Varanasi is the most famous of the seven holy cities of Hinduism.
One of the oldest continuously occupied cities in the world, and also known as Kashi or Benares, this confounding, compelling, challenging and exhilarating city can be somewhat overwhelming for the first time visitor. We recommend for first-time visitors to India that you ease into your experience of the country, leaving time in Varanasi for when you’ve been here at least a couple of weeks. While many people are....
happy with just a couple of nights in Varanasi, here is a slightly more immersive experience.
Day 1 - Varanasi
On your arrival at Varanasi Airport (you can fly direct from several cities around India) you will be welcomed by our local representative assisted with the transfer to your hotel. We recommend very strongly that you stay on the ghats along the Ganges as this gives you a far more interactive experience of the heart of Varanasi
Day 2 - Varanasi
What better way to start your time here than a dawn boat ride on the Ganges. As the sun rises you will see those who flock to the riverside for morning worship. Along the way your guide will explain the importance of the Ganges in Hinduism, as well as stories about the ghats and the various nobles and royal families from across northern India and Nepal who built them. Return to your hotel for breakfast and maybe a spot of rooftop yoga, before reconnecting with your guide and setting off on a walking tour. Our partners here offer a range of interesting and informative walks, each taking in a different aspect of Varanasi’s past and present- you can discuss which walk would suit you best with your Tour Planner. The afternoon will be free before heading out on the river again at dusk, this time to watch the nightly Aarti ceremony unfold before you.
Day 3 - Varanasi
Begin the day with another walking tour, and in the afternoon head out to the important Buddhist site at Sarnath, where the Buddha preached for the first time. A very important place for Buddhist pilgrims, it is adjacent to the excellent Archaeological Museum. In the evening, watch the Aarti ceremony once more, this time from the ghats themselves.
Day 4 - Varanasi - Depart
Your final day can be left relatively unstructured, but there are more walking tours, village visits and other sightseeing if you’d like to have a full programme arranged in advance. Later in the day transfer to Varanasi airport and depart