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Varanasi 5 – Spectacular Sunrise boat ride on Ganga!

Last Updated on 14 August 2023 by Poorna & Brinda

Sunrise boat ride on Ganga in Varanasi is a spiritual experience in itself. In this fifth part of Varanasi series, we will take you along the boat ride.

When he bid good bye after the lovely experience of Ganga Aarti on the previous day, Mukesh, our guide, had asked us to be ready by 5.30 AM to go for Sunrise boat ride on Ganga. We had heard a lot about this “must do” thing in Varanasi and were naturally excited. We had asked the hotel guys to give us bed tea – never ask for coffee in North India – at 5 AM.

Tea arrived promptly and we were ready in the reception by 5.30 when Mukesh joined us. We were to board the boat at Assi Ghat opposite the hotel. We get down to the ghat and the boat man arranged by Mukesh says that there is lot of slush on the ghat and requests us to go to neighbouring Tulsi ghat where he would bring the boat.

Tulsi ghat is five minutes’ walk from the hotel and we get into the boat there. Tulsi ghat named after Saint Tulsi das whose house and small temple is on the ghat from where he wrote the epic poem “Ram Charit Manas”.

Sunrise boat ride on Ganga in Varanasi is a memorable experience and not be missed. It gives a glimpse of morning life along the ghats in Varanasi. If you are lucky – as we were – you can see stunning views of sun rising in the eastern horizon.

These boats are slow moving ones with oars. Each boat has a boat man and his assistant. They move very slowly and help us to see stunning sun rise over the horizon with Ganga in the foreground, the panoramic views of ghats and the morning life on ghats closely.

Ganga is Varanasi and Varanasi is Ganga. For locals it is the lifeline. For devout pilgrims she is “Ganga Mayya – the mother who will wash away all the sins”. We are  fascinated by the energy of the people, their beliefs and devotion to god. We could see people from all walks of life gathering on the ghat to worship the sun as he came up  in the eastern horizon.

It is believed that worshiping Sun as he rises after having bath in Ganga is very auspicious. There were people who come here in the morning to give “Tarpan – offering of holy waters” to their ancestors at sun rise. We could also see many who had come to these ghats just to take bath in Ganga and purify themselves.

Join us as we take you on the Sunrise boat ride on Ganga…………

Please click on the pictures for enlarged view.

sunrise boat ride on Ganga

First glimpse of the sun…..

sunrise boat ride on Ganga

We start our ride on the river….

sunrise boat ride on Ganga

Dufferin bridge over Ganga

sunrise boat ride on Ganga

A glorious sight of Sunrise over the river!


sunrise boat ride on Ganga

Boats anchored near the ghats…..

You can check out our short video on the Sunrise Boat Ride on Ganga on You Tube here

Spectacular Sunrise cruise on Ganga

Travel Tips

a) This is a quintessential boat ride. Relaxed and slow.

b) Make sure to keep your camera ready. You are likely to get many opportunities to click the life on the ghats.

c) Check out floating markets which sell anything…..

d) Make sure you are up and there on the river when sun rises. It is a lovely experience.

e) The boatmen are friendly. Ask them to sing some folk tunes. It adds to the experience.

f) The complete ride will take one and half hours.

Want to know more about our travel in Varanasi in this blog? Please check out this link below.

Varanasi – Exploring India’s Holiest City 

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