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?
Early bird discount – Rs. 500 if booked before 9th August 2019
Day 1 - 09 Nov 2019
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 Manikarnika Ghat. Overnight at Varanasi.
Day 2 - 10 Nov 2019
Today is time to set out to explore 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 Maha Bodhi temple, where Buddha attained enlightenment. Overnight at Bodh Gaya.
Day 3 - 11 Nov 2019
This morning, explore the international monasteries of different countries here. The street food is Bodh Gaya is quite interesting too, with its international flavors. Get back to Varanasi by evening, having lunch enroute. Evening free to indulge in more street food and shopping. Immerse yourself in a live classical music performance. Overnight at Varanasi.
Day 4 - 12 Nov 2019
The D-Day, Dev Diwali is today. Wake up early for a divine early morning boat tour. After breakfast, go on a guided walking tour of Old Varanasi and explore the hidden temples and ancient history. 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. 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 5 - 13 Nov 2019
Today, you will get to understand the ancient city better and what’s a better way to get started than gastronomy? The day starts with early breakfast of traditional Kachori Jalebi post which we set out to explore the sights and sounds of Varanasi. 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. A guided tour of the important temples and a quick visit to Benares Hindu University are on the cards. Overnight at Varanasi.
Day 6 - 14 Nov 2019
Board your flight back home post breakfast. Tour ends.
Three main meals a day + 2 tea/coffee – starting with Evening Tea on Day 1 and ending with Breakfast on Day 6 – during the Tour.
Transport in A/c Innova or similar 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
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.
GST at 5%
Flights to Varanasi and back, from your city of residence
Cost arising due to natural occurrences, roads closure and flight delays. We will help you navigate them and make alternate arrangements but the cost will be borne by you.
Terms & Conditions
If cancelled 90 days or more in advance, cancellation fee is 12% of the trip amount. You may park the token money with us for future trip within next 6 months, without any charges.
25% of the trip cost if cancelled 60 days in advance.
50% of the trip cost if cancelled 59 to 16 days in advance.
Last 15 days – no show – entire amount will be forfeited.
If you use our services to book flights, cancellation charges of the flights will apply.
Option of Deffered trip:
You have an option of parking the paid amount with us for a future trip, if you wish to cancel joining this trip 60 days or more in advance.
Following conditions apply:
You need to choose the trip you would like to go with instead (the deferred trip) within 2 months of deciding to cancel.
The travel start date of the deferred trip should be within 6 months from the day you decide to cancel.
There can be only one such change and once you decide the deferred trip, the cancellation policy of that trip applies.
You cannot choose a short trip (less than 5 days) as a deferred trip.
This is a non-smoking and a non-alcoholic trip for all practical reasons.
50% of the trip cost is required to confirm the booking.
The booking does not include flights as the flight rates are extremely unpredictable. However, we can help you book your flights for the trip
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.
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.
Arrival & Departure timings
This trip is ex- Varanasi. Arrival by 2 PM on Day 1. Departure after 11AM 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 Bodh Gaya.
Note > Prepare > Accept > Embrace
- Dev Diwali is peak season in Varanasi, so expect 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 the 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 travelling 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 Bodh Gaya 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.