There is a holiday tour and then there is an amazing holiday tour. Beautifully crafted special experiences can transform your holiday tour in Varanasi into an enriching experience that you will cherish for life.
Varanasi as a holiday destination is very different from the other cities of India and as such its Special Experiences are very unique and special indeed. Browse through the list of special experiences mentioned below to know more.
Varanasi Boat Ride at Sunrise:
Early in the morning, venture out of your hotel / ashram in Varanasi and go to the nearest ghat for a wonderful Varanasi Boat Ride at Sunrise experience. It is sure to change the way you see the holy city of Varanasi.
As you glide down the River Ganges and the sun rises up in the sky, the city is lifted from the shrouds of darkness and illuminated in the golden rays of the morning sun. The ghats are quiet and serene, with devotees quietly milling about in this holy hour, getting ready for the morning prayers and a holy bath in the Ganges River.
Watch as different devotees pray to the Sun God and have their holy dips in their own individualistic ways. Get an insight into the way of life of the residents of the city. You can even witness the Early Morning Ganga Aarti at the Ghats.
Boats rides begin from different ghats and are available at different tariffs. Choose between Row Boats and Motor Boats; between hourly rides, one end to another end, and round trips; and decide on your starting points. Most boat rides by row boats begin in the Assi Ghat and go on to Dasashwamedh Ghat; others are the other way round.
In addition to the Varanasi Boat Rides at Sunrise, boat rides are available throughout the day. Many visitors also opt for the sunset boat ride that includes a fantastic view of the Evening Ganga Aarti at the Dasashwamedh Ghat.
Walking Tours of Varanasi:
Carefully-crafted special experiences, Walking Tours of Varanasi give you a totally immersive experience of Varanasi, that can be gained only by venturing deep into the by-lanes of the city, areas that cannot be accessed by even rickshaws.
On leisurely walking tours of Varanasi, you can get to know the legends and anecdotes behind each temple, visit the stalls and shops selling flowers and pooja materials, check out the sadhus residing in the city, and photograph areas that are off-the-beaten-path for tourists, but enriching to the residents.
Walking tours of Varanasi are conducted by specialized tour operators and vary by length of the walk, sites covered and the duration.
For example, a 3-hour Walking Tour of Varanasi Ghats will begin from the Harishchandra Ghat and cover the Kedar Ghat, Ahilyabai Ghat, Dasashwamedh Ghat and the Manikarnika Ghat.
Evening Walking Tours culminate with the Evening Ganga Aarti experience at the Dasashwamedh Ghat. Similarly, Early Morning Walking Tours begin with a Varanasi Boat Ride at Sunrise experience, followed by a walking tour of the major temples of Varanasi.
Contact us for a full list of available Walking Tours in Varanasi.
Evening Ganga Aarti Experience at Dasashwamedh Ghat:
One of the major highlights and must-dos in Varanasi, the Evening Ganga Aarti Experience at Dasashwamedh Ghat is an experience that is sure to enthral your senses and raise goosebumps in your arms. Not because it is scary, but because of its spiritual awakening!
The rhythmic chanting of the prayers and religious verses, the fragrance of the incense sticks and the aarti, the visual imagery of fantastically dressed priests wielding multi-tiered aarti lamps and offering milk and floral tributes – all awaken your senses like nothing else can.
The priests stand on specially constructed elevated platforms that make it easier for them to make offerings to Mother Ganges and let the devotees present view them too. At the end of the aarti, the devotees let down tiny earthen lamps or diyas afloat.
The diyas are set in small cups made of dried leaves to ensure they keep floating and carry the prayers of the devotees to Mother Ganges or Ganga Maa. It is believed that setting the lamps afloat with a prayer fulfils wishes of the devotee.
Towards the end of the evening, the River Ganges resembles a river of tiny lights with flowers weaving in and out of the flow! A memorable sight indeed!!
The Evening Ganga Aarti is best viewed from a boat floating down the River Ganges or an early evening visit to the Dasashwamedh Ghat to get the seats closest to the performing priests. Devotees begin to assemble from 6 PM itself, so to ensure a good view, reach the ghat around 5 PM.