Varanasi Ganges Tour

The land of Varanasi (Kashi) has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Often referred to as Benares, Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. These few lines by Mark Twain say it all: “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together”. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. Abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the origins of Varanasi are unknown. The holy river Ganges in Varanasi is believed by some to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals. A packed and bustling city, your private tour guide will help you explore a sometimes overwhelming mix of sights. There are daily flights to Delhi, Khajuraho and Mumbai from Varanasi.

Itinerary Summary

Day Ground Flight Hotel
Day 1
Varanasi
  • Varanasi: Transfer – Airport (Car/Driver)
  • Dinner at leisure
The Gateway Hotel Ganges
(Alt: Ramada Plaza JHV) (B)
Day 2
Varanasi
  • Varanasi: Tour – Private – Sarnath Ruins (Car/Driver)
  • Dinner at leisure
The Gateway Hotel Ganges
(Alt: Ramada Plaza JHV) (B)
Day 3
Varanasi
  • Varanasi: Ship-based – Ganges Ghats at dawn (Boat/Guide)
  • Dinner at leisure
The Gateway Hotel Ganges
(Alt: Ramada Plaza JHV) (B)
Day 4
Varanasi
  • Varanasi: Transfer – Airport (Car/Driver)
Depart

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, 1/2d = Half Day, Al = All Inclusive

Trip Options
3-Day Mumbai Extension from $490pp sharing (does not include airfare) – 3-Day Ranthambore Tiger Reserve from $755 pp sharing (value lodge) or $1697pp sharing (luxury lodge) – 3-Day Varanasi & Ganges Extension from $1014pp sharing (includes return airfare Delhi) – 4-Day Beaches of Goa from $508pp sharing

Itinerary

Day 1
VARANASI
Airport transfer with private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking guide. Varanasi is set at the left bank of the mighty river Ganges, this immensely chaotic place of pilgrimage is known for its ritual burnings. A dawn boat ride down the river is a fascinating and unforgettable spectacle. The city is sacred to Hindus and also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. In many ways Varanasi epitomizes the very best and worst aspects of India, and it can be a little overwhelming. However, the scene of pilgrims doing their devotions in the River Ganges at sunrise set against the back drop of the centuries old temples is probably one of the most impressive sights in the world – definitely a must see destination on any trip to northern India. The hotel is set amidst 40 acres of lush green gardens, just 21 kms (45 mins drive) from the airport, Taj Ganges is the veritable haven of peace and tranquility in this crowded and ancient temple city. The hotel is 6 kms away from the city Centre or the commercial hub of Varanasi also commonly known as The Chowk. The hotel is constructed in the holy Swastik shape (The Swastika is an ancient symbol which re-presents good fortune and blessing). Taj Ganges offers recently renovated & refurbished world-class contemporary rooms & suites with choice of views ranging from the lush green gardens or the swimming pool. The hotel has 130 rooms divided in four categories – Standard Rooms, Executive Rooms, Executive Suites and Deluxe Suites.
Enjoy dinner at leisure (not included in tour price).

Varanasi
Varanasi
Taj Ganges
Taj Ganges

Day 2
VARANASI
Private guided tour of Sarnath, located 5 miles from Varanasi, the site of the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma after his enlightenment. Sarnath is one of four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha himself for pilgrimage. Amongst the ruins the Dharmekh Stupa is impressive at 128 feet high, and 93 in diameter. This dates from around 200 BC and is the sport where the Buddha is said to have preached his first sermon. Enjoy dinner at leisure (not included in tour price).

Day 3
VARANASI
A dawn boat ride on the Ganges with a private expert guide. The Ganga Ghats at Varanasi are full of pilgrims who flock to the place to take a dip in the holy Ganges, which is believed to absolve one from all sins. People can be seen swimming and bathing immediately next to the funeral pyres of the riverside temples. This is a somewhat surreal experience and only for those with a strong constitution. Enjoy dinner at leisure (not included in tour price).

Day 4
VARANASI
Airport transfer with private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking guide. Depart Varanasi- end of itinerary

Trip Includes
Service of an English speaking professional guide – All ground transport in a private car with driver – Guaranteed departure – Airport transfers as per the itinerary – Meal plan as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner) – Specialised and personalised services – All entrance fees to include local government taxes – Flights where indicated as per the itinerary.

Trip Excludes
Laundry – Tips – Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages including mineral water – International airfare – Visas – Optional activities/extras – Vacation insurance

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