Every object rightly seen, unlocks a new faculty of the soul.
The city of Shiva, the oldest living town of the world, probably because of the luminous state of mind, that people have kept intact for generations. It talks very clearly in their communication, sense of humor, beliefs and day long activities. The city is a museum and people live inside it.
Varanasi is therefore the cultural capital of India, situated at the banks of mildly flowing Ganga river which sparks with light from the Sun all day long and by the evening, from it’s worship. It is also the biggest cremation ground for hindus. The city celebrates death – for hindus, to die here is to attain Moksha (liberation). But on the extreme side, the city is also a home of the Sun God, who is believed to be present in the Lolark Kund (Trembling Sun’s Pond) nearby. People take a dip here to be able to give birth to a progeny.
Death and Birth, both are present in this town. There is a network of narrow alleys (7.5 km) which homes various cultures, aromas and celebrations. It is often thought of as a colorful labyrinth, which exists between the event of birth and death.
Allow us to show you the many facets of this magnificent city. We can show you the unexplored and the oldest parts – on the way, we’ll do temple hopping and enquire about the mythological tales attached to the deity of that temple. Varanasi celebrates 410 festivals in a year – each one has it’s roots in the old scriptures. If you are walking with us, we can discuss and try to find the meta message behind these stories.
Our Walking Tours include:
- Walking in the narrow by lanes, exploring the oldest parts (known as the Pakka Mahaul) of the city which includes – wholesale markets for dairy products (Khoya Gali), steel utensils (Dal Mandi) , perfumes, flowers (Baans Phatak), clothes, sweets (Thateri Bazaar) and many more. Along the way, we will discuss the traditional architecture.
- Temple Hopping & a visit to the Lolark Kund (An ancient step well believed to be the home of the Sun God)
- Meeting with musicians from the Benaras Gharana.
- Walking by the River Ganga at the Ghats & Boat Rides
- Observing the many rituals that are being practiced by the River Ganga
- Visit to the local Akhara or Traditional Wrestling School
- Meeting Silk Weavers/Saree Makers and a look at their practices.
- Discussing socio-cultural issues.
- Spotting the ruins
- Eating local snacks!
The tour itineraries can be designed according to your needs and the number of days you are in Varanasi. The tours are for:
- Students/Research Scholars
and not for those who would expect us to know the precise date when this city was built, for it is eternal.
Prices can vary according to the itineraries and number of people in the group. For an individual we charge Rs. 1000/person for a 3 hour walking tour, excluding the boat ride.
Some Reviews about us:
We have just returned form Varanasi. It depends on what you want but for us Rajat, who runs Espirito Kashi, took us beyond the tourist venues. None of the guides you can get will have a deep knowledge of the detailed social, cultural and religious history of Varanasi. If you want insight into any specific aspect then let Rajat know so that he can prepare a background brief before the group starts. Be specific and he will be able to prepare a suitable itinerary. His team connected our group of 15 with a side of Varanasi which is hard to find. We did not come away full of knowledge about religion and culture (you can read this in guide books) but we did come away understanding something about Varanasi which you do not find in guide books or from other guides. If you want a conventional tourist tour you will find many poor quality guides but if you want more than this you will not find many like Espirito Kashi.
-Pelham Roberts, Head of College (UWC, Pune)
The students from UWC, Pune also got a documentary film made about their experiences with us in Varanasi. You can watch it here:
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