Spiritual Sojourn: Varanasi Itinerary

Varanasi, also known as Benares or Kashi, is one of the oldest living cities in the world.

Situated on the banks of the Ganges River in Uttar Pradesh, India, this holy city has been a major spiritual center for Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists for over 3,000 years.

With its labyrinth of narrow alleys, multitude of temples, vibrant rituals, and the fascinating contrast between life and death on the ghats along the Ganga, Varanasi never ceases to captivate.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in Indian spirituality, culture, and philosophy, spending a few days in Varanasi is a must.

Here’s a 5-day Varanasi itinerary for spiritual seekers and contemplative travelers seeking enlightenment.

Day 1 in Varanasi: Witness the Aarti Ceremony at Dashashwamedh Ghat

Start your first evening in Varanasi with the breathtaking Ganga Aarti ceremony that takes place daily at Dashashwamedh Ghat.

The sunset ritual includes fire, incense, and chanting that exemplifies the spiritual essence of the city.

Arrive early to secure a good view on a boat or directly from the ghat. Allow the experience to cleanse your mind and introduce you to Varanasi’s magical mystique.

Day 2 in Varanasi: Sunrise Boat Tour of the Ghats

An early morning boat tour at sunrise provides perspective of life unfolding along Varanasi’s ghats and showcases the city’s unique juxtaposition between death and renewal.

Witness funeral pyres burning and people bathing, praying, and practicing yoga. Soak in the sunrise views of the temples dotting the riverside.

Disembark to wander the ghats and alleyways of the old city.

Day 3 in Varanasi: Excursion to Sarnath

Just 10 km north of Varanasi lies Sarnath, the famous Buddhist pilgrimage site where Buddha gave his first sermon after achieving enlightenment.

Spend a day exploring Sarnath’s ruins, stupas, temples, and museum exhibits that illustrate Buddha’s life and influence.

Meditate in the gardens or visit the large golden Buddha statue erected near the archaeological remains of ancient Buddhist monasteries.

Day 4 in Varanasi: Take a Hindu Mythology Tour

Join a knowledgeable guide for a tour of the legends, myths, history, and spiritual significance behind Varanasi’s elaborate temples and shrines.

Some highlights include visiting the 18th-century Durga Temple, the revered Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Mrityunjay Mahadev Temple, and the New Vishwanath Temple located within the campus of Benares Hindu University.

Day 5 in Varanasi: Contemplate Your Experience from a Rooftop Cafe on the Ghats

On your final day, rise early to witness your last sublime Varanasi sunrise with a cup of chai at one of the rooftop cafes overlooking the Ghats.

Take time to journal, meditate, and contemplate your experience exploring India’s spiritual homeland.

Later you can opt to peruse the rich silk and handicrafts at local shops before catching your train or flight onwards.


As one of the world’s legendary spiritual destinations, Varanasi has the power to change lives and shift perspectives for those open to its magic.

Allow yourself to fully immerse in its captivating rituals, profound history, and enthralling cultural landscape – and you might just discover spiritual awakening like so many pilgrims and truth-seekers before you.

Manvendra Singh
Manvendra Singh

Hi, I am Manvendra Singh, a passionate travel vlogger with a vision to enrich the travel experience for adventurers around the globe.

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