12 Days |
The world-famous Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith that makes Hindus from all over the country gather to bathe in a sacred or holy river. Kumbh is celebrated at four different destinations as the Prayag Kumbh Mela, Haridwar Kumbh Mela, the Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha, and Ujjain Simhastha. This trip is directed to Prayag Kumbh Mela at Allahabad.
The 12-days trip begins at Delhi and moves towards Allahabad encompassing Agra and Jaipur, the Golden Triangle Tour and also crossing Varanasi. In the ultimate destination of this tour, Allahabad, the guests stay right in the middle of the action spot in the grand tented city that is built exclusively for Kumbh Mela without compromising on comfort. The trip ensures authenticity of the event keeping in mind luxury of the tourists.
Taj Mahal – one of the Seven Wonders of the World
Reach Delhi where our representative welcomes you and drives you to the hotel. Delhi is an old city which has been inhabited since the 6th century BC and has been capital of many kingdoms. Delhi is also called the “city of cities” and is full of beautiful monuments. The culture of the place has been influenced by its different rulers from time to time. And the same is reflected in the food habits of the residents. The Mughlai cuisine originated here since the reign of the Mughal rulers.
Get amazed and awestruck with the variation in construction and look. Old Delhi showcases a maze of small lanes lined and old buildings exhibiting the different cultures that reigned in the city. And New Delhi is a modern city with broad roads and high rises. New Delhi is the capital of India and is a political hub.
After breakfast, you will be taken for a city sightseeing that portrays the Indian history beautifully.
Start your morning with a tour to Old Delhi. This part of the city was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1639 AD. The first spot is the Raj Ghat – that is the cremation point of Mahatma Gandhi and the museum which was built to commemorate him. Up next is the visit to the iconic Red Fort and the areas of Chandni Chowk. The Red Fort was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty for nearly 200 years, until 1856. Chandni Chowk is one of the most popular and busiest markets in Old Delhi. You may take a rickshaw ride around the area to check out the colorful crowd and shops.
The next spot to visit is the Jama Masjid, one of the iconic, historic and largest mosques in India built by Shah Jahan. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656.The mosque was completed in 1656 AD with three great gates, four towers and two 40 metres high minarets constructed with strips of red sandstone and white marble.
Your next spot is India Gate which is a war memorial located across the Rajpath built in the memory of the Unknown Soldier. Drive past the Parliament House, President’s House and other Government Secreterial Buildings and reach your last spot of the day – Lakshinarayan Temple dedicated to Lord Narayana and Goddess Lakshmi.Come back to hotel for an overnight stay at Delhi.
This day, get transferred to Agra from Delhi by road. Agra is a major tourist destination of India. Taj Mahal is the first place you would be taken to in the afternoon. The beautiful monument is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The magnificent construction was built in white marble by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between the years 1631 to 1648 in the memory of his beloved Queen Mumtaz Mahal.
Next destination is the Agra Fort, yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known for its architectural structure, it was built in the 16th century during the Mughal Empire. There are several fairy-tale palaces like Khas Mahal and Jahangir Palace, and Diwan-e-Aam (public audience hall) and Diwan-e-Khas (private audience hall). Agra is famous for inlaid marble work and handicrafts.
Overnight stay in Agra.
Have your breakfast before being taken back to Delhi by road. The rest of the day is at leisure. You can take rest and gear up for the bigger days ahead. Or you may also take a round of the local market for shopping or trying out local delicacies.
Overnight at Delhi.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Delhi airport to catch your flight to Varanasi. On arrival at Varanasi airport, you will be driven straight to Allahabad for the majestic Kumbh Mela, where you stay in the grand tented city that is built exclusively for Kumbh Mela.
Have breakfast and get ready for witnessing the extravaganza at Kumbh Mela – one of the biggest mass Hindu pilgrimages. You will be taken near the Sangam (confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and the invisible Saraswati) at Prayag.
Kumbh Mela is held after every 12 years. There is a difference of around 3 years between the Kumbh Melas at Haridwar and Nashik and Nashik and Ujjain (the other places where Kumbh Mela is held). Being the first day, watch and appreciate the rituals performed by the sadhus who are the members of an akhara.
Watch them taking dips into the holy water and perform several rituals.
Come back to the tented city and retire for the day.
Wake up early, have your breakfast and start for the witnessing one of the major events of Kumbh Mela - the Peshwai Procession, which marks the arrival of the sadhus. The sadhus are seen clad in saffron sheets with Vibhuti ashes dabbed on their skin as per the requirements of ancient traditions. Some, called nagasanyasis, may not wear any clothes even in severe winter.During the procession, the sadhus perform acrobatic skills and breathtaking display of their martial skills with the help of swords.
Several holy men from different Hindu sects attend the mela, such as the Nagas (who do not wear any clothes), Kalpwasis (who bathe thrice a day) and Urdhawavahurs (who believe in putting the body through severe austerities). They come to the mela to perform sacred rituals pertaining to their respective groups.
Capture their skills in your camera or record their videos for a lifetime of memory.
Come back to your room. Overnight at Allahabad.
This day, you may take a dip into the holy water of sangam. It is an experience of a lifetime, but should be done very carefully and utmost faith. It is believed that during the dates of Kumbh Mela he waters of these sacred rivers are said to turn into nectar. The exact dates are calculated according to a combination of zodiac positions of Jupiter, the Sun and the Moon.
Hindus believe that those who bathe in the sacred waters during the Kumbh are eternally blessed by the divine. All their sins are washed away and they come one step closer to salvation.
Overnight in Allahabad.
Dedicate this day for “darshan” or respectful visual exchange which is an important part of Kumbh Mela. People make the pilgrimage to the Kumbh Mela specifically to observe and experience both the religious and secular aspects of the event. Two major groups that participate in the Kumbh Mela include the Sadhus (Hindu holy men) and pilgrims. Through their continual yogic practices the Sadhus articulate the transitory aspect of life.
Sadhus travel to the Kumbh Mela to be available to the travelers (mostly Hindus). This allows members of the Hindu public to interact with the Sadhus and to take "darshan." They are able to "seek instruction or advice in their spiritual lives." Darshan focuses on the visual exchange, where there is interaction with a religious deity and the worshiper is able to visually "'drink' divine power." The Kumbh Mela is arranged in camps that give Hindu worshipers access to the Sadhus. The darshan is important to the experience of the Kumbh Mela and because of this worshipers must be careful so as to not displease religious deities. Seeing of the Sadhus is carefully managed and worshipers often leave tokens at their feet.
Time to leave Allahabad. You will be driven to Varanasi. On arrival at the city, you will be taken straight to the hotel. You can relax, as the day is at leisure. You may also take a rickshaw to check out the nearby streets for shopping and eating out.
Start your day with a boat ride ride in the two holy banks of the River Ganges – Ghats Manikarnika and Harishchandra. Thousands of devotees come down to Varanasghats for taking holy dips and for cremation purposes. Hindus believe that those who breathe their last in Varanasi and are cremated in these banks get released from the birth cycle.
During your visit, you may witness several funeral pyres burning around the ghats. Spend the leisure hours of the afternoon to visit Sarnath, a deer park. It is the place where Buddha offered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment and taught of the four noble truths. Later you will be transferred to the railway station to board your Delhi train.
Overnight is in train.
Reach Delhi and stay at the airport for your return or onward journey.