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In & Around


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BOAT TOUR AT DAWN AND DUSK
Ganga, Descending from the snow clad Himalayan Mountain the abode of Lord Shiva, flows to Bay of Bengal. The 1400 miles long  river sustains  the life and living of the majority of  North Indians Hindus have personified Ganga as Mother, the subjective  feelings of  the believers are that the river purifies the  individual  to attain  "Mokhsha" salvation from the cycle of birth and  death.At   the crack of dawn when Sun rises, a new day begins, thousands  of   pilgrims  and locals negotiate the steps (Ghats) to have  a  Holy dip  and perform the rituals.The Ghats are dotted  with  temples   monastries,  palaces and pilgrims rest houses.The Tour begins  at Dawn from Assi Ghat with a visit to Jagarnath Temple.

(1) Embark at Assi - Row upto Chet Singh Ghat to disembark to see  the historical sites, temples, abode of ascetics etc.

(2) Embark again - passing through Harischandra, Narad,  Kedar Ghat  - disembark at Raja Ghat, an 18th Century Haveli used for  feeding the Brahmin Scholars. From the Roof Top have  a panaromic view of the crescent shaped Ganga.Embark again  to move towards Dashashwamedh Ghat dotted with many temples and shrines, mythological stories and legends are connected with this  place from times immemorial. Walk around  to observe, feel the of religious fervor. See the Jai Singh  observatory at  Man  Mandir Ghat. Nearby is the house of Dom  Raja,  the Uncrowned King of Manikanika Ghat (Cremation Ghat)Back to Hotel. At  Dusk getting off at Godholia - Passing through Bazar,  seeing Vishwanath  Temple embark at Dashashwamedh Ghat and  proceed   towards Manikanica eventually culminating at Cremation Ghat and see the rituals from a respectable distance. Embark again to  proceed towards  Panch  Ganga Ghat getting off to see the  Bindu Mahadev Temple, the Mosque and walk around the area for a while to see an old  School of Sanskrit learning before embarking on the boat  to proceed   at the northern end of the city - Disembark to see  Ravi Das  / Aadi Keshav Temples.

 

MUSEUMS AND ART GALLERIES TOUR
Varanasi city itself is a museum, the oldest living city has various historic and archeological site.

Sarnath, 10 Km from the city where Lord Budha preached his first sermon to the five disciples preaching the middle fold path to "Nirvana". The sacredness of the place made great Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd cent BC build monastery, stupas, raised columns. Many kings and kingdoms contributed during various times to add glory to the place. The details of this monastery are found in the writings of the Chinese travellers Huen Sang some 1500 years back. The monastery town was destroyed in 1194.

A.  Sarnath museum houses sculptures of Buddhist and non Buddhist period. The 3rd cent BC lion capital is adopted as national emblem of  India, 1st cent AD Bodhi Satwa image from Mathura and the 5th cent AD preaching postures Budha are the marvels of Indian sculptures. The place has a Jain temple dedicated to its Tirthankar Shrais Nath. The Maha Bodhi Society temple with the scenes from the life of Buddha painted on the walls, also preserved the holy relics of the Lord. Nearby is the tree, a branch of the Bodhi tree from the original located at Bodh Gaya under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.

B.  Bharat Mata Temple is not religious temple. It is dedicated to the Mother land built during the freedom movement. Properly scaled relief map of India made in marble gives a good idea of the topography of India and its neighboring countries. 

 

C.  Bharat Kala Bhawan is situated on the campus of the Banaras Hindu University.

 

D.  Ram Nagar : Across the river Ganges the fort of Maharaja of Banaras has a museum with ivory palanquins, Howdas, armory and an unique astronomical clock besides photographic exhibition of the famous Ram Lila.

 

E.  Man Mandir Observatory : Located at Manmandir Ghat, the Observatory was built by Raja Jai Singh of Jaipur in the 16th cent.

 

SPIRITUAL RELIGIOUS & MYSTIQUE TOUR OF BANARAS
(Those in search of  Spiritual,  religious and mystique experience can have a half day tour in the evening starting from Batuk Bhairav (dedicated to Bhairav, another manifestation of Shiva) located near Kamachha, and proceed towards  Mumukcha Bhawan and aboard of ascetics and Mata Anand Mayi Divine Mothers's  Ashram, imbark on a boat at Tulsi Ghat to proceed to Dasaswamedh  Ghat and see the evening Aarti and finally walk back through the bazaars to the hotel.)

ASTROLOGY AND PANCHANG STUDY
(Visit to an astrologer's home not only for palm reading but to  know  how  they  can prepare  the  astrological  chart, panchang-  the  calender of the year of religious events, movement  of planets, auspicious and inauspicious  days  and time  of  the day for starting a new business or  new  house building,  undertaking  a  journey or  social functions  or spouse compatibility. The astrologers are scattered all over town and some reputed ones are in Saraswati Phatak and Mir ghat area. The visit is by appointment only.)

 

YOGA AND MEDITATION
(
"Yoga" the English equivalent word of which is "YOKE", to  join or  unite.  Yoga  is  not only a  physical  exercise  but  a philosophy  to  keep the body in good shape. Along with  it goes  meditation practiced for peace of the  mind.  Lecture, demonstration   and practice  etc.  can  be   arranged   by appointment.)

 

TRADITIONAL LEARNING (GURU SHISHYA PARAMPARA)
(Varanasi has been a seat of learning from times immemorial. The  traditional knowledge is imparted by  GURUS  in  their homes  and  in  some  schools. Knowledge  of  religion  and Sanskrit,  music  and physical culture is  imparted  to  the deciples called "shishyas". A visit to Sanf Ved Vidyalaya at Ram  Ghat,  traditional school  in  Kangan  Mal  Haveli  at Panchganga  Ghat, and at musicians homes by appointment  as well  as  Kon  Bhatt  Akhara at  Bibihatia  and  Jai  Bharat Vyamshala where young men practice wrestling and traditional acrobatics, is highly recommended.)

HISTORICAL TOUR OF BANARAS
Kashi, the luminous city's history, can not be dated. The religious literature, legends and traditions lead us to believe the existence of habitat to almost two thousand BC. The archeological sites excavated at Rajaghat and Sarnath have given us sculptures, artifacts from 3rd cent BC till end of 12th cent AD when these places were destroyed by invaders.
A full day tour with break for lunch or two half day tours will give the visitor an opportunity to see the historical and acrhelogical sites that abound the oldest living city.

Begin the tour at 

A.   NAG KUAN : The place, where on Nagpanchmi day, the snake worship is held, is connected with Rishi Patanjali the famous Sanskrit grammarian, located at Jaitpura (3rd BC).

B.  RAJGHAT : Excavated ruins of the old fort, the old location of the city is the present day Krishnamurti foundation and where all India Congress Committee session was held in 1905 (1st BC).

 

C.  CHAITANYA VAT : The site is famous for Chaitanya Maha Prabhu's (incarnation of Lord Krishna) arrival at Varanasi. Located near Visheshwarganj 915th AD).

 

D.  SARNATH : Lord Budha preached his first sermon and founded the order of the monk. The ruins consist of stupas, vihars  and temples. The place has an archelogical Survey of India Museaum (5th Century BC).

 

E.  GHATS OF VARANASI (18th century BC) : Dotted with temples, shrines and havelis, Dasaswamedh, Manikarnika, Panchganga, Tulsi, Chet Singh, Man Mandir observatory etc. (from 17th to 19th Century BC).

 

F.  BIRTH PLACE OF RANI LAXMIBAI AT BHADAINI : Warrior queen of Jhansi was born here (19th century BC).

 

G.  CANTONMENT : British bureaucracy and the military were stationed here. There are few old churches and colonial buildings as well. The site is connected with archeological evidences, legends and special events (18th century AD).

FIRST  HAND EXPERIENCE OF TRADITIONAL MUSIC OF  ANCIENT BANARAS.
(Indian  Music is of divine origin, sound communicates  with the  cosmic  soul. Varanasi as a seat of learning  has  rich traditions  of music. Most of the top artists of  India  are either  born or educated in this city. In the above tour,  a visit  to modern music college at the University Campus  and visit  to a musician's home by appointment can  be arranged with prior reservation)

 

ANCIENT & REVERRED TEMPLES
Varanasi  (Kashi) the oldest living and most venerated  city  for the   Hindus has countless temples dedicated to all the  Gods  and Goddesses of the Hindu Pantheon. Many were raised  to the  ground from  1194  by   sucessive muslim  rulers  and  intolerent  Mughal mperors.The undying  spirit  of the Hindus saw to it that  the emples were rebuilt, whenever an opportune time came.The  faith of the believers, the traditional rituals are a sight to Behold.

The  Temple Tour can begin any time with a break to  conclude  in the evening.

(A) Bara Ganesh (the Remover of Obstacles) at Lohatia near Maidagin.        

(B)  Maha  Mrityunjaya ( Shiva the Conqueror of  Death)  at   Dara  Nagar.
(C)  Kal Bhairava (Another form of Shiva) near Bishesharganj.
(D)  Kashi Vishwanath (Shiva the Lord of  Universe) in  Vishwanath Gali.
(E)  Ma Annapoorna ( Mother Provider of Food) at Vishwanath Gali.

(F)  Ma Durga ( Goddess of Strength - Consort of Shiva) at  Durga Kund.

(G)  Sankat  Mochan (Hanuman the Monkey Lieutenant of  Lord  Rama near Lanka.

(H) Batuk Bhairava & Kamakhya Devi( Form of Shiva & Goddess) near Kammacha.

(I) Aadi Keshav (Temple dedicated to Vishnu destroyed  in  1194, rebuilt in the 18th Century located at Rajghat. 

Temples are generally open from 5.00 Hours to 23.30 Hours

Aartis are held between 4.30 to 5.30, 12.30 to 13.30, 18.30 to 19.30 and 21.30 to 22.30.
( PLEASE RECHECK THE TIMINGS)

 
SOCIAL SERVICE IN ACTION
Religious  City attracts disabled , poor and self  seeker  sadhus who  live by charity. Charity being a virtue pilgrims give alms individually  but in recent times organised social  services   are getting momentum. SOS Village, Lepers Service Centre, Schools for blind  and  hearing  impaired  and  Cow  Protection  Shelter    at Rameshwaram  are  some   of the  main  institutions  doing  social ces are worth a visit.
    
MUSICAL TRADITION
The  sound  produced  by  the vocalist  and instrumentalist are meant to communicate with  the Cosmic  Sound  -  Nadam - Brahma. Most of  the  top  artists  of classical music were either born or educated in this city.  A  visit  to  these  musicians'   home  for   demonstration   and interaction can be arranged by appointment  One  can   visit the  Music College situated  in  the  University  Campus of Banaras Hindu University.
       
PANCHKOSHI YATRA
Pilgrimage or Yatra is of prime importance in Hindu Religion. The  tradition  of  Yatra  is as old as Religion   itself.In  Varanasi "Panchkosi"(  25 k.m.) outer circle of Varanasi is circumbulated in 4 or 5 days time at a certain period of the   Year.  Pilgrims take  the  vow  (Sankalp) and first take bath in  the  Ganges  at  Manikanica  after  visiting Gyan Vapi, Vishwanath Temple  take  a boat to  reach  Nagwa   Ghat,  then  proceed  to   Kardameshwar, Rameshwaka  Bhim  Chandi  and finally  Kapildhara  Temples.   The Walking  Yatra is done in 4 or 5 days stopping overnight at  four spots then finally come back to the starting Point at  Manikanika by   boat. The entire route is dotted with 108  sites with  shrines of  Ganesh, Bhairava, Goddesses and Shiva Temples.A tour by  Car and Boat with some walking can be done in 4 to 6 hrs.

CHAR DHAM
Varanasi has assimilated entire India and Hinduism into her  lap. All the reverred and recommended pilgrimage Centres of India  are located  here. One May do all the possible pilgrimage  by  taking this Yatra to the Holy spots.

DHAMS
(1)  Badrinath-Near Trilochan Ghat and  Kedar Temple. (Original location- Foothills of Himalayas.
(2)  Rameshwar  - at the Panchokoshi site also near  Man   Mandir-original location- South India.
(3)  Dwarka - (Sankho Dhara) original location Western  India  in Gujarat.
(4)  Puri - Near Assi Ghat Jaganath Temple.  originally  location East Coast in Orissa.
       
SEVEN PURIS
(1) Ayodhya - Rama Pura Laxman Pura and Rama's birth  place  Sri Nagar Colony Kund.
(2) Mathura - Lord Krishna's birth place near Agra - Hare  _____ Kund area is regarded as       Mathura.
(3) Haridwar - City on the foothills of Himalaya is located  here at Assi Ghat.
(4) Kanchi of South India is located here in Panchganga Ghat.
(5) Ujjain   -  In  Central  India.  is   located    here   near  Bisheshwarganj and Dara Nagar with Maha Mrityunjay Shiva Temple.
(6) Dwarika - is in Sankho Dhara - Baijnath Temple originally  at West Coast Gujarat.

The Thirthas are:
(1) Prayag at Prayag Ghat Panchganga
(2) Pashupatinath - Nepali Temple at Lalita Ghat
(3) Kurukshetra - Near Delhi where famous Mahabharat Battle  was fought.
(4) Mansarovar - Near Narad Ghat- Originally in Mount Kailash.
       
NAV DURGA
In  Oct-Nov  and in Feb-March, Nine forms of  Shakti  (Durga)  is worshipped for nine days known as Nav Ratri (Nine Nights)
They are:
        (1) Shaila Putri - Near old Rly Station
        (2) Brahmacharini - Near Durga Ghat
        (3) Chitraghanta - Lakhi Chautra
        (4) Durga - Durga Kund
        (5) Bageshwari - Jaitpura
        (6) Skand Mata(Katyani)
        (7) Kalratri
        (8) Maha Gauri (Annapurna) also Sanktha Mata
        (9) Sidh Mata

EXCURSIONS :

Ram  Nagar  Fort : 18 Kilometers from Varanasi  on  the banks  of  river  Ganges.  It houses  a  museum  of   royal collections  of  Vintage Cars, Palanquins, armory  works of ivory and other antique. Chunar Fort : 40 kilometers from Varanasi on the  banks of river  Ganges. Main attractions Sun Clock and a huge  well besides being of tremendous historical importance. The  fort offers a splendid view of river Ganges. Vindhyachal : 75 Kilometers from Varanasi. One of  the Shaktipeeths.  Vindyavasini  Devi  Temple, Ashthbhuja   and Kalikhoh are the major attractions. Rajdari & Deodari Falls : 80 kilometers from Varanasi. Scenic falls. 

 

CHUNAR (37 K.M.) (Part of the countryside tour)
The  historic  fort  overlooking the  Ganges witnessed  struggle between the Afgan and Mughal Rulers. It was captured by Akbar  in 1575.Chunar    is   also  connected  with  the    Vaishnava   Saint  Ballabhacharya.A  day trip to Chunar with a stop at Ram Nagar  to  see  the Fort of Maharaja of Banares , museum with  old  Howadas, palanguins, armouries,  astronomical  clock  and  photographic exhibits of the famous Ramlila is worth visiting.

JAUNPUR(Part of the countryside tour)
This  City founded by Feroz Tughlak in 1369 was once the  capital of Sharki Kingdom stretching from Western U.P. to Bihar.  Jaunpur has  the  credit   of being an important centre  for  culture  and learning.  The famous stone bridge built by Mughal Emperor  Akbar and  some  tombs   and mosques have  beautiful  architecture.  The famous Atala Mosque was once a temple.Tour begins in the  morning and back in the evening. Advised to carry lunch boxes and mineral water.

Local attractions, events, and activities include:

Local attractions : River Ganges, Vishwanath Temple, Alamgir Mosque, Bharat MataTemple,  Durga Temple, Bharat Kala Bhawan at  BHU,  Banaras Hindu University and Sarnath - Lord Buddha preached his first sermon and  founded the order of the monk. The ruins consist of stupas,  viharas and temples. The place has an archaelogical Survey of  India Museum (5th Century B.C).

 

VISIT TO BANARAS HINDU UNIVERSITY

(This is perhaps the largest residential University in  Asia housed in an area of approximately 2000 acres gifted by  the former  Maharaja  (King)  of Varanasi, a scholar  of  Hindu Philoscopy and Sanskrit, founded by Pt.Madan Mohan Malviya.)

 

THE ABOVE TOUR HAS TO BE BOOKED AT LEAST 10 DAYS IN ADVANCE 

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