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Soak in the faith and devotion of one of the most mystical gatherings of mankind, the Kumbh Mela. Take part in the largest festival of Hinduism as you walk among the many pilgrims and processions of Sadhus and other holy men.
Welcome to India! Arrival at Delhi airport and transfer to domestic flight to Varanasi. Assistance on arrival at Varanasi airport where you will meet your Tour Manager/Director (English/Spanish/German/French speaking) and then drive to Allahabad.
Upon arrival, check in at the super-luxury Swiss Tents in Allahabad, where we will base on our visit to Allahabad.
|Delhi → Varanasi||1h 30min|
|Varanasi → Allahabad||3h 30min|
The Kumbh Mela is a massive Hindu religious pilgrimage in which devotees gather to bathe in a sacred river. It is listed as part of the the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and is considered to be the largest peaceful human gathering in the world, with over 100 million people visiting during the Maha Kumbh Mela in 2013. It is held every third year at one of the four places by rotation - Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain. The Kumbh Mela in Allahabad (specifically in Sangam) holds major importance, as it is the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga and Yamuna as well as the mythological Saraswati River.
The literal meaning of Kumbh is pitcher, but its real meaning goes deeper: Kumbh is also the synonym of holy activities in Hinduism, as in Indian daily life a pitcher (or kalash) is an integral part of all sacred activities. Holy scriptures say that in a pitcher its mouth (opening) symbolizes the presence of Vishnu, its neck that of Rudra, the base of Brahama, its center represents all goddesses and all the oceans fill the interior of the pitcher, thus encompassing all the four Vedas scriptures. This itself establishes the significance of the Kumbh symbolized by a pitcher.
For the following days, we will follow the steps of pilgrims and sages around the river ghats and temples of Allahabad.
During your visit you will observe and interact with a huge plethora of groups and clans of holy men: Sadhus, Vairagi, Naga Babas and other Akharas. Along with the pilgrims, Akharas are the main actors the Kumbh Mela who flock the area after traveling from the most remote corners in India. Sadhus paint their bodies in ash and make processions around the city to temples, ghats –stone steps leading to the river– and other places of gathering. During this time they open themselves to all the worshippers providing their spiritual advice.
In the evenings, we will experience an Aarti ceremony at Sangam, where we will see thousands of devotees performing rituals and offerings at the Ganges River.
After breakfast, we will start a full-day city tour of Allahabad as we soak in the city's festivals and processions. Our visit will cover the landmarks of the city such as Allahabad Fort, Patalpuri Temple, Akshayavat, Hanuman Temple, Allahabad Museum, Khusro Bagh, and the All Saints Cathedral.
Today we will leave the Kumbh Mela behind and drive to Varanasi. It is considered the spiritual capital of Hinduism and it’s widely believed that dying here will bring salvation. As a result, the city is home to a multitude of ghats some of which are used for bathing rituals and others as cremation sites.
After some rest we will make an Evening Aarti tour around the old city, walking through its famous labyrinthine lanes to witness the Burning Ghat, and take a boat to view the sunset Aarti Puja ceremony from the Ganges River itself from 0630 to 0730 PM.
|Allahabad → Varanasi||3h 30min|
We will wake up in the early morning to enjoy an inspiring and beautiful sunrise boat ride along the river’s edge, where we will admire the temples and the ancient rituals of the thousands of pilgrims who worship here daily, a living heritage of thousands of years. Then disembark to walk on the ancient narrow lanes of Varanasi, witnessing the pilgrims going for worship to the Golden Temple after coming from a Holy Dip in the Ganges River.
After our magical boat ride, return to the hotel for breakfast. Later you will be transferred to the airport to connect with your onward flight.
|Varanasi → Delhi||1h 30min|
|Prices per person||4-6 pax|
|15 Jan 2019 - 4 Mar 2019||$1758|
A spectacular trek with spectacular views & amazing team in the Shangri-La ridge in Darjeeling. Bejoi our guide was more like a father, caring for us, holding our hand, educating us on the culture & Mountains & always smiling. We go back with very pleasant memories & hope to return again sooner. Equipment was of high standard, hot water bags in the night in sleeping bags were a great detail from the company.
Everything perfect, excellent guide Naresh. Our cook Kalu ever smiling soul, laying down delicious four course meals in the wilderness. It must be magic. Our horseman, Ram was more than helpful and promptly arriving at camps. The Vishwas & team had all equipment's; harness, ropes & other safety gear for river crossing and we felt so secure on our trip. Thank you Vishwas & team India.
Our Trek in Dhauladhar range was organized with very competitive staff, our guide Norbu was experienced, very helpful, friendly & very knowledgeable about local culture. The kitchen crew was the best we ever had... Seemed we gained weight... Oops... Keep up the good work.
I have to say special thanks to Vishwas & team who assisted me in planning my trip. You are all so kind and helpful; your customer service sets a benchmark that all others should aim for. Thanks for making this vacation a most memorable one for my husband and me.