Varanasi is an historical city in Northern India and one of the oldest in Hinduism. It lies South of the Himalayas. Pilgrims come to the ghats (cremation steps) lining the Ganges to wash away sins in the sacred waters or to cremate their loved ones.
It's a particularly auspicious place to die with the Jains and Hindus believing that in Varanasi you will pass to enlightenment. While Varanasi is magical in many ways it is not for the faint-hearted. Intimate rituals of life and death take place in public, and the sights, sounds and smells on the ghats – not to mention almost constant attention from touts – can be intense.
Walking the ghats and alleyways or watching sunrise from a boat is unforgettable. The city can be scorchingly hot in the summer months so this is a place best visited between October and March when the nights can be chilly. Darjeeling on the other hand is a complete contrast with the lushness of the tea plantations.
This tour is certainly one to arouse your senses.