Varanasi
Activities

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Our most recommended Varanasi Activities

Varanasi: Morning Yoga on the Bank of the Ganga River

1. Varanasi: Morning Yoga on the Bank of the Ganga River

Early in the morning at around 5:30AM, your chauffeur will pick you up from your hotel before transporting you to the Tulsi Ghat for your 90-minute yoga class given by renowned yoga instructor Smriti Chakravarti. Miss Smriti is a founder of the Om International Yoga Health Society and has visited and practiced in many countries such as Belgium, Holland and Italy. There has even been a Spanish documentary surrounding her titled "Energy". This Yoga class is taken in the Courtyard of the Shiv Temple situated in Tulsi Ghat, where according to mythology Tulsi Das Ji resides. The Yoga class will begin with the worship of Lord Shiva and chanting the Mahamritiunjay Mantra. After that, you will be instructed to warm up your body by doing basic exercises. Following this, you will start with Surya Namaskar (salute to the sun), a blend of 12 asans which are from the Vedic age and are useful to keep your body vigorous, active and healthy. After the repetition of the Surya Namaskar 7-8 times, you will be instructed to some other asans such as backward bending, spinal twisting, forward bending, inversion, and balancing asana followed by pranayama, bandha, and mudra. Miss Smriti also gives a 10-15 minutes lesson on yoga and its benefits to your health. After this yoga class tour, your chauffeur will drop you back to your hotel between 7:30AM–8:00 AM.

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From Varanasi: Sunrise Boat Tour and Heritage Walk

2. 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.

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India: Evening Ganga Aarti With Dinner and Private Transfer

3. 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.

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Varanasi: Morning Tour with Yoga Session and Boat Ride

4. Varanasi: Morning Tour with Yoga Session and Boat Ride

Bask in spirituality and experience the true culture of India with this morning tour of Varanasi. Depending on the time of year, start your tour at either 5:00 AM or 6:00 AM with a pickup from you guide and driver. Head to the famous Assig ghat to witness the sunrise with the Ganga Aarti. Enjoy a traditional ritual and classical dance as you welcome the morning.  Following this, have a yoga session by the banks of the river with locals and learn how this ancient art has become all the rage the world over. Once you’re done stretching your muscles, proceed to the Akhada, a traditional place for training and practicing of Indian martial arts. See how men engage in this wonderful art from the earliest hour of the day. Next up on the list will be your morning boat ride on the Ganges. Immerse yourself with views of the colorful ghats and people performing their different rituals. After the boat ride of approximately 1-hour, you will be taken to the last leg of your tour which includes a walk through the oldest part of Varanasi. Explore the narrow alleys and the innumerable tiny temples, which dates back centuries, like a local.

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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. Next see 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. Finally, explore the Shri Vishwanath temple in the Banaras Hindu University, which is known to be one of the tallest temples in India and has a lot of interesting stories and fables attached to its construction.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Varanasi

Want to discover all there is to do in Varanasi? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Varanasi

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!