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Overview

Varanasi, once known as Benares or Banaras and Kashi, is a historical city in northern India. The city is sacred to Hindus and Jains and also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with settlements dating back to the 11th century BC. Many Hindus believe that dying in Varanasi brings salvation/nirvana and so they make the trip to the city when they realize that they are close to death. For some, the culture shock of the burning corpses in plain view can be a bit overwhelming. However, the scene of pilgrims doing their devotions in the River Ganga at sunrise set against the backdrop of the centuries old temples is probably one of the most impressive sights in the world.

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DAY 1
Arrive in Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world

Arrive in Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world. The land of Varanasi (Kashi) has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth.
Drop to Hotel, checkin and rest, and enjoy a scrumptious lunch. After lunch we proceed to Sarnath.

Visit Sarnath:

Sarnath in Varanasi, is the place where Buddha chose to deliver his first sermon. It makes Sarnath one of the most venerated Buddhist places. Besides Buddhism, Sarnath is also connected with Jainism.

There are many Buddhist monuments and edifices at Sarnath. Some of the important Buddhist monuments at Sarnath are the Dhamekha stupa, the Dharmarajika stupa & the Chaukhandi stupa and monasteries and temples of different schools of Buddhism from Japan, China, Thailand, Burma and others. The Indian Buddhist society called Mahabodhi Society maintains a park around the Buddha temple. The Mahabodhi Temple within the park has a tooth relic of the Buddha.

There is also a vast expanse of ancient ruins at Sarnath. Several Buddhist structures were raised at Sarnath between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, and today it presents the most precious ruins amongst places on the Buddhist trail. The Lion Capital of Ashoka pillar at Sarnath is the National emblem of India, which is displayed in the archaeological museum in Sarnath.

Evening boat ride followed by Ganga Aarti

Evening boat ride will be the best option to visit cremation place and after that Experience Ganga Aarti.

Aarti, also spelled arathi, is a Hindu ritual, in which light is offered to one or more deities. Aartis also refer to the songs sung in praise of the deity, when offering of lamps is being offered. Hindus in India worship the river Ganges as goddess. Every evening in Varanasi, aarti is performed at the Dashashwamedh ghat. We can watch it from the ghat or from the waterside in a boat. It is a beautiful, resonant, and majestic spectacle with a very precise choreography involving rituals performed by several priests with the sound of bells, drums, cymbals, and Sanskrit mantras. The river is also worshiped with flower petals.

Hotel

Hotel Ganges View or Similar


DAY 2
Attend the Morning Aarti at Assi Ghat, (4:30M - 5:30AM)

Morning boat ride at the dawn followed by old city walk: Boating in the Ganges during the sun rise in Varanasi is main attraction. We can observe here the Hindu’s way of life on the bank of the river Ganges (Ghats).

Varanasi presents a unique combination of physical, metaphysical and supernatural elements. According to the Hindu mythology, Varanasi liberates soul from human body to the ultimate. It is the Ganga Ghats of Varanasi that complement the concept of divinity. The Ganga Ghats at Varanasi are full of pilgrims who flock to the place to take a dip in the holy Ganges, which is believed to absolve one from all sins.

There are number of temples on the bank of the Ganga River in Varanasi. It is at the Ganga Ghats where we see life and death together. There are numbers of Ghat alongside Ganga in Varanasi. Some of the prominent and popular Ghats at Varanasi are the Dasaswamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Harischandra Ghat & Kedar Ghat

After boat ride a small walk in to the oldest part of Varanasi which is famous for its narrow street. Visit Kashi Vishwnath temple (For Hindu only) which is also known as Golden temple.

City Tour:

After breakfast drive to Banaras Hinu University [BHU] visit New Kashi Vishwnath temple. Other important point to see in city are Durga temple [monkey temple], Bharat Mata Temple [Mother India Temple], Sankath Mochan temple.

Hotel

Hotel Ganges View or Similar


DAY 3
Attend the Morning Aarti at Assi Ghat, (4:30M - 5:30AM)
Trekking to Dzukou valley and overnight camping
Breakfast at Hotel Visit Ramnagar Fort (15km from Sarnath)

At Ramnagar Fort, Visit the Museum, Bead Byas Temple, Hanuman Temple, Shiv Temple and a brief visit of the Kings Residential Complex.

Inside Tip: Try lassi outside at Lassi Bhandar.

Visit Sarai Mohan:

Visit the Sarai Mohan (Weavers Village - 10km from Ramnagar Fort) and experience how a Banarasi sari is made and also enjoy a bit of shopping.

Hotel

Hotel Ganges View or Similar

Experiences

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Evening Aarti

Witness the beautiful, evening Aarti on the banks of the Ganges

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Sunrise Boating

Witness the beauty of Life & death, passing through the Various Ghats of the Ganges

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City Walk

Experience one of the oldest cities in the world, on foot!

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Banarasi Sari Weaving

Observe how the weavers of Varanasi, make the amazing Banarasi Saris

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