10 day, 5 day or 3 day residential tickets offer the opportunity to experience ashram life in the company of Gurudev Nityananda during Navaratra Festival.
Lord Somers Camp will be transformed into an ashram complete with Devi temple, where we can take part in the chanting of mantras and ancient yoga texts, the ceremonial offering of flowers, fruit and incense and the performing of ritual fire ceremonies, all as the symbolic honouring of the divine, creative, feminine energy within. All are invited to participate in this celebration and benefit from the energy it bestows.
‘Day-pass’ tickets are also available to attend on a drop-in basis, the $75 price includes morning and evening chanting sessions, afternoon hatha yoga session followed by chai, evening ‘pooja’ ceremonies and 3 delicious vegetarian meals.
Location and daily activities
The program format varies slightly each day, the daily schedule will be available on the What is Navaratra page. We aim for the experience to be inspiring and enlightening for all who attend. The program includes:
Daily chanting of sacred texts and mantras
Performance of Poojas; sacred offerings and Havan; sacred fire rituals
All sessions in the company of Gurudev Nityananda
Daily Hatha Yoga
The good company of fellow practitioners
Seva (service); each participant will contribute to small daily house-keeping tasks for the benefit of all
Lord Somers Camp is located on Western Port Bay approximately a one hour drive from Melbourne, on the southern side of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. The camp venue is set the in spacious natural surroundings of the Coolart Wetlands and Somers Beach Reserve.
A large marquee tent will be set up to house the proceedings and accommodate the ritual fire ceremonies central to Navaratra celebrations. It is therefor vital that attendees bring plenty of warm clothing, wooly socks, sitting cushion and blanket to stay warm.
During the residential retreat afternoon private poojas (devotional ceremonies) conducted by the Brahmin priests accompanying Gurudev can be arranged and paid for separately. Two group poojas will also be held for those who wish to participate. Flowers and fruit are normally offered during the pooja and these will be available on site.
Some of the chants recited as part of Navaratra are from ancient texts from the Vedic tradition - the Chandi Path and the Lalitasahasranam. We recommend attendees bring their own copy of these texts so they can be fully immersed in the chanting practice.
Go to the What is Navaratra? page to learn more about the books and find out how to buy them.
What's included and what to bring
Simple and warm shared accommodation with adjoining shower and toilet facilities is included.
Delicious vegetarian breakfast, lunch, afternoon chai and dinner are included as well as self-serve tea making facilities.
You can bring your own sheets, doona/sleeping bag and pillow OR you can hire a bedding pack ($20) when purchasing your ticket. It’s important you bring an extra blanket even if you’re hiring a bedding pack as it gets very cold at night.
You will need to arrange your own transport to the residential retreat. Lord Somers Camp is about a one hour drive from Melbourne and easily accessed by car or public transport, the bus stops right outside the gate.
As parking is limited at the retreat site, participants will be directed to park their cars in a nearby location.
To network with other attendees about travel and car-pooling go to the Shanti Mandir Australia Facebook page and join the group called 'Travel to Navaratra Festival Retreat' where you can post a comment or question to offer or request a lift.
If you go by train to Frankston Station then walk 6 minutes to Frankston Quest-on-the-Bay you can join the Shanti Mandir Shuttle to take you to the retreat site. Go to the Navaratra Festival Travel Information page to book a seat on the Shanti Mandir Shuttle.
We recommend interstate travellers take the SkyBus Peninsula Express Service from Tullamarine Airport to the SkyBus stop at Frankston Queston-theBay Hotel. From there you can arrange a seat on the Shanti Mandir Shuttle to take you to the retreat site. Go to the Navaratra Festival Travel Information page to book tickets.
Checklist to bring
Yoga mat (bring your own as yoga mats will not be provided)
Sitting cushion, rug/shawl
Loose, warm clothing (including clothes for hatha yoga)
Walking shoes & warm jacket
Thongs (for the shower room)
Chanting book (Refer to shantimandiraustralia.com.au if you want to purchase one)
Bedding (If you have not registered for a Bedding Pack then you will need to bring a pillow, sheets and quilt/sleeping bag or blanket).
Extra blanket even if you have paid for a bedding pack.
Vital to remember
- Remember to pack your warm clothing for evenings when the temperature drops!
- You must bring an extra blanket even if you're hiring a bedding pack.
- You must bring your own yoga mat if you wish to join the afternoon hatha yoga.