Most hostels offer tour packages in Varanasi including a boat tour on Ganges River but we opted to do it ourselves since we don’t have any schedule to follow anyway.
From our hostel in Assi Ghat, we walked along the river banks towards the main ghat. Varanasi is such a photographer’s paradise as you’ll see so many things going on along the Ganges River.
We stopped every now and then to snap a few pictures and continued on. As we walked along the bank, various boat owners and small tour operators offered us a boat tour for varying prices.
The cheapest way to go would be to share the boat with other travellers. Depending on the number of passengers, one may expect to pay from 20 Rupees up.
One guy offered us 50 Rupees (each) for a boat tour but eventually asked for 100 Rupees (each) since we didn’t get anyone to share the boat with. We were hesitant at first but eventually agreed since it’s really not that much.
Our boatman took us to the other side of the Ganges River which was a complete surprise for me.
The other side has a wide sandy shore and it actually looks like a beach than a river bank. A lot of locals were bathing when we were there.
I noticed that a lot of women were shaving their heads before bathing and then offering some candles and flowers to the river. It may be some sort of religious ritual for them. There’re also some locals who seemed to be just having fun in beating the heat by swimming on the Ganges. It was so hot in Varanasi when we were there and the temperature was flying up to 45 degress celsius.
I just sat on one corner and just soaked everything in. Varanasi despite of it’s dirt, grime and touts is one of my favorite places in India.
There’s so much to see and there’s so much to experience in this holy city.
Instead of being an active participant, I’ve decided that for that time being, I’ll just stay as an observer and just enjoy everything that’s going on.
Here’s some more pictures of my short boat trip in Ganges: