The River Ganga is almighty…..taking on the role as Mother Ganga for all of India and believed to have the power to rid people of their sins just by bathing in her holy water. All life in Varanasi revolves around the river…..from cleansing people’s souls to providing a means of income for local people via laundry, boat tours, transportation and even entertainment.
Varanasi Temple Tour has organized different boat tours to give visitors a glimpse of the vibrant activity that takes place on the river. Early mornings are especially magical as Hindus come to perform their daily puja in the river, practice yoga or to meditate. Boat tours offer a wonderful vantage point to see this first hand. The architecture of the ancient temples and palaces are best appreciated from the perspective of a boat – both day and night. Especially popular is the evening Aarti ceremony, a truly magical time to be on the river surrounded by faith and thousands of glowing candles floating the river.
Take a boat tour on the Ganges River at dawn to absorb the mystical atmosphere and see first-hand the sacred fires of the Manikarnika cremation Ghat and the ancient architecture along the riverfront which is dotted with 15th century Maharaja palaces and temples. This will also be your opportunity to see Hindu worshipers doing their daily devotional rituals (puja) along the river. Believers bathe early in the morning to offer the prayers to the rising sun…….a true representation of Hindu faith at its most humble.
Our tour will begin at Dasashwamedh Ghat, floating the fluid currents past the many ghats, palaces and temples. During the ride, the Varanasi tour guide will introduce you to the history and folklore of Varanasi and point out famous landmarks and explain the morning rituals.
One of the oldest and most famous ghats in Varanasi is the cremation ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, where the sacred funeral fires burn 24 hours a day. Every pious Hindu believes that to die in Varanasi and to be cremated on the banks of the Ganges is to attain release from the cycle of birth and death (reincarnation)….thus achieving Moksha (salvation) and ending the cycle for good.
Moving downriver to the Darahara Mosque, we will disembark and begin the walking tour of the old city. Your tour guide will take you into the Darahara Mosque, the Shiva underground temple and the Nepali Temple before guiding you through the labyrinth of narrow alleyways lined with houses that tower above you, a myriad of shops for food and knick-knacks, guesthouses for the adventurous travelers and pilgrims and cows……lots and lots of cows!
Final destinations: The Golden Temple (Kashi Vishwanath Temple)…..famous for being one of the most visited and sacred temples for Hindus with spires that shine with real gold and then finally the Satua Baba Sanskrit School for young boys. From here we can help you find a rickshaw (or your car) to go back to your hotel.
Start: Varanasi Temple Tour Office
Tour Duration: Tour duration is approximately 3-3.5 hours).
Start time varies depending on weather, so please check with us.
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