Namaste! Welcome to India. You will be picked up from your centrally located hotel between 8.30-9:00 - please be waiting in the lobby for your guide. The ultimate destination for all Hindu pilgrims, Varanasi is full of temples, shrines and devotees. Varanasi is one of the world's oldest continually inhabited cities and is certainly is one of the world's most amazing. Set off by cycle rickshaw to visit some of the oldest part of the city, bustling with tourists and priests, and if you are lucky, watch different rituals being performed. Wander through the Old City with its maze of narrow alleyways packed full of small shops and stalls. See pilgrims bathing in the Ganges River and performing rituals and ceremonies unchanged for hundreds of years; temples full of bells chime and the smell of incense. Spend the evening soaking up the magical atmosphere of a candle flower ceremony.
This morning set off on another guided city tour in which you will get a chance to visit a centre famous for weaving Benares silk in pit-looms. Varanasi is known throughout India as the finest producer of silk and the famous Banarasi sari. These intricate sari's are generally reserved for weddings. Take an excursion to Sarnath (approx. 12 km from Varanasi), and located near the confluence of the Ganges and Gomati Rivers. Visit the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. The rest of the day is free for you to spend as you wish.
Start early with a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges. Drift gently along the river as the sun rises passing along the many ghats and temples along the banks. Watching pilgrims bathing, and this ancient city waking up and greeting the day, is one the the unmissable sites of this remarkable country. After the boat ride we transfer back to the hotel where this Short Break concludes.