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Spectacular Sunrise boat ride on Ganga in Varanasi!

Last updated on December 27th, 2023 at 03:17 pm

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

When he bid goodbye 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 a 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 boatman arranged by Mukesh says that there is a lot of slush on the ghat and requests us to go to the 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 is named after Saint Tulsi Das whose house and small temple is on the ghat from where he wrote the epic poem “Ram Charit Manas”.

The Sunrise boat ride in Varanasi on river Ganga 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 the sun rising on the eastern horizon.

These boats are slow-moving ones with oars. Each boat has a boatman and his assistant. They move very slowly and help us to see the stunning sun rise over the horizon with the Ganga in the foreground, the panoramic views of the ghats and the morning life on the 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 their devotion to god. We could see people from all walks of life gathering on the ghat to worship the sun as he came up on the eastern horizon.

It is believed that worshipping the Sun as he rises after having a bath in the Ganga is very auspicious. Some people come here in the morning to give “Tarpan – an offering of holy waters” to their ancestors at sunrise. We could also see many who had come to these ghats just to take a 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 an 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 in Varanasi on Ganga on YouTube 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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