Varanasi Day Trip
Varanasi, popularly known as Kashi or Banaras means “The City of Light” is said to be the abode of Lord Shiva (The Supreme God in Hinduism). Varanasi is one of the seven holiest cities located in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, in India. Day trip to Varanasi is very popular and can be customized to an overnight trip.
The holy city has been a symbol of spiritualism, philosophy and mysticism for thousands of years and has produced great saints and personalities like Guatama Buddha, Mahavira, Kabir,Tulsi Das, Shankaracharaya, Ramanuja and Patanjali. The holy throngs visit every year in numbers to take holy dip in river Ganges to cleanse themselves of their sins and to perform Hindu rituals on its Ghats.
There is no better way to explore the essence of the city by walking through its narrow serpentine streets with around 2,000 temples. The Kashi Vishwanath temple is the most sacred and popular amongst all. Kashi Vishwanath is also one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. One can learn valuable lessons of Vairagya (detachment) by descending to the Ghats where all the rituals are performed on a daily basis. Boat riding on the Ganges is the best way to see the ceremonious Ghats by sailing through one by one including the Ghat where dead human bodies are cremated live. Cremation is an extremely important ritual for Hindus. They believe it releases an individual’s spiritual essence from its transitory physical body so it can be reborn.
VARANASI full-day SIGHTSEEING
Pick up from your hotel early at 5 am and proceed to a dawn boat ride on the river Ganges.
Lets start with the visit of Ghats of river Ganges. Go for boat riding on the Ganges. The Ganges is the most sacred and venerated river in India. Besides the ritualistic aspect of Hinduism (thread ceremony, head shaving food to the departed souls etc) also see the bathing. Laundry and the cremations of the dead that take place here on the banks of the river.
Varanasi is a sacred town of Hindu Pilgrimage as there are several Ghats that Hindus revere as divine blessings of almighty. Varanasi formerly known as Kashi, is the city where the Hindu faithful come to bath in the sacred waters of the Ganges.
VISIT GANGES GHATS
After the boat ride, walk through the fascinating narrow twisting lanes of the city to watch the performance of various Hindu rituals by the pilgrims. Stroll around the Ghats and visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple. One of the popular and must visit temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Later visit to the Durga Temple, Sankat Mochan Temple and Kala Bhairawa Temple.
Lunch at any good restaurant.
In the afternoon proceed to the village of Sarnath on the outskirts of town. It was in this Deer Park that the Lord Buddha preached his first sermon. Visit the Park and Museum. Sarnath was made a centre of Buddhist worship by the emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. Visit the Main Shrine and Ashoka’s Pillar. In the Archaeological Museum we will see the beautifully carved capital from the pillar along with many other priceless Buddhist artifacts.
RETURN TO VARANASI
After visiting Sarnath, return to Varanasi to see Ganga Aarti on the Ghats of river Ganges. After enjoying day trip to Varanasi, return to hotel for an overnight stay.