VARANASI – UTTAR PRADESH Package
2 NIGHTS/3 DAYS
Not only does the city attract countless pilgrims, it's a place where many choose to spend their last days. Belief goes that the one who dies here attains eternal salvation. Varanasi (Banaras) lies on the banks of the Ganges. Said to have been founded by Lord Shiva himself, this place finds mention in the epic sagas of 'Ramayana' and the 'Mahabharata'. Most people conforming to the Hindu faith strive to visit Varanasi at least once in their lives
Experience the energy, excitement and history of one of the world’s oldest cities on this multi-day tour from New Delhi. Bare witness to its wonder with all of your senses on morning and evening boat rides in the iconic Ganges River and check out the ancient steps that lead to this holy bathing and cremation site visited by tends of thousands of pilgrims each year. Your expert guide will share insight into India’s three major religions—Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism—as you navigate the narrow passages of Varanasi.
DAY 01: New Delhi —Varanasi.
A representative will meet you upon arrival from New Delhi for the ride to your Varanasi hotel. Before heading out on a tour of the Ghats meet your guide for a tour briefing about the events occurring on the days ahead. Begin your evening tour of this spiritual city with a visit to the Ghats. This series of stone steps leads to the holy river where you’ll find Hindu and Jain worshipers mediating and teaching along the shores of the Ganges River. Your guide will share stories about Lord Shiva, who chose Varanasi as his home as you watch people from across the country gather to bathe in the waters of the Ganges. Hindus consider this to be the most holy of experiences. Gain a deeper understanding of the belief that those cremated on the sacred steps receive salvation after their death. Visit the Golden Temple (Kashi Vishvanath Temple) one of the most famous Hindu temples and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganga, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples. Overnight in hotel at Varanasi
DAY 02: Varanasi
Towards the extreme north lies Raj Ghat, the site of ancient Varanasi, with Adi Keshava, the primordial Vishnu temple, physically 200 years old but with a tradition stretching back to the Puranas. Going south from Raj Ghat, you can take a boat till the Panchganga Ghat.The holy city is also home to spectacular festivals such as Dev Deepali (the biggest festival), Bharat Milap, Mahashivratri, Buddha Purnima and Hanuman Jayanti Set sail on the Ganges for an early morning boat ride and watch as hundreds of pilgrims into the holy waters as they have since ancient times. Listen to prayers and chants as your guide shares stories and history while the sun rises over head.Next, wander through the kinetic energy of Varanasi’s old city streets. Narrow back alleys and single-file passes pass by lively bazaars, food stalls and shrines. Visit the area surrounding the stunning gold-covered temple where Kashi Vishwanath, the patron deity of Varanasi, resides. The temple is only accessible to Hindus, but you’ll enjoy the vibrant city life that surrounds this holy destination.Return to your hotel for breakfast before heading out on a guided tour of Sarnath, which is about 6 miles (10 km) outside Varanasi. See the site where Buddha preached his first sermon in Deer Park and see some of the pilgrims who make their way to this ancient monument to pay their respects each year. Follow your guide to Dhamek Stupa, where a new monastery was built by the Buddhist Maha Bodhi Society on the same location where a once splendid ancient structure stood. Wander the galleries of the archaeological museum where you’ll see the Sarnath pillar represented in India’s national emblem. Your guide will enlighten you about the first Buddhist monks who made their way here in the 3rd century BC. Enjoy an evening cruising by boat along the shores of Varanasi as you watch the spectacular aarti ceremony unfold before your eyes. Recognized as one of the most essential rituals of the Hindu faith, you’ll see flaming oil lamps wave over the Ganges as pilgrims chant over the ringing of temple bells. Overnight: Hotel in Varanasi.
DAY 03: Varanasi – New Delhi
Relax over breakfast at your Varanasi hotel and explore the city on your own and at your leisure. Take your time for wandering, eating and for things that you like to enjoy. Check out and leave for New Delhi. Tour ends.