined lifestyle, enhancing mindfulness, and spiritual purification.

Modern Scientific Researches:


  • Main Author: S. Bissa
  • Date of Publishing: 2015
  • Abstract: Agnihotra is recognized for enhancing clarity of mind and improving overall health, which includes mental tranquility and a balanced environment. Regular practice harnesses cosmic energy from celestial bodies, contributing to wellbeing.
  • Link to the paper

Title: Global research trend on yoga and Yagya intervention on mental illness: A Bibliometric attributes of five decades (1972–2021)

  • Main Author: Anuradha Gupta
  • Date of Publishing: 2023Abstract: The study identifies a significant research gap in the effectiveness of Yagya (Agnihotra) on mental health, despite its longstanding practice in India for health, wellness, and environmental maintenance.
  • Link to the paper

Full plan of experience

The following schedule provides a general outline of the duration and activities aimed at facilitating the integration of the retreat's teachings into your daily life.

At the place
Arunachala, Tiruvannāmalai, India
7 days, 6 nights
$1050 / person

Experience Schedule

Day 1: Arrival and Orientation

  • Morning (after 11 am): Arrive at Tiruvannamalai; check in at the retreat center.
  • Afternoon: Lunch followed by a welcome session where you'll meet the retreat facilitators and fellow participants.
  • Evening: Introduction to Sacred Arunachala, its history, and significance, followed by a light evening Agnihotra ritual.

Day 2: Foundations of Agnihotra and Exploration

  • Morning: Agnihotra followed by a Yoga session focused on postures that support seated rituals. Breakfast, then a workshop on Agnihotra ingredients and preparations.
  • Late Afternoon & evening (After 4 pm): Visit to Ramana Maharishi’s Ashram and other powerful Samadhis, exploring the site and learning about its historical and spiritual significance.

Day 3: Deepening Practice and Local Exploration

  • Morning: Early morning Agnihotra session followed by breakfast. Free time for personal reflection.
  • Afternoon ( By 3:30 pm ): Guided tour of Arunachalewara Temple ( the fire element temple ), engaging with the natural surroundings and discussing its spiritual importance.
  • Evening: Relaxing evening with meditation (using the sacred Arunachala approach) session at the retreat.

Day 4: Trekking, Meditation, and Cultural Insights

  • Morning (6 am): Have fruits and Trekking to the most powerful space on the hill the caves (trekking is beginner level)
  • Afternoon: Lunch; leisure time
  • Evening: Agnihotra practice focusing on personal engagement and technique refinement followed by meditation

Day 5: Ayurveda and Nutrition

  • Morning: Participate in morning Agnihotra. Post-session breakfast and a session on Ayurvedic principles that complement Agnihotra.
  • Afternoon: Hands-on cooking class focusing on Ayurvedic meals that support holistic health.
  • Evening: A 4-hour sacred walk around the Arunachala hill.

Day 6: Integration and Community Engagement

  • Morning: Morning Agnihotra session and breakfast. Workshop on integrating the practice into daily life.
  • Afternoon: Free time for personal exploration or optional visits to local points of interest.
  • Evening: Farewell dinner with the group, including a reflection session, Bhajans, and cultural sharing.

Day 7: Departure

  • Morning: Closing session after breakfast, sharing experiences and discussing the future application of practices learned.
  • Afternoon: Checkout and departures.

This itinerary ensures a balanced experience, blending spiritual practices like Agnihotra with cultural and natural explorations in Tiruvannamalai, fostering both personal growth and a deeper understanding of the local heritage.


Shankara Arunachala

An expert in Yoga, Chanting and Vedic fire rituals

7 days, 6 nights
$1050 / person
Upcoming next:
1st week of Aug, Sept & Oct, 2024
Interested? Get in touch
Our expert will guide you & resolve queries