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Mumbai to Varanasi Travel Guide: How to Get to and Around Banaras

Varanasi, popularly known as Banaras, a city situated on the banks of the holy river Ganga is in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The city is also called Kashi, named after the famous and holy Kashi Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Varanasi is quite famous for hosting both national and international tourists. Not only Hindus and Jains, people following different faith, both from India and other countries, also visit Varanasi. Varanasi is well connected with roads, railways, and airways. The distance between Varanasi and Mumbai is 1,600 km (994.2 mi). Here is a detailed information guide on how to reach Varanasi from Mumbai and insights into how you can blend yourself into the culture of Banaras.

How to Reach Varanasi

Since the distance between Mumbai and Varansai is too much, there are no direct buses that ply between these cities. The best ways to travel Mumbai to Varanasi is either by train or by air.

Mumbai to Varanasi by Air

Though the distance from Mumbai to Varanasi seems quite exhausting and tiring, there are many ways to reach Varanasi. The most suitable way to reach this holy city is flights that take just around 2 hours and 30 minutes. It may be a little expensive as compared to trains and buses, but to avoid all the travel sickness and irritation, it’s better to spend a little more money and travel comfortably by air. The average flight tickets from Mumbai to Varanasi start from ₹3,500 to ₹4,000 per person for the economy class.

Travel tip- Booking tickets for flights at least a month earlier to the departure date is a good thing to do as the fares would be comparatively less.
Airports - The fights from Mumbai to Varanasi must be boarded from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport in Mumbai, which is around 8 km (5 mi) away from the main city.

The dropping point is Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport in Varanasi, which is around 20 km (12.4 mi) away from the heart of the city. The main city can be easily reached from the airport, by hiring taxis present outside the airport.

Mumbai to Varanasi by Train

For those of you who want to travel by train, it is an economical option and the average price of train tickets from Mumbai to Varanasi is around ₹550 to ₹800 for the sleeper class, while the ticket prices for luxury classes are higher and range from ₹1,000 to ₹3,000.

The average time taken to reach Varanasi by train is around 30 hours. The journey is long but also much economical when compared to flights, for travelling by train is quite popular among many tourists. The tickets for trains need to be reserved in advance as the tickets are not available directly on the spot. Train tickets can also be booked 24 hours before departure through online platforms.

15017 Kashi Express, 11061Pawan Express, 12167 Manduadih Superfast Express, and 11071 Kamayani Express are the major trains that depart from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Mumbai and reach Varanasi Junction.

Railway station - The train from Mumbai to Varanasi can be boarded from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, as well as from Dadar Railway Station, and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus in Mumbai. The dropping point is at the Varanasi junction.

Travel Guide to Get in and around Varanasi

To explore the great city of Varanasi and get around the city, there are some basic things you should know for having fun and having a memorable trip. Hindi is the most spoken language here in Varanasi but most of the locals also understand English. While exploring the city, you will get to know the rich culture and traditions of the city.

Varanasi has facilities of local taxis, Tongas, and rickshaws. There are many places that are located near to each other, hence the city can also be explored by walking. There are facilities of online cab booking like Ola and Uber available in the city, which is another added advantage. Walking on foot can be quite interesting and the best way to explore the streets and alleys of Varanasi. You can also ride the bicycle rickshaws which can be found nearly everywhere in the city. Small rickshaw rides cost around ₹20 to ₹50.

Understanding traditional Hindu customs and tasting the traditional dishes of the land is another great way to experience the greatness of the city. There are very few restaurants where you will get non-vegetarian food as in most areas meat is banned. Mostly the restaurants and hotels offer vegetarian food as this city is considered a holy and sacred place that has over 2,000 temples with the famous Kashi Vishwanath dedicated to Lord Shiva. When in Varanasi, never ask anyone about beef or other food items. The cow is worshipped in India by most of the Hindus and talking about eating beef can anger the locals, especially in Uttar Pradesh.

Nearby Cultural Places

Prayagraj (150 kilometers/93.2 miles), Ayodhya (200 kilometers/124.3 miles), and Bodh Gaya (250 kilometers/155.3 miles) are three culturally-centric and ancient cities near Varanasi, which are also rich in culture, just like Varanasi. Prayagraj and Ayodhya are two important places in Hinduism.

Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Rama. Prayagraj is the place where the biggest religious festival of Hindus, Kumbh Mela is held. Bodh Gaya is an important place for Buddhists. It is believed that Buddha achieved enlightenment at this place, meditating under a Bodhi tree.

Varanasi is a mystical land that will mesmerize you in every way. There is no better way to put it other than, this city is full of amusing and interesting places and people that will make you visit this holy land again. It’s a place that can spiritualize and calm your soul.

Further Reading:

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