The exotic city of Varanasi is the cultural and religious centre of North India. Explore labyrinthine streets that bustle with merchants peddling their wares to the pilgrims passing through to the ghats (steps) down to the river. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Khajuraho is renowned for its spectacular group of exquisitely carved Hindu and Jain temples which date back a thousand years to the Chandela dynasty.
- In Varanasi enjoy a magical boat ride along the Ganges in the spiritual city of Varanasi and watch worshippers submerge themselves at bathing ghats
- Don't miss a trip to a fascinating night time Pooja Ceremony during which fire is offered to the Hindu God Shiva
- As well as visiting the famous ghats to see pilgrims cleansing themselves in the Ganges River, you can loose yourself along the atmospheric alleys and streets of the city
- In Khajuraho the focus is mainly on the temples and you can spend hours visiting numerous temples, perhaps spending a day exploring the eastern group and a day in the western groups
Varanasi & Khajuraho holiday highlights
Varanasi, Hinduism’s holiest city, draws more than a million pilgrims annually to ritually bathe in the sacred waters of the Ganges River, whose waters are believed to wash away sin. Banares Hindu University is one of Varanasi's most famous landmarks and its campus is home to the Bharat Kala Museum which boasts a fantastic collection of art, sculptures, miniature paintings and Mughal artifacts.
The architectural masterpieces of Khajuraho's majestic temples, which rank amongst the most important archaeological sites in India, feature over 800 sculptures and are adorned with ornate spires, carved pillars and erotic panels. Just 22 of the original 85 temples remain today and these stunning monuments feature intricately carved friezes depicting all aspects of life including the spiritual and sensual. The largest and most exquisite of the group is Kandariya Mahadeva which features carvings of celestial maidens, eternal lovers, gods and goddesses.