Every year during summer Overman Foundation organizes a Summer Retreat in the lap of the Himalayas. In the said retreats, workshops on varied themes are conducted to enable the participants to reach the higher perfection of living and make life beautiful. The workshops provide an opportunity to move away from the summer heat into seven days of solitude in the lap of the Himalayas delving into self-introspection, thoughtful interactions and rediscovering oneself amidst Nature.
The retreat is held every year since 2017 at “Madhuban” (in Talla Ramgarh, Uttarakhand) which is an extension of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Delhi Branch. A campsite situated on a fruit orchard of about 30 acres, Madhuban is about 1.5 hours drive by road from Kathgodam Railway Station and situated at a height of 5000 feet above a picturesque village in the Kumaon range of the Himalayas. Madhuban is the place where the beekeeping association of India took birth more than 50 years ago. Accommodation facilities are as per the standards provided at Madhuban. Since the camp is being held in the Ashram campus, a strict discipline is to be maintained throughout and all participants are required to follow the rules and regulations of the Ashram and uphold the sanctity of the place.
The food served during the camp is nutritious and entirely vegetarian. We seek cooperation in matters of food. Since people from many states and family backgrounds participate, it will not be possible for us to satisfy everybody’s taste.
How to reach Madhuban:
Trains include (i) Ranikhet Express from Old Delhi railway station leaving at 10:45 p.m. and reaching Kathgodam at around 6:30 a.m. the next morning (ii) Uttaranchal Sampark Kranti Express leaving Old Delhi railway station at 4:00 pm reaching Kathgodam at around 10:00 pm the same day (iii) Shatabdi leaving New Delhi railway station at 6:00 am, reaching Kathgodam at around 11:50 am the same day and (iv) north-east states, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa etc. can change trains at Lucknow for Kathgodam by Broad Gauge 3019 Bagh Express or Metre Gauge 5308 Nainital Express to Lal Kuan and catch a bus for Talla Ramgarh. One can also reach by a flight which goes from Delhi to Pantnagar. The distance from Kathgodam railway station and Madhuban can be covered by taxis.
Interested persons are advised to kindly check for detailed information from the internet or get in touch with the organizers for further information. From Kathgodam, taxis are available on hire basis—mobile numbers of drivers (at Kathgodam) available from the organizers.
All participants are advised to carry necessary identity proof like PAN / ADHAAR / VOTER ID, etc. for their journey as well as stay and also the receipt to be issued from Overman Foundation after acceptance of the registration fees.
The registration charges covers accommodation and meals, programme kits and site-seeing during the weeklong retreat. Traveling to Madhuban and back is to be organized and borne by the participants.
To download the registration form, please click on the following link:
How to Register:
Download the registration form, fill it up and send it to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Payment of registration fees can be remitted through money-order, demand-draft, cheque and NEFT. Kindly note that the registration will be confirmed only after the receipt of the registration fees.
Kindly fill up the form and send it along with your multi-city cheque/DD payable to ‘OVERMAN FOUNDATION’ by speed-post/courier to:
36/3, Prince Ghulam Mohd. Shah Road,
Terms and Conditions:
- Since seats are limited, confirmation of participation would be done on a first-come-first serve basis.
- Registration will be confirmed only on full payment of workshop fees. An email would be sent to the participant confirming his/her participation for the workshop once he/she has completed all the procedures for registration.
- The workshop fees include boarding and lodging at Madhuban, not the travel expenses.
- Lodging will be provided to participants on a twin-sharing basis.
- Participants would have to manage their own travel arrangements to Madhuban. Contact details of taxi-drivers would be provided to the participants if they inform us of their travel details in advance.
- People with high blood pressure and other diseases, who have problems with high altitude and / or living at the first and second floors, and also those needing special facilities, food or care, should not apply. Any medical expenses will have to be borne by the participants themselves.
- There will be no refund in case of cancellation request by the participants. However, a transfer of registration will be allowed wherever feasible at the discretion of the organizers.
- The organizers have the right to allow or refuse any registration application.
For further details, kindly contact:
Mr. Anurag Banerjee at (0) 98302 44192 and (0) 98740 11224; email@example.com.
Details of Past Retreats
Period: 19 May to 25 May 2018
Theme : Spiritual Retreat
Venue : Madhuban, Talla Ramgarh (Uttarakhand)
A Spiritual Retreat was organized by Overman Foundation at Talla Ramgarh in Uttarakhand from 19th May to 25th May 2018. The salient feature of the retreat was workshops on “Self-Control and Self-Improvement” which were conducted by Dr. Prabhjot Kulkarni, a renowned exponent of Integral Education. She also conducted various classes on pranayama, guided meditation and other exercises in the morning and evening which helped to rejuvenate one’s body and mind.
The retreat included a trip to Mayavati Ashram, the Himalayan retreat centre of the Ramakrishna Mission on 21st May 2018. Situated at 6400 feet above sea level, the Mayavati Ashram—also known as the Advaita Ashram—is surrounded by mountains on three sides and one gets to see a mesmerizing view of the snow-capped Himalayan range.
The participants interacting with a monk of the Advaita Ashram inside the room of Swami Vivekananda
The participants were also taken to Almora on 23rd May where they first visited the Swami Vivekananda Memorial Rest Hall. This was followed by visits to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (initially known as ‘Vivekananda Laboratory’, founded by Basiswar Sen), Tagore Bhavan (where Rabindranath Tagore had stayedand composed several poems which were later included in the anthologies titled Sejuti, Navajatak and Akash-Pradip) at the Cantonment area, the Ramakrishna Kutir (founded by Swami Turiyananda and Swami Shivananda, the apostles of Sri Ramakrishna, in 1916), the Ashram of Anandamoyee Ma at Pataldevi, Deodhar Guest House which was originally known as “Oakley House” (where Sister Nivedita had stayed in 1898) and owned by Lala Badri Shah (a friend of Swami Vivekananda) and the Sun Temple at Katarmal constructed by the Katyuri Kings in the ninth century.
The participants at the Swami Vivekananda Memorial Rest Hall
Photographs of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Almora
Tagore Bhavan, Almora
“Oakley House” (owned by Lala Badri Shah, a friend of Swami Vivekananda) where Sister Nivedita had stayed in 1898. Now known as Deodhar Guest House.
The tree at Deodhar Guest House under whose shade Swami Vivekananda had blessed Sister Nivedita.
Sister Nivedita’s statue at Deodhar Guest House
Anurag Banerjee with Girish Shah, the grandson of Lala Badri Shah
Ramakrishna Kutir at Bright End Corner, Almora.
The Ashram of Anandamoyee Ma at Pataldevi. Seen here are the entrance to the Ashram, the main shrine and the rooms of the Holy Mother.
Anurag Banerjee with Swami Anantananda of Shri Shri Ma Anandamoyee Ashram.
Photographs of the Sun Temple at Katarmal.
On the last day of the Spiritual Retreat, a cultural programme was arranged in which all the participants took part.
What follows are some of the observations of the participants:
“Retreat to Sri Aurobindo Ashram of Madhuban is ‘the’ episode of my life that I look forward to in life’s diurnal course. Coming back to the ashram and thereby to Sri Aurobindo and Mother, over and over again is a means of sustenance of our mental/psychic being. In this calm and peaceful environment, looking into one’s own self, meditation in the midst of the wide open firmament arouse in me a spontaneous feeling of surrender at the feet of the Master.
“The conducted meditation sessions with spontaneous and eloquent recital by Tara-di [Jauhar] have left us spellbound. She is the nucleus and interaction with her overwhelms us with the feel-good factor. She is the umbrella protecting us with her pleasant shade, triumphant smile, warmth and love.
“The ashram authority has kept vigil on our well-being. We have been provided with the best of facilities regarding fooding and lodging. I extend my heartfelt thanks to one and all. I would like to thank specially our friend-cum-teacher, Prabhjot-di. Her insightful lecture has inculcated in us the habit of introspection, analyzing and evaluating our strength and weaknesses and guiding us to live life according to the ideals of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.”
Dr. Arundhati Chatterjee
“Solitude I was seeking for—‘far from the maddening crowds’ ignoble strife.’ Days in my crowded, busy metropolis are packed with duties. Madhuban has supplied me ample peace and calmness. For a week I was free from my duty-bound, problem-ridden life. In this natural surrounding I got enough scope to be one with my inner self, to be in tune with nature. Nature’s beauty was so soul-fulfilling. Humdrum of city life does not disturb you here, in this pollution free zone. Lofty mountain ranges uplift my soul. The magnitude of the greatness of the Creator is felt. Blissful serenity pervades the whole atmosphere. In the evening the star-studded firmament makes me feel great. The throbbing presence of the Creator is felt. Poetry and melody well out from the heart. The disciplined life-style followed here is very educative. The meditation room is filled with Divine Presence. Tapasya is the handiwork of the Divine for the spiritual seekers. I am lucky to be here for the second time. Lord Supreme has given me this rare opportunity. With gratitude I acknowledge His mercy and grace.”
“Very nice experience like last year (2017). Dining, Bedroom, wash-room are always good. Supply of hot water and cold water is sufficient. I have got sincere support from all the devotees who are working here as volunteers.
“I am very much grateful to Tara-di for her lively presence all through my staying. I am also grateful to Prabhjot-ji for her sweet behaviour and wonderful speech.
“Meditation room is also very helpful to devotees and I like to receive more spiritual experiences from here.
“Thanks to Anurag for availing of this opportunity. With thanks.”
“It is my second visit. Here I enjoyed all homely amenities. The flora and fauna of the place, evergreen rows of mountains healed my body and soul. The meditation room showered peaceful blessings.
“I give my regard to Tara-di, whose motherly smile and behaviour are adorable. Thanks to Madam Prabhjot who delivered some lectures which helped to simplify some problems of daily life.
“For the last seven days (19-5-2018 to 25-5-2018) I was far away from the madding crowd which was possible for the guidance of Mr. Anurag Banerjee. Thanks to Anurag. Thanks to all staff of this place whose hospitality is unforgettable. With thanks and regards.”
Period: 27 May to 2 June 2017
Theme: Practical Spirituality
Venue: Madhuban, Talla Ramgarh (Uttarakhand)
Photographs of Madhuban
Shrine at Madhuban which houses Sri Aurobindo’s sacred Relics.
Responses from participants:
“We have enjoyed very much our stay here at Madhuban. The hospitality extended by the authorities and staffs of this Centre has made us overwhelmed. Our joy knew no bounds when we met our beloved Taradi.
“We pray to Sri Ma and Sri Aurobindo that this Centre may prosper more and more in the years to come and remain such a peaceful resort for all the devotees of Ma and Sri Aurobindo.”
Dilip Kumar Chatterjee and Mita Chatterjee
“I came here to join a spiritual camp conducted by Mr. P. S. Bose and Mr. Anurag Banerjee. As I stepped here it seemed I was in the lap of Nature—it was a heavenly paradise. The stay here was very soul-fulfilling. It was a blissful experience. I am going back to my routine-life with the battery of soul charged, energized with positive energies. I am very thankful for the service rendered to us at dining hall. Dining together with healthy, nutritious food was a happy experience. The flower garden of the ‘Retreat’ is marvellous with bright, healthy blossoms, fruits hanging on branches. The background music was played by birds. The play of the butterflies was eye-catching. I will never forget Tipu—a very obedient creature. The prayer hall needs special mention. It is full of intense vibration which calms one’s mind quickly. I would like to visit the place again and give a little bit of service. Thanks everybody for everything.”
“Sitting in the arms of Mother Nature, given the amenities of city life, food for the body and soul, penning a feedback is next to impossible. The staff at Madhuban deserves praise for their services, for which I am grateful to them. Candle-light talk with Tara-di and afternoon walking with Tara-di are golden moments in my life. The tour organized was great. Something inside has pinpointed my limitations on which work has already started. I thank the organizers for this retreat.”
Sanjoy Kumar Mullick
“Queries haunted my mind regarding the topic “Practical Spirituality”. I felt an urge to move out from the drudgery of my day-to-day life and delve within. While coming to this Kumaon Range, Madhuban, and after reaching, I felt sure this was the right place for me.
“The experience here was rejuvenating. The warm welcome I received from the organizers as well as the inmates boosted up my spirit. The ambience here, the walks through the paths, the joy of being surrounded by the blossoms, the trees, the hills, the sky-above and the deep valley below—all are mesmerizing.
“The interactive sessions were quite heartening and interesting. This gave me an opportunity to introspect, analyze and evaluate my weaknesses initially, then my strengths. They have opened the gateway for self-improvement, progress and self-realization in the light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The periods of meditation here in the divine prayer-room has a significance of their own. That too is an inner realization sitting vis-à-vis the Master and the Mother.
“A growing consciousness is there in me presently that besides this life I’ve lived in my past, there is still a greater purpose in my life which needs to be fulfilled before I receive the ‘call’.”
Dr. Arundhati Chatterjee
To read the detailed report of the Summer Retreat at Madhuban, kindly click on the following link:
Period: 8 June to 14 June 2016
Themes: Stress and Anger Management; Relationships: Its Complications and Solutions, Leadership and Motivation.
Venue: Van Niwas (Himalayan Centre of Sri Aurobindo Ashram—Delhi Branch), Bara Pathar, Nainital 263001, Uttaranchal.
Photographs of the Summer Retreat at Nainital
To read the detailed report of the Summer Retreat at Nainital, kindly click on the following link: