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Varanasi Culture & history

Our most recommended Varanasi Culture & history

Delhi: 6-Day Golden Triangle & Varanasi Private Tour

1. 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

2. 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. 

Private Full-Day Varanasi Tour & Monkey Temple

3. Private Full-Day Varanasi Tour & Monkey Temple

Start your full-day of exploration with a convenient pick-up at your accommodation. You will meet your driver/guide at 11:00 AM in the lobby of your hotel and set off on your adventure to find out why the city holds such religious importance in the Hindu mythology.  Your tour will start with a visit to Kashi Vishwanath Temple - a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Witness the beauty of a temple that is considered to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingas (the holiest Shiva temples) in India. Here, in the Hindu belief system, visiting the temple and dipping yourself in the waters of the holy Ganga River is considered to be the way of achieving Moksha (liberation). Continue on your tour to visit the famous Monkey Temple, also called Durga Temple. Marvel at the temple's beautiful carvings, inlaid stones and the holy water pond called 'Kund'. Follow your temple trip with a visit to 'Tulsi Manas Mandir', where Hindu scripture Ramayana was originally translated by Tulsidas from the Sanskrit language to Awadhi dialect in 16th-century. Admire the temple walls that display scenes and pictorials from the Ramayana in the form of paintings. You will also get the chance to see Bharat Mata Temple, also called Mother India temple. Here you can see the undivided relief map of India carved out of marble.  Add to the list of beautiful temples visited with a trip to Birla Temple, also known as Marble Temple, another famous architectural structure dedicated to Lord Shiva. After a fascinating full day tour of Varanasi city, the tour will complete and you will be safely dropped back at the hotel.

Morning Aarti and Private Varanasi City Tour

4. 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: Morning Guided Boat Ride with Yoga

5. Varanasi: Morning Guided Boat Ride with Yoga

The tour starts with a morning boat ride. Our representative will pick you up at 5:30am from your hotel lobby. From there, we will drive towards Dashashwamedh ghat and board a boat for a ride to Manikarnika ghat. On this boat ride, you will learn about the significance of various ghats from an expert guide. You will view numerous temples, and witness the morning rituals of people taking a dip in the holy Ganges. You will also visit the famous cremation ghat, Manikarnika, where last rites are practiced.  After deboarding at the Manikarnika ghat, you will walk across the narrow lanes towards Assi ghat. There you will enjoy an hour-long yoga lesson from Yogini Smiriti before being returned to your hotel. 

Other Sightseeing Options in Varanasi

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What people are saying about Varanasi

Overall rating

3.7 / 5

based on 11 reviews

Very good tour from sunrise to sunset

Very good full day tour from sunrise to sunset with virtually all the essential places of Varanasi and Sarnath: both aarti ceremonies, boat ride, visit to numerous temples and the archaeological site of Sarnath. As our hotel was close to the Ganges, we were able to take breaks for breakfast and lunch (and they really are needed after the early morning). I recommend it for those who only have one day to see the city and want to cover as much as possible. As an inconvenience I would put its price, although it is true that there are many guide hours, all the places visited (except Sarnath) are free admission

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!