Stories from the Oldest City
Arrive Varanasi today, where accommodation is held from 12 noon. Early evening, visit the ghats along the Ganges to view the evening prayer ceremonies and stroll through the traditional markets.
The City of Shiva is Hinduism’s holiest and among the world’s most ancient. The dawn boat trip to view the morning prayer provides an unforgettable spectacle of devotion. At Banaras Hindu University, a deeply venerated centre of learning, visit the Bharat Kala Bhawan (closed Sundays/university holidays), which exhibits a precious collection of ancient sculptures and medieval paintings. Adjacent to Varanasi is quite another world – Sarnath – where the Buddha preached his first sermon in 528 BC after attaining Enlightenment.
Day excursion north to Zaffarabad and Jaunpur (156 km roundtrip/2.5 hours drive each way), two provincial Islamic settlements that bear the distinctive stamp of Delhi Sultanate, Sharqi and Mughal influences in the form of the Old Shahi Fort, Atala Masjid, Jami Masjid and the Akbari Bridge. Somewhat cocooned and time warped, nothing much seems to have changed here.
After a final morning in Varanasi, fly via Delhi to Indore in central India. Drive to Maheshwar (97 km/2 hours) on the northern bank of the sacred Narmada River.
Spend the day exploring the ancient town of Maheshwar, its many lanes, temples and markets. The ghats overlooking the Narmada are a magnet for pilgrims throughout the day. Contributing much to the town’s atmosphere and colour are its looms where the resplendent and renowned Maheshwari saree is woven.
Day excursion to Mandu (126 km round trip/1.5 hours driving each way), site of the once dreamlike capital of the pre-medieval Malwa Sultans, still redolent with majesty and aura as it stands in silent abandonment after its conquest by the Mughals nearly five centuries ago.
Transfer to Indore to connect a flight or train to your onward destination.
The Hotels we recommend are handpicked and the best the destination can offer, as per your preference
The activities, sights and experiences are original and offer you the spirit of the land
Flavours of local and global cuisine matched with your preferred drinks at selected restaurants offering unique F&B experiences
We endeavour to make your journey smooth and memorable. Our drivers are trained at driving on Indian Roads and are also knowledgeable guides