Dawn Boat Ride on the Ganges and Old City Walk

Dawn Boat Ride and Old City Walk

Swift and all beautiful art thou, O Sūrya, maker of the light,
Illuming all the radiant realm

- Hymn to the Sun God, from the Rig Veda

What this tour is about:

On this tour, we will start with a 45-minute boat ride, from Dasashwamedh Ghat to Manikarnika Ghat. During the ride, the guide will introduce you to the history of Varanasi, the morning rituals in the city and the special features of the various ghats that we pass along the way.

We will alight from the boat at Manikarnika, the burning ghat where the dead are cremated. We will see the various activities and professions related to the religious death ceremonies. You are welcome to ask any questions you wish. We will also stop by Manikarnika Kund, a small sacred water-tank.

From Manikarnika, we walk through narrow lanes, into the very heart of the city, towards Varanasi’s most famous pilgrimage site, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple (Golden Temple). The lanes on the way are dotted with small shrines, residences, tea-shops and lodgings for pilgrims. If interested, you can stop at the Satua Baba Ashram, where the scriptures are taught in Sanskrit to young men.

After a 45-minute walk, we will arrive at the Golden Temple. We will visit both the Kashi Vishwanath as well as the Annpurna Temple. From here, a 10-minute walk will bring us out through a larger lane, towards the colourful Phool Mandi (Flower Market). The walk ends at the Flower Market, from where we can help you find a rickshaw (or your car). .

Duration, Cost and other information:

Total duration: 3 to 3.5 hours

When: All days of the week, starting at dawn. Start time varies depending on weather, so check with us

Start Place: Dasashwamedh Ghat, by the Ganga Seva Nidhi office

End Place: Phool Mandi

Cost:
Rs 2000 per person for 2 persons
Rs 1500 per person for 3-4 persons
Rs 1000 per person for 5-6 persons
Rs 800 per person for 7-8 persons Our maximum group size is usually not more than 6-8 people. Payment is by cash on the day of the tour

Includes: Knowledgeable English-speaking guide, boat ride, illustrated handouts, personalised walk, all taxes

If you need pickup/drop from your hotel by car, please add Rs 1000.

Tour Notes and Practicalities:

Security around the temple is very tight, and you need to leave cameras, mobile phones, and even pens outside if you wish to enter the complex. Since there is no locker facility available at the temple, there is a reliable local shop-keeper who usually holds items in safe-keeping for us. Please note, you can take money purses into the temple. Foreigners are required to bring a passport as id proof. Footwear is not allowed inside the temple, however socks are acceptable. If you are not particularly interested in visiting temples, you can get a glimpse (darshan) of the temple through the live CCTV Camera which is visible on the street. There are no toilets available anywhere in the vicinity of the walk.