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“History, Spirituality & Art Come Alive”
Review of Varanasi Walks

Varanasi Walks
Ranked #8 of 69 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.
Reviewed June 18, 2013

The staff (explorers) of VaranasiWalks are extremely knowledgable and have a skill for story telling and a deep well of historical, spiritual and cultural facts that bring the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells to life. It was fascinating to hear about everything from the history and rituals of the peoples, temples, shops, government, education, art, and religions. The only recommendation that I can make that could be better than to book a tour with VaranasiWalks would be to recommend booking more than one tour!

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank Paul W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VaranasiWalks, Owner at Varanasi Walks, responded to this reviewResponded June 22, 2013

Thanks Paul!

Paul & his friends are from my hometown in USA and came on an Enfield motorcycle tour we arranged together in 2012. We did a bunch of specialised walks together before rolling out on the Grand Trunk Road back to Delhi via Jaipur!

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"riverside walk"
in 4 reviews
"walking tour"
in 22 reviews
"his knowledge"
in 16 reviews
"night tour"
in 3 reviews
"hidden temples"
in 8 reviews
"well worth the money"
in 3 reviews
"booked tours"
in 4 reviews
"afternoon walk"
in 3 reviews
"tiny streets"
in 3 reviews
"brilliant guide"
in 3 reviews
"always felt safe"
in 3 reviews
"lonely planet"
in 7 reviews
"three hours"
in 3 reviews
"old city"
in 11 reviews
"tour guide"
in 10 reviews
"flower market"
in 5 reviews
"chai"
in 11 reviews
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218 - 222 of 260 reviews

Reviewed May 12, 2013

My wife found Jai on Tripadvisor. Thankfully. The walk was awesome. We did the CIty of Lights walk and Jai was very accommodating in terms of choosing sights & stories given our interests. Jai was happy to let us set the pace but ensured we did not miss out on the quirky & interesting stories nearby. Having spent a long time in Benares, he knows virtually all of Benares' interesting nooks and crannies. We discovered a great place- Blue Lassi Cafe and had some awesome samosas at a hole in the wall thanks to his superb local knowledge.

Would definitely recommend Varanasi Walks to anyone without reservation.

p.s if you want to action up your walk & catch some police action, ask Jai to step into the Viswanath temple. Works in other temples too. Lol.

Thank Chandanmohanty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VaranasiWalks, Owner at Varanasi Walks, responded to this reviewResponded June 14, 2013

One of the coolest couples I have had an opportunity to walk around Kashi with. Chandan was so inquisitive about everything I couldn't finish telling one story before stumbling into another! He is the only guest to have joined 'namaz' in the hidden Razia Sahiba Masjid as well!!! Props for that yaar! Yeah, yeah... Vishwanath. What to say... after visiting 1001 times today was 'foreigners not allowed' day... until the head officer came and said, 'of course you can go in!' So I let him know what I thought of his staff in colorful Banarasi language. How about a interactive version of the Indian mythos game you are working in 'Samurai vs. Zombies' format!!!

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Reviewed May 7, 2013

I booked a tour through Jai in mid April. I waited at the predetermined meeting place for my guide, Nomi Tripathi, for 20 minutes before finding out he wasn't coming. I was given a couple of explanations -- he'd got the days mixed, and that he had to return to his village for an emergency. Not really sure either was true. As a remedy, I was sent an alternative, Pappu, who I was told was the brother of Nomi. Pappu arrived about 90 minutes after the tour was due to start. The walking tour was meant to include a sunset Ganges boat ride to watch the evening rituals on the ghats. Because of the late start, that didn't happen, which was disappointing, but still worth seeing from the steps. My guide wasn't especially well informed or engaging. He showed me some sites, but typically offered not much more than "this is important for Hindus." The next day, Pappu arrived about 15 minutes late for our predawn boat ride on the Ganges, which was irritating as I had less time to watch the sunrise (and could have done with the exta bit of sleep). The sites were amazing, and I am glad I got a chance to look around Varanasi and to see the ghats, but Pappu really didn't add much value. Pappu was nonetheless keen for full payment, despite an abridged tour and mediocre service. Jai acknowledged my experience was "lackluster" and that the decision to send the brother was "a giant mistake". He offered a complimentary walk, but there was not sufficient time to arrange that before my departure. To Jai's credit, he offered to reimburse me, but since I paid guide in cash, wasn't really sure how that was going to work. I am sure my experience is a rariity, and I wouldn't want it to dissuade fellow travelers -- just be cautious; double-check that the guide will show at the designated time and spot and avoid getting Pappu...

2  Thank Jason G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VaranasiWalks, Owner at Varanasi Walks, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2013

Jason, if i were in your shoes I would have written the same review. I wish I could say that VaranasiWalks always does everything perfectly but sometimes things go awry. Nomi is one of our best staff and has a bunch of great reviews. His mix-up with sending his brother and not informing me, as well as giving a shady reasoning to you, was not of the calibre associated with his previous work.

Pappu has had a few hiccups and I see his potential to shine. He has had some good reviews, and aside from his late arrival being completely irresponsible, but to give lackluster commentary for whatever reasons and then ask for full payment is just not acceptable. Ok so everyone has a bad day and needs to be a learner... but I took him off the walks for the rest of the season, as I received another comment like yours, and asked him to seriously consider if he wanted to be a part of our next season when he returns from Italy in Sept.

I am still very much willing to send you a check (45 days to cash a foreign check in AUS) or to offer you or any friend of yours a complimentary walk when you are next in our city. In hindsight I should have taken you personally as we had good rapport via email and I really want to apologise for your very unfortunate experience.

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Reviewed May 7, 2013

Jai from Varanasi Walks is an extraordinary guy and makes a wonderful job, going to hidden places around the city and giving detailed information about the place, culture and its people.
My experience in Varanasi (a city that is pretty hard to digest by itself) changed completely by his knowledge, understanding and caring.

Thank TiagoBueno
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VaranasiWalks, Owner at Varanasi Walks, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2013

Even though they say the tour was extraordinary it is actually this couple who was amazing! Their positive attitude and excitement to be in India was infectious. They asked great questions, were engaging, friendly and a blast to be with! It was so fun to share our city with you. I am so glad you both had a great time and when you come to Varanasi again look us up!

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Reviewed April 23, 2013

Jai (Jeremy) really went to great effort to try to accommodate us and customize our itinerary for the best possible experience. Initially, we were a little worried that the advertised Walks were not quite what we would most like, but Jai was very flexible and adjusted the walking tour to meet our interests, and he adjusted the price in a very fair way (did not just add up and maximize the bill but instead he pro-rated it all or discounted it for us). Unfortunately, he was not available to be the guide, but the employee he assigned to us was very willing to adjust the walk to match our interests and respond to our requests. Do not be afraid to ask in case the advertised walk is not your ideal! Jai is extremely knowledgeable and helpful to come up with the right fit for you!

Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VaranasiWalks, Owner at Varanasi Walks, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2013

Thanks for the good review! I believe Nandan was your guide, and aside from him being a licensed guide of Gov't of India, he is highly flexible, knowledgeable about the history, culture and pulse of the city politically and socially. Anyone who goes with him has only good remarks and I will convey yours to him as well! Next time you are in the city I will take you and we can then knock him off his high horse a bit! : )

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