River Song

River Song

Discover the empires & faiths of the Ganges

Most ancient civilizations trace its origins to river valleys. The fertile plains and perennial water supply lured the nomadic herdsmen to settle down, cultivate the land, and the surplus produce led to the establishment of cities, societies, priestly sects and empires. The Gangetic valley has the rare claim of having seen the rise of three major faiths: Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism! As you trail along the plains of the majestic Ganges, trace the legacy of those almost-forgotten empires and the tenets of three faiths, echoed by mute monuments, and re-enacted through timeless traditions.


  • Watch Varanasi’s riverside come to life at sunrise or witness the twilight ceremony known to locals as Ganga Aarti

  • Explore the narrow lanes of Varanasi on a walk and discover its religious wealth of temples and shrines erected to different faiths

  • Trace the legacy of classical music with members of a traditional home of musicians known as a ‘gharana’ in Varanasi

  • Take in unusual experiences in the holy city; seek blessings from a priest, witness a wrestling practice or explore the old markets of Varanasi

  • Learn about Buddha’s preachings at Sarnath’s temple and explore the archeological site

  • Visit Khajuraho’s beautiful stone temples and understand its esoteric architecture

  • Discover the ruin-strewn forests of Panna and glimpse its wildlife on a jeep safari

  • Capture Orchha’s domed temples and medieval cenotaphs

  • Learn the craftsmanship behind the Chanderi sarees, woven with gold and silver threads

  • Trace centuries of history of Gwalior rulers at the Fort and visit the Jai Vilas Museum known for its silver dining train

Destinations Covered

When to go

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  • Great time to visit


  • Great time to visit


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  • Not advisable


  • Good time to visit


  • Good time to visit


  • Good time to visit


  • Great time to visit


  • Great time to visit


  • Great time to visit



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Start your journey in Varanasi, one of India’s oldest cities. Located at the confluence of two tributaries of the Ganges river, Varanasi, is a city of many names, bearing a history of over 3000 years, and had reached its zenith as a centre of religion and learning in the 7th century BC. A city steeped in spiritual sanctity and knowledge, which three great world religions – Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism, acknowledge as a place of homage. ‘Kashi’ – one of Varanasi’s older names meaning the ‘city of eternal light’ – and it is often associated with Lord Shiva, in part because of the Kashi Vishvanath Temple, dedicated to Shiva’s ‘ruler of the Universe’ avatar. Legend has it that Varanasi is a holy place to die in and the cremation banks on the sacred river Ganga host ever-lit pyres.

Explore Varanasi with some of our signature experiences:

Recommended Activities

Recommended Accommodations


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