Things to do in
Varanasi

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Our most recommended things to do in Varanasi

Varanasi: Evening Arti Boat Tour with Dinner

1. Varanasi: Evening Arti Boat Tour with Dinner

At around 5:30PM, your chauffeur along with your tour representative will pick you up from the hotel lobby to drive you toward the Dashashwamedh Ghat to experienc the mesmerizing Ganga Aarti. On arrival, you will board the royal boat to enjoy a 1-hour cruise and Aarti experience in a more comfortable manner. This royal boat has red carpet flooring and is decorated with flowers. You will receive a warm welcome on board to the boat with a welcome drink, with the boat also having snacks and soft drinks to make this evening more relaxed and comfortable. You can easily catch a glimpse of Ganga Aarti from the boat, with many vantage points being provided to enhance your evening aboard the vessel. The Aarti will start from 6:45PM after sunset, with a croon of mantra. This will be followed by melodious hymns dedicated to Lord Shiva, Surya (The Sun), Mata Ganga (Ganga river) and Agni (Lord of Fire) given by priests wearing the same kind of cloth named as dhoti and kurta, and holding a multi-tiered heavy brass lamp and conch shell. After experiencing the elegance of Ganga Aarti, you will be taken to a famous restaurant in Varanasi for a tempting dinner. In the restaurant, you will receive a pleasing welcome before being served with drinks, starters, a main course and desert. After your appetizing dinner and interesting conversation with your guide, your chauffeur will drop you back at your nearby accommodation.

Indian Village Tour

2. 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 hotel.

Varanasi: Night Cruise, Aarati Ceremony and Dinner

3. Varanasi: Night Cruise, 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. Here you’ll see locals washing, meditating or spending some serene time at the water’s edge. You might catch a glimpse of akhada, an Indian art of fighting. 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.

Delhi: 6-Day Golden Triangle & Varanasi Private Tour

4. 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 past the beautiful Hawa Mahal, a large structure built so the women of the royal household could observe the streets outside whilst remaining hidden.  After breakfast on day 4, you will be transferred to Jaipur airport for your domestic flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival at Varanasi airport, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel to check in. The rest of the day is free at your leisure.  In the morning of day 5, you will be driven to Assi Ghat, where you will watch the Hindu fire ceremony rituals performed by women priests. Next, enjoy a sunrise boat tour on the River Ganges to see the Ghats of this ancient city. After breakfast, enjoy a city tour of Varanasi which includes the Banaras Hindu University and its temple, a traditional school where children are learning an ancient version of Sanskrit, and a historical wrestling ground.  On day 6, if you have not chosen the option with a return flight to Delhi, you will be transferred to a location of your choice in Varanasi. If you have chosen the option with the flight, upon arrival at Delhi airport, you’ll be dropped off at a location of your choice in Delhi, Noida or Gurugram.

Varanasi: Full-Day Tour of Temples, Sarnath and Aarti

5. Varanasi: Full-Day Tour of Temples, Sarnath and Aarti

Your private tour will start early with 5:00 AM pickup from your hotel. See the morning aarti ceremony as the sun rises, a magical spiritual experience. After this you’ll visit the main temples in Varanasi, including Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Monkey Temple, Tulsi Manas Mandir, and Birla Temple. These are famous for their ornate carvings and historical significance.  Continue to Sarnath, a must-see in Varanasi. Your guide will teach you the history of this Buddhist pilgrimage site, as you explore the beautiful ruins of Buddhist monuments. See the incredible Dhamekha Stupa, where Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Then visit the Sarnath Archeological Museum, the Lion Capital of Ashoka, and at a monastery with beautiful wall paintings.  Head back into town to watch the evening aarti ceremony on the banks of the Ganges. Watch the ceremony, where a supreme priest offers prayers o the holy river with a sacred brass lamp. The ceremony involves lights, cymbals, incense, and people singing hymns and chanting. After an amazing day of sightseeing, you will be dropped safely back at your hotel. 

Varanasi: Ganges Boat Ride and Ganga Aarti Experience

6. Varanasi: Ganges Boat Ride and Ganga Aarti Experience

Indulge in spirituality and experience Indian culture in its most raw form in this day tour of Varanasi which takes you to an experience that you won’t ever forget. Begin with your guide picking you up from your hotel in the afternoon. Head for your boating experience at the Ganges from the Assi ghat. With 108 ghats (stone embankments build by the river for religious ceremonies) the view of this city will captivate you. Get indulged in the many religious and mythological stories of this city and the ghats by your guide before you get down at the famous Manikarnika ghat (where Hindu cremations take place). Navigate your way through the narrow alleys of the oldest part of Varanasi in your heritage walk. Afterward, experience a magical Ganga aarti, a ritual where priests use fire as an offering in the form of many oil lamps. Once you’ll be done with aarti, discover Indian culture further via its at. A spectacular classical dance performance by experienced artists is going to leave you smitten. Call it a day with some finger-licking food as your guide takes for a delicious dinner.

Varanasi : Sunrise Boat Tour

7. Varanasi : Sunrise Boat Tour

Varanasi or Banaras or Kashi, call it by different name but every name will give you a unique story and joyful feeling to be here. A city situated on the banks of river Ganges. Varanasi has been a cultural centre of North India for several thousand years, and is closely associated with the Ganges. Hindus believe that death in the city will bring salvation, making it a major centre for pilgrimage. The city is known worldwide for its many Ghats, embankments made in steps of stone slabs along the river bank where pilgrims perform ritual ablutions. Start your journey with the hotel pick-up where your guide and cab waits for you. Tour starts either at 5:00 in the morning or 6:00 depending upon the season. Time shall be confirmed to you post booking. Enjoy the city with more than 2000 temples that includes the Kashi Vishwanath Temple also called the Golden temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. With so many Ghats here, Some of the prominent and popular one’s include the Dasaswamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Harischandra Ghat, Assi Ghat,Shivala Ghat, Man Mandir Ghat, Darbhanga Ghat, Ahilyabai Ghat and the Kedar Ghat. On the completion of boat ride, visit to the oldest part of Varanasi for a small walk. Stop  by the Kashi Vishwanath temple. Post completion of the tour, get dropped off back to your hotel.

Varanasi: Maharaja Boat Ride and Dinner

8. Varanasi: Maharaja Boat Ride and Dinner

At around 5:00PM, your chauffeur will pick you up from your hotel and drive you to the Dashashwamedh Ghat, for a Maharaja boat ride with music and Ganga Aarti. Once you have reached the ghat, you will board the Maharaja boat, welcomed by a seller who is dressed up in a uniform complete with a garland and bouquet. The royal boat will be decorated with flowers, furnished with carpet, and you will be served some snacks and drinks like tea, coffee, cashew nuts, cookies and chocolates. Once you go upstairs on the boat, you will see that the floor has been covered with white mattresses, one side of which renowned musicians will be sitting with a tabla and sitar. You can sit here on a chair or on the floor to enjoy the mesmerizing Indian classical music. After admiring the soothing Indian music and praising the art of the musicians, it will be time to watch the magical Ganga Aarti. You will be able to easily catch a glance of this one hour Ganga Aarti from the boat. This awe-inspiring Aarti will start a chant of mantra followed by harmonious hymns dedicated to Lord Shiva, Mata Ganga (Ganga River), Surya (the sun), and Agni (lord of fire). The prayer will be given by a group of priests dressed up in similar clothes (dhoti and kurta), who will be holding a multi-tiered heavy brass lamp and a conch shell. This Aarti is splendid, with the ghats being overcrowded with people to witness this glorious Aarti. Every evening it seems to be the occasion at Dashashwamedh Ghat. After sightseeing this lavish Ganga Aarti, you will be taken to one of the famous restaurants in Varanasi for a tempting dinner, after which you will be dropped back at your hotel.

India: Evening Ganga Aarti With Dinner and Private Transfer

9. India: Evening Ganga Aarti With Dinner and Private Transfer

Your driver will collect you from your hotel lobby for the journey to Ghat for Aarti. On arrival at Ghat, you will embark on the boat trip to Dashashwamedh Ghate. The Aarti prayer service is performed each evening by a group of priests. You will also witness the Agni Pooja, which is performed as a commitment to the Lord Shiva. All priests here are students of the Vedas and Upanishads, which is led by the head priest of the Gangotri Seva Samiti. The service is performed by traditionally-garbed priests by the light of brass lamps. This magnificent Aarti takes 45 minutes and starts at 6:45 p.m.  After Aarti, eat in a famous Indian restaurant, where you will enjoy a mouthwatering dinner.

From Varanasi: Sunrise Boat Tour and Heritage Walk

10. 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Varanasi

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What people are saying about Varanasi

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 47 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 had a great tour, everything was nicely planned. Our guides provided us with interesting insights and the drivers were also very helpful and reliable. Would definitely recommend this tour!

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.

Guide was good and he explained in detail about all the ghats