Hindus believe that they have three mothers- the mother who has given them birth, Mother India and Mother Ganga. The River Ganga is as important as blood in the human body to Varanasi and Hindus living all over the world. The river is believed to have quality of washing off ones sin and providing them liberation just by taking a bath in it. Hindus from all over the world come to Varanasi to take a holy dip in the river.
Watching people coming down the river in early morning, taking bath in the Mother Ganges and performing rituals is always a unique experience. Groovy Tours organizes different boat rides to different places depending on our client’s request. The most popular Groovy Boat rides are as follows:
Subah-e-Banaras: Subah-e-Banaras means the mornings of Banaras. Banaras is never ever as beautiful as over the dawn. The old buildings, ashrams and places along the river side look as colorful as rainbow when the sun light hits them. People talking bath, performing rituals, worshiping to the Sun, washing clothes… it all happens in the Subah-e-Banaras. We start the boat from Assi Ghat (the southern ghat) and go all the way to Manikarnika Ghat (the biggest cremation ground of Banaras) and then end the tour back at Assi Ghat. This boat tour is combination of a boat ride and a walking tour of the southern part of the old city to explore the cultural diversity of Varanasi along with the oldest alive site in the whole Varanasi and a Akhada (traditional wrestling ground).
Price of the tour : Rs. 1500 per person.
Best time to start the boat ride depends on the season. 5.15 am is the best time for summers and 6 am for winters.
Ganga Aarti: Aarti is a Hindu religious ritual of worship, a form of puja, in which light from wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor is offered to one or more deities. On a regular basis rituals are offered five times a day with the evening aarti being the final ritual of the day when thousands of locals and pilgrims gather together to offer their prayers to the Mother Ganges. The evening boat ride also includes a visit to the cremation ground at Manikarnika Ghat because evenings are the best time to visit the cremation ground as it is the busiest time of the day.
Price of the tour : Rs. 1500 per person
Ask us to combine the boat ride with a pre boat walking tour of the northern part of old city which is out best selling walking tour!!!
Best time to start the boat ride depends on the season as the time of evening time ceremony also changes. 6.30 pm is the best time for summers and 5.15 pm for winters.
Kashi Yatra : Kashi is the oldest name of Banaras. This is the word used in Vedas and other old sacred Hindu texts. Kashi was founded near to Adi Keshav Ghat ( the northern end of the city) around 5000 years ago. The southern end of the old Kashi is believed to be Assi Ghat which is around 400 years old. This boat ride will take you to a journey of Kashi dating back from the 16th century to 3000 BCE. This is the longest boat ride we have and it takes about 4 to 5 hours, depending on the current of the river, to go there and come back.
Price of the tour : Rs. 2000 per person
Best time to start the boat ride depends on the season. 5 am is the best time for summers and 6 am for winters. The same boat ride could be organized in the evenings as well starting at 5.30 pm during the summers and 4 pm during the winters.
Maharaja Boat Ride: The palace of King of Banaras is situated at other side of the river. The palace is still the residence of the royal family of Varanasi. Ramnagar is famous as the birthplace of Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri, the second prime minister of India. The Ramlila (a yearly dramatic folk re-enactment of the life of Lord Ram) organized in Ramnagar is a world famous event for its unique and traditional concept and style. This boat ride consist a tour of the palace, a little walk around the fort area in the market and a 200 years old Durga temple which is 10 minutes rickshaw ride from the palace.
Price of the tour : Rs. 1800 per person
Best time to start the boat during summers is 8 am and anytime between 8.30 am and 3 pm during winters. A visit to the fort and Ramnagar area could also be organized by a taxi to avoid the heat during summers. Please ask us for more information.
Note: All of our boat rides are guided tours and there will be a trained guide with you all the time during the tour.
We use only hand rowed boats as we care for the environment and we never take more than 6 people on one boat as it becomes very laborious job for the boat rower if there are more than 6 people on one boat.
Make sure to carry some mosquito cream, especially for the evening boat rides, as there could be mosquitoes on the river and we will stop the boat at the main ghat for about 30 minutes to watch the ceremony.