If you are seriously looking to a volunteer program in India, please consider Vrinda Kunja Ashram, located in the heart of India’s sacred city of Vrindavan, childhood abode of Lord Krishna and home to 5000 temples.
Our dynamic team of gifted young men and women is eager to engage you in meaningful service to help fulfill our mission to improve life in the local community. Your 10-day Vrindavan volunteer program will be enriched with participation in local cultural events, unforgettable experiences with ashram life and excellent food and accommodations. Please read on for details about the various volunteer projects, local environment, host team and other important information about volunteering in India.
Our mission in Vrindavan is to improve the quality of life for all beings in our local community through a variety of projects addressing social, educational, environmental and economic issues from a practical, spiritual perspective. We are committed to working with people from all walks of life to find innovative solutions to problems big and small.
Unity through diversity is our guiding motto.
Vrinda Kunja ashram was established by world-renowned, progressive-thinking spiritual leader, author and environmental activist Swami Paramadvaiti, founder of the Vrinda Mission, a world-wide network of 67 eco-community ashrams, located predominantly in South America.
Socially Responsible Projects – With over 30 years of experience running successful volunteer programs throughout the world, the Vrinda Mission has focused on specific areas of need to address the most urgent challenges facing the local community while keeping a global perspective. Our projects to protect the local environment, improve education, alleviate poverty and preserve the local spiritual culture and traditions result in immense expressions of gratitude from recipients as well as providing a great sense of gratification for our volunteers and ashram members.
Personal Development and Learning – Volunteering in our program offers valuable opportunities for personal growth as participants learn unforgettable lessons about the virtues of selfless service, perseverance through difficult challenges, teamwork, compassion and empathy towards others, in addition to gaining hands-on practical skills and experience.
Meaningful Lasting Relationships – Through daily interaction with other volunteers, local inhabitants and our international team of friendly program coordinators, you will have the chance to form lasting relationships based on mutual trust, respect, cooperation and love. The bonding that takes place among participants working together on meaningful projects is deep and long-lasting.
Very Affordable Program Fees – We value very highly your contributions that help us fund the Vrinda Kunja volunteer programs. We do everything possible to keep the fees affordable while at the same time carefully accounting for every penny spent, making sure that all projects are sufficiently funded to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
Depend on us for your safety – Having a team of experienced, vigilant program coordinators who know the community inside and out, and are well versed in local customs and etiquette, we provide for your security 24/7. Knowing you are safe allows you to work and move around in a relaxed and joyful atmosphere wherever you go.
Experience Ashram Life – Staying in a real Hindu ashram offers a great opportunity to learn about spiritual practices. If you are interested you can participate in chanting sacred mantras, studying ancient Hindu scriptures, or practice yoga and meditation. Being a volunteer in the Vrinda Kunja ashram, you will automatically become engaged in devotional service, considered to be the highest of all spiritual practices!
Vrinda Kunja ashram is located in the heart of Vrindavan, only 150 km from Delhi and 10 Km from Mathura train station in the state of Uttar Pradesh. From the Delhi airport you can reach us conveniently within 2 hours by taxi or a bit longer by train or bus. For detailed directions please read the travel guide.
Although the Vrinda Kunja volunteer programs are ongoing year-round, it’s important to take the local climate into consideration when deciding when to plan your trip to Vrindavan. The most important festival time is during the month of Kartik, which is anywhere from mid October to late November depending on the lunar calendar.
During Kartik, Vrindavan is teeming with pilgrims and tourists and the bustling atmosphere is simply ecstatic. If you don’t mind the crowds, this is a great time to plan your volunteer stay. The climate from early September to early April is pleasantly mild and dry, though it does cool off significantly from mid December to early February, especially late at night and early morningtime when the ashram comes to life. There is no heat in the ashram but there are plenty of blankets available to ensure a comfortable sleep.
Hot water is provided for showering but keep in mind that power outages may limit the duration of a warm shower. If you don’t mind very oppressive subtropical heat (45-50 degrees Celsius!) you are welcome to come from mid April to July when the monsoons arrive, lasting into early September. Whatever the season, Vrindavan offers a uniquely mystical and spiritual environment that allows you to be connected with nature and your inner self.
Here is list and brief description of the volunteer projects undertaken by the Vrinda Kunja ashram team. Many of these projects are permanently ongoing, while others are periodic or may still be in the development stage.
The 10-day volunteer program is designed to offer you an opportunity to engage in different projects while giving you a taste of the culture and spiritual heritage of one of the world’s most sacred places. We really aim to deeply immerse you in ashram life by having you participate in the various activities, while respecting your own personal belief system and values. We highly recommend staying for the full 10-day program or longer, but if you only have a few days, we gladly accommodate volunteers for visits of shorter duration.
Day 1) Arrival at Vrinda Kunja. We can arrange pickup from the airport or find out about the travel options click here>> Essential India Travel Guide
After arriving and settling into the accommodations, the volunteers will be given an introduction to India. You will become familiar with basic Indian customs, some history of Vrindavan, safety issues, daily schedule for the volunteers, basic introduction to Hindi (how to greet the locals, how to ask the basic things), some information about religion and etiquette: how to behave in the streets and temples of Vrindavan,
Day 2) Getting Acquainted with Vrindavan – We will visit the most impressive and important temples of Vrindavan. You will learn more about Vrindavan and its unique culture. We will perform about 2 hours of service cleaning up at Vrinda Kunja Ashram.
Day 3) You will begin the day by participating in the morning rituals in the ashram’s temple. Afterwards we will make a visit to our school where you will get to know the students we are teaching.
Day 4) We will spend 3 hours in the early morning cleaning up the Yamuna River. After breakfast you will attend a lesson in Hindi language instruction to familiarize you with basic terms, short phrases and important vocabulary to facilitate your stay in Vrindavan and make your volunteer work more effective. In the evening we will go to visit more temples.
Day 5) We begin the day by participating in the Gopeshwar puja (bathing ritual to honor Lord Shiva) which takes place in a very ancient Hindu shrine adjacent to the Vrinda Kunja Ashram. You will become part of a ritual which has been performed daily for 5000 years. After breakfast, volunteers will perform their respective duties. In the afternoon, there will be an instructional session introducing you to Indian classical and spiritual music.
Day 6) We will spend a full day at a nearby village performing volunteer service at a cow protection sanctuary (goshala) and then plant some trees.
Day 7) We will spend the morning picking up trash around some of the ancient temples nearby. Later, there will be an afternoon excursion to Mathura to visit the birthplace of Lord Krishna.
Day 8) A day of service at Vrinda Kunja ashram performing maintenance and repairs and cleaning.
Day 9) Vrindavan parikrama. Everyone will go on a day long excursion to circumambulate the entire town of Vrindavan. In the evening, there will be a concert and cultural program back at the Vrinda Kunja Ashram.
Day 10) We will spend the day completing volunteer projects and then visit temples in the evening.
We will have 10 day Volunteer program 3 times in 2017.
Deadline for applying is one month before the program. Kindly applay with the form below.
Come and let us do something together for Mother Earth and her rivers. Watch this video we have made.
After a busy day of work and sight-seeing, you can relax in one our very comfortable, secure, tidy rooms in the ashram guesthouse. You will share a room with a fellow volunteer or two, sleeping in a single bed with clean linen and blankets. All rooms are equipped with fans, mosquito repellers, wooden beds and modest furnishings befitting ashram life. In most cases you will share a bathroom with another room, or your room may have an attached bathroom. You will find Indian toilets or western style toilets as well as showers with warm water. Towels are provided, but please bring your own personal hygiene items.
You will receive 3 nourishing, delicious meals everyday. All meals will be strictly vegetarian with many vegan dishes. Two days every month, 4 days prior to the full moon and new moon, we observe the fasting day know as Ekadashi. On the these days, we don’t serve any food containing grains or beans. Meals are served at specific times, so we all eat together as a large family.
The volunteer program fee is optimized for the sustainability of our ongoing volunteer projects. Volunteers are requested to pay a nominal fee of $200 USD for 10 day volunterr program which covers the following: 3 hearty vegetarian meals per day, above average accommodations in our beautiful guesthouse, hatha yoga classes, local cultural events, films and local tours and excursions. Your contributions also help to support and give shelter to religious refugees in India, food for children in Vrindavan, and charitable organizations around the world. All funds received are donations to the Vrindavan Institute for Vaishnava Studies and Culture Trust, which manages the ashram and its humanitarian services. As such, we cannot refund any donations; thank you in advance for your kind understanding.
Volunteering at Vrinda Kunja is a good fit for someone interested in experiencing spirituality by being immersed in authentic Vaishnava (branch of Hinduism related to Vishnu worship) ashram life. Just residing in India’s sacred treasure, Vrindavan is a unique experience. Imagine lots of sadhus (holy men) walking and praying in the streets, doing their puja (worship ritual) on the banks of holy Yamuna River. And you can be an active participant by helping to clean the streets and river, practicing bhakti yoga, and learning about Vedic philosophy and culture. There is even an informative Imlitala blog containing great info on ancient Indian culture. Making it all happen is a young and talented dynamic team of committed bhakti yoga enthusiasts.
We are an active community of lifelong members and volunteers from all around the world. We believe that having a diverse group of people of different ages and backgrounds creates an inspirational environment where individual talents and experience can come together in a spirit of service and cooperation. Thus, our saying “unity in diversity” offers everyone a chance to contribute in a meaningful way, and you are most welcome to participate in any of our projects.The Vrinda Kunja Ashram is a place of coordination for many different projects mainly based on the Vedic principles of seva (service) dana (charity), tapa (austerities) and yagna (sacrificial ritual). As an authentic Hindu ashram in the Vaishnava tradition, all of our activities are spiritual in nature, meaning everything is considered devotional service. In welcoming volunteers who may likely have had no exposure to Vaishnavism or Hindu spirituality in general, we are respectful of your own personal beliefs and spiritual practices. With open minds and hearts we encourage you to join us in our spiritual activities.
Our service to the holy places is mainly based on protecting and cleaning the banks of the sacred Yamuna River, the river itself and parts of the city of Vrindavan, collecting and recycling garbage, as well as restoring some of the important ancient temples. We make special efforts to create awareness about all these initiatives in the local people. For more information, please visit the Vrinda Kunja website.
We strive to continue making intensive efforts to improve life in our local community by working to recover green areas around ancient temples, gardening, cleaning the sacred Yamuna river, teaching in local schools, supporting areas of cow protection (Goshalas) by grooming and feeding sacred cows, developing web pages, and cultivating spiritual awareness through meditation, mantra chanting, and Vedic philosophy. We offer hatha yoga classes to maintain optimum health, but we are not a hatha yoga ashram.
“I will never forget these days I stayed in Vrindavan. I really love India. I love Vrindavan. I love to collect garbage, I love to wake up early, I like to help in the kitchen. I love everything they do in Vrinda Kunja. Sometime I questioned myself if I am crasy. Yes I have to admit, I am really crasy after Vrindavan.”
Aracelia Gutierrez, Mexico
“They can be really funny. They made me laugh that much I have never laughed before. Guys are expert in inviting tears, too. How could I not cry watching what a big thing they are doing at young ages. Congratulation for the team of Vrinda Kunja!”
Gabrielle Müller, Germany
“Amazing young boys and girls. Dedicated and loving souls. I recommend to stay some time with them.”
Jovan Milic, Serbia
“I had an amazing experience volunteering at Vrinda Kunja ashram. I never imagined that cleaning up trash could be so much fun and rewarding. The enthusiastic group of coordinators are really special people who care so much about what they are doing. I can’t wait to go back for another visit.!
Pamela Stinson, USA
I am ready to Volunteer in India at Vrinda Kunja Ashram in Vrindavan
To sign up for the Volunteer in India program at Vrinda Kunja Ashram in Vrindavan, or to inquire further you are kindly requested to fill out the form below.