We visit the city that worships taboos, life and death during one of the big festivals of the year! There are only a handful of places that have managed to hold on to their old-world charm and mystique. One of them is Varanasi, and we are getting up close and personal on this "colourful" Holi trip. We’ll “begin again” by exploring the world-famous ghats and ancient pathways to temples and mosques, eat local delicacies and walk hidden alleys. We’ll also go to the famous university and the site of Buddha, learn about the unique traditions of the sadhus, especially the aghoris, and play Holi like a local!
Our Alpha Mike Foxtrot (military slang for Adios, motherf*****s!) program is the best job in the world: 3 hosts travel for 6 months straight!
Your leader for this trip will be Chief Mike, who’s love for new things and ice-breakers pretty much guarantees you’re gonna have an exceptional trip! Word from the higher-ups is that Chief Mike has an unhealthy obsession with music, and will start grooving no matter where you guys are.
Kashi is known as the the city of light, where we will walk the city centre through old paths to temples and mosques, and observe traditional rites like the cremation rituals of the burning ghat. We’ll look for the foundations of the city as we explore this place of Shiva!
We wake up before the sun and go on an early morning boatride up the river, the best way to experience the city as the locals will tell you! We will be filled with local stories, do a small lamp-ritual on the river, and look at a hidden sun temple.
Varanasi is also known as 'Mahasamstana', the great cremation ground of Shiva. We will go from the land of the living to the house of the dying and on the way, meet some flesh-eating Aghori sadhus! To make things interesting we will do this walk at night, ending it with a late ritual worship of the Goddess of Sorrows.
(flickr.com/ Aravindan Ganesan)
Our guesthouse situated right next to Assi Ghat, on the riverbank. It is a beautifully done up space with panoramic view of the ghats and a calm, spiritual vibe. It also has an organic cafe, yoga classes and a library full of books on spirituality and more!
What's better than being on a boat in Benares in the morning? Being on a boat for a Yoga session at sunrise! This experience is going to be as memorable as it is relaxing.
Varanasi may be one of the oldest places in India, but with its influx of travellers from over the world, it has a mix of cuisines ranging from Japanese to Italian to delicious local food. We have curated our itinerary so that we explore what this city offers, in every meal!
We'll be doing a number of things around the city, from visiting a local village, Buddhist site of Sarnath, the fascinating Benares Hindu University with one of its Professors, the Harishchandra Palace and a museum. We're going to immerse ourselves in the many facets of this beautiful city!
Flickr.com / Kunal Mukherjee
The prices quoted are for online payment, payment by bank transfer, or cheque. You can pay the trip deposit to block your spot. In order to confirm your spot, you must make full payment before the due date notified. If full payment is not received your booking may be cancelled and your trip deposit retained by us as cancellation fee.
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Please note that the above quoted amounts may change without notice. If the tour/itinerary price is quoted as a package, no partial refunds or credit will be given for services not used. White Collar Hippie reserves the right to cancel any trip or booking in which case participants will be given a refund in full. However, you will not be entitled to make any further claim for any injury, loss, expenses or damage (either direct or consequential) or for any loss of time or inconvenience which may result from such cancellation (including but not limited to any travel reservation, visa, passport and vaccination charges, or departure, gear purchases, airport and airline taxes). We strongly recommend that you book refundable tickets. We also recommend that you obtain travel insurance upon booking.
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The best thing about WCH is that these guys are totally customer centric, right from booking accommodations to setting an itinerary! The itinerary itself doesn't feel like you're on some tour with a rigid schedule. It is pretty free flowing, but extremely well thought out at the same time. I recently went for their Windrush Rising trip in place of my cancelled Eurotrip and I genuinely believe it was one of the best decisions I made.
Trekking with WHC has been one of the most beautiful experience & with perfect team cordination & arrangments provided even at the top of the mountain Wouldn"t expected more, the vibe was just right with like minded people waiting for sunrise. Would highly reccomend everybody to go with WHC (you guys rock!!) thanks for being patient. Thanks Kunal for helping me till the end & Kuntal for sharing your experiences. & would love to trek again in any furture treks.