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India Varanasi local rowing a boat

Sacred City on the Ganges

Bite-sized trip

  • Itinerary:
  • Duration:
    3 days / 2 nights (flexible)
  • Price:
    from £ 249.- per person (excluding flights)
Listen to pilgrims singing softly as you drift along the Ganges at sunrise. Explore Varanasi, one of the oldest and holiest cities in India, a spiritual city of constant chaos, colour and wandering cows. Watch kids play cricket next to funeral pyres, set flower candles afloat in twilight ceremonies and stumble upon a surprise at every turn. It’s an overwhelming yet beautiful jumble that can be a shock to the senses. Get ready to be knocked off your feet.
India locals in Ganges river
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Day 1 – Arrival in Varanasi

You’ll arrive in Varanasi by train or plane and you’ll be transferred to your quirky and comfortable heritage hotel on the banks of the Ganges. The hotel has small roof top restaurant serving tasty local dishes, with great views over the riverside Ghats below. In the evening, take a stroll down to the Ghats and watch the boat lights twinkle at sundown.

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Day 2 – Varanasi – Ganges boat trip

At dawn, you’ll set off on an atmospheric boat trip down the Ganges, where you’ll see ritual bathing in the sacred waters and hear the soft chants of pilgrims. The Ganges is flanked by a series of Ghats – broad stone staircases leading down to the water – that stretch for many miles along the Ganges. You can attend the evening prayer ceremony on the main Ghat where flower candles are set afloat on the river.

Following your dawn boat trip, you’ll take a short guided walk through the old part of Varanasi. The rest of the day is free for you to explore at your own pace. Next to the cremation Ghats, you’ll find kids playing cricket, holy men smoking, cows nosing through rubbish and women beating laundry on the rocks.
Alternatively, you can go on excursion to Sarnath, the city where Buddha taught his first doctrine, in the afternoon.

Your Varanasi trip finishes the next morning, and you’ll continue your adventure through India.

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Sacred City on the Ganges

For this bite-sized trip we offer the following options

India hotel Varanasi roof
India Varanasi hotel bedroom
India hotel dining area
India hotel courtyard
India hotel bedroom
India hotel Varanasi exterior

Upgrade to our In Style accommodation

  • Price:
    from £ 414.- per person (excluding flights)
  • Included:
    In Style accommodation, excursions, transport and meals as described above

For this bite-sized trip we have an alternative option available for your accommodation. Our In Style version is something a bit more special or unique but still with lots of local flavour! If you would like to upgrade your accommodation for this bite-sized trip, select our In Style option below.

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This bite-sized trip combines well with

India Ancient temples in landscape
Bite-sized trip

Riverside Ruins & Lost Temples

  • Agra - Orchha - Khajuraho
  • 4 days / 3 nights (flexible)
  • from £ 395.- per person (excluding flights)
View bite-sized trip
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India local monk and child
Bite-sized trip

In the Footsteps of Buddha: India to Nepal

  • Varanasi, India - Lumbini, Nepal - Chitwan National Park, Nepal
  • 2 days / 1 night (flexible)
  • from £ 429.- per person (excluding flights)
View bite-sized trip
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