The Ganga River (or Ganges) runs through the veins of Varanasi (Banaras). Even locals regularly call out har-har Gange , meaning “long live Ganga,” and, come evening, locals flock to the ghats to release lanterns and flowers into the water. Follow Varanasi’s veins straight to her heart on this spiritual tour of an ancient city.
Take a tour through one of the world’s oldest living cities, and along one of the world’s most revered rivers. You’ll follow the path of the famous Ganges (or Ganga River) on this evening walking tour.
Your Varanasi tour will lead you along the city’s narrow lanes and alleys to Dal Mandi, a wholesale market of silk garments and puja (ceremonial Hindu prayer) items. From there, you’ll continue toward the kite market, decorated with colourful paper kites of different shapes and sizes. You’ll visit the Chowk area and Vishwanath Gali, one of the largest silk markets in Varanasi. The purity of silk is more than just a fashion statement — pure silk is used in religious temple ceremonies for draping the goddesses, and on many other auspicious occasions.
As you explore, you’ll get to taste sweet treats like malaiyo, a local seasonal delicacy, or malai puri, all washed down with a lassi drink.
Next up, your Varanasi tour will proceed to the Dasawamedha Ghat for evening Aarti, one of the most spectacular sights in Varanasi. Hundreds of pilgrims, photographers, and tourists rent boats to watch the magnificence of the Aarti as it unfolds every evening. Lamps are lit, fragrant smoke rises from incense sticks, and the chants of mantras can be heard — prepare to be completely spellbound by one of the most magical events in India.
As the Aarti comes to an end, the priests offer flowers, milk, and floating lamps to the Ganges. Pilgrims follow and soon the whole of the Ganga is filled with lit lamps and aromatic flowers. The experience is like a huge cultural bath and amidst all the sound and activity, everyone seeks to find peace.
At the end of the ceremony, your guide will walk you to a delightful dinner at a rooftop restaurant overlooking the Ganga and the ghats.
From there, your guide will be happy to arrange a taxi back to your accommodation or can give you some tips and suggestions for further exploring Varanasi by night.