Tips for Getting Most out of Varanasi for 3 days?

#1 Nov 15th, 2018, 11:14
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#1
Hello!

So I'll be flying into Varanasi on Tuesday at 2pm and staying until Friday, noon.

I'm incredibly excited about visiting Varanasi as I'm a very spiritual person, and from everything I've read, Varanasi is THE most spiritual place in India.

That said, do people have recommendations?

I'm staying on the Ganges near the Narad Ghat.

Should I try to book an evening temple ceremony tour that Tuesday night I get in...or as that too rushed?

I also know I should take a boat tour.

And I'm sure I can ask my hotel what they recommend.

I'm also a fan of just walking around and taking it all in with no destination really in mind. I just don't want to look like a clueless tourist. But at the same time...I don't want to be connected to a tour guide the entire time.

Varanasi seems like it should be a personal experience.

But that said, definitely open to recommendations anybody may have.

Thank you!
#2 Nov 15th, 2018, 11:51
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#3 Nov 15th, 2018, 12:02
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I presume you have a visit to Sarnath in your sights.

Other places of interest:

1. Bharat Kala Bhavan

2. Ramnagar Fort

Just outside Ramnagar Fort lies the Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial.

These last mentioned places are free of touts, (un)holy men, purveyors of fake Banarsi saris and the like.
#4 Nov 15th, 2018, 13:54
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#4
You dont need to take a tour to see the evening fire ceremony,just turn up 20 minutes before sunset.
Varanasi is a great place for wandering about.I spent 2 weeks there last year and spent everyday just walking from end of the ghats to the other,always many things to see.
I never took a boat tour,but the boatmen will soon make themselves known to you,just bargin .
#5 Nov 15th, 2018, 21:01
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Ok that's what I was thinking. I'm definitely looking forward to just walking around and taking in Varanasi!
#6 Nov 15th, 2018, 22:54
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No need to book for fire ceremony or a boat trip through hotel. As you wander along the river away from the centre someone is sure to offer you a boat ride for just a few hundred rupees, if they ask more haggle hard, although do bear in mind it is hard work they are doing especially when rowing against the current, so be a little generous, but not extravagant. Try & take a boat trip to the Raja of Varanasi's palace/museum on the opposite bank just near the pontoon bridge, amazing place. Varanasi is designed for just wandering around & getting lost in the alley's, best approach is just wander without a plan & see where it takes you. Be careful to keep your camera concealed & not to take any photo's anywhere near the burning ghats or you'll get nabbed & scammed by the "photo-police".
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#7 Nov 15th, 2018, 23:08
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If you have the time see if you can visit Chunar fort.
#8 Nov 16th, 2018, 01:22
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#8

Do as I say, not as I do !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael221 View Post Hello!

So I'll be flying into Varanasi on Tuesday at 2pm and staying until Friday, noon.
Tuesday evening, walk over to Dashashwamedh Ghat, take a convenient place and sit down. There will be people who will sell seats on the boat parked on the ghat, facing the five or so platforms from where five performers will do synchronous Aarti (prayer ceremony). Witnessing the Aarti is free.

Wed. morning get up early, and see the sunrise at the ghat....any ghat ! If you must, take a boat ride. Have breakfast, head to Sarnath, see the stupa, and the museum, and Buddha associated sites, and temples built by countries where buddhism is a majority religion (if you must)

Mingle with fellow fireners in the many cafes that dot the back lanes and side alleyways parallel to the river bank, serving terrible pasta, pizza, ramen, kimchi, momos etc. Evening head to Assi ghat, you can see an aarti show there, or see the morning aarti at the Assi ghat !

There are various gods and goddesses temples, famous and not so famous; which you can visit, if you so desire.

Friday, catch a flight back
#9 Nov 16th, 2018, 04:53
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#9
Oh wow...what a great itinerary....thank you so much!
#10 Nov 16th, 2018, 18:19
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#10
Hi Michael.
I'd actually be tempted to do a guided walking tour if this is your first visit to Varanasi, you'll see stuff you probably won't find on your own. I've done a walking tour on each of my visits to this city and with three days, you've still got time to wander about on your own. Check out various Varanasi tour operator websites, some of them have day tours which are kind of unique.

Take an expensive motorboat ride from Raj ghat bridge all the way down to Assi ghat. Awesome, I've done it twice.

Visit one of the many wrestling akharas dotted around the ghats (early morning would be best).

Don't forget Varanasi is a meat free city - the further you move away from the ghats, the more chance you'll have to eat Lamb or chicken. There's also a couple of malls where you'll find western fare... if that's yer thing

Don't say no to every single vendor you meet - you're on holiday - have a back, hand or foot massage at Dasaswammedth ghat. (I stop at ear cleaning - no thanks).

Best wishes
Spud
#11 Nov 16th, 2018, 20:28
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Ah great advice...thank you Spud. And I'm actually going meat-free for the entire time I'm in India. Don't want to get sick...

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