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“Encyclopaedic ” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Varanasi Walks

Varanasi Walks
Ranked #5 of 54 Tours in Varanasi
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: VaranasiWalks is the oldest experience oriented eco-friendly walking tour and boat journey collective in Varanasi. Since 2008 our Explorers have given an intimate look at the holy city of Varanasi and are able to show you places in the city that the average tourist could never find. Our walks cater to those who want to see the layered interiors of the city and avoid the static silk shopping game. The boatrides include short walks and detailed history along with immersed experiences! As a collective of residents of the city we are flexible and open to working with you to create a experience you will never forget. VaranasiWalks was started by Jai while he was running a successful Hindu Studies & Hindi Language university program and working in the Social Service sector. Jai has been giving walks in Varanasi since 2004.
Leeds, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Encyclopaedic ”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2013 via mobile

Our walk around the northern area of the city was great. Our guide Nanda was a veritable encyclopaedia of information on everything from Hindu philosophy and local politics to sign painting and street dentistry! As a native of Varanasi he has a deep love for the city but also a very pragmatic/humorous view of the reality and problems here. It was fun to spend time discussing all this as we explored the streets.

The tour itself included hidden temples, narrow backstreets and courtyards. It gave us a chance to visit areas away from souvenir shops and touts and see things we wouldn't have otherwise. nanda also gave us great advice about other festivals to see and places to visit in the rest of our stay which was very helpful. I would highly recommend this walk and Nanda as guide.

We also took the evening boat tour. Whilst this was equally as informative as the walk it was maybe not as good value. We didn't have time for part of the tour which was planned to walk to a temple and as there are many boats covering the same route up and down the river we could probably have seen the sights much cheaper - all be it with less info.

All in all though the walks are good value and help open the city to outsiders.

Helpful?
Thank Cliff M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VaranasiWalks, Owner at Varanasi Walks, responded to this review, 13 November 2013
Nandan is super isn't he! As one of our most articulate and detailed staff members he offers such a fresh perspective on just about everything and is able to integrate modern issues within the spirituality and flow of the ancient holy river city. Regarding your thoughts on boat rides it is true that you can find a boat for a few hundred rupees (or several hundred : ) if your bargaining skills are not at the top of the game) but we have found that people really come away with wanting more information and small journeys off the boat that the fisherman/boatwallahs just cant provide. Sometimes a hotel has a boatman and then it is cheaper but again the loss of dialogue and ability to ask questions to a seasoned explorer of the city is lost. So we just call it as we see it... 2.5 - 3hrs per person for a boat journey or walk... the boatrides are beautiful but more static and the walks are more interactive but then we dont have to pay for rowing while on our feet! Best of luck on the rest of your journey!
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193 reviews from our community

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Coimbatore, India
1 review
“Varanasi Walks-seeing the city”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2013

I've been on 6 walks/boat rides with Jai-he's got a wonderful grasp of the historic, religious, and cultural significance of Varanasi. Jai is very approachable, easy going and my university students loved spending time with him. His approach to understanding a city by eating, experiencing and sharing vignettes will help you more fully understand the complexity and color of Varanasi. I highly recommend going with Jai.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank ISP2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VaranasiWalks, Owner at Varanasi Walks, responded to this review, 13 November 2013
This is certainly one of the most amazing cities in the world filled chock full of history, culture, spirituality and best of all... PEOPLE! Looking forward to your time again with us in the future!
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Cochabamba, Bolivia
Level Contributor
93 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“A Local Perspective...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 November 2013

Love Delhi and the Fiona Caufield guidebooks are the best and we appreciate the time and effort that goes into each entry. With Varanasi Walks she is, again, correct. The owner, Jeremy, is wonderful for organizing the details of the tours and he has done a great job of developing other guides and from all the reviews we are sure he does a great job. We had a wonderful experience with Laotse, a young man who has taken time and great effort to learn and understand the city he grew up in and to learn the stories, the history, the nooks and crannies of the amazing city of Varanasi. He took special effort, extended his time so we could see so many interesting people, sites, and daily activities. He was flexible, accommodating and extremely knowledgeable. We highly recommend Laotse and wish him and his family all the best.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Gregory R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VaranasiWalks, Owner at Varanasi Walks, responded to this review, 13 November 2013
Thanks so much for coming on a VaranasiWalks tour! We hope that you come back again and spend more time with us!
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Cascade, Idaho
1 review
“fantastic insight on this beautiful city”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2013

I have been on 3 VaranasiWalks tours with Jai and they were all fantastic. My favorite though is the nighttime boat tour. Don't miss out if you are in Varanasi. It is an experience you will never forget!! (I also had 3 young children with me and Jai was very accommodating to their needs-took his time, found bathrooms when needed, etc...)

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank CSDeZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VaranasiWalks, Owner at Varanasi Walks, responded to this review, 6 November 2013
Yes, we love having kids on the walk! If they are too little to understand art & culture then they go free! If they are 15+ then full price! We try to make it interesting for them as well... VaranasiWalks can be a family experience! Come again soon!
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Dublin, Ireland
1 review
“Varanasi Walks”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2013

I spent a really enjoyable morning with Jai walking around the northern bazaars. He made the walk really interesting and included lots of Hindu , Christian and life philosophy while always having a good sense of humour. He was really well known in the area and you could see he had a genuine bond with the locals. We were well away from the main drag and the streets were very colourful and exciting. Had a delicious cup of chi in the company of locals and learnt so much about the area and its traditions. Would have liked to spend another day with Jai.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank bryan3257
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VaranasiWalks, Owner at Varanasi Walks, responded to this review, 10 October 2013
Brian, that walk was amazing and walking with you was marvelous! Come again and we will ferret out more of the secrets of the layers of Banaras! i.e. hidden underground pubs!
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