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Taj Ganges
Varanasi

This centrally located 4-star hotel is considered to be one of the best in Varanasi. Its luscious grounds, set in 12 acres of land, make it an oasis of greenery in this bustling and frenetic holy city.

There are 130 well-equipped and spacious rooms which make for a comfortable and perfect escape from the hot, busy streets of Varanasi. With views overlooking the tropical gardens or the city, the rooms have an old-world charm but all the modern amenities one expects from a luxury city hotel. Yoga can be arranged and there is a pleasant swimming pool in which to relax after a day getting under the skin of this magical city.

Taj Ganges has two restaurants, Chowk and Varuna, which rank amongst the finest in the city. Chowk is a relaxed multi-cuisine restaurant serving international dishes along with a wide range of Indian, pan-Asian and continental cuisine, and Varuna serves authentic Indian cuisine in a fine dining environment. The mouth-watering thalis that honour the hearty food culture of Uttar Pradesh come highly recommended. The hotel has its own organic vegetable garden, from which the chef’s source much of their ingredients, giving flavour to every dish. It is worth noting that alcohol is served in this hotel – some establishments due to their proximity to the holy Ganges river do not.

Varanasi is what the uninitiated think all of India to be like; loud, chaotic, overwhelming and utterly mad. And it is. But there is also considerable charm to be found in this immensely religious city. Often said to be the Hindu version of Mecca, Varanasi’s population is a melting pot of all of India, as Hindu’s make their once in a lifetime trip the mighty Ganga river.

As you sit on a boat moored in the Ganges, surrounded by thousands of Indian pilgrims becoming entranced by the energetic performance of an evening aarti (Hindu offering of prayers that takes place twice a day) at Dashashwamedh Ghat, Varanasi will come alive. After its conclusion a walk through the hectic streets dodging the holy cows, holy men (sadhus) and the detritus they leave behind will leave you feeling invigorated, and with a zest for life as zealous as the pilgrims themselves. Varanasi is home not only to the country’s most holy river, but it is also where all saris are made. As a break from the crowds, head to one the weavers’ or silk museums and watch the highly skilled artisans make exquisite brocade and silk patterns, using methods that are often 1,000 years old.

Whether you are heading out into the hustle and bustle of this holy city, returning to catch your breath by swimming a few laps in the pool or enjoying a cold drink, the serenity of the Taj Ganges and its tree-lined entrance, is there to suit your every need.

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There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.
Robert Louis Stevenson

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