Ice Buckets & Plunges

Ringing in the Tamil Bell.

01 – 28 January 2021
Haridwar, Banks of Ganges, Foothills of Himalayas

“And Winter and Dew-time laid their calm cool hands
On Nature’s bosom still in a half sleep.
Its powers have come from the eternal heights
And plunged into the inconscient dim Abyss
And risen from it to do their marvellous work..”

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge becomes more demanding when the bucket is the mighty Ganges. A dynamic rapid caravan of snow-melts and smoothies! Plunge your head and dip your paint-brushes; open up the organic water-colours and make divine performance art.

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Sip at the original allegorical Yoga fountain at the unofficial Yoga capital of the world. Officially, in December 2017 the United Nations (UNESCO) inscribed the Kumbha Festival as an intangible cultural heritage of the entire humanity. The once-in-12-years ancient festival will begin in 2021, 3 years from Makar Sankranti of 2018.

Pen your thoughts and plans of converting the ‘need’ to the ‘demand’ and hence the ‘search’ to the ‘seek’.

Chant Aum and sing the God-Song of Bhagvat Gita. In the hours of gods, the twilight zones, twice daily. At 365 Haridwar / AZIMVTH Ashram.

January presents many interesting cultural contexts in Haridwar.
Swami_Vivekananda_at_Parliament_of_ReligionsYoga. 130 years ago, in the year 1888, Swami Vivekananda visited Haridwar. He was on a pilgrimage tracking the path of Ganges upstream from Kolkata in West Bengal where it meets the sea. Over twenty thousand water-falls in the Himalayas, above Haridwar, in the Himalayas come together to become Ganges and enters plains at Haridwar, the first holy place on the river. Vivekananda brought Yoga to the West, during the time he addressed the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, US,
5 years after the Haridwar pilgrimage. Vivekananda wrote, “…Its (Hatha Yoga) practices are very difficult and cannot be learnt in a day…” In 1896, he wrote a book “Raja Yoga”.Krishnamacharya had a job as a lecturer at Vivekananda College in Chennai.B.K.S. Iyengar was a pupil of Krishnamacharya. In 1966, Iyengar wrote the book “Light on Yoga”.

January GeneralIndians abroad. Various communities from South Asia have been visiting Haridwar for many millenia, and established their respective inns. Yet, crossing the seas was largely considered a taboo.Thus, Haridwar presents a kaleidoscope of India.

India has the largest diaspora population in the world with over 15 million according to United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. As per official Indian report the actual figure is double of this. About 1% of the US population is of Indian Diaspora. Almost 80% of these live in 20%. First recorded migrations to the US happen soon after Vivekananda’s US visit. The median household income for Indian immigrants is much higher (roughly double) than that of the overall foreign- and native-born populations. Countries having more than 1% of population of Indian descent are – US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.


  • Sanskrit / Hindi
  • Calligraphy
  • Photography
  • Visual art
  • Documentary
  • Performance art
  • New media
  • Linguistics
  • Painting
  • Music
  • Writing
  • Education
  • Everybody
  • Art of Life


  • Visiting Ganges ghats,temples, ashrams
  • Pilgrim interactions
  • Local collaborations
  • Exhibit
  • Print media coverage
  • Local music instruments
  • Conditional access to a Braille printing press
  • Arts mentoring
  • Drawing / writing / performing projects


  • En-suite room
  • Shared studio
  • Options at other cluster-locations
  • 3 meals, 2 herbal tea + snacks
  • Sachet tea/ 24hrs
  • Daily small basket of fresh flowers
  • Towels, bedding
  • Laundry
  • Ayurveda doctor visit after every 4th day


  • Twice daily
    Breathing exercises
    Mantra chanting
  • Once a day
    Spiritual discourse
    Spiritual discussion
    Mentoring and supporting progress of each artist´s project (s)
  • Once in 4 days
    Visit by senior Ayurveda doctor
  • Once a week
    One day long artist specific guided field excursion
    Half day long artist specific guided field excursion
  • Need specific
    Life coaching


  • 01  Polar Bear Swim Day / Ganges Dip / Ice Bucket Challenge ALS
  • 02  National Science Fiction Day
  • 09  World Laughter Day
  • 21  National Hugging Day
  • 26  (India) Republic Day / Australia Day

Largely, all opportunities, irrespective of themes, exist across the 12 months. One can join for any 28 continuous days, cutting across months. Stays for a duration longer or shorter than 28 days are possible.

Hindu almanac is a luni-solar calendar. Almost all observances are based on the various waxing and waning phases of Moon. However, some are based on Sun as well, for example, Makar Sankranti. The festivals listed below are edited and regrouped for the sake of convenience of presentations. In some cases, actual dates may vary by a day or so, or even more.

For exact dates and time of observances and eclipses, one may consult his own astrologer or write to AZIMVTH Ashram via ‘Contact’ page.

Fixed dates

  • 09 – Non Resident Indian Day
  • 12 – Birth Anniversary Swami Vivekananda, National Youth Day
  • 13 – Lohri – The Spring Bonfire
  • 14 – Makara Sankranti  – The transit of Sun from Dhanu (Sagittarius) to Makara (Capricorn). Pongal, Uttarayana, Makaravilakku, Maghi, Pedda Pandaga, Magh Bihu

Variable dates


  • 1 Monday – Month name Pausha, Full Moon Night Fasting
  • 2 Tuesday – Shakambhari Purnima
  • 3 Wednesday – Month named Magha
  • 16 Tuesday – No Moon Night Fasting
  • 22 Monday – Spring Festival (Vasant Panchami)


  • 4 Friday – Full Moon Night Fasting
  • 13 Sunday – Anniversary Guru Gobind Singh
  • 17 Thursday – Anniversary Tailang Swami
  • 21 Monday – Full Moon Night Fasting
  • 22 Tuesday – Month named Magha Begins


  • 2 Thursday – Anniversary Guru Gobind Singh
  • 6 Monday – Anniversary Tailang Swami
  • 10 Friday – Full Moon Night Fasting
  • 11 Saturday – Month named Magha Begins
  • 23 Thursday – No Moon Night Fasting
  • 29 Wednesday – Vasant Panchami

To download a one paged pdf of the January programme, please click here January General