The Sandy Banks of Ganges River – Varanasi Boat Tour

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.

Varanasi Boat Tour

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.

Varanasi Boat Tour

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 Sandy Banks of Ganges River -  Varanasi Boat Tour

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.

Varanasi Boat Tour

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.

Varanasi Boat Tour

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:

Varanasi Boat Tour

Varanasi Boat Tour

Varanasi Boat Tour

Varanasi Boat Tour



  1. Brilliant set of images of Varanasi. India is such a colourful place and out of these Banaras (Varanasi) looks amazing. Thank you for sharing these pictures of this place.

  2. Great pictures Flip! Yes, Varanasi is indeed a special place in India, but the sheer weight of pollution has been pulling it down at a remarkable pace. Did you get to see the evening Aarti (floating lamps on the ganges) at Rajendra prasad ghat?

  3. Great photos. India is one of my favorite places to photography. I’m really feeling the need to get back there again. Varnasi is awesome.

  4. Some really great photos. I like taking in the view of cities on a boat trip, always a nice way to see some parts of a city.

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