Varanasi Sunrise Boat Tour with Ganga Aarti Experience

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What To Expect

Immerse yourself in the rich culture of Varanasi and discover with some of the most sacred traditions in India. Cleanse your Karma with a fire god ritual, witness traditional Indian mud wrestling, sail a boat down the cherished Ganges, and see the city's spiritual side awaken before the sun comes up. 

Highlights

  • Catch and join in a sacred religious ceremonies that happen only at dawn

  • Visit Varanasi’s famous ancient temples and ghats in the early morning hours

  • Ride a boat along the Ganges and see the spiritual activities on the ghats at sunrise

  • Watch locals practicing Akhada, the ancient Indian art of mud wrestling

  • Savor your morning with a warm cup of Indian masala tea 

Specifications

Type:
Tours in Varanasi
Departs From:
Varanasi
Meeting Point:
Hotel pick up
Duration:
4 hours and 30 minutes
Availability:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 5:30 AM
Product Code:
14258
Voucher info:
Paper voucher printout not required for this activity. You may show e-voucher from your mobile device.
Languages:
Featured On:
Varanasi Culture and ReligionCulture and Religion

Description

Make sure you get a good night's sleep because your Varanasi tour starts bright and early at the break of dawn. A bit of sleep sacrifice is totally worth it, though, as you'll get to see local religious traditions at their most fascinating moment. Also known as Banaras and Kashi, Varanasi is a pilgrimage destination with a thousand years of history behind it. Indian civilization was born, raised, and shaped on the banks of the sacred Ganges River - and we're going to see how ancient traditions are still carried out today.

Bleary eyed but ready to explore, you'll be picked up from your hotel and taken to Assi Ghat, a prominent bathing ghat in Varanasi. You'll see people taking a holy dip in the Ganges, waiting for the sun to rise and the morning session of Ganga Aarti to begin. Pandits or saints will call out shlokas and mantras in Sanskrit, and a call for Surya Dev, the God of Light.

In the early morning light, you might feel like you're still dreaming, but this enchantment is all real. You'll see pilgrims engaging in Havan, a ritual that praises Agni, the God of Fire. The ceremony fills the surroundings with smoke, believed to purify the air all around. Participate in the ritual yourself and cleanse your Karma.

After the ceremony, you'll get to visit a series of temples. You'll also see people practicing Akhada or mud wrestling, an ancient Indian art that's equal parts exciting and surreal to watch. We'll then take our Varanasi tour out onto the water as we sail the Ganges. Not just any boat tour, there's a story to be told here - your ride will begin at Assi Ghat, marking the birth of life, and end at Manikarnika Ghat, the cremation leading to the banks of the river, marking life's demise and the arrival at salvation.

As the sun rises to your east, you'll see plenty of traditions happening on the numerous riverfront steps you'll cross. Lastly, we'll disembark at Manikarnika Ghat and head toward the Kashi Vishwanath temple, crossing through narrow lanes and alleys. Vishwanath is called the King of Jyotirlinga, and attracts a million pilgrims every year. We'll visit the temple and stop for a hot cup of tea before you are dropped back at your hotel. 

Includes

  • *Pick up and drop of at hotels in Varanasi city-center

  • Local English-speaking guide

  • Bottle of water

  • Indian masala chai (flavored tea)

  • Boat ride

Excludes

  • Meals and drinks unless specified

  • Personal expenses

  • Tips and gratuities

  • Optional activity costs

Please Note

  • *Guests staying outside the city center may proceed to Hotel Janhvi International Main Gate.

  • Participants must be 6 years old to join this tour.

  • This tour operates as a guaranteed Small Group Tour with a maximum of 12 people.

  • Please dress conservatively as you'll be attending a religious ritual. Wearing of comfortable walking shoes is also recommended.

Cancellation Policy

  • Free cancellation: 4 days or more prior to start date of activity.
  • 100% Cancellation Fee (no reimbursement): 3 days or less prior to date of activity.

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