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Independent India – Varanasi

4 Days Independent Touring

Virgin Holidays' view

This 3 night package in Varanasi includes airport transfers and private day tours to see the enchanting & mystical Aarti ceremony on the banks of the River Ganges. You will also go on a boat journey on the River Ganges taking in all the activities happening along the way. We offer a number of other Independent India locations that are easy to link together with internal flights. Explore India your way. 


Day 1: Arrive Varanasi

Fly from New Delhi Airport to Varanasi. Upon arrival in Varanasi you will be met and transferred to the Taj Ganges where you’ll spend the next 2 nights. This evening you’ll witness the enchanting & mystical Aarti ceremony on the banks of the River Ganges. The river Ganges is worshipped as a living goddess in Varanasi and daily prayers at dawn and dusk serve as salutations to the river. Oil lamps are offered, bells rung and mantras chanted in a spectacular and well-orchestrated event lasting 45 minutes to an hour. After the ceremony, return back to the hotel where the rest of the evening will be at leisure.

Day 2: Varanasi

Early morning you can experience a boat ride on River Ganges followed by a Sightseeing Tour of Varanasi. Varanasi’s principle attraction is the string of bathing Ghats along the west bank of the river. The boat ride presents an incredible scene as the multitudes of devotees come to the river to pay homage to the Sun God. Pass the bathing Ghats where thousands of pilgrims immerse themselves in its holy waters and the burning gnat, where cremations are conducted. You can also see the 'floating market' during the tour. After the boat ride, continue south of the city to visit the Benaras Hindu University (BHU), which was founded at the turn of the 19th century. It was originally intended for the study of Sanskrit, Indian art, music and culture. The university campus is home to the New Vishwanath Temple, one of the tallest in India. Planned by Madan Mohan Malaviya, the Chancellor of the university, who believed in Hinduism without caste distinctions, the temple is open to all. Also, visit the Bharat Kala Bhawan, a museum with a fabulous collection of miniature paintings, sculpture and contemporary art and bronzes. Return to the hotel for breakfast. In the afternoon you’ll visit the ruins and museum at Sarnath (closed on Fridays) Located 10 km from the city. Stop to visit the Mulagandhakutty Vihara that marks the meditation site of the Buddha during his monsoon retreats. The interiors of the temple here have life-size murals depicting the significant events of Buddha’s life.(B)

Day 3: Delhi

After breakfast at leisure, transfer to Varanasi Airport for your return flight to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi you will be transferred to the Vivanta by Taj Dwarka for your overnight stay. The afternoon can be spent at leisure, or you may wish to visit the Kingdom of Dreams (extra cost).(B)

Day 4: Depart Delhi

After breakfast transfer to Delhi International Airport for your onward travel arrangements. Why not extend to the beaches of Goa, or see the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal in Agra.(B)

Meals: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner


Dates & prices

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Tour information

Please click here to download a pdf of the tour itinerary and additional tour notes.

A Private Tour

This is a private itinerary, where you will travel with a driver and be met by local English-speaking tour guides for any included sightseeing.

What to expect and is this tour for me?

A tour in India is an adventure where anything can happen. We recommend you are of a reasonable fitness as touring often involves long walks and uneven surfaces, this tour is not suitable for those who require special assistance.

Time difference

GMT +5 1⁄2 hours (summer) +6 1⁄2 hours (winter)

Tour inclusions

  • Air-conditioned transport throughout
  • Sightseeing as detailed including entrance fees and still camera fees
  • The services of an experienced local guide in each destination
  • Road taxes, parking fees, fuel surcharges, interstate taxes and porterage at airports and train stations
  • Flights to and from Varanasi in economy. Baggage allowance of 15kgs. No meals during flight.

Tour exclusions

  • International flights including all UK and overseas airport taxes and applicable fuel surcharges
  • Flight upgrades and airport transfers in the UK
  • Optional excursions listed as extra cost
  • Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips & gratuities, video camera fees at monuments
  • The required Indian visa
  • Anything not detailed on the itinerary

Dining inclusions

3 breakfasts

Included activities

  • Tours listed in the itinerary


Occasionally we may need to substitute one or more of the hotels with that of a similar standard.

Journey times

India is a vast country and journey times between destinations can sometimes be long. Journey times are listed in the itinerary and are approximate. India is a vast country with different topography from the North to the South and road condition may vary depending on the region that they are travelling. You may find modern express highways to un- surfaced roads / tracks.

Group size

This is a private tour, you a driver and local English-speaking tour guides for any included sightseeing only.


English is widely spoken in India.

Visa requirements

An Indian visa is required for all British passport holders and MUST be obtained before your arrival in India. You can now apply for an e-Visa at a cost up to $25 USD per person when staying 30 days or less. This can be obtained at The application must be completed no later than 4 days prior to your arrival in India. Your e-visa will be valid for 60 days from the date of your arrival. You should ensure that your passport is valid for 6 months beyond your departure date from India and have at least two blank pages.