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how many days are needed to visit Varanasi?

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The most obvious question asked by every traveler before making a trip to Varanasi is: “How many days are needed to visit or explore Varanasi ?”. The usual answer available on the internet to this question is 3 to 4 days. But are 3 to 4 days really enough for you to explore the whole of it? Keep reading to find yourself.

Varanasi gives an impression of a small city that can be mapped edge to edge in hours on maps which can be very confusing at first. Unlike other cities, Varanasi is not developed externally but built within a complex interlinked system of streets and ghats. Let’s try to understand how many days are actually needed to fill your heart in Varanasi.


Religious Tour to Varanasi

Short religious Tours, pilgrimage, or spiritual tours can be done in a 3-day visit. In these 3 days, you will be able to visit a few prominent temples like Vishwanath Corridor, Annapurna Temple, Kaal Bhairav Temple, and Sankat Mochan Temple and watch morning and evening, Ganga Aarti, Enjoy an evening boat ride & savor street food. You can also visit Ramnagar Fort or Sarnath if your time permits.

However, a real religious pilgrimage to Varanasi can easily take from months to years!

Tip: Please do not get tempted to cover a lot of places, secure an evening to do nothing and enjoy the serenity of the Ghats or just take a leisurely walk on the ghats and streets to fill your heart.

Leisure Tour to Varanasi

Morning Boat Ride in Varanasi
Morning Boat Ride in Varanasi (Captured by Larissa D’Sa)

A Leisure or weekend Trip to Varanasi can easily be done in 2-3 Days. You can quickly cover all the main attractions of the city without spending much time. You will be able to visit Vishwanath Corridor, watch Ganga aarti, and try out street food. A weekend tour will never be enough to fill your heart but it is a good choice for anyone who is low on time or wants an introduction to the city to come back with more time.

Tip: You can get the most out of your weekend trip by enrolling for a history walk clubbed with a morning boat ride.

Laid-back Trip to Varanasi

Banaras is one of the best places in India to be laid back and relaxed. Everything in the city is literally slow and stuck in the time apart from traffic but you can easily dodge that by commuting via streets and Ghats. You will need at least a week to rejoice and adapt to the “live in the moment” attitude of the city. If you come from a metro city these 7 days will help you reconnect with yourself and your roots spiritually & emotionally. Imagine waking up to Ganga Aarti every day and having endless gossip with strangers in a tea shop or simply sitting at the Ghats and jolting down your emotions on the canvas in words or paint. Rent a scooter and go on a ride to Sarnath or the waterfalls of Lakhaniya Dari. The possibilities are endless!

Tip: Do not get too addicted to this lifestyle or you might end up hating your mundane life in the city. A lot many times people from other cities and countries spent a few days here and ended up settling down in the city just for the sake of its culture and lifestyle.

Historophile or Research Trip to Varanasi

If you’re visiting the city for the love of history, and mythology or to research a subject then at least plan your trip for a minimum of 10 to 12 days. This will give you enough window to work and enjoy your vacant time exploring the city. Kashi is a complex city with a lot of layers of history, culture, and religion which makes it one of the best places for researchers. If you need any help documenting the city you can write to us at hello@varanasiguru.com or you can leave us a message on Instagram @varanasiguru.

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