Pilgrimage to Varanasi

Guru Purnima at Lahiri Mahasaya’s in Varanasi
Friday to Sunday, 19 – 21 July 2024

One day of the year, on Guru Purnima, Lahiri Mahasaya’s home in Varanasi is open for devotees to have darshan. To be in his home, for even this brief darshan, is a unique blessing.

Varanasi, the oldest-surviving city in the world, radiates timeless wisdom. Great saints like Adi Shankaracharya, Gautama Buddha, and Mahavatar Babaji lived here. It was in Varanasi that Paramhansa Yoganandaji first met Swami Sri Yukteswar.

Here lived the now famous but ever humble Yogavatar, Lahiri Mahasaya, who, with the blessing of Mahavatar Babaji, resurrected Kriya Yoga and began a quiet revolution that has spread around the world.

The home where Lahiri Mahasaya lived, meditated, and taught his disciples is preserved as it was when he was there, more than 100 years ago. It is available for darshan only on this one day of the year.

In the same neighborhood is Satyalok, an ashram that has been passed down in Lahiri’s family. We’ll meditate there, near Lahiri’s samadhi, which contains a portion of hithate.

We’ll visit Varanasi’s famous Kashi Vishwanath temple and Dashashwamedh Ghat, where Babaji and his sister Mataji appeared before Ram Gopal Muzumdar. Another destination is the temple of Trailanga Swami, Lahiri Mahasaya’s 300-year-old friend, with whom he would meditate.

Our hotel is less than a 10-minute walk to Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Manikarnika burning ghat, and Dashashwamedh Ghat, where at sunset we plan to attend the Ganga arati.

This pilgrimage will be led by Hari and other teachers from Ananda Sangha Delhi.

Ananda Pilgrimages are not so much about sightseeing and doing as about being—being in a place of high spiritual vibration and learning to relax and open your heart to receive blessings. Meditating as a group in these holy spots reinforces their power. On pilgrimage, we meditate together in the mornings, and at each place, we visit. The flavour of the pilgrimage is inward—one of communion and meditation.

Proposed Schedule

Friday, 19 July

Arrival on your own at the hotel (flights arriving by 1 pm), check-in.

3:45 pm: Opening gathering, introduction, and sharing followed by boat ride, meditation, and Ganga Arati at Dashashwamedh Ghat

Dinner at hotel

Saturday, 20 July

5:30 am: Sunrise boat ride to Trailanga Swami temple for meditation

Breakfast at Hotel

Meditate at Satyalook

Lunch on your own

Afternoon darshan at Kashi Vishwanath Temple

5:00 pm: Visit to the ashram of Anandamayee Ma

Dinner at Hotel

Monday, 21 July, Guru Purnima

Energisation, chanting, and meditation at hotel

Breakfast and check out from your rooms.

9:00 am: Meet to walk to Lahiri Mahasaya’s home. Have darshan and return to the hotel to pick up our luggage.

For most flights, we expect to leave the hotel for the airport at about 12 noon

Getting Around

When possible, we will reach our destinations by boat. Taxis and autos cannot negotiate the narrow lanes close to the river, so we will also do a good deal of walking. Our hotel’s central location means we need to walk for no more than 20 minutes at a time. However, the pavement can be uneven, with many steep steps down to the river. The weather will be hot and it will be monsoon. In the unlikely event of the river level rising very high, we would adjust our mode of transport. One needs to be in good shape to maneuver the lanes and ghats of Varanasi.

Our Hotel

Rooms have simple furnishings, A/C, and an attached bath. Breakfast and dinner are included.


Arrival & Departure

You would arrive on your own at the hotel. Taxis from the airport take one to 1½ hours and cost around Rs. 2000.

Our hotel is located in the main market, just 500 meters before Dashashwamedh Ghat. Access from the airport is by private taxi only, not larger vehicles. The road is closed to cars from 5 to 8 pm, due to the Ganga arati.

The pilgrimage officially begins at the hotel after lunch on the 19th and ends at the hotel before lunch on the 21st. 


You would arrive the morning of the 19th by 1 pm and depart late afternoon or evening of the 21st after 3 pm. Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai have several direct flights to Varanasi. From other cities, you may need to combine flights to reach Varanasi. Also, many trains reach Varanasi.

Programme Fees

Double occupancy: Rs. 24,000 per person.
Single occupancy (private room): Rs. 31,500 per person

If you don’t have a roommate, we’ll try to connect you with another single pilgrim of the same sex. If a roommate can’t be found, you’ll pay for single occupancy. If you snore, we ask you to stay with someone you know well or pay for single occupancy.

The program fee includes all group transportation, lodging, breakfasts and dinners, and group tips. Not included in the fee are lunches, snacks, and beverages; travel to and from Varanasi; transfer from the airport or train station to the hotel; medical care should you need it; donations at ashrams; and personal hotel expenses such as room service or laundry.


A completed application form and payment are both needed to confirm your space. We ask for full payment at the time of application.

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