Varanasi- Allahabad Kumbh Tour Package (3 nights, 4 days)
Allahabad Kumbh Mela 2019
Kumbh Mela, inscribed on the UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred or holy river. Traditionally, four fairs are widely recognized as the Kumbh Melas: the Haridwar Kumbh Mela, the Prayag (Allahabad) Kumbh Mela, the Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha, and Ujjain Simhastha. The main festival site is located on the banks of a river: the Ganges (Ganga) at Haridwar; the confluence (Sangam) of the Ganges and the Yamuna and the invisible Sarasvati at Allahabad; the Godavari at Nashik; and the Shipra at Ujjain. Bathing in these rivers is thought to cleanse a person of all their sins.
The Kumbh Mela at Prayag (Allahabad) attracts devotes in millions from all over the world. It is believed that before the creation of the world, Brahma Ji (also known as Svayambhu or self-born) did AshwameghaYagya here. Along with Brahmeshwara temple, Dashwamedh Ghat is now present here as a sign of the Yagya. Maha Kumbh also provides special importance due to this Yagya. Maha Kumbh and Allahabad are interchangeable with one another. Kumbh Mela at Allahabad is held when Jupiter is in Aries or Taurus and Sun and Moon are in Capricorn during the Hindu month of Magha (January-February).
Day 1: Fly to Varanasi from Kathmandu
Assistance at the airport upon arrival and transfer to hotel.
Overnight at hotel
Day 2: Varanasi - Boat ride and sunrise viewing from the Ganges. Full-day sightseeing in and around Varanasi. Time given to do ritual puja (shraddh). Evening Aarati.
Breakfast at hotel.
Early morning boat ride on the Ganges to view sunrise and morning rituals on the ghats. People who want to do shraddh can do in their own expense. Full-day sightseeing of Vishwanath, Tulsi Manas and Durga temples, and Benares Hindu University. Visit to the ghats (platforms) beside Ganga in the evening to witness the famous aarati ceremony.
Boat Ride & Shraddha (ritual puja)
To start a day in Varanasi beside the Ganges is to follow the routine the people of Varanasi have observed for time immemorial. The common sight of the rising sun bathing the waters in gold and red here becomes special because of the river's status in the Hindu world. A boat ride on the Ganges is a great way to get a feel of the river Hindus call Ganga Ma (Mother Ganga). If anyone wants to perform any kind of ritual puja they are given a couple of hours for that and then they can continue with other program outlined for the day.
The Vishwanath Temple is the best example of Varanasi's spiritual heritage as well as its ability to continue under challenges. Dedicated to Shiva's Vishveswara (Lord of the Universe) manisfestation, the temple was built in 1776 by Ahalya Bai of Indore. Its towers were plated using 800 kgs of gold—a contribution of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore. The chance to perform puja at this most sacred of spots is reason enough for pilgrims to come to Varanasi.
Gyan Kupor Well (Well of Knowledge)
Located near the Vishwanath Temple, the water from this sacred well is said to give anyone who drinks it an intense spiritual experience. This supernatural property of the water cannot be verified, however, because the well is now covered. It is also believed to act as a vault, containing the original Shiva lingam housed in a temple destroyed by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
This Nagara-style temple with multiple sikhara tiers was built in the 18th century by a Bengali maharani. The ochre-colored building houses an image of Durga in its inner sanctum.
Tulsi Manas Temple
The site of this temple marks the place where the poet Tulsi Das lived and wrote the Ram Charit Manas, the Hindi version of the Hindu epic Ramayana. Engravings of verses and scenes from Das' book cover the temple's walls. Daily performances of Hindu mythological tales are held on the second floor of the temple.
Benares Hindu University
Founded in 1917 by Pandit Malaviya, the Benares Hindu University is a beacon of Varanasi's old fame as one of the sub-continent's greatest centers of scholarship. The university offers degrees in traditional Indian art, music, culture and philosophy, and is of special importance for scholars of Sanskrit. Its major attraction for visitors is the Bharat Kala Bhavan, which exhibits miniature paintings, sculptures dating back to the 1st century and old photographs of Varanasi.
Ghats and Evening Aarati
The ghats of Varanasi are the venue of all the various spectacles associated with Hinduism. At any time, it is filled with astrologers, mantra-chanting priests and their clients, barbers shaving heads, people stripping down for a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges and, if you're near the cremation ghats, funeral pyres devouring the deceased. A dip in the Ganges waters is not only an act of washing away one's sins; it is to immerse in the belief system handed down by one's ancestors, to do what a grandfather or grandmother might have done in the past.
Evenings on Varanasi's ghats can cast a spell on you. The elaborate and meticulously performed aarati ceremony and the accompaniment of bhajans (devotional songs) and rhythmic clapping of the devotees charges the evening with energy that takes hold of your senses.Overnight at hotel
Day 3 Varanasi – Allahabad (Kumbh Mela 2019)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Allahabad (duration: 3 hours). Sight-seeing of Allahabad.
Triveni Sangam is the junction point of three rivers - Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati (which is a mythical river, supposed to have dried up millenniums ago). Both Ganga and Yamuna are extremely revered rivers in Indian mythology, and hence the confluence point of these rivers has attained extremely high religious importance.
Anand Bhavan is the former residence of Nehru family, which has now been transformed into a museum showcasing various artefacts and articles of the era of Independence Movement in India. When the prior residence of Nehru's family Swaraj Bhavan started to be used as an office of Indian National Congress, a new Nehru residence was designed by Motilal Nehru, a notable independence movement leader, and politician.
Hanuman Mandir, located in proximity to the Allahabad Fort is one of the unique temples in the city. Tourists visiting the temple can witness a huge idol of Hanuman, which is 20 feet long and 8 feet wide. This idol is in a reclining position and is a few feet below the ground. This temple gets submerged when the river Ganges is in spate. According to mythology, it is believed the rise in the water level of river Ganges is because the river wants to touch the feet of Lord Hanuman.
Alopi Devi Temple
Alopi Devi Temple is located in Alepibagh area in Allahabad. The temple is situated close to the holy Sangam. Perhaps, this is the only Hindu temple located in Allahabad, which does not have any idol of a deity.
Besides, there is a wooden swing kept inside this temple, worshipped by several devotees visiting the temple. This wooden swing or the 'doli' has been placed above a square platform with a small pool.
In front of this temple, Shankaracharya Ashram of Jyothishpeeth is situated. Alopi Devi, which is also known as the Red Goddess is believed to be the guardian deity for the local populace. As a result of this the deity Alopi Devi is worshipped in every festival such as marriage, birth and death along with every significant occasion.
Day 4 Allahabad – Varanasi - Departure
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Varanasi (duration: 3 hours). Sight-seeing of Sarnath.
Sarnath, located only 10 kilometers from the throbbing Varanasi, seems ever ready to host another great philosopher’s speech. Its large gardens filled with bird and scurrying squirrel press upon the visitors the gift of tranquility. Here, silence needs no prompting. The historical and spiritual significance of the fact that the Buddha delivered his first sermon somewhere in this expanse of gardens makes you more attentive to the surroundings. The senses are equally engaged by the hulking remain of the 34-meter-high Dhamekh Stupa. Although the present edifice dates back to 500 AD, excavations of the site have yielded bricks dating back to 200 BC. The ruins of a large monastery and the partial Ashokan pillar all hark back to the heyday of Buddhism in the area.
Later Transfer to airport for departure.
• Transport, pick-up, and drop
• Sight-seeing and activities in Varanasi, Sarnath
• Hotel accommodation (with B&B)
• Round trip Air Ticket
• Lunch and dinner
• Visa fee at the International Airport only for foreigners
• Personal expenses