Situated on the banks of the sacred River Ganges, Varanasi has been a centre of learning and pilgrimage for over 2,000 years. Principally associated with Hinduism, the city is considered holy by Jains and was also visited by Buddha during his lifetime. With its temples and palaces, holy men and pilgrims, winding narrow alleyways and crowded waterfront ghats, Varanasi is an assault on the senses and unlike anywhere else in India. Take an early morning boat ride on the Ganges to view the sunrise and witness the pilgrims who gather to perform their religious rituals then return at sunset for the beautiful evening aarti ceremonies. During the day, explore the old city lanes and also visit the ruined city of Sarnath where Buddha first preached his message of enlightenment 2,500 years ago. Pettitts specialises in providing quality, tailor-made holidays and tours to India.

Suggested Journeys for Varanasi

We are pleased to offer the following selection of suggested itineraries based on our personal experiences. By combining these itineraries with your thoughts and ideas we can tailor any journey to make it special, unique and designed around you.

Land of the Buddha

17 days starting from £3135 per person

The Buddha's life and history play an important role in Indian society and form an integral part of the country's religious tapestry. This itinerary covers some of the Indian subcontinent's key Buddhist centres and incorporates the four places pivotal to the life of the Buddha - Lumbini in Nepal,...

North India - A Journey to the River Ganges

18 days starting from £3970 per person

No journey to northern India is complete without a visit to Varanasi – India's holiest city. An itinerary offering a cross–section of Indian society, the first half of this journey starts in Delhi, visits elegant Udaipur and Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur. Watch sunrise over the Taj Mahal...

Tigers, Temples and Distant Palaces of Central India

20 days starting from £4680 per person

Visiting India's central states is a hugely rewarding experience. Rich culture, spectacular scenery, exceptional wildlife and a strong tribal heritage combine to make travel worthwhile to parts of an India few ever get to see. After admiring Kolkata's architecture, travel by air to Raipur in the...