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Varanasi

Called the "oldest living city on Earth", Varanasi is the holiest city of both the Hindu and Jain faiths. A collection of rambling alleyways and crowded streets leading to the ghats, or steps, on the banks of the Ganges, Varanasi was said to have been founded by Shiva himself. Indeed, the very ghats on which Varanasi was built are tirthas, or holy sites of pilgrimages; the devout believe that such tirthas are where believers can wash themselves of their sins and commune with the gods. Today, Varanasi is a chaotic, vibrant mix of pilgrims, merchants, priests, and, of course, curious visitors, all of whom seek to tap into the energy that pulses through this ancient city.

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Our co-founder Jay Tindall is a regular visitor to India, where he loves staying in the palace hotels of Rajasthan. His favourite experience? The amazing Kumbh Mela festival.
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