Varanasi Visit

#1 Dec 31st, 2017, 22:53
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  • drnvnt is offline
#1
Planning to visit Varanasi in the last week of march with family (parents also). My queries are:-
1.) How many days are suffiecient to explore varanasi and near by points.
2.) List of places which are worth visiting.
3.) Any decent stay options preferrably near ASSI GHAT ( don't know why, but my research on internet lead me to prefer this place) or any other if ASSI GHAT is not so special....
4.) Is it ok (safe/convenient) for family to take taxi or anything and travel to varanasi from Mughal Sarai, as my train will drop me at Mughal Sarai Station.
5.) Also , if march end will be suitable to visit Varanasi?

Thanks in advance for all input.
#2 Dec 31st, 2017, 23:16
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#2
2 or 3 days are sufficient for Varanasi.
But the end of March is not suitable, temperature will be very high.

Deen Dayal Upadhyay railway station to Varanasi is very safe in taxi and only 20 km (45 minutes approx).
#3 Dec 31st, 2017, 23:19
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#4 Dec 31st, 2017, 23:51
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  • vonkla is offline
#4
The main advantage of the hotels at Assi Ghat is that this is the only ghat you can reach by car.
Several years ago we stayed at Temple on Ganges, it was fine.

Apart from Varanasi nearby places as Jaunpur and Sassaram are worth a day-trip.
#5 Jan 19th, 2018, 19:43
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#5
Hi drnvnt.
Sorry I'm late to reply.
I just had one or two ideas for you to consider. I haven't stayed at Assi ghat but if your parents are elderly, it would perhaps be your best bet, less stairs and transport such as tuk tuks aren't too far away.

I'm not sure if you have booked your hotel yet, but do make enquiries to see if they provide free transport to the hotel. In fact, I'd highly recommend you use your hotel for transport even if you do have to pay (and especially if it's dark when you arrive) - their driver will escort you to the hotel.

Varanasi can probably be done in a few days, but if you want to take excursions to those places mentioned by Vonkla above, add more days..

My personal favourite thing to do in Varanasi is just to be out on the river in a boat. Last year I hired a motor boat (expensive compared to the regular boats) and asked the boatman to go to Malviya Bridge and then head all the way to Assi ghat - awesome! Took just over an hour from my pick up at Meer ghat.

If this is your first visit to Varanasi, I'd seriously consider hiring a guide and telling him/her you want to see the 'must see' places, that way, they will help you make the most of your day. Either let your hotel handle the guide hiring or better yet, use Trip Advisor - there's a section called Varanasi/things to do. Varanasi Walks, Streetwise and Manglam Tours are 3 companies I have used through Trip Advisor but you are free to choose your own.

Hope that helps
Spud
#6 Jan 19th, 2018, 20:35
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#6
I stayed at Assi Ghat for a week & could have stayed a lot longer. It was nice walking along the Ghats to the centre & back once or twice a day, but watch out for the uncovered manholes/sewers at night, it's pitch black walking back so take a torch. Things are much more laid back at Assi Ghat. Be sure to take a boat over to the Royal palace & museum on the opposite side of the river just beyond the pontoon bridge, full of dusty old rolls Royce's & Bentley's etc.
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#7 Jan 20th, 2018, 02:04
Sukumar Manna (Chala jata hun kisi ki dhun mein)
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  • travelmanna is offline
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by drnvnt View Post Planning to visit Varanasi in the last week of march with family (parents also). My queries are:-
1.) How many days are suffiecient to explore varanasi and near by points.
2.) List of places which are worth visiting.
3.) Any decent stay options preferrably near ASSI GHAT ( don't know why, but my research on internet lead me to prefer this place) or any other if ASSI GHAT is not so special....
4.) Is it ok (safe/convenient) for family to take taxi or anything and travel to varanasi from Mughal Sarai, as my train will drop me at Mughal Sarai Station.
5.) Also , if march end will be suitable to visit Varanasi?

Thanks in advance for all input.
I visited Varanasi in the last week of December 2017.
1.) 2 to 3 days.
2.) Kashi Vishwanath temple, Annapurna temple, Dasaswamedh Ghat, Sarnath (10 km from city centre), Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Temple, Kriti Gallery, Bharat Kala Bhavan, New Vishwanath Temple in BHU campus, Ramnagar fort (15 km from city centre) - poorly maintained, Chunar fort (30 km from the city centre), Vindhyavasini Devi Temple (70 km from city centre).
3.) Dasaswamedh Ghat is the most famous and sacred ghat in Varanasi. Hotel Ganges Grand or Hotel Divine Destination could be your option to stay as these hotels are near to Dasaswamedh Ghat & Kashi Vishwanath temple, moreover you can access these hotels by auto rickshaws, private cars etc.
4.) Absolutely safe.
5.) March end will be moderately hot.

Wish you a happy travelling.
#8 Feb 1st, 2018, 15:25
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  • Lonely Cloud is offline
#8
It ain't pitch dark anymore. All the ghats are nicely lit at night. And very very clean.
#9 Apr 1st, 2018, 22:55
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  • Lonely Cloud is offline
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by drnvnt View Post Planning to visit Varanasi in the last week of march with family (parents also). My queries are:-
1.) How many days are suffiecient to explore varanasi and near by points.
2.) List of places which are worth visiting.
3.) Any decent stay options preferrably near ASSI GHAT ( don't know why, but my research on internet lead me to prefer this place) or any other if ASSI GHAT is not so special....
4.) Is it ok (safe/convenient) for family to take taxi or anything and travel to varanasi from Mughal Sarai, as my train will drop me at Mughal Sarai Station.
5.) Also , if march end will be suitable to visit Varanasi?

Thanks in advance for all input.
1) How many days are sufficient to explore Varanasi depends on who you are and what you wish to do? People do it in 2-3 days but if you can live for a week you shall surely come back again and again. - I have been lucky to be there for just over 30 days in 3 trips since first visiting in July2017. Reading Diana L Eck's book Banaras - City of Light is a must if you wish to seriously explore Varanasi. Varanasi is not like a normal tourist destination. It must be experienced, becomes difficult to explain.

2) For an average tourist who is NOT on a religious yatra, the following can be done without too much of an effort.
a) A dip in the Ganges.
b) Walk along the ghats or just simply seating on one of the ghats quietly watching activities on the heavenly Ganga. Its a place where you must open your mouth to eat or sip and keep your eyes, ears and mind open to absorb the feeling of bliss (Not for nothing was it once called - The Anandvan or The forest of bliss.)
c) Ganga aarti from Dasashwamedh Ghat @ sunset; view it once from the ghat and once from the boat - These images will linger for a very long time.
d) Just before sunrise reach Assi Ghat for seeing the mesmerizing sunrise, take a boat ride for an hour or so. go for the one which is rowed by hand.
e) Visit Bharat Kala Bhavan inside Banaras Hindu University Campus. Set aside min 3 hrs.
f) Go with walking tours, it is worth spending. Do minimum two tours. walking tours are roughly about 3 hours each.
g) See, Look, observe there is just too much happening at all times and all places. It is important to get the feel of the oldest living city on the planet.
h) Try lassi, chaat, paan, sweets, snacks. Avoid repeating the dishes because there's just too much on offer. Look around ask find explore. People will go out of their way to show you or may even accompany you simply out of courtesy, treat them with respect.
i) split your stay in two - 1) Around Assi ghat area & 2) Around Meer Ghat Area.
j) Walk, keep walking and Varanasi will unfold upon you gently but with all its intensity.

3) Staying: At Assi Ghat: There are many options, however I have always stayed at Temple on Ganges & At Meer Ghat - have stayed and iked both Alka Hotel as well as Ganpati Guest house.

4) Hiring a taxi is safe. You either request the hotel and pay for it. I have been hiring services of Mr. Uttam Shivhare (phon nos 8317018949 or 9893098834; he owns a Tata Indigo & Uttam ji & rents his car as a side business, he has now become more of friend. I use his services for Pick up & drop or short duration day trips.

5) November to March is the best time to visit Varanasi. during other times for most part of the day (Noon till 5.00 pm) you may have to confine yourself to the comforts of your AC room.

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