Varanasi, sometimes known as Benares or Banaras, is a historical and holy city on the banks of the Ganges river in Uttar Pradesh. Varanasi is known to be one of the oldest, continuously inhabited cities in the world with settlements dating back to the 11th century BC. Varanasi is considered to be the holiest site for Hindus, with many Hindus coming to Varanasi to bathe in the river Ganges. The city is ancient and busy, with bright colours and cremations happening at the edge of the river. Varanasi is one of India’s impressive cities.Why to go
Varanasi is a hub for spirituality. The city encompasses all aspects of life, side by side at the same moment. Despite the chaos of life that is present in the streets of Varanasi, there is a strong sense of peacefulness. All this makes Varanasi a great place to practice living in the moment, an important philosophy in yoga.What we love
Varanasi is sublimely beautiful and bursting with rich history. When you wander through Varanasi, the streets, the amazing architecture, and the traditional ways of life have an ancient feeling. You cannot escape the cities archaic feel. The Ganges river is magical to experience at all times of the day, especially at sunrise ad sunset.
DARK LOTUS BANARAS YOGA
DarkLotus is more than just a yoga class. It's a sacred journey into the tradition, history and experience of yoga in Banaras & beyond. DarkLotus offers a range of different yoga classes and yoga tours.
Phone: +91 73 7971 1888
BANARAS YOGA CENTER
Yoga classes, training, health, philosophy, research.
Phone: +91 94 5370 4675
SHALA BERLIN YOGA RETREAT
Asana, Pranayama, Meditation and Ayurveda Relaxation techniques.
Phone: +91 94 5310 9313
SIDDHARTH YOGA CENTER
A yoga training school located in Varanasi near the main ghat of the Ganges. People from all over the world attend and enjoy yoga classes, relaxation exercises and its benefits. Yogi Massages are also available.
Phone: +91 92 3683 0966
SRI YOGA MANDIR
"Sri Yoga Mandir" mean the temple of yoga - a place where people can stay and learn yoga in an ideal atmosphere.The Yoga Mandir is built on the bank of the Ganges river in Varanasi. Yoga Mandir has an outdoor platform for open-air practice and courtyards for performances and ceremonies.
Phone: +91 54 2236 9868
Please take a look at our yoga directory to find many more yoga schools in Varanasi.
Varanasi sees many visitors throughout the year. During peak season, winter, accommodation must be secured in advance. Since the city suffers from bad roads and heavy traffic, we recommend staying in an area near your yoga school. Contact your yoga school in advance to enquire about locals guesthouses, hotels and maybe even apartments to rent. Airbnb can be a good resource when looking for both long-term and short-term accommodation.
Varanasi has three main seasons: summer, monsoon and winter. Because of very high temperatures during summer, it is advisable to visit Varanasi during the winter season. Many yoga schools are open all year, while others only open during the winter months, make sure to check if the school you are interested in is open during the months you are planning on going.
March to June - These summer months are very hot, dry and sunny. The high temperatures and dry air makes sightseeing and wandering through the city difficult at this time of year. Near the Ghats, cooler temperatures can often be found with a light breeze. April and May are the hottest months with temperatures around 40+ degrees.
July to October - The monsoon season comes and cools the hot summer temperatures. Despite heavy rainfall which can be an inconvenience while travelling, the monsoon season in Varanasi is beautiful: watching the rainfall across the Ganges river is an amazing experience. If you enjoy heavy rainfall, it can be a thrilling time of year to visit.
November to February - This is the perfect time to visit Varanasi, but because of this, it is also the time of year with the most visitors. The temperatures are good for exploring the city and taking boat rides down the river.
Arriving by air
Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport is located about an hour northwest of Varanasi city centre. The airport is connected to several Indian cities as well as Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Bangkok (Thailand). Busses, taxis and rickshaws are available from the airport to the city.
Arriving by train
Varanasi has three major train stations with trains arriving and departing daily to major cities in India. The three main train stations are Varanasi Junction, Manduadih Railway Station and Mughal Sarai Junction.
Arriving by bus
The main bus terminal in Varanasi is located east of the Varanasi Junction train station. There are buses linking Varanasi to several major cities in the northern part of the country as well as to the border of Nepal.
Travelling by foot
The best way to explore Varanasi is often by foot. The area by the ghats and the waterfront is only accessible by foot. It is useful to get yourself a guidebook or a map, available at any bookstore, as it is easy to get lost. There are also vendors renting bicycles if you prefer to cycle.
Travelling by taxi
There are some taxis available in the city, but heavy traffic makes this an impractical way of moving around in the city.
Travelling by auto-rickshaw
This is a good way of getting around Varanasi when you are tired of roaming the streets by foot. There are both auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws readily available, and a pre-paid auto-rickshaw stand at the Varanasi Junction train station.
Varanasi is a city like no other. It is a place to learn to live moment by moment. A place to observe the spectacle of life and death on the Ganges river banks. And a place to explore the narrow streets and alleys of the ancient city.
Ghats and the River Ganges - A sacred river for the Hindus where traditional rituals and bathing occurs at all times of the day, as well as cremations. Some well-known ghats include Assi Ghat, Tulsi Ghat, Harishchandra Ghat, Narad Ghat, Kedar Ghat, Dasaswamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Panchganga Ghat, and much more. Make sure to spend some time people watching, and watching all the activities happening alongside the river.
Boat ride - A boat ride on the river Ganges is a must do when visiting Varanasi, especially at sunrise or sunset.
Explore - Explore the cities alleyways, walk along the ghats and into the old city.
Kriti Gallery - Contemporary art gallery.
Alamagir Mosque - An impressive piece of architecture with great views of the area.
Chunar Fort - A fort that is over 2000 years old.
Ramnagar Fort - A Mughal style fort of the King of Kashi.
Temples - There are many wonderful temples to visit: Sankat Mochan Temple, Kaal Bhairav Temple, Durga Temple, Gauri Matha Temple, Nepali Hindu Temple, Tulsi Manas Temple, Shri Kashi Vishwanth Temple, Sarnath.
Banaras Hindu University - A large university with beautiful green campus grounds and an impressive marble temple.
Festivals - Some famous festivals include: Chhath Pooja, Deepavali (Diwali) and Maha Shivaratri.