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The rich history that surrounds the sacred lands of Varanasi is one of the many reasons why people visit the city. Once you arrive in the city, you will be overwhelmed by witnessing how this city has retained its rustic charm of the bygone era, being surrounded by all the influences of modernity.
Varanasi has a myriad list of places that can solace your mind with peace and help you to embrace yourself with devoutness. You will also be amazed with the peace and harmony that persists on the banks of the holy Ganges and the pious ghats of Varanasi.
Best Time to Visit: October and March
Distnace From Delhi: 816 kms
Our Best Selling Package: Golden Triangle with Varanasi and Khajuraho
Here are some of the best Varanasi tour packages:
Varanasi Temple Tour
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This tour will ensure that you get to visit some of the best temples in the city. These temples are either famous for their mythological importance, architectural brilliance or for the devotion and faith of their devotees. Visiting these temples is an integral part of Varanasi tourism. Some of the best temples to see in a temple tour of Varanasi:
1) Tulsi Manas Temple
This particular temple is dedicated to Lord Ram and is considered as one of the most famous temples in the city. While visiting this auspicious temple, you can also visit the famous Durga Temple, which is located close by. The scenic landscape and the natural greenery around Tulsi Manas Temple make it a perfect place for meditation and prayer. The temple is said to have been constructed at the very same place where Tulsidas composed the profound ‘Ramcharitmanas’.
The walls of this temple are engraved with the verses and composures from this epic poem. In addition to these significances, faiths and beliefs of the devotees has made this temple, a vital name among the various Varanasi tour packages. The door of this temple remains open to its devotees from the morning till evening. However, the doors are kept close for a short interval during the day, wherein the attendees of the temples carry out the maintenance works.
2) Vishwanath Temple or The Golden Temple
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This sacred temple is visited by throngs of pilgrims throughout the year and is one of the famous temples in the city. The architectural layout of the temple is as astounding as the gold-plated spire of the temple; Maharaja Ranjit Singh donated this spire.
Upon stepping in this auspicious temple, you will come across several shrines within its premise. The temple has a sanctum as well as a mandapa. The linga has been carved from black sandstone and is worshipped by the pilgrims. The surroundings of the temple offer peace and serenity, which makes it an ideal place for praying.
Being one of the virtuous temples and a religious as well as historical site to visit, this temple is also boosting Varanasi tourism to a large extent.
3) Kaal Bhairav Temple
This temple is considered as one of the early ancient temples in Varanasi. In fact, the resident God of the temple is Kalbhairav whose permission is required if one is to lay hands on the ‘sati pind’. The orange shade of the temple adds to the magnificence of this temple.
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According to one of the popular tradition and custom of the temple, upon entering the temple one should buy a black-coloured thread and present it to the main deity of the temple, Kalbhairav. Following this, the followers can tie the thread on their hands, which in turn is believed to protect them from all the atrocities of life.
Every year, during the months of Margashirsha of the Hindu calendar and on the eve of the Krishna Paksha Ashtami, Bhairava Astami is celebrated in this temple. The event is soulfully celebrated in Varanasi to mark the emanation Kal Bhairav on earth.
Sightseeing Tour of Sarnath
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Sarnath, which forms a part of Uttar Pradesh, is one of the most historical towns in India and is a great place to visit. This town is one of the most sought after destination amongst the history buffs and those who wish to know the city more precisely.
The historic ruins of this town are one of the major attractions and are visited by millions of tourists. Some of the other important places that should also be visited in the Varanasi tour packages include the following:
4) Ashoka Pillar
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The Ashoka Pillar, more popularly known as the ‘Lion Capital’ is one of the most enduring pieces of art that India possesses. The monument was commissioned to be built by Lord Asoka and it stand up to a height of 7 feet. After India attained independence, this pillar was adopted as the National Emblem of India, and the ‘Ashoka Chakra’ that can be found at the base of the structure was incorporated in the national flag.
The entire structure has been carved from a single piece of sandstone and is a testament of the artistic skills of the craftsmen of the ancient age. This structure which is of historical importance to India is open to interpretation. The structure was first located in Varanasi before being transported to Sarnath.
5) Archaeology Museum
This museum is considered as the oldest museum site of the Archaeological Survey of India. It was constructed with the sole intent to preserve certain ancient relics and artefacts which are important to the history of the land.
The building showcases various antiquities and the entire building has been segregated into five main galleries. Some of the relics in the museum date back to as early as the 3rd century. The museum is stranded with a couple of galleries that displays sculptures, paintings and other belongings of the ancient period.
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The Buddhist sculptures are fitted into one of the 5 galleries and are a sight to behold. The verandas of the building have also been used to display some of the relics and artefacts. Guests who visit the museum are in awe of the rich history of the place and are also instructed to exercise caution while exploring the sculptures and other relics.
6) Deer Park
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The Deer Park in Sarnath is considered as one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the town. The name of the park was in fact derived from the name ‘Sarangnath’, the Deer God. This park was used by Lord Buddha to give his first sermon and proclaimed Dharma and thus the Sangha was created.
The park is a huge enclosure where deer are left to roam freely. While visiting the park, one can also get to catch a glimpse of the varied bird life. The park also entices the nature enthusiasts to observe and study the beauty of nature. The tranquil and serene ambience of the park attracts everyone, who longs for spiritual peace and vigour.
Located away from all the anarchies of busy city-life, this park is one of the must visit places in Sarnath and can be very easily reached from Varanasi.
7) Excavated Ruins of Monasteries
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While visiting Saranth, the excaved ruins of the Buddhist monasteries cannot be missed in any ways. The main excavation site comprises of a vast expanse of low lying monuments and structures. The ruins that you will witness in Sarnath, comprises some of the important elements of Buddhist history. To overhand the best and appropriate knowledge about these ruins, you can also opt for the local guides who are well acquainted with Sarnath’s history.
Among the various relics that can be found in this region, the Ashoka Pillar is the most significant and popular site to visit. Constructed in 250 BC, this pillar contains the edicts of Ashoka, the mighty ruler of the Mauryan dynasty.
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Upon exploring the other sites, you will get acquainted with some of the important aspects of Buddhism in India. Signs and symbols carved in these sites explain how the Buddhist monks and preachers used to communicate with each other and the outer world.
The ruins of monasteries in the area will also offer you a glimpse of the styles and types of buildings of the ancient times. Other important relics include the Dhamekh Stupa which was constructed by the Guptas. The presence of so many places and sites of historical and religious importance makes this place a must-to-visit place while on a Varanasi tour.
Varanasi Historical Tour
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Enchanted with some of the holy temples, sacred ghats and major historical landmarks, Varanasi has become one of the prominent names amongst the tourists. Extremely rich in cultural heritage, this city has also turned out to be one of the indispensable names on the Indian map. Below are some of the famous places to see on a historical tour:
8) Ramnagar Fort
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The Ramnagar Fort is a 17th century fort which can be found on the eastern banks of Ganga River. Built by Raja Balwant Singh in 1750, this fort palace also houses a very interesting museum that displays various historical relics and artefacts of the erstwhile royal families.
One of the portions of the fort is still used by the successors of Varanasi’s royal blood. The entire palace complex is well-maintained and is dotted with a variety of courtyards, pavilions as well as carved balconies. The museum on the premises is home to some rare pieces of art, sculptures, vintage cars, jewellery, costumes in addition to manuscripts that date back to the early days.
The fort is more famously known for celebrating the festival of Dussehra in styles and pomp. During the festival, certain episodes from the Ramayana; popularly called Ram-Leela, are also enacted in within the premises of the Ramnagar Fort. The celebrations also include a procession which consists of various antique displays of the royal family including vintage cars, royal palanquins and other opulent items. One of the imperial names in the Varanasi historical tour, this fort palace promotes Varanasi tourism in a many unique ways.
9) Chunar Fort
The Chunar Fort has always been famous for being a military establishment and has therefore earned its reputation for being a site of interest. Many kings and rulers through the years have laid siege to this fort and in turn have converted it into a famous army camp. Babar, the Mughal ruler also laid siege to this fort and made it a citadel to protect himself from the ruthless ambushes of his enemies.
The walls of the fort are thick and one can find apertures of rifle butts on them. The fort also has an abandoned jail within its premises as well as dungeons that were used to torture the enemies. Army barracks and execution chamber are also two of the attraction centres of the fort. Within the premises of the fort, you can also come across one of the ancient temples.
Though this temple is now an abandoned site, its location and architectural layout makes it an overwhelming structure that should be visited in Varanasi.
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Sarnath is a small town in the state of Uttar Pradesh and is historically significant because of its historical monuments and other relics. Sarnath can be better described as the abode of peace and serenity. It is the town where the nature flourishes into various colours and holds the divine ability to enchant all its visitors.
The rich historical linkage of Sarnath makes it an ideal placeto visit while visiting Varanasi. Ashoka Pillar, the ruins of the Buddhist Monasteries and several other structures will offer you a glimpse of the rich bygone era of the past. Museums in this town showcase some of the rare paintings, artefacts and other elements of the enchanting past.
The Deer Park is also one of the main attractions of Sarnath. It is in this park, where you can find the colourful and playful deer meandering freely. This park is also a prominent place that holds the Buddhist roots in India.
The Varanasi Local Sightseeing Tour
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Varanasi local tour packages are designed to bring out the rustic charm that the city has endured since ages. These tours portray the most vibrant pictures of Varanasi and allow the visitors to witness its true culture and heritage. Some of the famous things to do and see on a sightseeing tour:
11) Boat Ride in Ganges River
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A boat ride on the Ganges is a must for evreryone, visiting the holy lands of Varanasi. It has its own splendour to be one of the best Varanasi tour packages. The holiness and reverence associated with the Ganges will come alive once you board the traditional boats on the Ganges.
The tranquillity and sanctity of the holy Ganges will surely tempt you to spend an extended stretch of time on the boat. The best time to take one of these boat rides is the early morning and evening, when the mighty sun finds its way up and down.
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On a morning tour, you will be greeted by mystique views of the ghats and the devotees taking dips in the Ganges. One of the most popular boat rides is the hour-long trip from Dasaswamedh Ghat to Harishchandra Ghat; while on this tour, you can witness some of the rituals related to afterlife.
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On an evening tour, you can witness the atmosphere changing its colour under the magical impact of the sinking sun. When the rays of the setting sun strikes against the riverbed, it creates a magical charm and can only be embraced while cruising the river. An early evening boat ride will offer you the splendid views of the Ganga Aarti. The view of the illuminated ghats from amidst the river will add more grace and beauty to the boat ride.
12) Go to Evening Arti Ceremony
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The Ganga Aarti ceremony is performed every evening on the banks of the Ganges and one of the most flamboyant and devotionally celebrated events in Varanasi. This aarti is carried out in order to show gratitude and loyalty towards the holy Goddess, Ganga Mata. Attended by thousands of devotees, this tour is one main attractions of Varanasi tourism.
This auspicious event embarks every evening; a blow of the conch shell marks the beginning of the Ganga Aarti and can either be witnessed from the ghats or from a boat amidst the river. Performed by groups of pundits, the aarti involves waving of incense sticks in a circled pattern.
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Movement of the incense sticks creates a picturesque ambience and the pleasant fragrances of the incense fill every corner of the ghats with their delightful aromas. Rhythmic sounds of the cymbals and the chanting of the many different prayers heightens the spirituality and devoutness of the ghats.
13) Visit Local Market of Varanasi
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The local markets of Varanasi are famous for selling some valuable and unique items and are largely visited by the tourists. These markets are famous for the famous Varanasi silk saris which are known all over the world over for their exquisite detailing and quality. Not only in India, but the popularity and fondness of Varanasi Silk is also reaching the various corners of the world.
Besides the beautiful silk saris, you can also shop for other cultural items in these markets. Some of the items of interest include shawls, paintings, wall hangings, carpets, glass beads, stone inlay works, lampshades with intricate designs and masks of the various Hindu and Buddhists deities which are worshipped.
Some of the best known local markets in the city are Chowk, Vishwanath Lane and Thatheri Bazaar. A visit to one of the markets is also part of the famous Varanasi tour packages.
Walking Tours of Varanasi Ghats
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One of the best ways of truly appreciating Varanasi and all it has to offer is by taking one of the many walking tours of the 80-odd ghats in the city. Despite the numbers, each ghat has its own significance and is considered as the best place for prayer and worship. Some of the famous ghats you will visit if you choose to opt for Varanasi walking tours:
14) Dasaswamedh Ghat
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The Dasaswamedh Ghat is one of the main attractions for the locals as well as tourists in Varanasi. It is one of the most ancient and holiest ghats in the area as it is here that the famous and flamboyant Ganga Aarti is performed every evening. Morning is the best time to visit this ghat. On these visits, you can feel the dew freshness of this holy ghat and your visit will get enchanted by the hymns of the morning prayers.
The site of the colourful flower vendors will add more delight to your visit. The marketplaces near the ghats are also not to be missed. These markets are well acquainted with idols of various Gods and Goddesses, amenities for puja and other materials related to spirituality.
15) Assi Ghat
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In this ghat, the Assi River meets the holy Ganga; this is one of the reasons, this ghat is also considered as one of the pious ghats in Varanasi. The location of the ghat makes it one of the peaceful and least populated ghats. According to the various religious beliefs, before offering prayers to the Lord Shiva, one should visit the Assi Ghat and take a dip in its holy water.
Some of the best hotels in Varanasi are located around this ghat, and thus Assi Ghat is one of the main gathering places for the tourists and other visitors.
16) Manikarnika Ghat
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This ghat is considered as the most confronting among the many sacred ghats of Varanasi. The Manikarnika Ghat holds a very prominent place as in this ghat; the last rituals of Hinduism are carried out. The Manikarnika Kund or the pond at this ghat is believed to be dug by Lord Vishnu when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati visited Kashi.
The ghat is one of the largest cremation ground among the Hindus and according to the religious beliefs, the one who is cremated in this ghat, attains moksha after life.
17) Chaumsathi Ghat
The last, but not the least among the various Varanasi tour packages is the Chaumsathi ghat. Though lesser known, is witnesses a large number of tourists throughout the year.
At the ghat, one is immediately confronted by the impressive stone steps which lead the way to a small temple dedicated to the memory of the Chaumsathi (meaning 64 in Hindi) Yoginis. Inside the temple, you will find images of both Durga and Kali in the inner sanctum, which is considered as the holiest place in the temple.
Once you start exploring the ghats, you will come across the Peshwa Amrit Rao's beautiful sandstone haveli (mansion) that was constructed in 1807. This mansion is now being used for the performance of religious ceremonies and sometimes as an auditorium where religious ceremonies or functions are held to entertain the local people as well as tourists who visit the ghats.
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18) Allahabad-Varanasi Tour Packages
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The Varanasi-Allahabad tour packages offer you a tour of the two famous pilgrimage cities of India. The tour would normally begin in Varanasi where you can visit some of the famous monuments and temples of the region. You will also get the opportunity to take a stroll along the famous Varanasi ghats and enjoy a boat ride down the holy Ganges.
You can also visit some of the famous and sacred temples that are famous pilgrimage sites and are visited by a multitude of people throughout the year. After this visit, you will be taken towards Allahabad where you will be witnessing the ‘Sangam Point’ or the confluence point of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers.
Allahabad, one of the venues of the Kumbh Mela, boasts of its pious ghats and other sacred places. While in this city, you can visit the spectacular ghats and witness the sadhus and pujaris offering pujas at the ghats; you can also take a holy dip in the holy Sangam. Upon completing the tour, you will be taken back to Varanasi and this spiritual tour will come to an delightful end.
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