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Varanasi

Architecture

Our most recommended Varanasi Architecture Tours

Private Full-Day Varanasi Tour & Monkey Temple

1. Private Full-Day Varanasi Tour & Monkey Temple

Start your full-day of exploration with a convenient pick-up at your accommodation. You will meet your driver/guide at 11:00 AM in the lobby of your hotel and set off on your adventure to find out why the city holds such religious importance in the Hindu mythology.  Your tour will start with a visit to Kashi Vishwanath Temple - a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Witness the beauty of a temple that is considered to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingas (the holiest Shiva temples) in India. Here, in the Hindu belief system, visiting the temple and dipping yourself in the waters of the holy Ganga River is considered to be the way of achieving Moksha (liberation). Continue on your tour to visit the famous Monkey Temple, also called Durga Temple. Marvel at the temple's beautiful carvings, inlaid stones and the holy water pond called 'Kund'. Follow your temple trip with a visit to 'Tulsi Manas Mandir', where Hindu scripture Ramayana was originally translated by Tulsidas from the Sanskrit language to Awadhi dialect in 16th-century. Admire the temple walls that display scenes and pictorials from the Ramayana in the form of paintings. You will also get the chance to see Bharat Mata Temple, also called Mother India temple. Here you can see the undivided relief map of India carved out of marble.  Add to the list of beautiful temples visited with a trip to Birla Temple, also known as Marble Temple, another famous architectural structure dedicated to Lord Shiva. After a fascinating full day tour of Varanasi city, the tour will complete and you will be safely dropped back at the hotel.

From Varanasi: Sunrise Boat Tour and Heritage Walk

2. From Varanasi: Sunrise Boat Tour and Heritage Walk

One of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities and one of the most holy for Hindus, Varanasi is the true embodiment of culture, mythology, heritage, and a real face of India. A city situated at the banks of the holy Ganges and known for its many ghats (embankments made in stone steps where pilgrims perform rituals) and large number of temples, this is definitely one of the best places to get to know India. Set off on an early-morning tour and explore this ancient city at dawn. Enjoy a boat ride past many colorful ghats and to where you can see people practicing their many rituals. One popular ghat is the Manikarnikaghat, where Hindu cremation takes place. Witness a funeral pyre there. Your tour will start with a pickup from your hotel by your guide at 5:00 AM in the summer or 6:00 AM in the winter. After reaching the ghat, get into the boat for a memorable ride on the Ganges where you’ll get to watch the city come alive with the sun. Once the boat ride is complete, walk through the oldest part of Varanasi and experience the rich culture and heritage of this mystical city firsthand. Get dropped off at your hotel at the end of the tour.

Delhi: 6-Day Golden Triangle & Varanasi Private Tour

3. Delhi: 6-Day Golden Triangle & Varanasi Private Tour

Begin the first day of your trip with a pickup from your hotel or other desired place in Delhi, Noida or Gurugram. Start with a half-day city tour of Delhi. Visit Qutub Minar, Lotus Temple, and India Gate. Drive by Parliament House and the President's Palace. After that, proceed to Agra via a 4-hour drive. Upon arrival in Agra, check in to your hotel.  On day 2, you will get up before sunrise, and head to the Taj Mahal to watch the sun come up over this world-famous monument. You will spend two hours exploring the site. After that, return to your hotel for breakfast and to check out, and then spend an hour visiting the Agra Fort. You will then start the 5-hour drive to Jaipur. After breakfast the following day, you will enjoy a guided tour of the Amber Fort. Next, visit the Jal Mahal, a palace located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake, followed by the Maharaja’s City Palace. Drive past the beautiful Hawa Mahal, a large structure built so the women of the royal household could observe the streets outside whilst remaining hidden.  After breakfast on day 4, you will be transferred to Jaipur airport for your domestic flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival at Varanasi airport, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel to check in. The rest of the day is free at your leisure.  In the morning of day 5, you will be driven to Assi Ghat, where you will watch the Hindu fire ceremony rituals performed by women priests. Next, enjoy a sunrise boat tour on the River Ganges to see the Ghats of this ancient city. After breakfast, enjoy a city tour of Varanasi which includes the Banaras Hindu University and its temple, a traditional school where children are learning an ancient version of Sanskrit, and a historical wrestling ground.  On day 6, if you have not chosen the option with a return flight to Delhi, you will be transferred to a location of your choice in Varanasi. If you have chosen the option with the flight, upon arrival at Delhi airport, you’ll be dropped off at a location of your choice in Delhi, Noida or Gurugram.

From Varanasi: Private Half-Day Ramnagar Fort Excursion

4. From Varanasi: Private Half-Day Ramnagar Fort Excursion

After pick-up from your hotel at 8:30 AM you will drive to Ramnagar Fort, located 14 km outside of Varanasi. This beautiful fort is built from Chunar sandstone in Hindu and Mughal styles of architecture. Due to its rich cultural heritage, the fort has been used by numerous filmmakers as a location. A section of the fort is still used by the Benares royal family as their residence, so is not open to tourists. Ramnagar Fort houses numerous interesting buildings, such as Darbar Hall which is used for public audiences. See the temple devoted to the author Vyasa, who wrote the Hindu epic Mahabharat. The fort also has a museum, showcasing a collection of vintage cars, armor, ivory work items, antique clocks, and royal carriages.  The fort also houses a giant clock named Dharam Ghari that was built in 1852. This clock not only displays the year, month, week, and day, but also details about the sun, the moon, and the stars. After exploring the fort, your driver will drop you back at your hotel around 1:00 or 2:00 PM.

From Varanasi: Temple Hopping with Transfers

5. From Varanasi: Temple Hopping with Transfers

First make your way to the most famous and important temples of Varanasi, the Goddess Durga temple. This is one of the most revered temples of the region, built in a striking red color. Learn of the many interesting stories and myths attached to this temple from your guide.  Next up is the famous Monkey temple or the Sankat Mochan temple, which is dedicated to the Monkey God. Known to relieve people from every sort of pain and trouble, see pilgrims in large numbers paying their respects here. Also, see the many curious monkeys roaming about the streets. Visit the Tulsi Manas temple, another famous and revered temple in the region. Dedicated to Saint Tulsi Daas, the writer of the Sanskrit epic Ramayana, the walls of this temple have the entire Ramayana craved on them. Visited by people from all over the world, be amazed to see how the walls of this two-storey temple depict the epic poem. Next see the Bharat Mata temple or the Mother India temple. This temple is one of a kind in the entire country where rather than idol worship, there is an undivided map of India, symbolizing the worship for one’s motherland. Finally, explore the Shri Vishwanath temple in the Banaras Hindu University, which is known to be one of the tallest temples in India and has a lot of interesting stories and fables attached to its construction.

Private Sarnath Excursion with Evening Ganaga Aarti

6. Private Sarnath Excursion with Evening Ganaga Aarti

Start your spiritual tour of Sarnath with a convenient pick-up at your accommodation. Meet your driver at 2:00 PM in the lobby of your hotel. After a short meet and greet, you will take a scenic 10 km drive to Sarnath, one of India's main pilgrimage sites for Buddhists.  Upon arriving in Sarnath, your guide will immediately take you on an architectural tour of all the most historically important buildings in the area. Marvel at the truly unique Buddhist architecture and learn about some of the buildings' history. This location is sacred and considered to be the place where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment.   Next, visit Chaukhandi Stupa where Buddha met his first disciples. Peruse through excavated artefacts and striking Ashoka Pillars at Sarnath Archeological Museum. Admire the fine paintings on the walls of the monastery that was built in the 1930s at Mulagandhakuti Vihara. After your tour of Sarnath, you will be driven back to Varanasi to attend the grand evening Ganga Aarti at the famous Dashashwamedha Ghat. Be a part of the spiritual evening Aarti where you will witness something truly special. Be in awe of vividly decorated stages with flowers, cloths, brass lamps, musical instruments and, holy offerings. Hear the soulful hymns and prayers accompanied with mantras and immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere. After the evening Ganga Aarti, you will be dropped back to your hotel in Varanasi city.

Varanasi: Temples, Ganges Aarti, and Classical Dance Tour

7. Varanasi: Temples, Ganges Aarti, and Classical Dance Tour

Start with an afternoon pickup from your hotel at 3:00 PM. First make your way to the most famous and important temples of Varanasi, the Goddess Durga temple. Learn of the many interesting stories and myths attached to this temple from your guide. Visit the Bharat Mata temple or the Mother India temple. This temple is one of a kind in the entire country where rather than idol worship, there is an undivided map of India, symbolizing the worship for one’s motherland. Visit the Monkey temple, which is dedicated to the monkey god, and the Tulsi Manas temple which has the one of the two greatest epic Ramayana engraved on its wall. See the Shri Vishwanath temple in Banaras Hindu University which is reputed to be one of the tallest in the entire country. After exploring the temples, head towards the Assighat for the evening aarti. An experience which is claimed to be magical by people from all around the world, it includes priests using fire as an offering to the river Ganga with the help of oil lamps. A ritual that goes back to centuries ago, it often attended by a huge number of people from around the world. After attending this aarti, enjoy a cultural dance performance by local artists where they enact a beautiful sketch from an epic or other mythological instance. Afterwards, be returned to your hotel.

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What people are saying about Varanasi

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 2 reviews

Bhawna was an amazing tour guide: knowledgeable, professional, sweet and calm. She made all three of us feel very comfortable and we learnt a lot about the city and the culture. Her English was very good and it was easy to understand everything. She was open to questions about the society as well as the thing we did and saw. She was also flexible for changes in the program as we had already done a few thing that she had planned for us to do. Would highly recommend to anyone visiting Varanasi!

We had a great tour, everything was nicely planned. Our guides provided us with interesting insights and the drivers were also very helpful and reliable. Would definitely recommend this tour!