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/, Spiritual Sojourns/Ardh Kumbh Special at Allahabad
Ardh Kumbh Special at Allahabad

Project Description

6 Days/5 Nights

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ITINERARY SUMMARY

Legend has it that in the mythological times, during a waging war between the demigods and demons for the possession of elixir of eternal life, a few drops of it had fallen on to four places that are today known as Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nasik. It is believed that these drops gave mystical powers to these places. It is to make oneself gain on those powers that Kumbh Mela has been celebrated in each of the four places since long as one can remember. The normal Kumbh Mela is held every 3 years, the Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela is held every six years at Haridwar and Allahabad (Prayag) while the Purna (complete) Kumbh mela takes place every twelve years, at four places Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik, based on planetary movements. The Maha Kumbh Mela is celebrated at Prayag after 144 years (after 12 ‘Purna Kumbh Melas’).

Depending on what position the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter hold in that period in different zodiac signs, the venue for Kumbh Mela is decided.

Main Bathing Dates for Allahabad Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019

15 January 2019 : Makar Sankranti (1St shahi Snan)

21 January 2019 : Paush Purnima

04 February 2019 : Mauni Amavasya (Main Royal Bath-2nd shahi Snan)

10 February 2019 : Basant Panchami (3rd shahi Snan)

19 February 2019 : Maghi Purnima

04 March 2019 : Maha Shivratri

 Pre-departure planning is important.

Here are certain things you should watch for and plan for.

Visas

Check with the appropriate consulate or embassy in your country to find out if you will need a visa to visit the country of your destination, especially for an extended period of time. Some countries have extremely detailed and complicated entry/departure laws, and treat visits of a week or two very differently from longer stays.

Money

If you’re traveling to one area, check the cost of living there. If it’s high you’ll probably want to budget more carefully and save some money before leaving. The lower the cost of living the less you’ll have to save, but be sure to have a back up reserve in emergency cases.

General Tips

Talk to other people who have done a similar trip.

If you don’t know anyone personally, try any of the dozens of online travel web sites full of first-person travel stories covering every possible type of trip.

Plan big and loose. Read everything you can about the area.

There may be sights and attractions you didn’t know about. A rough outline of your trip might have three or four target points and a variety of ways to get between them.

You don’t want to find out that the weather isn’t what you thought, or the guide book was incorrect, after committing to 6 weeks in a specific spot.

Some trips will allow you more leeway than others. Travel plans in Asia can often be made day-by-day while summer travel in Europe should be organized at least a few weeks ahead, unless you’re prepared to hunt around for hotel rooms and train seats.

Set up a pre-trip time-line so you don’t end up with a full todo list your last week of work or school.

Things to consider are doctor’s visits for a check up, inoculations, and prescription refills; purchasing plane tickets; renewing passports and obtaining visas and other documents.

Check your insurance coverage abroad and purchasing additional travel insurance if needed. Don’t forget visiting friends and family members!
The longer the trip, the lighter you should pack. This might seem strange, but it’s true you can afford to lug a heavy bag around for a week or two, but do you want to have anything extra for a year?

Stick to the absolute basics and know what you can and cannot buy at your destination(s). There’s no point in bringing 6 months of toothpaste to Europe or buying a sarong at home to take to the tropics. If you are visiting several climates, try to arrange it so you visit the warmer places first and coldest last. That way you can purchase sweaters and long pants and not have to carry them any more than needed. Alternately, visit cold climates first and then ship unneeded layers home — or sell them off.

A good rule of thumb is to bring one outfit for the hottest day you’re likely to encounter, one for an average day, and one for the coldest.

Make sure everything goes with everything else (if that’s important to you), and remember that layers are always best.

Be prepared for uncomfortable trips. You will often find yourself in a busy, cramped, economy class environment and it could be for many hours – especially long plane trips.

If you want to arrive at your destination refreshed and able to enjoy the sights, then try a good quality travel pillow to support your head, some ear plugs to block out the screaming babies, and an eye cover to block out the sun or cabin lights.

Just avoid those cheap U-shaped pillows from airport shops – your head drops forward and you wake up with a stiff neck.

Make contact with the locals before you go.

Maybe you have a friend-of-a-friend or a foreign exchange student from high school you remember, or just found a friend through a travel web site; almost everyone is happy to welcome a foreign visitor to their home town. This might be as elaborate as a home-stay for a few weeks, or just coffee in their home town or dinner at a locals restaurant.

Trip Attractions

Enjoy a boat ride on river Ganges in Varanasi.

Witness The largest peaceful gathering on earth, Kumbh Mela is attended by about a  millions of people.

Take a dip in Holy Ganges on this auspicious occasion.

Travel Resources

Travel planning is about more than just knowing where you’re going. Prepares to navigate, take control and be ready for anything. This section helps you steer clear of disaster and stay open enjoy the unexpected.

Quick Tips

  • Banks – Open Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm. Some banks are closed for lunch.
  • Emergencies – For police, dial a local phone number; for ambulance call a hospital.
  • Internet Access – Wifi is standard in most hotels and free in many coffee shops.
  • Mail – Buy stamps at the Post Office. Convenient post offices are located all cities. Most are open Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
  • Safety – Pickpocketing can be a common problem. It is suggested for men to keep wallets in their front pocket. Purse snatching also occurs at times.

Visitor Information

This site contains information with a very personal and friendly structure. It also has great links to other related sites online.

Information, internet access, maps, and train passes are available at local Tourist Information terminals. These are located at various sites around the city. Expect a wait if you arrive late in the afternoon or during lunch time. Local travel agencies are also helpful for quick information and finding hotels. There is no service charge for these services. Hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, and Saturday 10am to 2pm.

Transportation

Getting in from the airport and other arrival locations. Travel planning is about more than just knowing where you’re going. Prepares to navigate, take control and be ready for anything. This section helps you steer clear of disaster and stay open enjoy the unexpected.

  • Plane – Flights arrive at the main airport near city center. If flying from European cities, you might land at a connecting airport. There is a tourist information office at the Terminal E, international arrivals, open 8am to 6pm.
  • Train – A train station is on the lower level of the airport. To get into the city, follow the marked signs.
  • Taxi – From the airport there is a flat-rate for the 1-hour trip, depending on traffic. Hotels charge up to $80 for shuttle service.
  • Train & Bus – Trains and buses arrive a city center. This is the transportation hub for the city and is surrounded hotels.

A perfect place for exploring on foot, with local shops around every corner. You will eventually walk somewhere, it’s just going to happen. If you don’t like crowds, uneven cobblestones, heavy traffic or narrow sidewalks, take a taxi or rent a scooter.

Itinerary Details

Day 01. Arrive Delhi

Arrive by International flight, after traditional ‘Swagat’ (Welcome) our representative would assist you at airport & transfer to hotel for check in.
Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds the ancient with modern.Its strategic location was the prime reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. In fact, more mythological cities are believed to be here, like the city of Indraprastha from the Hindu epic Mahabharata, founded around 5000 BC. Numerous monuments were built over several centuries by different rulers like Qutub-ud-din Aibek, Alauddin Khilji, Tuglaks, Humayun & Shah Jahan, who built the Walled City Shah Jahanabad.
Later in first half of 20th century much of New Delhi was planned by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who laid out a grandiose central administrative area as a testament to British rule in India. The division in walled city & New Delhi also marks the division in life styles.

Overnight Hotel – Delhi (B)

Day 02. Delhi

Today we take a guided tour of Old Delhi, the 17th century walled city of Shahjahanabad, Visiting the great Jama Masjid, the principal mosque of Old Delhi. Built in the year 1656 AD by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it is the largest & best known mosque in India. Later we walk down or take a rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk, the old marketplace of Shahjahanabad now a picturesque bazaar to reach Red Fort, built in the year 1648 by Shah Jehan.

In New Delhi, we visit Raj Ghat, memorial to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. It is a simple black marble platform that marks the spot of his cremation on 31 January 1948. Further we drive past India Gate, memorial built in the year 1931 to commemorate the Indian soldiers who died in the World War I & the Afghan Wars. The names of the soldiers who died in these wars are inscribed on the walls. President’s House, the official residence of the President of India, built in the year 1931. Until 1950 it was known as Viceroy’s House & served as the residence of the Governor-General of British India.

We will also visit Humayun’s Tomb, memorial of Mughal Emperor Humayun, built in the year 1562. The complex is a World Heritage Site & the first example of this type of Mughal architecture in India. Qutub Minar, built in the year 1206 by Qutub-ud-din Aibek. It is the tallest (72m) brick minaret in the world, an important example of Indo-Islamic Architecture. Qutub Minar & its monuments are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Overnight Hotel – Delhi (B)

Day 03. Delhi to Varanasi By Air & By Surface (130 Kms) 4 Hours Drive Approx

Transfer this morning to Airport for flight to Varanasi from where our driver will pick you and drive towards Allahabad upon arrival check into you to Luxury/deluxe Tent at Allahabad or Prayag is also called the “Tirth Raj”, the king of all pilgrimage centers. There are many references to Prayag or Allahabad in Indian epics, Vedas and Puranas. Allahabad stands at the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna (two of India’s holiest rivers) and Saraswati River (a mythical river which is not visible). The place where river Ganga and river Yamuna meet is called Sangam (union). Sangam is the venue of many sacred fairs and rituals, and attracts thousands of pilgrims throughout the year. The most important event at Prayag is the Kumbh Mela. Millions of people from all over India and the world gather at Prayag to take a holy dip at Sangam.

Overnight Luxury/Deluxe Tent – Allahabad (B, L, D)

Main Bathing Dates for Allahabad Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019
15 January 2019 : Makar Sankranti (1St shahi Snan)
21 January 2019 : Paush Purnima
04 February 2019 : Mauni Amavasya (Main Royal Bath-2nd shahi Snan)
10 February 2019 : Basant Panchami (3rd shahi Snan)
19 February 2019 : Maghi Purnima
04 March 2019 : Maha Shivratri

Day 04. Allahabad Ardh Kumbh Mela (Participation in Kumbha with Shahi Snan / Holy Bath)

Morning see the Sangam (Meeting point) of the three rivers – Ganga, Yamuna & Saraswati. Here the Maha Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years which is a major Hindu festival. Sangam – Around 7 km from Civil Lines, overlooked by the eastern ramparts of the fort, wide flood plains and muddy banks protrude towards the sacred Sangam. At the point at which the brown Ganges meets the Greenish Yamuna, pandas (priests) perch on small platforms to perform puja and assist the devout in their ritual ablutions in the shallow waters. Beaches and ghats are littered with the shorn hair of pilgrims who come to offer pind for their deceased parents. Allahabad also hosts world famous Kumbh Mela once in a twelve year The observance of Maha Kumbh Mela has achieved international popularity as “The biggest act of faith.” Millions of pilgrims come to participate in the holy event of Maha Kumbh with a tremendous faith. They have a “persistent trust in something sublime”. The pilgrims come from all walks of life, with a belief that their sins will be washed off in the holy waters of the sacred river Ganges if they take a dip during the Kumbh but the actual and more science based reasons are different. It is actually the position of stars and constellations during the Kumbh that makes it significant to take a dip in the river at that time.

Later visit Allahabad Fort, Anand Bhawan and various other attractions of the town.

Overnight Luxury/Deluxe Tent – Allahabad (B, L, D)

Day 05. Allahabad – Varanasi (130 km – 2.5 hr)

Today we drive to Varanasi. Varanasi, picturesquely situated on the banks of holy river Ganga. The city is the Oldest Living City of the World & traces of its existence are found around 10000 BC. Other than being a very holy city for Hindus, it also holds a very significant association with Buddha’s life & Buddhism.

Afternoon we take an excursion to Sarnath, the site of the deer park where Gautama Buddha is said to have given his first sermon about the basic principles of Buddhism. It has been a premier centre for Buddhism & has a rich collection of ancient Buddhist relics & antiques comprising numerous Buddha & Bodhisattva images on display at the Archaeological Museum.

Overnight Hotel – Varanasi (B)

Day 06. Varanasi – Delhi (By Indigo Flight @ 10:50 – 12:55) & Departure.

Today we start our day with a boat ride on the river Ganges. Rise before dawn & step gingerly in the boat as the boatman starts rowing the boat. Witness the daily miracle to unfold, as the Sun appears triumphantly over the horizon. The sound of conches & temple bells add to the delicate pink fabric of dawn. The formerly hushed murmuring of ancient Sanskrit Shlokas (hymns) now rise, in one voice, to a crescendo of unparalleled piety & joy. Later we explore the city by foot to get the feel of this Oldest living city of the world.

After breakfast check out the hotel and transfer you to airport to take a flight for Delhi. Arrive and meet our representative at airport and board the next flight for onward destination with great memory of Kumbh Mela.

 Tour Ends

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