India's soul... a place you need to experience, and not just see
North walk (Essential Varanasi!)
Starting in the heart of the old city, the walk takes you through its colourful markets, captivating places of worship, ancient buildings of stupendous architecture, and even greater stories!
Understand the key elements of Hindu philosophy, how Varanasi's unique Geography led to its becoming India's spiritual capital, and the city’s compelling take on Death & Moksha (Salvation). Punctuated with frequent hidden-in-the-corner spots of solace amidst the hustle-bustle, the walk perfectly emulates the eccentricities of Banaras!
South Walk (City of Good Life!)
South is the calmer part of Varanasi whose serene settings have inspired philosophers and poets for centuries and where the timeless virtues of this city can still be seen in their full glory.
Get up-close with Indian classical Music, community Yoga, blissful Temple ambiences, traditional Wrestling, artisans working on intricate handlooms and 2,500 year old Pilgrimage sites. Weaving through the favourite spots of the locals, the walk leaves with a deep understanding of the special way of life in this oldest continuously living city of the world!
Sunrise Boat Tour
Varanasi boasts of the most spectacular mornings anywhere in India! And being on a boat on the Ganga is certainly the best way of witnessing them 🙂
The Sun rises on the Ganga in its full glory and the pilgrims and the locals alike come to seek blessings from the duo. Ride with us to soak the merger of nature and humanity in the most relaxed manner. Understand the role that the beloved Ganga plays in the lives of people and revel in the stories of the myriad forts, palaces, and temples dotting her ghats.
Sunset boat tour
The mighty 2,500+ km Ganga, worshipped across India for her nourishing and cleansing powers, is at her beautiful best in the 7 km stretch at Varanasi 🙂
Sunset time presents a very different shade of the Ganga as the Ghats abuzz with activity of a kind. Cricket matches, Kite-flying, Social gatherings and more! Watching the bustling life unfold at the ghats, as we peacefully flow with Ganga’s serene waters, is like a first-hand experience of Moksha (Salvation). The boat ride ends with witnessing the majestic evening Ganga Aarti at the main Ghat.
The story of how a simple, yet profound, epiphany of an inquisitive explorer became the guiding light for 500 million people in today's world is a most fascinating one. And what better place to relive the tale than where he himself set the wheel of Buddhism in motion about 2,500 years ago!
Join us as we explore the ruins of the first Buddhist monastic system, the Dhameka Stupa where Buddha preached his first sermon, marvel at the gleaming Lion capital which is now India's national emblem and visit peaceful Buddhist temples. Connecting the dots at these places, we will also understand how a decadent Prince Siddhartha became the enlightened Buddha, and used some fine entrepreneurial skills to spread his wisdom 🙂
Special Festival Tours
Ramlila Tour (Sep 2017)
It's that time of the year again - when India’s biggest theatre is being played across the Ganga from Varanasi! With larger-than-life sets, fascinating screenplay and a storyline that has inspired Indians for thousands of years, the Ramlila of Ramnagar draws thousands of viewers, referred to as Ramayanis, from all walks of life. Young-Old, Men-Women, Sadhus-Businessmen - sit on the ground, in the trees, and on the walls - listening to the dialogues in pin-drop silence, and then breaking into jubilant cheers and bhajans between the scenes.
Join us as we head into this fun-filled annual pilgrimage and witness the magic of Indian melas! 🙂
Timings - 4 pm - 9 pm, 24 Sep 2018 - 23 Oct 2018
Starting point - South Point Cafe, Nagwa, Lanka (Map)
Ending point - South Point Cafe, Nagwa, Lanka (Map)
Pricing and Booking Information HERE
Note - Photographing the festival is not allowed. The images here have been taken with due permission from Ramlila organizers
Dev Diwali (Nov 2018)
Imagine the generally spell-binding ghats of Varanasi decorated with millions of handcrafted lamps, colourful Rangolis, and cheerful cultural events! Even the Gods, it’s believed, come to Varanasi on this day, to witness this mesmerizing spectacle!
Join us as we soak in the beauty of the ghats end-to-end, going with the Ganga’s flow in a peaceful boat. Understand the mythological and cultural significance of this most beautiful festival. And become a part of the festivities as we join the locals on the ghats to light our own lamps 🙂
Street Food Walk
The lively and labyrinthine Varanasi streets famous for their hidden historical gems, are also home to some of the most delectable desserts and street food options, whose recipes have been perfected over centuries!
Join us as we walk through the bylanes to the best of the food joints savoring Malaiyo, Tamatar Chaat, Kalakand, Malai Toast, Maalpuas, Gol-Gappas, Banarasi Paan and much more! And relish in not just the mouthwatering delicacies, but also hearty conversations with their Banarasi makers 🙂
Cooking session with a Family
Food is widely regarded as a great way of understanding a culture. And what's better than learning how to cook it with a local family in their kitchen!
Understand how to expertly use spices (not just the hot spicy ones!), make yummy curries, and bake the perfect chapatti. And at the end, relish it with the family over some hearty conversations 🙂 Also included with the meal is a chai/herbal tea, a dessert, and bucket-full of Indian hospitality!
Traditional cuisine in a Writer's Heritage Haveli & Literary session
Does the idea of relishing a traditional cuisine being prepared in an open courtyard of a beautiful 18th-century haveli sound appealing to you? What if we told you that the haveli belongs to a legendary writer who introduced realism in Hindi literature? And what if, to go with the sumptuous food are some fascinating discussions on poetry, society and book reading? 🙂
The writer being talked about here is the legendary Bhartendu Harishchandra! And the traditional meal - Litti-Chokha, with Choorma, Daal, and Rice. Come, join us for an afternoon of Lipsmacking-food, Luxury, and Literature!
Cultural Activities with Local Experts
Kite Flying session with a local Champion
Learn how to fly those colourful kites that you've always been so thrilled to watch. Let Rambabu Ji, a winner of several local championships, guide you through the whole process by breaking it down into easy 1-2-3 steps. The setting would be the rooftop of Rambabu Ji's ancestral house along the Ganga Ghats - which also makes for some excellent photo opportunities!
About the host - A boatman by profession, Rambabu Ji is a man of multiple talents! He has won many a Kite-flying, Swimming, and Wrestling competitions during his youth and even today, at the age of 35, continues to nurture his hobbies while also successfully raising his family with his wife and 2 kids. He is a typical Banarasi - in love with life. In his boat, you will always find a Kite and a string 🙂
Yoga session with an Instructor
Are you intrigued by Yoga but have never found a good place/instructor to start? How about starting it here in Varanasi - where the Yoga sutras were first compiled by Patanjali about 2,500 years ago? And with an instructor who even follows the Yogic philosophy in her life? The session can be organized indoor/outdoor, and for any level - beginner, intermediate or advanced.
About the host - Coming from a family with a strong ethos in ancestral wisdom, Anchal grew up with a deep interest in Yoga, Sports and the healing power of food. Besides practicing the Asanas and Pranayamas, she also applies the Yogic Philosophy in her day to day life and is a great instructor to initiate you on your Yogic journey 🙂
Classical Music performance, with an intro to Ragas & Talas
Immerse yourself in a soul-moving Jugalbandi of Sitar, Flute, and Tabla in a heritage haveli inside the Gallis of Varanasi - where music thrives. Also, be introduced to the fundamental principles of Melodies and Gharanas (Schools of Hindustani Classical Music) as the musicians guide you through their nuances with ample demonstration 🙂
About the host - Coming from a family of Varanasi's acclaimed musicians, Sandeep Ji is a professional Tabla player. Accompanying him are his Banarasi friends who hold Masters degree in Sitar and Flute. The performance will take place inside Sandeep Ji's house where stirring music has been played every day for more than 100 years now!
Kushti Akhara with a Pehelwan
This one is especially for all the fitness freaks out there! Learn a millennia-old Indian traditional wrestling form of Kushti with one of its most fervent hobbyists, in a 400-year old functional Akhara. Participate in the natural exercise routines involving Indian style dand push-ups, climbing ropes on a tree, swinging maces and more! Also, understand the diet regimen of the Pehelwans, and witness (or even participate in!) a bout of wrestling 🙂
About the host - Siyaram Ji has been practicing Kushti for the last 54 years, and even today, at 64 years can give most of us youngsters a run for their money when it comes to fitness! He's also a wonderful human being and a born teacher - which has also earned him respect as the Guru of the Akhada.
Painting Workshop with an upcoming local artist
Do you love the feel of creating something new? Or are traveling with your kids and would like them to do a fun-filled activity with them where they can get their hands dirty? Then come, join Hitesh, one of Varanasi's most promising upcoming artists and paint your experiences of Varanasi on the canvas.
About the host - Hitesh is pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts from the prestigious Banaras Hindu University. The speed with which he can translate ideas onto paper (his own or that of others) is mind-boggling! Gifted with a crazy creativity genome, we have bet on this kid to become one of India's greatest upcoming talents. His patience, often found missing in genius artists, is an added advantage 🙂
Kathak Dance workshop with a local stalwart
If Dance is your thing, then you mustn't miss this activity in Varanasi - the center of the classical dance form of Kathak. You will learn not just about the fundamentals of Kathak, but be able to perform at least a short piece! So shed your inhibitions, put on the khunghroos and dance away to joy 🙂
About the host - Vishal Krishna is among the brightest upcoming stars of the city and the grandson of Sitara Devi - India's most celebrated Kathak Dancer. He's been experimenting with old and new styles within Kathak throughout his life and is eager to share the joy. The workshop will be held in his ancestral house in Kabir Chaura - the same place where also practised the legendary Sitara Devi!
Know Your Guides
An avid traveller, having journeyed from the Himalayas to the Maha Kumbh at Prayag, Aayush quit his job at a global management consulting firm to spread his love for exploring places and discovering new cultures. An engineer at heart, he continues to apply the First Principles method to understand the evolution of cultures which lets him explain India’s seeming complexities in a logical manner.
Explore with him the city he has come to love the most 🙂
Coming from a family with a strong ethos in ancestral wisdom, Anchal grew up with a deep interest in Yoga, Sports and the healing power of food. A highly perceptive nature, coupled with marketing stints in healthcare & education space which took her to different parts of India, kindled her passion to know more about Indian culture. And what better way to learn than to help people discover it, she thinks!
Experience with her the harmony in Varanasi's chaos 🙂
A self-taught programmer and an avid reader, Akshat has also studied religion and spirituality from Hindu monks in the Himalayas. He brings a unique perspective of finding beauty in everyday things, and also exploring the underlying logic. Having grown up across the length and breadth of India, he came to Varanasi exploring his own truth, and decided to make this city his home.
Explore Varanasi with its most infatuated traveller, who stayed 🙂
Born and brought up in Varanasi, Saurabh’s favourite pastime as a kid was to sit in the Music Mehfils by Ganga's ghats. His love for Public speaking and Poetry led him to anchoring several major heritage shows, where he got a chance to learn more about Varanasi from her most eloquent lovers. Actively involved in the social service scene, he has been awarded Varanasi’s Youth icon for 2 consecutive years.
Tune-in with him into the ‘khulla mizaaj’ (joyful spirit) of Varanasi 🙂
We are a registered company (Reg. No. - UPSA43707842), with a team that's keen on sharing the Indian heritage with the world. We all come from different educational and industrial backgrounds, held together by a common philosophy rather than a formal network.
Testimonials from our explorers
Roobaroo Walks will take you to places few meters away from chaos & you will be awe struck to experience the gentle side of Varanasi - peace like no other place has. Every corner has a story & Roobaroo Walks is best at narrating them. I have been to the city multiple times in the past but only got to know the real city after going for the tour!
Reviewed on TripAdvisor
Rivendell, a bunch of hobbits, and Gandalf! That's how I pictured ourselves while Aayush was navigating us through the narrow labyrinths of the mystical & magnificent Banaras. Saw all cultures & beliefs converging into one space and modifying themselves as per modern times. Tales from the oldest civilisations wrapped up in a 3-hour walk!
Reviewed on TripAdvisor
While we had explored the city by ourselves, & all of us have been in India for several months, having the walk made Varanasi come alive and added so much more context to everything we had seen. They were also very responsive while booking (it was a bit last minute and we were a bit indecisive), so that was much appreciated!
Sonya S, USA
Reviewed on TripAdvisor
I participated in the north & south walks. They were both different and offered real insights into life and religion in Varanasi that a guide book will never give you. These tours are not to be missed. The walk reveals Varanasi's history through personal stories of inhabitants. An added advantage is that they are realistically priced!
Helen Barrow, Australia
Reviewed on TripAdvisor
There are 2 Varanasis: BR (Before Robaroo) and AR (After Robaroo). BR is a crowdy, caotic, smelly, noisy and dirty city where you want to run away asap. AR is one of the most interesting places you've ever been and you'll ever be with a very rich history, super interesting culture, crazy rituals and habits, and one of the best food you can find on earth!
Pato Castellano, Argentina
Reviewed on TripAdvisor
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