Traveling from Delhi to Varanasi

Traveling from Delhi to Varanasi in 2021: Everything You Need to Know!

Are you planning a trip from Delhi to Varanasi? From Mumbai or Kolkata? Wondering what would be the best way to reach this pilgrim destination in North India? It is quite understandable to get confused about the travel options available for you journey, especially to someplace you have never traveled to before.

As someone who has traveled to all parts of India using different means of transportation, I can tell you that reaching Varanasi is quite easy. Since this is a popular city in Uttar Pradesh, it is well-connected to the rest of India.

So, I have prepared this guide to share with you all the information of the travel routes to Varanasi, different modes of transportation available, how much it costs, and other useful details.By the end of this article, you won’t be confused anymore about how you can reach and best places to explore in Varanasi.

How to Reach Varanasi

Varanasi Ghat
Varanasi Ghat

Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in India and is also the spiritual capital of our country. Thousands of pilgrims visit from all over India and abroad as well to get blessings here or to perform some sacred rituals beside Ganga River. With numerous temples and ghats to explore and learn about the culture, there are a lot of interesting things to do around Varanasi.

A paradise for photographers and pilgrims, this holy site tends to be crowded throughout the year. From boating in the river Ganges to exploring the labyrinth of streets here, Varanasi is a vibrant and colourful city that will make you fall in love with it.

And here is everything you need to know about reaching Varanasi from different cities in India.

How to Reach Varanasi by Train

There are three major railway stations in Varanasi – Varanasi City, Varanasi Junction, and Kashi Railway Station. Kashi and Varanasi City Railway Stations are located a little close to the Ghats while Varanasi Junction is located close to the city center. You will find that these three railway stations connect to the other major cities in India.

So, you can choose any of these three railway stations to find a train that connects your city to Varanasi. If you are visiting Varanasi in winters, then make sure you carry a blanket with you for the train journey.

Delhi to Varanasi

If you are wondering how to reach Varanasi from Delhi, then train is undoubtedly one of the best and most affordable options to consider. Delhi to Varanasi distance is approximately 863 kms and takes around 13.5 hours to cover. There are around 12-13 trains daily running from Delhi to Varanasi Junction and take anywhere between 8 – 18 hours to complete the journey. A train ticket for this journey can cost you anywhere between 250 and 3100 INR depending on the train class that you choose.

If you are looking to save time, then the best train to travel from Delhi to Varanasi would be Vande Bharat Special (02436) for Chair Car and Shiv Ganga Express Special (02560) for sitting or sleeper class. The former would cost you around 1700 INR for an 8-hour journey while the latter will cost you 260 INR for Second Sitting and 450 INR for Sleeper.

Note: For those who want to take Second A.C or First A.C, it is recommended to opt for flights as the cost remains the same but the journey time is considerably reduced. However, if you practice sustainable travelling, then train is a better option as it can help you reduce your carbon footprint by a huge margin.

Other Cities to Varanasi

If you are travelling from any other city apart from Delhi, then you might be happy to know that Varanasi is well-connected by railway networks. So, you will easily be able to find train options from most other cities including the major ones like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, and so on.

These trains can take anywhere between 24-48 hours, depending on your starting destination and especially if you are travelling from South India. The cost of the train tickets can vary between 300 and 3000 INR, depending on your starting destination and the train class that you choose. For the cheapest train tickets, you can opt for Second Sitting or Sleeper class train tickets.

For people who live in cities with no direct train to Varanasi, you can search for trains to railway stations in other cities that are close to Varanasi. You can search for trains to Prayagraj, Kanpur, or Lucknow and then take passenger train, bus, or cab to Varanasi. There is also the option of taking a flight to Varanasi if there are no direct trains available.

How to Books Your Train Tickets

Now, coming to an important question, how can you book your train tickets? Well, there are a lot of third-party websites such as Goibibo, Paytm, etc. that can help you book your train tickets for the desired route but these websites/apps often don’t show the real-time seat availability.

This is why I always use IRCTC official website or Railyatri app to book my train tickets. It is extremely easy to register yourself on these portals and then book your train tickets for the desired journeys. Moreover, you don’t have to pay a commission as you would in a third-party website.

How to Travel from Railway Station to Varanasi City

Once you reach Varanasi Railway Station, you can opt for an auto-rickshaw or a rickshaw to reach your desired address in the city. Make sure that you discuss the price before starting your journey and remember to haggle a little as the drivers are likely to quote a high price in the starting.

How to Reach Varanasi by Flight

Varanasi
Varanasi

Located around 18 km from Varanasi city, Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport is the only airport in Varanasi. This airport receives flights from most cities in India and around the world as well. The International airport in Varanasi connects the city to many major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, and so on. If you are unsure about how to reach Varanasi from Delhi for a weekend trip, then the flight is a good option as well but it would cost you more than a train ticket.

Apart from that, the airport also connects to international cities such as Vancouver, Dubai, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur, and so on. Of course, these flights will be slightly expensive but is a great way to reach India for your vacation. So, if you are planning a trip to India starting from Varanasi, then you can simply look for a flight to Varanasi from your origin destination. This is a great option for anyone who resides in India and is planning for a quick getaway to Varanasi City.

How to Book Flight Tickets to Varanasi

If you decide to take a flight to Varanasi, then there are lots of good websites to book your tickets. You can check out Skyscanner, Goibibo, EaseMyTrip, etc. websites to find the flight tickets for your desired dates and routes.

How to Travel from Airport to Varanasi City

From the airport, you can take a cab to reach the city which would cost around 500 INR and will take around 30 – 45 minutes to complete the journey. If you are looking for a cheaper option, then you can take the Airport Bus that will take around 40 – 60 minutes to reach the city and costs around 50 INR.

How to Reach Varanasi by Road

Varanasi is well-connected to a lot of major cities in India by road as well. So, you have the option of reaching here by a bus or using a private vehicle too.

Delhi to Varanasi

If you are wondering how to reach Varanasi from Delhi via road, then you would be glad to know that there are several state and private buses that run on this route. Delhi to Varanasi distance, as mentioned before, is around 863 km and can be easily covered in 13 – 14 hours in a bus. Private buses will cost around 1200 – 2000 INR, depending on the bus and the departure timing that you choose.

Also, if you have your on vehicle or if you know how to drive, then you can rent a car and plan a road trip from Delhi to Varanasi. This is a great option if you are travelling with your family or friends as it becomes easier to travel in the city as well.

Other Cities to Varanasi

If you are travelling from other nearby cities such as Jaipur, Agra, Patna, Kanpur, etc. then you can easily overnight or daytime buses to complete the 8 – 15 hours journey. You will have the option of choosing from private and public buses and will have the options of A.C, Non-A.C., Sleeper, etc. available too.

You can also plan a road trip from the close-by cities such as Agra, Kanpur, Prayagraj, Lucknow, etc. Just make sure that you have a car in a good shape to drive and someone to accompany you on this amazing journey.

How to Book Bus Tickets for Varanasi

For booking a state bus, you can use the UPSRTC website to book your tickets online for Varanasi. Another option is to head to the official State bus station in your city and get the tickets on the spot.

To book a private bus, you can easily opt for websites such as Paytm, Redbus, Goibibo, etc. Make sure that you compare the prices and check the coupons available before booking a bus ticket.

Reaching Varanasi on a Small Budget (1000 – 4000 INR)

Well, now you have information on the different modes of transportation available to reach Varanasi. So, let us take a look at your budget and how you can stay within its limit to reach Varanasi. If you are looking for a budget-friendly or backpacker option, then read on to know more.

Traveling from Nearby Cities to Varanasi (Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow, etc.)

If you are staying close to Varanasi, then you have lots of options available to travel to Varanasi in a backpacker’s budget. You can easily get local buses for 700 – 900 INR and the private Volvo buses also don’t cost more than 2000 INR for a one-way journey.

You also have the option of taking trains from these cities and can reach Varanasi in less than 13 hours. If you are travelling from Delhi, then you will find 10+ trains to Varanasi where the journey ranges between 8-18 hours. You can even opt for Sleeper coaches that will cost you around 250 – 300 INR.

And if you are looking for a little more comfort, then you can opt for 3AC or 2AC coaches. These can cost you around 1500 – 2000 INR and can be a great way to compromise on your budget and convenience.

Traveling from Far Away Cities to Varanasi (From Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, etc.)

When you are travelling to Varanasi from far away cities such as Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, etc., it can be a little difficult to stick to the backpacker budget. However, it is not impossible as long as you are okay with a little discomfort. As these cities are a little far and it can take more than 24 hours to reach Varanasi, you won’t find any buses from these destinations.

You cannot opt for General coach as well since you will have a hard time finding a seat and it is extremely difficult to stand for 30 hours on a journey. So, the cheapest option would be to take a Second Sitting or a Sleeper class ticket to reach Varanasi which can cost you around 400 – 800 INR.

If you are not stringent with money, then you can opt for 3AC or 2AC coaches as well that would cost you around 1000 – 2500 INR.

Also Read: How to Travel Within Varanasi On a Budget

Reaching Varanasi on a Luxury Trip (4000 – 15,000 INR)

For those who are more concerned about convenience and time and less about the cost, this section is for you. It will cost you more than others but you won’t have to struggle as much as well and can make most of your time in Varanasi.

Traveling from Nearby Cities to Varanasi (Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow, etc.)

For those travellers who need to reach Varanasi quickly and aren’t concerned about spending a little, flights are the best option to consider. From cities such as Kanpur, Delhi, Jaipur, etc., you will easily get return flight tickets for anywhere between 4000 and 10,000 INR. It will barely take around 2-3 hours to reach Varanasi (including the time taken to reach the airport and then reach your hotel in Varanasi).

Another convenient option would be to hire a cab for this journey and enjoy the views on your road trip. The cost of such a road trip can cost you anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 INR and will take around 8- 13 hours, depending on the starting destination.

Traveling from Far Away Cities to Varanasi (From Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, etc.)

If you are travelling from far away cities to Varanasi such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, etc., then the best and the quickest way to reach is by taking a flight. A flight to Varanasi from these cities will cost you around 8000 – 10,000 INR for the round trip. Also, the flights would be 2.5 – 3 hours long, so your total travel time would be around 4-5 hours.

How Much it Cost Me to Reach Varanasi

Boating in Varanasi
Boating in Varanasi

As I mentioned before, I have travelled to Varanasi a couple of times now and usually opt for a budget-friendly way of travelling. Here is a breakdown of how it usually cost me to travel to Varanasi:

Allahabad (Prayagraj) to Varanasi – Since Prayagraj is just at a short distance from Varanasi, it doesn’t take a lot of time to reach Varanasi. As a child, we would take our private vehicle to Varanasi but there are several passenger trains throughout the day heading to Varanasi as well. A sleeper coach in a train from Prayagraj to Varanasi costs around 150 INR and takes 2 – 4 hours to reach, depending on the train.

Dehradun to Varanasi – Finally, in 2020, I travelled from Dehradun to Varanasi but had to change train at Prayagraj Railway Station since I couldn’t find ticket in a direct train due to Covid-19. The PRYJ Festival SPL trail took around 12 hours to reach Prayagraj from Dehradun and cost me 560 INR for the Sleeper coach. From Prayagraj, I took another train to Varanasi Junction that cost me 150 INR and took around 2 hours to reach.

From the railway station, I got a rickshaw to the hostel where I was staying at for 100 INR. In total, it cost me 800 INR to reach Varanasi City from Dehradun.

Summary

Well, now that you have an idea about the different modes of transportations to reach Varanasi, you can select the one that suits you the best. All you need to do is decide on a budget and you can find a way to reach Varanasi effectively and quickly. If you are a budget-traveler or a backpacker, the trains are the cheapest option for travelling to Varanasi.

But if you are planning just a quick trip to Varanasi and don’t have a lot of time at your hand, then a flight would be the ideal choice for you. Varanasi is easy to reach from all parts of India so, you won’t find any trouble in finding a suitable accommodation for you.

Have you ever been to Varanasi? If yes, let us know about your experience in the comments below!

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