We are going in late May to Varanasi. Does anyone have a guide recommendation? We don't want to go shopping.
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for guides plz visit up-tourism.com,toursbylocals.com,privateguide.com.
In the above search box write Guide recommendations and you will see some recommendations with guide name and contact details.
If you want an inexpensive, and more personal touch, try Mayur Jaiswal. He's a university student who also runs an email shop. He is a native of Varanasi, and knows a lot. He is very honest and especially good at helping you avoid touts and hustlers who will try to take your money. He is not a licensed tour guide, but is a native who loves to meet and help travelers. He also teaches hindi. 0091 9918725030, 0542 2403289.
Mayur's email is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
I agree. We chose Mayur and couldn't have been happier with our choice. He spent his whole life in Varanasi and knows everything about the city. It was our first trip to Varanasi and without him, we wouldn't have seen many places he took us to. Price was also very reasonable. Best guide we had in India!
We were lucky to had MayurJaiswal showing us Varanasi. He does a great job protecting you from hustlers wanting your money. He explain really well about the sites and mythology alike. Be specific about what you want to see and do and don't be afraid to be firm about what you don't want to do or buy.
Over all your will be happy with his services!
We will be in Varanasi for 2 nights and 1 1/2 days. We are looking for a guide, so I have just sent an email to Mayur.
Could those who have used him please tell me specifically what he did for you? For example, how long do you recommend having him, things to do, etc?
We are 4 independent travelers, but we certainly appreciate that guides can add so much to an experience, especially in someplace as unique and special as Varanasi.
Thanks for any advice you can provide!
We are a Swiss-Dutch couple who stayed in Varanasi for 3 days. We met Mayur in our first hour in Varanasi and that turned out to be our luck! Mayer is really an excellent guide. He is a young college student and works as a guide during his college holidays.
He didn't want a fixed fee, but rather left it to us to decide how much we wanted to pay him. He uses his 'salary' for his studies. Since we 'used' him for the full 3 days, and were extremely happy with him and his tuk-tuk driver Chukla, we gave him a nice big fee at then end.
Here is what we did (too, much to mention, so it's a summary):
On day 1 he showed us the old city of Varanasi, including the Burning Gath and a Kamasutra temple.
On day 2 we went for a day-tour outside the city to places such as Sarnath temple.
On day 3 we went for an early-morning boat-ride on the Ganges and spent the afternoon with him. He showed us a silk weaving factory among other things.
Ask him to make a nice program for you and he will do it. He has excellent social skills, is very professional and has high ethics (not pushing anybody into buying anything).
He gets 10 out of 10 from us and we really miss him.
Thank you for the wonderful feedback on Mayur. Here is what we arranged with him. We have 1 1/2 days in Varanasi, and we figured we would want some time on our own:
"I will charge RS 700 for each person and it will includes :
1 Morning boat ride(Private boat) to see the sunrise, ghats, pilgrims coming down to river for holy bathing.
2 Walking tour of the old city : Monkey temple, Vishalakshi temple, Nepalese temple(temple with erotic arts), Mughal town to see the silk weaving, Alamgir mosque.
3 Evening boat ride(Private boat) to see the cremation of the bodies at Manikarnika Ghat and to watch the evening Ganges ceremony (Ganga Pooja or Aarti) and offering the candles to the holy river Ganges.
4 Also includes my guide fees.
So the total amount would be RS 700x4 = RS 2800 for four person which includes morning boat ride, evening boat ride, walking tour of the old town, and also includes my guide fees.
The walking tour of the old town will not take the entire day, it will not take all the time between morning and evening boat ride. After walking tour i will leave you at your hotel for rest and for having lunch."