India’s riverine civilisations have been a source of myths, faith and a way of life. This eclectic tour takes you to Varanasi and Maheshwar on the banks of the River Ganges and River Narmada respectively, introducing you to the rich cultural tapestry of India.
Varanasi, also known as Banaras or Kashi, is Hinduism’s most holy city. Elaborate religious ceremonies, full of pomp and splendour and the ebb and flow of life are performed on the ghats, infused with a particular intensity. As one moves inland, however, other facets of this city open up: the weavers patronized by the Mughals, whose cloth was so fine as to pass through the “eye of a needle”; Sarnath, where the Buddha delivered his first sermon; and Islamic provincial settlements where time, it seems, has stood still.
Next, you fly to Indore and drive to the lovely town of Maheshwar. Here the Narmada is said to “cascade, flow and bless”. An elegant town on the bank of River Narmada, Maheshwar is famous for its eponymous woven saris. Excursions to Mandu, redolent with majesty and possessing an air of melancholic romanticism, complete our central Indian journey.