Sail Down The Ganges River – Indian Tour to Holy City of Varanasi

in India

At 2507 kilometers long The Ganges, which stretches from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, is nowhere near as long as the Nile, the Amazon, or the Mississippi.  But its might comes from a much deeper place. The river is regarded as the lifeblood of India, a water source which gives the Asian nation its economic freedom, its spirituality, and its cultural identity.

Sunrise on the Ganges River near Varanasi

Sunrise on the Ganges River near the holy city of Varanasi

One of the greatest ways to experience the splendor of The Ganges is to get on it. Several touring companies, including Adventure Expedition Travel and Shikhar Travels, offer sailing journeys down the river. These sailboats are not like those familiar to Western travelers. The rustic vessels are propelled by the sail if weather permits, or bamboo poles when conditions are still. A canvas awning offers crude shelter from the elements, and there is room for just a small number of passengers and their luggage.

The sailing expeditions travel to the holy city of Varanasi.

The sacred city is home to ghats, a row of stone steps along the Indian coast. Tourists can see many Hindus here bathing, practicing meditation and yoga, making offerings to the gods, and cremating the dead. It’s thought that anyone who dies in Varanasi will travel straight to heaven. To truly experience Varanasi, tourists should take a walk around the Old Town, or Vishwanatha Khanda. This area’s shrines and temples, stalls and shops, are a hive of activity all year round.

For their own comfort, tourists are advised against traveling to The Ganges in the middle of the year. In June temperatures soar as high as 39 ºC, while July is the area’s wettest month.

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