Varanasi
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Varanasi Culture & History

  • Varanasi: Night Tour with Aarti Ceremony and Street Food

    1. Varanasi: Night Tour with Aarti Ceremony and Street Food

    Try the deliciously varied street food that characterizes Varanasi, and see the famous aarti light ceremony on this magical evening tour of the city. The tour starts at 5:00 PM, with pickup from your hotel or residence. Travel through the winding streets towards the city center to witness the ritual of aarti. During the ceremony a group of priests clad in saffron and white robes will perform a ritual of Hindu worship with oil lamps, all synced to beautiful music. It’s a spectacular vision and one not to be missed. After witnessing the aarti, enjoy a street food tour led by an expert local guide. Try mishrambhu, a local milk product. Then visit multiple locations to sample a variety of delicious savory southern and northern Indian flavors. Stop at a sweet shop and see how these products are made, then sample some to satisfy your sweet tooth. At the end of the evening, you will ...

  • Varanasi: Temples, Ganges Aarti, and Classical Dance Tour

    2. Varanasi: Temples, Ganges Aarti, and Classical Dance Tour

    Start with an afternoon pickup from your hotel at 3:00 PM. First make your way to the most famous and important temples of Varanasi, the Goddess Durga temple. Learn of the many interesting stories and myths attached to this temple from your guide. Visit the Bharat Mata temple or the Mother India temple. This temple is one of a kind in the entire country where rather than idol worship, there is an undivided map of India, symbolizing the worship for one’s motherland. Visit the Monkey temple, which is dedicated to the monkey god, and the Tulsi Manas temple which has the one of the two greatest epic Ramayana engraved on its wall. See the Shri Vishwanath temple in Banaras Hindu University which is reputed to be one of the tallest in the entire country. After exploring the temples, head towards the Assighat for the evening aarti. An experience which is claimed to be magical by people from al...

  • Delhi: 6-Day Golden Triangle & Varanasi Private Tour

    3. Delhi: 6-Day Golden Triangle & Varanasi Private Tour

    Begin the first day of your trip with a pickup from your hotel or other desired place in Delhi, Noida or Gurugram. Start with a half-day city tour of Delhi. Visit Qutub Minar, Lotus Temple, and India Gate. Drive by Parliament House and the President's Palace. After that, proceed to Agra via a 4-hour drive. Upon arrival in Agra, check in to your hotel.  On day 2, you will get up before sunrise, and head to the Taj Mahal to watch the sun come up over this world-famous monument. You will spend two hours exploring the site. After that, return to your hotel for breakfast and to check out, and then spend an hour visiting the Agra Fort. You will then start the 5-hour drive to Jaipur. After breakfast the following day, you will enjoy a guided tour of the Amber Fort. Next, visit the Jal Mahal, a palace located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake, followed by the Maharaja’s City Palace. Drive pa...

  • From Varasani: Private Half Day Tour to Sarnath

    4. From Varasani: Private Half Day Tour to Sarnath

    Your half day tour of Sarnath will begin at 11.00am, where you will be picked up from your hotel in Varanasi. You will relax in your private chauffeur-driven and air-conditioned car as you head to Sarnath, just 10km outside the town.  Your knowledgeable English-speaking guide will teach you the history of this pilgrimage site, one of the four supreme sites of Buddhism. You will explore the rustic ruins of Buddhist monuments which are deeply associated with important Buddhist teachings. You will witness the incredible 'Dhameka Stupa' where Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. You will also visit 'Chaukhandi Stupa' another major site, before continuing to Sarnath Archeological Museum that displays many fascinating artefacts. This visit would not be complete without seeing the 'Lion Capital of Ashoka', the national emblem of India. Lastly, you will stop by the 'Mula...

  • From Varanasi: Temple Hopping with Transfers

    5. From Varanasi: Temple Hopping with Transfers

    First make your way to the most famous and important temples of Varanasi, the Goddess Durga temple. This is one of the most revered temples of the region, built in a striking red color. Learn of the many interesting stories and myths attached to this temple from your guide.  Next up is the famous Monkey temple or the Sankat Mochan temple, which is dedicated to the Monkey God. Known to relieve people from every sort of pain and trouble, see pilgrims in large numbers paying their respects here. Also, see the many curious monkeys roaming about the streets. Visit the Tulsi Manas temple, another famous and revered temple in the region. Dedicated to Saint Tulsi Daas, the writer of the Sanskrit epic Ramayana, the walls of this temple have the entire Ramayana craved on them. Visited by people from all over the world, be amazed to see how the walls of this two-storey temple depict the epic poem...

  • Indian Village Tour

    6. Indian Village Tour

    Your village tour will begin with a pickup at 12:00 PM from your hotel lobby. Board the air-conditioned car and get ready to see the raw beauty of India, living strong in its villages. You will be driven to the secluded villages of Lamahi and Dashrathpuri, situated near Varanasi. This city is well known for its Hindu spiritual and religious traditions, as well as for its serenity with numerous ghats. A short drive from Varanasi takes you to the bygone golden period, living on in its nearby villages. This is the chance to see the true India in its golden period. Take a peek at the slow rural life of India, far away from the chaotic city. See farmers, artisans, and local people at work. Chat, try your hand at pottery, and spend time with skilled artisans. Get to know in detail about daily life in India over a hot cup of tea. After the tour, you will be safely dropped back at your booked...

    This is a trip that every visitor to Varanasi must do? Manoj was great ! I would suggest that you guys advise more of the hotels about this trip !

  • Morning Aarti and Private Varanasi City Tour

    7. Morning Aarti and Private Varanasi City Tour

    Begin your tour bright and early at 5:00 AM. You will be picked up from the lobby of your hotel to proceed towards Assi Ghat where the Morning Aarti (Subh e Banaras) takes place. The vibrant sound of the mantras, recited by the pundits during Aarti, will leave you spellbound. After that, proceed back to the hotel for morning breakfast. Later, leave for a city tour of Varanasi. During this part of the tour you will visit Banaras Hindu University, Asia's largest residential university, Birla Temple (Vishwanath Temple), the Bharat Kala Bhawan museum, Monkey Temple, Durga Temple and Bharat Mata Temple.  Hotel drop-off at the end of the tour.

  • Varanasi Full-Day Private Tour with Sarnath and Ganga Aarti

    8. Varanasi Full-Day Private Tour with Sarnath and Ganga Aarti

    After breakfast, you'll be picked up from your hotel and driven to Sarnath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is hailed as one of the holiest Buddhist places in India and the place where Gautama Buddha, after attaining spiritual enlightenment, delivered his first sermons and claimed the place as an important pilgrimage site for his followers. Here, you'll first visit Chaukhandi Stupa, which is an elevated structure surrounded by octagonal towers. It's the gateway to Sarnath and adorned by lush green lawns from all sides. Then, you'll see Dhamek Stupa, a remarkable structure built of stone and brick. This cylindrical pillar is engraved with delicate floral carvings of Gupta origin. After this you'll visit Mulagandha Kuti Vihar, a modern temple encasing unrivalled frescoes by a Japanese painter and a rich repository of Buddhist literature. Later you will be taken to visit the Sarnath Museu...

  • Varanasi: Sunrise Boat Ride w/ Ghats & Morning Rituals

    9. Varanasi: Sunrise Boat Ride w/ Ghats & Morning Rituals

    Early morning between 05:00 to 06:00, your assistant and the driver will report to your hotel lobby. Drive to Ganga Ghat on arrival and board the boat to explore the beautiful ghats and temples with morning rituals. This morning boat ride tour will give you a real view of holy Varansi, where you will see the morning rituals, special features of the various ghats that you will pass along the way such as the burning ghat where the dead are cremated. See the various activities and professions related to the religious death ceremonies. During your boat ride, your guide will give you a brief detail about ghats and holy things. Boats will pass away through burning ghat where the dead bodies are cremated. See the various activities and professions related to the religious death ceremonies. After your 1-hour boat ride, you will be dropped back off at the ghat and then driven back to your hotel...

    Perfectly organised tour with a great guide. The water level of the Ganges had been exceptionally high and it meant we had the added benefit of being guided through the streets to get to the boat. Wonderful experience, knowledgeable guide and i thoroughly recommend the tour with GetYourGuide

  • Private Morning Boat Ride and Akhadas Visit

    10. Private Morning Boat Ride and Akhadas Visit

    This tour starts early in the morning at 5:30 AM, when you will be picked up from your hotel lobby. Proceed to Dasashwamedh Ghat for a one hour boat ride to MankarnikaGhat. Accompanied by a guard, during the ride learn about the history of Varanasi and the morning rituals that take place in the city. Then visit the ‘Akhadas’ of Varanasi, which is a traditional Indian wrestling ground of the ‘pehelwans’ (wrestlers). Some of the Akhadas that you will visit include Ram Kund Akhara, Assi Akhara, Panch Dashanan Juna Akhara near Tulsi Gaht. You can converse with Pahalwans and observe them practicing and exercising in the early hours of the morning. Hotel drop-off is included in the tour.

Other Sightseeing Options in Varanasi

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What people are saying about Varanasi

Overall rating

3.7 / 5

based on 11 reviews

Bhawna was an amazing tour guide: knowledgeable, professional, sweet and calm. She made all three of us feel very comfortable and we learnt a lot about the city and the culture. Her English was very good and it was easy to understand everything. She was open to questions about the society as well as the thing we did and saw. She was also flexible for changes in the program as we had already done a few thing that she had planned for us to do. Would highly recommend to anyone visiting Varanasi!

Perfectly organised tour with a great guide. The water level of the Ganges had been exceptionally high and it meant we had the added benefit of being guided through the streets to get to the boat. Wonderful experience, knowledgeable guide and i thoroughly recommend the tour with GetYourGuide

We were picked up on time in the morning, had his great guide and driver. would book excursions again at any time with get your guide. Lunch and continuing into the evening were simply great.

Great tour

The tour guide picked me up at the hotel on time and did the tour as described. He was very friendly, gave valuable information and was able to answer all questions. Thank you

Everything fitted

Set up friendly guide, well put together tour, good food