Holidays to Varanasi, India

One of India's oldest continually inhabited cities, Varanasi is a popular choice with tourists and pilgrims alike. Widely considered one of the holiest cities in Hinduism, it attracts pilgrims to the ghats lining the river Ganges where they wash away sins in the holy waters.

Here the rituals of life and death are revered and very much ingrained in day to day life. The western banks are home to 84 ghats – a series of steps leading down to the river – stretching for around 7km. The structures were built by Hindu kings who wanted to die alongside the river and they also built palaces in which to spend their final days, many of which now have been converted into places to stay. . The spiritual nature of the city can be fully experienced in the evenings as locals take part in their devotions in the Ganges - the burning sandalwood and incense along with the sounds of puja chanting and clashing cymbals offer a sensory experience like no other.  

A great way to get a feel for everyday life here is to take a boat ride along the Ganges. Go at sunrise or sunset for the best atmosphere and select a row boat over a motorboat; it’s a much more peaceful mode of transport.

Highlights

  • Learn about the sacred ceremonies in the City of Light

  • Appreciate the spirituality of the water from a boat ride down the River Ganges

  • Witness the evening Aarti ceremony on the ghats

Sally
Senior Travel Designer
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I spent almost a year living in India, volunteering and exploring, and this vibrant corner of the world always draws me back. I was once caught up in a local paint-throwing festival in Udaipur. We came away covered head to toe in red paint, but the experience was well worth it!

Varanasi Trip Ideas

Here are some trip ideas that include Varanasi. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 020 3510 5777

Things to do in Varanasi

Here are some of the things you can do in Varanasi. When you've chosen your favourite experiences, just give our Travel Designers a call and they'll put a trip together for you. If you need help choosing an experience, or if you want to learn more about it, our Travel Designers will be more than happy to talk to you. Just call them on: 020 3510 5777.

Map of Varanasi