A boat ride at dawn along the river to view the ghats and former palaces from the Ganges is a quintessential Varanasi experience. The best time to make the trip is from 05:30 when it is cool, the early morning light is particularly inspiring and all the color and clamour of pilgrims bathing and performing puja unfolds before you. An hour-long trip south from Dasaswamedh Ghat to Harishchandra Ghat and back is popular, but be prepared to see a burning corpse at Harishchandra.
Return hotel for Breakfast. After breakfast, embark on a tour of Varanasi. The sites will include the Kashi-Vishwanath Temple, the most sacred of the shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, patron deity of Varanasi, originally constructed by Rani Ahillya Bai Holkar in 1776. The temple was rebuilt in the 18th century; its gold plating on the "shikharas" was a gift from a Sikh king, Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Proceed to the Durga Temple, another important temple, dedicated to the Goddess Durga. It was built in the 18th century, in the Nagara style of architecture. It has five Shikharas (spires), which commences from the bottom and converges to the top. Locally, the temple is known as the "Monkey Temple" due to the large number of monkeys inhabiting the vicinity. Continue on to Tulsi Manas Mandir, built in 1964, devoted to Lord Rama and is believed to have been built on the site where the saint-poet Tulsi Das resided and wrote the epic Ram Charit Manas. The text is engraved on the walls of the temple. Next, visit the Bharat Mata Mandir, a unique temple dedicated to Mother India. It houses a relief map of India, carved out of
Afternoon, visit Sarnath, located just 12 km from the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, is the site of the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma after his enlightenment. Sarnath is one of four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha himself for pilgrimage. Sarnath has previously been known as Mrigadava, "deer park," and Isipatana, meaning the place where holy men fell to earth. The latter name is based in the legend that when the Buddha was born, devas came down to announce it to 500 holy men. The holy men all rose into the air and disappeared and their relics fell to the ground. The current name Sarnath, from Saranganath, means "Lord of the Deer" and relates to another old Buddhist story in which the Bodhisattva is a deer and offers his life to a king instead of the doe he is planning to kill. The king is so moved that he creates the park as a sanctuary for deer. visit the various Stupas created by King Ashoka of Maurya dynasty. Also visit the famous place where Buddha gave his first Sermons. The place has the most impressive remains, as well as a modern temple. Also visit adjoining Sarnath museum. Stay Overnight at the Hotel