We all know Deepavali, but what is Dev Deepavali, you ask?
Come Karthik Poornima every year, the entire city of Varanasi comes alive. The Ghats are lit with tens of thousands of ‘diyas’, the temples abuzz with special poojas and people dressed in their traditional best, celebrating the festival of lights. The best part is that this happens 15 days after Diwali, so you get to celebrate twice, once your way and the other time, the Varanasi way 🙂
In addition to revelling in the festivities, also get to explore the hidden secrets of the city that still has managed to retain its old world charm.
Lastly, when you are in Varanasi, can Sarnath and Bodh Gaya be far behind?
Dates: 6th to 11th Nov 2022
Price: Rs. 42000 + 5% GST
Single occupancy surcharge: Rs. 11000 + 5% GST
Day 1 - 06 Nov 2022
Arrive at Varanasi by noon. Settle in to your homestay in Varanasi and relax. The most immersive way to explore the ghats of Varanasi is to take a boat and watch the Ganga ghats come alive in the evening. You will also witness Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat. Overnight at Varanasi.
Day 2 - 07 Nov 2022
Wake up early for a divine early morning boat tour. Today, you will get to understand the ancient city better along with an early breakfast of traditional Kachori Jalebi post which we set out to explore the sights and sounds of Varanasi. A guided tour of the important temples on the cards today. Overnight at Varanasi.
Day 3 - 08 Nov 2022
The D-Day, Dev Diwali is today. This morning, get ready to see the most celebrated monument of our country, the national emblem – The Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath. Also check out the place where Buddha delivered his first sermon. Get back to Varanasi. This evening, get astounded by the spectacle that is Dev Diwali which is sure to give you goosebumps. Hop on a boat and row past the endless rows of lights along the Ghats. Overnight at Varanasi.
Day 4 - 09 Nov 2022
Today is time to set out to explore a destination which is steeped in Buddhist traditions and a rich history – Bodh Gaya. After breakfast, leave for Bodh Gaya ( 260 kms, ~6.5 hours ). Visit the MahaBodhi temple, where Buddha attained enlightenment. Overnight at Bodh Gaya.
Day 5 - 10 Nov 2022
This morning, explore the international monasteries of different countries here. The street food of Bodh Gaya is quite interesting too, with its international flavors. Get back to Varanasi by evening, having lunch enroute. In the evening, go on a guided walking tour of Old Varanasi. A visit to Varanasi is incomplete without understanding its silk weaving tradition. Get to know the weavers of Varanasi better. Get back to the homestay and relax. Overnight at Varanasi.
Day 6 - 11 Nov 2022
Board your flight back home post breakfast. Tour ends.
- All meals + tea/coffee, starting with evening tea on Day 1 and ending with breakfast on Day 6.
- Transport in A/c Innova or Autos/e-rickshaw in Varanasi (roads are very narrow) and A/c TT for Bodh Gaya visit.
- All stay on twin sharing basis.
- All entry charges
- Three boat rides including Dev Diwali special boat ride, sunrise and sunset rides.
- Guidance of a F5 Tour Leader
- Food other than mentioned in inclusions. All extra food explorations, other than the main meals in Varanasi to be borne by individuals.
- Personal expenses
- Camera charges
- GST at 5%
- Flights to Varanasi and back, from your city of residence
- Cost arising due to natural occurrences, road closure and flight delays. We will help you navigate them and make alternate arrangements but the cost will be borne by you.
Terms & Conditions
- Upto 30 days prior to the date of commencement of trip – 25% deducted and 75% refunded as cash.
- Upto 11 days prior to the date of commencement of trip – 50% deducted and rest refunded as cash.
- Within 10 days of the commencement of trip/Last day intimation/no show – No refund.
- COVID cancellation: If the trip gets canceled because of lockdown or travel regulations at the destination, we will refund you in money+credit notes. The entire worth will be refunded in a combination of these. However, if you cancel on your own because of safety concerns and/or being Covid positive, normal cancellation policy applies.
F5 CARES FOR YOUR SAFETY!
- We will be filling only upto 10 seats in a 13 seater vehicle.
- Your tour lead will be fully vaccinated, masked up and will be carrying sanitizer.
- As tourism has picked up, please expect a crowd in most places.
- It is mandatory for adults to be fully vaccinated to be a part of F5 trips.
- Please do keep in mind that even restaurants where we stop on the highway for breakfast/tea might be crowded. Always exercise caution.
- Please do not travel if you have symptoms prior to the trip – for your own and other people’s safety.
- ALWAYS mask up, carry your sanitizer and take all precautions while on the trip. Stay safe and have fun!
- All our trips are well-researched, including identifying access to medical facilities. In case of a medical emergency, F5 will assist the traveler in getting medical attention.
- F5 Escapes is in no way responsible for any untoward incident happening due to the ignorance/negligence of the guests, natural/man-made calamities, accidents or any other events that are out of human control during the trip.
- F5 reserves the right to cancel the trip under certain conditions – in such a case, the amount will be refunded in full.
Arrival & Departure timings
This trip is ex- Varanasi. Arrival by 2 PM on Day 1. Departure after breakfast on Day 6.
Weather in Varanasi will be pleasant. It can get cold during the evenings especially during boat rides.
*Please note that nowadays, climate/ weather is dependent on many factors and unpredictable hence above information might be subject to change during your actual travel days
We will be staying in a premium, well-reviewed homestay in Varanasi and a popular, well appointed hotel in BodhGaya.
Varanasi is a foodie’s paradise – we will explore the local fare including street food, albeit in select popular, hygienic places. Food will mostly be vegetarian.
Note about Smoking and Alcohol
We encourage responsible drinking. Delays due to hangovers will not be accommodated. Please be considerate to your room mate, if you smoke or drink. We will prefer that you smoke outside or your rooms and never in the vehicle. Alcohol is not very acceptable in Varanasi.
Note > Prepare > Accept > Embrace
- Dev Diwali is the peak season in Varanasi, so expect a lot of crowds. However, we promise the spectacle will be worth it.
- This is an immersive tour, where we don’t rush to check-off a list, but allow ourselves to experience the magic that is Varanasi. Please come with this kind of mindset to make the most out of the trip.
- While we will try and keep the trip as culturally inclined and secular as possible, please remember these places are known for their temples. Every temple has a story. So yes, we will be visiting several temples. If you are someone who can enjoy temples from a cultural perspective, then this trip is for you.
- Varanasi is a walking city and best explored by foot. This tour will require you to walk quite a bit, say 2-3 kms a day when in Varanasi. There are steps everywhere in the Ghats area. If you have issues walking, then this tour may not be for you.
- Food exploration is an important part of this trip. If you have any dietary restrictions, please let us know well in advance.
- There are some days where you are either traveling for long or have to get up at a certain time to enjoy the experience planned. Please cooperate.
- WiFi is available at the Varanasi and BodhGaya stays.
- After three days of Varanasi, please don’t expect any great food in Bodh Gaya – it will diminish in comparison to the incredible gastronomical experience that Varanasi offers.
It was an intense, enjoyable and very authentic experience.
Right from the individual pickup at the airport. The driver was polite and informative. Extremely pleasant personality. The group dynamics were terrific, considering most of us did not know each other. Very friendly & accommodating🙏🏼. The hostess at our home stay was warm and took care of us like a true ‘nani’. Our guide Manjeet was a real treasure. Always fulfilled every wish and adjusted & accommodated every change with a smile. Gave us exhaustive tours & experiences that were truly memorable. Couldn’t have asked for a more authentic experience of Varanasi. And all this was made possible by our tour leader, who sought to pack in every last little detail – from the thoughtful little gifts, to adjusting and attempting to satisfy individual needs.
Thank you F5 Escapes & all my wonderful co-adventurers for a memory that will last for a long long time to come💕🙏🏼
What an enchanting and scintillating experience ..this Varanasi trip by F5 Escapes has given me…..of course to remember for life time..
A very well managed tour for women providing an exhilarating journey.
F5 Escapes’ professional approach along with a very personal approach by our tour lead is what is worth recommending to one and every women who is longing for a ‘once in a life time’ experience. I am very sure I am going with F5 Escapes once again and assure anyone who takes a tour with them that u would want to go again with them.
‘F5 Escapes’ is a Bangalore-based, experiential travel company, with a focus on redefining the way women travel in India. The premise of F5 is an ambitious dream – to put India on the global travel map as a preferred destination for women from across the globe.
F5 Escapes offers fixed departure all-women group tours, customized itineraries for families, groups and solo travellers. We also do in-city engagements which include #JustGo travel meetups, workshops to educate women on travel safety, sustainable menstruation, motorbiking etc.