Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is guaranteed to make an impression. Considered the holiest of places in India, the city of Shiva has been a centre of learning and civilization for over 2000 years. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims come to bathe and rinse away their sins in the waters of the River Ganges and tour its revered temples.
Varanasi is also believed to be an auspicious place to die, ensuring release from the cycle of rebirths and an instantly granted passport to heaven. These rituals of life and death take place very publicly on the city’s famous riverside ‘ghats’ or steps and it is this accessibility to the practices of ancient tradition, coupled with Varanasi’s labyrinthine streets and colour that draw people.
An wonderful vantage point is from aboard one of the dawn boat cruises on the Ganges. Scores of people enter the water from the ghats to purify themselves before the rising sun. While you watch all of this, cremations take place on some of the ghats. All of this incredible commotion takes place along the western bank; the eastern bank is unpopulated and almost barren.
Providing the backdrop to this display of humanity is an incredible array of temples and ancient buildings. There are 2,000 temples and shrines in Varanasi, though the holiest, Vishvanatha, is closed to non-Hindus. The Durga Temple, which can be visited, teems with monkeys. Farther downstream on the eastern bank of the Ganges is the Ram Nagar Fort.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Varanasi, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to India
Tailormade Holidays to Varanasi
On the Go are expert at planning holidays in India — tailored to suit your individual requirements. Please have a look at some of the tailormade itineraries below that we have created for our clients which include Varanasi.
Colonial style rooms reflect the history of this splendid hotel, with its palm fringed pool in the landscaped gardens.
Named after the celebrities who stayed here as the Maharaja's guests, each room and suite at the Palace draws inspiration from the city.
The Palace on Ganges is a traditional style hotel with cosy rooms. It also has an art gallery and library.
WelcomHeritage Jukaso Ganges at Varanasi is built on a sloped embankment called the ‘Guleria Ghat’ on the banks of the Holy Ganga River is typical of the riverfront architecture of Benaras. Sandstone quarried from the Chunar Area has been extensively used in the structural beams and columns.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
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