VaranasiWalks is an experience oriented and eco-friendly walking tour and boat journey company. We give an intimate look at the holy city of Varanasi...
VaranasiWalks is an experience oriented and eco-friendly walking tour and boat journey company. We give an intimate look at the holy city of Varanasi by providing both licensed guides and cultural explorers who are able to show you places in the city that the average tourist could never find. Come explore Varanasi with us!Historical Walk 1 - Southern Temples, Ponds & PoetsA walk through the mystical landscape of poets, sacred temples, holy ponds near Assi ghat, the southernmost embankment of the holy Ganga river. Walk in the footsteps of 16th century Banaras poet and mystic Pandit Tulsidas who was the author of the Ram Charit Manas, the sacred Ramanyana in Hindi. You will hear about the history and special culture of Varanasi while visiting the Southern temple established by him and the location of his traditional home! The walk ends with a special darshan, meaning 'taking sight' of a hidden sun temple behind his home. Maybe you too will get the urge to write some sacred verse on the riverside after the walk! Rs. 1500/- per person (1-3) Rs. 1200/- per person (4-6) Rs. 1000/- per person (7-8) Historical Walk 2 - The Bengali Tola Riverside WalkWinding through the streets and popping out onto the riverside will give you an insiders look at the symbiotic life of the riverside people of Varanasi. Eventually you will end up on Bengali Tola, the street of the Bengalis, visiting hidden Mother Goddess Kali shrines and the vistas of life along the riverside. The tour ends at the historic ritual bathing site called Dasashwamedh, the ten-horse sacrifice ghat. Bengali's have emigrated to Varanasi for hundreds of years and eventually a settlement of riverside priests and shopkeepers sprung up. They are immortalised in the Academy Award winning filmaker Satyajit Ray's Apu Sansar (The World of Apu). With few changes in these historic lanes over the years you too may slip into the world of Apu! Rs. 1500/- per person (1-3) Rs. 1200/- per person (4-6) Rs. 1000/- per person (7-8)Historical Walk 3 - Kashi the City of LightBeginning at the cosmic centre of the city, Kashi, the city of light, you will get familiar with rite and ritual by exploring ancient pathways to the temples and mosques of Hindus & Muslims as well as observe the age old cremation rituals of Manikarnika, the burning ghat. The highlight is Varanasi's Kashi Vishwanath Mandir which is said to hold the first of the jyotirlingas, the sacred shafts of light, that self emanated from the earth, but how many know that this temple has been rebuilt not just once but four times in three different locations, two of which have mosques perched on top! Come seek the original foundations of the city of light as we wind our through the place Shiva hold court! (bring your passport to enter the main temple) Rs. 1500/- per person (1-3) Rs. 1200/- per person (4-6) Rs. 1000/- per person (7-8)Historical Walk 4 - Northern Bazaars & Hidden AlleysFew tourists ever wind there way through the bazaars in the Northern gullis of the old city where you will find hidden alleys leading directly through the sacred zone of Banaras to the oldest buildings of the city. As you enter the lanes of the Northern part of the city you will get to peep inside the shops, temples and lives of people who have never left their street for years. Eventually we find ourselves in the least traversed part of the city and riverside where the great Kabir himself wrote poetry, the 8th centuray Krishna temple was demolished and a mosque perched on the top. This bazaar has so many twists and turns we even get confused, but that is what makes it so great, come get lost with us! Rs. 1500/- per person (1-3) Rs. 1200/- per person (4-6) Rs. 1000/- per person (7-8)Boat Journey 1 - Subah-e-BanarasGet up at the crack of dawn with us on an early sunrise morning boat ride up the river which is called Subah-e-Banaras in local lingo. As the sun rises see the early risers who flock to the riverside for morning worship and hear about the interesting history of the ghats and their patronage by the Maharaja's who built them. Along the way you will be filled with insider stories, participate in a simple ritual by placing a bio-degradable lamp on the river and end with a short walking tour around Tulsi ghat's hidden sun temple. YOu will come away refreshed and ready for the rest of the day. Rs. 1500/- per person (1-3) Rs. 1200/- per person (4-6) Rs. 1000/- per person (7-8)Boat Journey 2 - Ganga's Aarti Catch an early evening boat ride with us experiencing the mystical worship of the river called Ganga Aarti and hear about the rituals that have been used for centuries inside temples and in shrines along the river. The magical quality of the evening is showcased with a trip to the eerie cremation grounds of Manikarnika, which burn 24 hours a day, to be seen from both the boat and the shore. You will see the 5000 year old flame which Shiva himself is supposed to have lit upon entering the city and even catch a glimpse of black cloaked holymen who sit near the funeral pyres. All this coupled with a historical walk around the local area will remain with you forever.Rs. 1500/- per person (1-3) Rs. 1200/- per person (4-6) Rs. 1000/- per person (7-8)Boat Journey 3 - Ram's LilaRam's Lila will introduce you to a part of the city that is across the river from Varanasi. For centuries the Maharaja's of Varanasi, claled the Kashi Naresh, have lived outside of the city proper while ruling Varanasi from afar. You will see the most beautiful temple in the Varanasi region and check out the slightly musty collection of the Kashi Naresh, including historic motor cars. The area surrounding the Fort Palace is teeming with interesting people and stories, so we will trek around the exterior and have a look at the king's special bathing ghat, the fishermen and locals doing their thing. Our boat will be waiting for us and you can enjoy the return ride as you soak in the things that you have experienced. Rs. 1700/- per person (1-3) Rs. 1500/- per person (4-6) Rs. 1200/- per person (7-8) Museum Fees extra (Rs. 150/- per person) as desired. Feeling like you want door to door service? We will meet you personally at your City Hotel for Rs. 250/- per person per way. This will include cycle rickshaw to the walking location meeting point and return to your hotel. For Riverside hotels the cost is Rs. 250/- flat group fee for a stroll (plus local cycle rickshaw fees as needed) to the walking departure point. If you are utilising your own transport from any hotel we will only charge Rs. 250/- flat group fee.