Undiscovered Varanasi: Dusshera and Bharat Milap
15th - 18th Oct 2021
Varanasi, the oldest living city in the world is the place to capture images of the Dushera and Bharat Milap Hindu festivities.
Each year on Dussehra, colourful effigies of demon king Ravan are burned to mark the defeat of Ravan by Lord Rama.
The following day is Bharat Milap. The people of Varanasi celebrate Bharat Milap with great fanfare and devotion. People gather in the streets to see the procession of Lord Ram and his reunion with his younger brother, Bharat. People pay their respect by putting tilak on their foreheads and garlanding Lord Ram and his brothers. Another interesting part of the Bharat Milap celebration is the presence of Kashi Naresh (former king of Varanasi) with all his royal paraphernalia and regal finery. Special devotional prayers are said at the numerous iconic Hindu temples in Varanasi.
Dates: 15th – 18th Oct 2021
Abhishek Hajela (Nikon Professional and National Geographic Traveller Photographer)
*Abhishek is fully vaccinated.
* If Lockdown or any COVID related protocols come into play, all fees will be refunded. If paying through an App, the refund will be minus the processing fee and in case of a bank transfer, it will be refunded minus the bank charges.
Pay by Card: https://imjo.in/9CDgcG
Contact for Bank Transfer
Oct 15 — Arrival in Varanasi
Upon arrival in Varanasi, we will start our drive to our hotel, which is in the heart of the city. After the check-in formalities couple of hours are free to relax before we start exploring the city.
The land of Varanasi (Kashi) has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Often referred to as Benares, Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world.
In the afternoon we will venture out to photograph and experience the Dusshera celebration. People will be parading in the streets and for the most part, the celebrations revolve around Ramlila shows. These performances take place all over the city and reenact scenes from Ramayana. At the end of nine nights, the performances culminate on the evening of Dussehra or Dasara, a larger-than-life effigy of Ravana is burnt to celebrate the victory of Rama over the king of Lanka. This ritual is called Ravan Dahan or the killing of Ravana
Oct 16 In Varanasi
Today we will photograph the pageantry surrounding Bharat Milap. People gather in the streets to see the procession of Lord Ram and his reunion with his younger brother, Bharat. People pay their respect by putting tilak on their foreheads and garlanding Lord Ram and his brothers. Another interesting part of the Bharat Milap celebration is the presence of Kashi Naresh (former king of Varanasi) with all his royal paraphernalia and regal finery
Later today, you will be escorted to the Ghats of the Holy River Ganges for an evening walk and Sunset boat ride to witness the Aarti Ceremony, when a group of young priests perform a ritualistic ceremony commemorated to “Agni”, the Lord of Fire, amidst devotional chants and music. Thousands of butter lamps are lit and set afloat on the sacred Ganges
Oct 17 In Varanasi
Today's activity in Varanasi will include an early morning boat ride, street walking, portrait shoot and location shoot. Photographic opportunities while in Varanasi will include sadhus in a boat on the Ganges in the early morning, scalp shavers, pilgrims bathing, Arti ceremony, temple worship, stall owners, rickshaw bicycle drivers, portrait photography with home visits. We will also photograph silk weaving artisans in the Muslim quarter.
Oct 18 — Departure
After an early morning shoot, we will take our flight back home.
Ø Accommodation based on twin sharing rooms for 03 nights.
Ø All meals starting from lunch on the 15th till breakfast on the 18th of October.
Ø Transport: We will be using Tempo Travellers throughout the trip; pick-up and drop at Varanasi Airport from hotel is included.
Ø Boat rides in Varanasi
Ø All currently applicable taxes.
Ø Domestic Flights to and from Varanasi
Ø To and fro from home-airport-home
Ø Anything not mentioned in the program or “Inclusions”
Ø Personal expenses, medical expenses and travel insurance
Ø 50% of the trip cost will be charged if cancelled before ten days of the Trip date
Ø 100% of the trip cost will be charged if cancelled under ten days of the Trip date
Our Hotel: Ganges View
Set amidst the Aravalli hills, this little garrison fort was once a major principality of the Royal house of Marwar. Bestowed with the title of Rao, the nobles looked after this little fiefdom for about two centuries after its construction in the 18th century.
Known by the name of Rawla Jojawar the fort is now converted into a heritage hotel. The two young sons of the present Rao and Rani Sahiba Maharaj Singh Ji, Nagendra and Amitvikram Singh respectively, are currently looking after the hotel in the Rawla, recently restored into its old-world splendour.