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.
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.
Indian masala tea
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Pick-up from Your Hotel in Varanasi
Visit the Riverbanks of Ganges
At the break of dawn, transfer to Assi Ghat and witness as people take a holy dip in the Ganges, the most sacred river to Hindus .This will be followed by the enchanting morning session of Ganga Aarti, a ritual performed to invoke Surya Dev (the god of light).
Witness and Join the Havan
See the pilgrims practice a ritual called Havan to give praise to Agni, the god of fire. Witness as your surroundings fill with smoke, believed to have the power to purify the air. You can also participate in the ritual yourself to cleanse your karma.
Next on your itinerary is a series of temples. You will also have the opportunity to watch the locals practice Akhada, the ancient Indian art of mud wrestling.
Sail Down the Ganges
Experience a spiritual boat ride as you said down the Ganges. The boat ride starts at Assi Ghat, which marks the beginning of life and ends at Manikarnika Ghat, which signifies the end of life as well as salvation.
Discover the Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Disembark at Manikarnika Ghat and visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of the most popular Hindu temples. Today, this temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and attracts millions of pilgrims every year. End this once-in-a-lifetime tour with a cup of Indian Masala Chai tea.
Drop-off at Your Hotel in Varanasi
Price & Options
The tour price excludes personal expenses, tips and gratuities, and optional activity costs.
Children 6 years old and above can participate in this activity.
Please dress conservatively as you'll be attending a religious ritual.
The tour will be conducted in a small group with a maximum of 12 participants.
You can book a maximum of 12.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any cancellations made within 2 business days of your activity (after 16:00:00 local time) will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount.