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Things to do in
Varanasi

Our most recommended things to do in Varanasi

Varanasi: Private City Highlights Day Tour & Ganges Cruise

1. Varanasi: Private City Highlights Day Tour & Ganges Cruise

Varanasi Remembrances : After early morning pickup at 5:30am from your hotel, take a sunrise boat ride on the sacred Ganges River. Witness morning rituals performed at the riverside. Kashi Vishwanath Temple : Afterward, follow your guide on a short walking tour of the old city's alleyways and catch sight of the Kashi Vishwanath, one of the holiest Hindu temples Banaras Hindu University : Banaras Hindu University (Pass By) Stop for breakfast (own expense), then head to Banaras Hindu University at 10am. Established in 1916, BHU is the largest university campus in Asia. Tour the campus and see the Bharat Kala Bhavan museum and the new Vishwanath Temple (Birla Temple), which is an exact replica of the original Vishwanath Temple. Bharat Mata Temple : Mother India Temple, built in 1918 and housing an unusual marble relief map of the Indian subcontinent. At 12:30pm, learn about the silk weaving traditions of Varanasi, then take a break for lunch (own expense). Afterward, drive about eight miles (13 km) to Sarnath to take in Dhamekh Stupa, known as the place where the Buddha gave his first sermon. You'll also visit the Archaeological Museum, which features treasures that date to the 3rd-century BC (closed Fridays). Dasaswamedh Ghat : At 5pm Ganges to view the cremation grounds, then return to Dashashwamedh Ghat to watch the evening Ganga Aarti ceremony. Your tour ends with return to your hotel around 8pm. Sarnath : Sarnath is a place located 10 kilometres north-east of Varanasi near the confluence of the Ganges and the Varuna rivers in Uttar Pradesh, India. The deer park in Sarnath is where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna.

Varanasi: 3-Hour Evening Aarti Tour with Boat Ride

2. Varanasi: 3-Hour Evening Aarti Tour with Boat Ride

Start your journey through Varanasi with hotel pickup and travel to Dasaswamedh Ghat. Here, board the boat for a tour of the Ganges river. During the 1-hour boat ride, experience the beautiful sunset as you and watch traditional ceremonies taking place on the riverbank, performed by Hindu priests and devotees. Observes the traditional cremation ceremony at Manikarnika Ghat, where the human body is brought to its final rest. Later, walk through the narrow lanes of Varanasi as your guide shares stories of the city's culture and history. After this, finish your tour with drop off back at your hotel.

India: eSim Mobile Data Plan

3. India: eSim Mobile Data Plan

Make your trip to India hassle-free with your convenient eSIM. Stay connected on your travels with high-speed coverage in India. Purchase and install your eSIM anytime and anywhere, and choose from a variety of data packages, validity options, and coverage in additional countries. Simply scan the eSIM QR code to access all your essential apps on your trip. Avoid the trouble of managing multiple SIMs with this zero-waste solution. Get one eSIM per device and top up by simply buying and activating additional eSIM plans as you go. Once activated, your coverage will begin according to your selected duration. Most devices released after 2019 are compatible with eSIM (e.g. iPhone XR, XS of models beyond, Google Pixel 4 and beyond). If you are unsure, please check the compatibility guideline photo to confirm eligibility. If you can not connect to the internet after install this eSIM, please follow the Self Help Troubleshooting Guide in your GYG voucher. Carriers to use: Airtel

Varanasi: Mysticism Tour with Boat Ride & Ganga Aarti

4. Varanasi: Mysticism Tour with Boat Ride & Ganga Aarti

Enjoy an amazing tour outing which is a combination of walking tour and boat ride. Experience Varanasi with a storyteller and guide and discover the life energies of the Ganga Aarti, a destination not to be missed. Follow your guide as you watch the setting of the sun on the horizon. Be mesmerized with the stunning beauty of colorful old buildings, ashrams, and places. Bear eyewitness to the mystic Ganga Aarti; one of the five rituals performed for the worship of sacred river Ganga. See the rituals performed by local brahmins and sadhus, devotees walking down to the Ghats to offer their prayers to the Mother Ganges. Enjoy an evening boat ride around Manikarnika Ghat. View the city's most wonderful scenes with great conversation to understand the importance of Kashi and the significance of different ghats.

From Varanasi: Varanasi & Sarnath Full Day Guided Car Tour

5. From Varanasi: Varanasi & Sarnath Full Day Guided Car Tour

Experience the spiritual essence of Varanasi and the historical significance of Sarnath on this comprehensive full-day tour. Your day begins with a convenient pick-up from your hotel, the airport, or the railway station. Embark on a scenic drive to Sarnath accompanied by an insightful tour guide who will enrich your journey with captivating commentary. Upon arrival in Sarnath, explore the sacred grounds where Buddha delivered his first sermon. Engage with the tour guide's enlightening narratives as you absorb the historical and spiritual significance of this revered site. The visit continues with an exploration of the renowned Sarnath Museum, which houses an impressive collection of ancient artifacts. Returning to Varanasi, delve into the city's vibrant religious tapestry. Visit the iconic Kashi Vishwanath Temple, the serene Monkey Temple, the poignant Tulsi Manas Mandir, and the grand Birla Temple, each offering a unique perspective on Varanasi's diverse religious landscape. Throughout the day, you have the flexibility to enjoy lunch as per your preferences (lunch not included in the package). As the sun begins to set, embark on a mesmerizing boat ride along the holy Ganges River. Witness the enchanting panorama of ghats, witness the rituals, bathing, and cremation ceremonies that unfold along the riverbanks. The experience is further heightened by the profound spiritual aura that envelops the surroundings. Concluding the day, immerse yourself in the captivating Ganga Aarti ceremony, where lamps and incense create a mesmerizing spectacle on the ghats. As the tour comes to an end, your guide and driver will ensure you are dropped off at your desired location, leaving you with memories of an enriching and transformative day exploring the spiritual heart of Varanasi and the historical treasures of Sarnath.

Varanasi: Sunrise Boat Ride w/ Ghats & Morning Rituals

6. 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.

From Varanasi: Sunrise Boat Tour and Heritage Walk

7. From Varanasi: Sunrise Boat Tour and Heritage Walk

One of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities and one of the most holy for Hindus, Varanasi is the true embodiment of culture, mythology, heritage, and a real face of India. A city situated at the banks of the holy Ganges and known for its many ghats (embankments made in stone steps where pilgrims perform rituals) and large number of temples, this is definitely one of the best places to get to know India. Set off on an early-morning tour and explore this ancient city at dawn. Enjoy a boat ride past many colorful ghats and to where you can see people practicing their many rituals. One popular ghat is the Manikarnikaghat, where Hindu cremation takes place. Witness a funeral pyre there. Your tour will start with a pickup from your hotel by your guide at 5:00 AM in the summer or 6:00 AM in the winter. After reaching the ghat, get into the boat for a memorable ride on the Ganges where you’ll get to watch the city come alive with the sun. Once the boat ride is complete, walk through the oldest part of Varanasi and experience the rich culture and heritage of this mystical city firsthand. Get dropped off at your hotel at the end of the tour.

Pintu Tourist Guide in Spanish & English in Varanasi/Benares

8. Pintu Tourist Guide in Spanish & English in Varanasi/Benares

1) - Visit to the old area of Varanasi We will visit from a traditional or Akhara gym, which follows very old training practices, to the vegetable market of the old city or take a cup of mass tea while explaining the applications of aromatherapy and essential oils. We will stop in some important temples of the city, such as the golden temple, the most important for Hindus, the Nepalese temple, with its sizes that represent scenes of the Kamasutra, the temple of Hanuman, the mono god, and other very interesting temples of Varanasi . We will also walk through the two ghats where the cremations of the deceased Hindus (Ghat de Mankarnika and Rajá Harishchandra) are produced as well as the Ghat Kedar, the second most important to take the pilgrims ritual bathrooms. We will also visit one of the 270 workshops where Varanasi silk fabrics are made in manual looms, one of the best in all of India, following the Mogoles designs. And, of course, if you want to take a delicious lassi in clay cup, we will stop in one of the best sites in the city. 2) - Visit to Varanasi temples We will visit the Temple of Durga, one of Varanasi's most famous temples. The temple is profusely decorated with bas -reliefs in sandstone and located next to a pond called Durga Kund. It attracts numerous tourists and pilgrims every day. Also the Tuls Manas Temple, built in white marble and has many colored statues of the gods, and, although for many it is a kind of Bethlehem “Kitch”, it is very taste of the Hindu. The Tidev temple is modern architecture and its roof and marble floors are precisely decorated; It is dedicated to three deities: Salasar Hanuman, Rani Sati Dadi and Khatu Shyam. The Sankat Mochan Temple (the liberator of all problems) is dedicated to the mono Hanuman god and was built in the 18th century; It is full of macaque monkeys, but unfortunately it is not allowed to take pictures. Then we will go to the Hindu University of Varanasi, who has just turned 100, where some 30,000 university students who specialize in technology, medicine, environmental sciences or art, but also in Ayurveda or Sanskrit. Finally, we will approach the New Temple of Kashi Vishwanath, in the University's enclosure, which stands out for its 77 -meter high marble tower, the tower of a higher temple in the world. 3) - Barca walk along the Ganges river at dawn, 4) - Boat walk, cremation and ceremony of Ganga Aarti.

Sunrise boat tour

9. Sunrise boat tour

Boat tour in the morning is a must to do activity in the city of Varanasi. It is started every morning from the Assi-ghat. First, we watch the arti-ceremony and the havan, which is one of the oldest rituals performed by the Hindus. Then, we sip some chai (Indian masala tea) in the traditional way and then we head to the boat. We cover about 55 most important ghats by the boat, which floats on the waters of the Ganges amidst the stories which are related to different ghats and monuments on the bank. We reach the Manikarnika-ghat, the most venerated crematorium. After that, boat returns slowly to the Assi-ghat. This tour provides the picturesque, panoramic view of this beautiful city.

Varanasi: Night Boat Ride, Aarati Ceremony and Dinner

10. Varanasi: Night Boat Ride, Aarati Ceremony and Dinner

Your tour will begin at 5:00 PM with pickup from your hotel. Take a boat ride along the river, where you can enjoy the breathtaking sights of the city lit up at night. Disembark to watch the aarti ceremony on the banks of the Ganges. See a priest take a sacred brass lamp and offer prayers to the holy river. The ceremony involves lights, cymbals, scented incense sticks, and people singing hymns and chanting. It’s a truly mesmerizing experience. After the ceremony, you will be taken for a delicious dinner at a local restaurant. Order your favorite dishes and relish them in the warm hospitality and cozy ambiance. After dinner, you will be dropped safely back at your hotel in Varanasi.

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Frequently asked questions about Varanasi

What are the best day trips and excursions from Varanasi?

The best day trips and excursions from Varanasi are:

Ayodhya

Other Sightseeing Options in Varanasi

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What people are saying about Varanasi

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 61 reviews

Anmon was amazing !!!!! He was kind, patient, gave soo much details and information. I had a absolutely wonderful time. I would 1000% book this tour again and hang out with him. A full day of all that Varanasi has to offer (in my opinion). If you’re either strapped for time or figuring out how to book all these experiences and explore Varanasi then just take thsi tour sit back relax and be driven from one experience to the next. Completely thorough and comprehensive and I don’t feel rushed or having to deal with cabs and Ubers etc was just driven around town and got to experience literally all there is to see. Just the absolute best experience possible

This tour was really 100% worth it! Our guide Vikash was very personable and definitely has experience. He was able to answer all the questions we asked. The pickup was extremely punctual and the organization went well. The driver Rakesh did a good job and drove safely. Definitely 5/5 stars

Amazing experience! Manish has been fantastic and he has explained us so many interesting facts of Hinduism that we will deep our knowledge when we go back home.

Anmol l was an excellent guide! very knowledgeable and helped me greatly!

Our guide AJ was a very nice person and the tour was interesting!