Lengthen your holiday in India with our three-night Varanasi extension. Varanasi - or Banaras - is a sacred and spectacular city in India, set along the banks of the holy River Ganges. One of the most important Hindu pilgrimage destinations, colourful religious rituals and elaborate cremation rites occur here daily.
During your Varanasi stay, you’ll explore this mesmerising world and discover one of India’s most unique cities. Cruise the River Ganges on a boat ride at dawn; join a Varanasi tour through the tangle of narrow lanes and city streets; explore some of Varanasi’s most renowned temples; and gain insights into the life of Buddha and the origins of his teachings at the nearby village of Sarnath.
All this and more awaits on your journey to Varanasi. Get in touch with our Destination Specialist for further inspiration and information.
- Glide along the River Ganges on a boat, observing bathing rituals and cremation ceremonies
- Weave through Varanasi’s narrow lanes and bustling streets, led by an expert local guide
- Witness a beautiful Ganga Arti evening ritual at a ghat on the Ganges riverside
- Gain insights into the Buddha’s teachings at the small village of Sarnath
Start your Journey
Delhi - Varanasi
This morning, you’ll join a transfer to Delhi airport - following whichever of our India itineraries you have previously been on - to board a flight for Varanasi.
Once you arrive in Varanasi, you’ll be greeted at the airport and taken to your hotel, where you’ll stay for the duration of your time in the city. A superior room at the Radisson Hotel will provide every comfort for your visit. Relax for the rest of the afternoon and evening, taking to the city streets for a wander if you desire.
Arising at dawn, you’ll board a small boat on the River Ganges. This is one of the most wonderful ways to experience Varanasi, particularly for the first time, and the morning light and tranquillity of the early hours provide an incredibly beautiful setting. During the boat ride, you’ll see the remarkable Varanasi bathing rituals and cremation site ceremonies taking place all along the riverbank - cruising to Manikarnika Ghat (the cremation ghat) and back on the boat. A walking tour will then lead you through the tangle of Varanasi’s winding lanes, passing the gold-coated Vishwanath Temple (The Golden Temple) and scarlet Durga Temple, one of Varanasi’s most famous.
Later, your Varanasi tour travels to Sarnath (10 km), a small village near the confluence of the Ganges and Varuna rivers. The Buddha preached his first sermon to five disciples at Sarnath’s Deer Park. The huge Dhamek Stupa marks the location of a once resplendent monastery, and here you can explore a vast complex of ancient monastery ruins - likely the first monk settlements of the 3rd century BC. Nearby, learn of the Buddha’s life in the detailed wall paintings of a new monastery built by the Buddhist Mahabodhi Society.
Returning to Varanasi, a guide will take you through the city’s streets, littered with beautiful temples, street-stalls and riverside ghats - introducing you to the city’s most important landmarks and history. Ancient and spiritual, chaotic and captivating, Varanasi is unlike any other city in the world.
Varanasi - Delhi
Today, a transfer will collect you from the hotel and take you to the airport to board a flight back to Delhi.
Once you arrive, you’ll be met and taken to your hotel, the Vivanta by Taj – Dwarka Hotel. A luxurious Delhi hotel, spend the rest of the evening at leisure, perhaps enjoying dinner at one of the hotel restaurants or sipping cocktails by the poolside bar.
Today, you will be taken to Delhi airport to board your onward flight.
- Accommodation – On twin/double-bed room for a total of 3 nights
- Meals - Room plus breakfast basis everywhere
- Transport - Services using an air-conditioned medium car throughout
- Local English-speaking guide for sightseeing in Varanasi
- Assistance & Porterages - Meeting and assistance on arrival/departure at airports and hotels by Le Passage To India representative and porterages at the airports, with 1 standard baggage per person included
- Evening Ganga Arti ceremony at Ghats
- Morning boat ride along the Ganges River
- Monument entrance fee
- Expenses of personal nature such as table drinks, telephone calls, laundry and camera fees
- Tips to drivers, local guides and hotel staff
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