Bazaars and Hidden Alleys of Varanasi

This tour is not for the faint-hearted but takes you beyond the Varanasi normally seen by tourists to explore an otherwise unseen part of the city. Prepare for an assault on the senses with narrow alleyways, pungent smells and busy locals going about their everyday lives. However, if you’re prepared to brave all of this you’re rewarded with a unique insight into life in the hectic underbelly of this sacred city.

Accompanied by your guide, you’ll be taken through the narrow lanes at the northern part of Varanasi, or as it is sometimes called, ‘Benares’. As you make your way through the maze of paths you can peek inside the houses, temples and shops to see locals whose families who have been living here for generations. As you wander through don’t forget to look up to see the age of the buildings and get a sense of the history here.

Be sure to take your time to take in all the sights and smells and if there is a particular interest your guide will happily tailor the tour to suit that. Most guides are Varanasi born and raised, and are enthusiastic to share their culture and stories about life in this chaotic city. You’ll work your way slowly towards a portion of the river that remains largely unvisited where the famous Indian poet Kabir used to come to seek inspiration and write his poems.


  • Explore the seldom-visited backstreets of Varanasi

  • Gain an insight into livelihoods of people living in the oldest part of the city

  • Absorb all the sights and smells of this chaotic city

Senior Travel Designer
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I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to over 75 countries over 6 continents both for work and pleasure. However, there is something about India that keeps drawing me back. I’ve now visited several times, having experienced everything from relaxing on a houseboat in Kerala, spotting a tiger in the Indian jungle, becoming a yoga teacher in Rishikesh and hiking in the Himalayan foothills.

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