FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Welcome to Ganges Nirvana Community and Homestay!
How Do I Find Ganges Nirvana...
Exit the station from platform 1 onto DLW Road.
Our Homestay is in “Shri Ram Nagar Colony”, about 10 minutes walking distance from this station. Turn right when you go out of the train station on DLW road, walk around 300 meters and turn left to pass under the “Shri Ram Nagar Colony” Gate. Go 100 meters straight, turn left in front on the “Pain Management Hospital”. Our Homestay is 20 meters away, on the right side.
Better if you have Google Maps or Maps.me with you!
Exit the station from Platform 1.
Auto-rickshaws (what the foreigner call as “tuk-tuks”) and OLA cabs are available just outside of the railway station. There is no bus service in Varanasi, the shared auto-rickshaws works as buses here.
You can find for Rs.100/120 if it is private transportation (OLA cabs or private auto-rickshaws). The driver will bring you until our homestay: Plot no. 175, Lane no. 2, Shri Ram Nagar Colony, DLW Road, near Manduadih Railway Station.
Alternatively, you can also get a shared auto-rickshaw going in DLW direction for Rs.20 per person. Ask the driver to drop you in front of the “Shri Ram Nagar Colony Gate”, and then you have to walk 200 meters to Plot no. 175, Lane no. 2 (Shashwat’s house).
Exit the station and take an auto-rickshaw or a taxi for “Shri Ram Nagar Colony” near Manduadih Railway Station, and show the address to the driver or call us so that we explain it to him. The auto-rickshaws should cost roughly Rs.300/400 and the taxi Rs.400/500. These two options are the most convenient for you.
Alternatively, you may also try to get a shared auto-rickshaw to Varanasi Junction for Rs.30 per person, and then follow the above guided directions (From Varanasi Junction Railway Station (BSB)).
We would suggest taking a train to Varanasi (it’s a lot easier).
If you’re brave enough to take the bus, you will most likely be dropped off at either at Varanasi Bus Stand, at Modala Chandpur (Sardar HP Petrol Pump) or in the vicinity of Varanasi Junction Railway Station. The best thing would be to find an auto-rickshaw (tuk-tuk), or Ola Cab direct to Ganges Nirvana Community and Homestay (near Manduadih Train Station).
Go past the baggage claim, then just before exiting the airport there are a couple of pre-paid taxi booths on the left. You can get an AC Taxi for Rs.700. Tell the Taxi driver to bring you to Plot no. 175, Lane no. 2, Shri Ram Nagar Colony, DLW Road, near Manduadih Railway Station.
– We also offer a pick-up service for Rs.1,600. If you’ve booked a transfer with us, then please just exit the airport terminal, and we will be waiting for you with a placard. Please write us in advance.
Haha, no kidding – it’s quite possible (at least from nearby cities like Allahabad). This is very unlikely to happen, but just in case you do arrive on a boat, let us know and in honour of your adventurous spirit we will pick you up for free! Make sure to de-board at Assi Ghat.
How do I get to the Ganga Ghats and back again?
The most convenient option (available 24×7):
The lowest budget option (not available between 22:00 and 7:00):
Park Inn Hotel – Indian food, we suggest paneer and naan
Shri Bhojanalaya – Great value, we suggest Dosa or Thali.
Note: let the waiter know you want it not spicy at all
Yadav Milk Bahar – Really great samosa and street food.
The most convenient option (available 24×7):
- Go to the main road (Manduadih Road), and book a private auto-rickshaw or Ola Cabs for Rs.100 for Godowalia, or Rs.150 for Assi Ghat.
- To come back just get an auto-rickshaw or Ola Cab to take you to Shri Ram Nagar Colony NOT Ram Nagar (which is on the other side of the Ganga), and near Manduadih Railway Station NOT Varanasi junction (which is another train station). It is a common mistake. Insist!
The lowest budget option (not available between 22:00 and 7:00):
- For the Assi Ghat (to the south): go to the main road (Manduadih Road), don’t cross the road and take a shared auto-rickshaw to BHU (Benares Hindu University). From there, you can find an other auto-rickshaw to Assi Ghat for Rs.10 per person. To come back to Ganges Nirvana, go back to “Godowalia” crossing or to BHU, and ask for “Manduadih, Shri RamNagar colony”, for “20 rupees savari” (20 rupees per person).
- For the Dashashwamedh Ghat (the main Ghat): go to the main road (Manduadih Road), cross the road and take a shared auto-rickshaw for Rs.20. Make sure before hopping in about the price, by asking “20 rupees savari” (20 rupees per person). Tell the driver you want to go to Godowalia. From there (close to Saint Thomas Church), just walk along the Godowalia road towards the Ganga River (around 10 min). Ask the locals for the Dashashwamedh Ghat if you feel lost.
- To come back to Ganges Nirvana, go back to “Girja Ghar Crossing” and ask for “Manduadih, Shri RamNagar colony”
We can offer a “one day trip all included” for Rs.1000 per person (transportation, food, boat tickets etc.). We are happy to tailor the trip based on your preferences and budget. We will show you some places no one else will take you with our excellent local knowledge.
I would be very happy to show you around my city (if I have time available), but the costs have to be paid by the guests (transportation, food, boat ticket etc.). We gratefully accept donations.
If you’re the more adventurous type why not take a look at our recommendations for the best places to see in Varanasi.
We have some rooms available with a kitchen. If your room does not include a kitchen we can provide access to the guest kitchen for an additional fee, please talk to a member of staff to arrange this.
Around our homestay, there are few options:
- For proper indian meal, you can go to Park Inn Hotel, or to Rajastani Rasoi (second floor of Royal Guest House).
- For snacks, you will plenty of little shop on the left and right side of the main road (samosas, bread fitters, potato chips, cold drinks, lassi, ice cream…). One shop Yadav Milk Bahar on the left side on the main road, in front of lakhraon railway crossing, ask any local.
- For grocery product in the nearby Patanjali Shop on the left hand side before the main road.
- For some special products: you can go to Spencer’s Supermarket at Mehmoorganj (1.5km) and Big Bazaar Hyper Market (you can find everything here) at Sigra (5km). In the city, we can recommend:
- Kashi Chaat Bhandar and Deena Chaat Bhandar (Indian Food) in Godowalia road.
- Kerala Cafe (south indian food restaurant) at Bhelupur Crossing.
- Pahalwan Lassi Shop at Lanka for lassi.
- State Bank of India (SBI Bank ATM): on the right in front of the Manduadih Railway Station
- SBI Bank ATM and HDFC Bank ATM: at DLW road, near to the Kalawati Marble and Steel shop
We can change only dollars (ask Shashwat). You also can go to Godowalia, and on your way towards the Ghats on the sides you will find some shops.
We do not have facilities for washing your clothes at Ganges Nirvana but have an excellent laundry service which includes pickup and delivery. Details of prices are available on signs in the house.
Go to the near Sankat Mochan Temple where is the official stores of Airtel & Vodafone.
The most convenient way is to take a direct and private auto-rickshaw to Sankat Mochan for Rs.120-150.
Or you can take a shared auto-rickshaw to BHU and then can walk from there.
The SIM card will cost you between Rs.500-700 (unlimited data and calling for all India for 1 to 3 months). You will need a passport and an indian visa photocopy and one passport size photograph. We do not give any address proof or letter for buying the SIM card, you have to request the shop to manage without it.
You can find many shops in the city center, near Godowalia crossing. Or for Rs.50 extra cost, ask Shashwat to recharge it for you.
Sarnath is an easy day trip and well worth it. You can get there by auto-rickshaw, just a short 45 minute ride for around rs.200, or you could book an Ola.
Usually, our staff try to help travellers to save their time, money, energy, and save them from getting scammed. But still, it require a lot of effort for him.
If he can, he will help you with personal or special request, but you might have to pay some extra cost to cover his time, fuel cost and, most importantly his positive energy…!
For example, he can:
- Come with you or take you on his vehicle to look for what you need (special shopping like clothes, essential oil…). He is good at bargaining or negotiating.
- Show you the city and amazing places: he is a very good guide as he is native from Varanasi and know some unknown but authentic places (food…).
- Help you to organise your journey (go to train station or airport, buy SIM card, book an OLA cab, etc.). (If you want our staff to accompany you: less than 500m for free; 500m-2km for Rs.50; 2km to 5km for Rs.200; more than 5km for Rs.500.)
Always go and book the tickets at least 2 days in advance, take your passport with you.
For the train ticket: Go to Varanasi Junction Railway Station. In the main building, there is a foreign tourist reservation center. In case of emergency, go there one day in advance at 8:00 for a “tatkal ticket” (emergency ticket). Never try to book a train ticket online (only to check the timetable). “National train enquiry system” is a good App.
For the bus ticket: Go to the main Varanasi Bus Stand (Chaudhari Charan Singh Bus Station), near Varanasi Junction Railway Station.
From travel agent: You can also book train, bus or flight ticket through a travel agent near Godowalia/Girja Ghar Crossing, at “Siddhi Vinayak Tour and Travels”, Hotel Athithi Satkar, Opp.Nidan Kendra.
You can take the direct train PNBE VSG Express (12742) from Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction (previously Mughal Sarai Junction). It runs once a week on Saturday at 17:55. If you are heading for Arambol or nearby destinations watch out for Pernem Station, the train does not officially stop but may wait there and it’s the closet stop.
You can also take a train to Mumbai and change there for Goa.
- Direct Bus from Varanasi to Kathmandu: Go to Chaudhari Charan Singh Bus Station (near Varanasi Junction Railway Station, also known as Varanasi Government Bus Stand), and buy the ticket at the bus stand (look for the yellow sign VARANASI TO KATHMANDU). They sell tickets only for two days ahead (price in May 2018: Rs.1290).
- Other options is to take a train to Gorakhpur: from there take a bus for Sunauli border, or take a good bus to Pokhara or Kathmandu, with front seat because the road conditions are bad. You can also go by bus (not far away) to Lumbini where Lord Buddha was born or to Chitwan National Park. Highly recommended to buy a nepali SIM card at the border.
There are 2 daily good trains from Manduadih Railway Train Station, taking around 12 to 14 hours. The names of those trains are :
- “Shiv Ganga” at 19:20
- “Manduadih New Dehli Express” at 22:20
You first have to book a train to Haridwar. From there, you can take a bus or an auto-Rickshaw to Rishikesh (28km, Rs.50-100 per person). You can also pass by New Delhi and take a bus to Rishikesh.
- to Agra and Jaipur: There is a train called “Marudhar Express” starting from Varanasi Junction Railway Station.
- to Khajuraho (the kamasutra temple place): Take a train from Varanasi Junction Railway Station.
- to Bodgaya (where Lord Buddha got enlightenment): Take a train to Gaya.
- to Kushinagar (where Lord Buddha Died): Take a train to Gorakhpur and then a bus to Kushinagar.
- to Rajgir (monastery built for Buddha, also known for the famous Nalanda University): Take a train to Rajgir directly or via Bodgaya.