On the Portrait of India tour, are you taken on a walking tour of the temples or only the evening and early boat tour of the Ghats?
In 2018 when we did it, it was only the evening and early boat tour of the Ghats.
I did the tour in February 2023 and the activity in Varanasi is totally boat excursions with no temple touring. You walk to the ghats through the streets of Varanasi to the boat for the evening boat ride. Then do the early morning boat tour the following day.
I’m thinking of passing up Sarnath to seeing more of the ghats and alleys of Varanasi.
when will you be there? does the time of year matter?
I wouldn’t want to walk those areas on my own, there are so many beggars, Tauck pays someone to keep them away from us. The ones where the women carry babies, empty feeding bottles, begging, but you can see them pinching the plump babies to make them cry. But we loved Varanasi
We will be there in late October. British, my plan is to hire a guide for a few hours, if possible. Someone who can run interference and maximize my time with photo opportunities.
Good idea. Please be aware you must ask permission to take photos of people and they often want payment.
Just offering what we learned when we were there
JimFlorida , Hello
I did this tour several years ago, it is incredible!
I would highly recommend this company: https://www.varanasimagic.com/contact-us.html
I used them in both Delhi & Varanasi, excellent company and they support the local women @ every city they cover.
you may contact them from here via email, they will customize the visit as you wish. They are very professional and Deepa the owner it's a great lady. E-mail : [email protected]
Take a look at the website and if it helps, great.
Have a great day.
Also there is a documentary in Youtube that it's great, done by a young producer and the photography it's amazing. Let me find it and I will post the here for you.
I founded- it can be a little dark, but still interesting to see. - you can find some great ones in Youtube, but there is something about this particular video.
My own opinion... Varanasi it's not as scary or dark as people think and it can be very emotional. Tauck thanks God doesn't get too close to the Ghats , so you can see the burners but not be groused out by the event. I did take lots of pictures of the Sadhus, just ask them with a head gesture and show them the picture after you're done. I gave each a $1 .
Have a great day.
Mil, Thank you very very much for the information. The video was remarkable. Very talented young men who have a bright future in photography and videography. I will definitely reach out for details as soon as I have a better handle on my logistics of my visit there. Very much appreciate your response to my inquiry.
JimFlorida more than happy to help.
Just one little advise; the hotel use by Tauck here in Varanasi (Taj Ganges, Varanasi) , it's the only one I would be careful with the food-
don't eat any salads, stick to fruits only, we only had 3 passengers with Belly Delhi and all 3 got it at this hotel. nothing too terrible (Imodium helped), but they did miss the early awakening of the river ceremony.
Which it reminds me, don't miss at nighttime the putting to sleep river ceremony- It is the most beautiful and very emotional ceremony.
we all cried.
Thanks. We are frequent travelers to areas where caution is required. We did have a gastro issue in China but we avoid salads and never street food. As long as they sell bottled wine and beer I’ll survive. We planned to see both morning and evening ceremonies with Tauck. The website you shared looks ideal for my purposes. I’m hoping we hear from our tour director prior to our departure to get timeframes before locking down our private tour.
I'll be going on Portrait of India in January, and am wondering how cold it will be on the River Ganges in the evening, and early morning. I know we have to pack just a (Tauck-supplied) duffle for the Varanasi trip, but they don't mention whether we'll need coats, for example. I live in southern California, so pretty much used more to warm weather.... Any advice would be much appreciated. For those going on the trip, looking forward to meeting you.
You can also select a specific date from the calendar for hourly temps. Other weather data available.
I have photos of me wearing a jacket on the river and I, am not normally someone who gets cold easily.
It was cold in mid-December 2018. I wore a jacket and a scarf.
Suzy800, we will be taking the Portrait of India in late 2024. Once you’ve completed the tour, I’d like to read your overall impressions.