A historical city of Varanasi on the banks of the sacred river Ganga sits in the eastern part of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, southeast of the capital city of New Delhi.
The most timesaving method to get to Varanasi is via a direct flight while trains offer a reasonably priced alternative for those who do not mind spending a night on the wheels.
Direct bus routes are also available and in many cases they offer the most budget-friendly way to get to Varanasi overland.
How far is Varanasi from Delhi?
It is 800 km from Delhi to Varanasi via national highway 19. It is slightly longer – about 825 km – if travelling via Agra–Lucknow expressway.
The rail distance between the two is 752 km, and the direct air link covers 670 km.
What is the most budget-friendly way to reach Varanasi?
To save some rupees in your pocket, consider sleeper class or third class on trains or AC buses. In both cases you should stay within INR850-INR1,500 price range.
How much will a journey to Varanasi cost?
Depending on the class of the seat, travelling by train can cost INR850–INR3,000; by bus – INR900–INR1,800; by plane – INR3,500–INR5,500 if booked in advance, often up to INR8,000 (economy cabin; at least double the highest limit for business class).
How much does a travel to Varanasi last?
Travelling overland, expect to spend from 12 hours to 17 hours, either by bus or train.
Flying is a whisk – you’ll reach Varanasi from Delhi in about 90 minutes.
How to get from Delhi to Varanasi by train
While travelling by train between Delhi and Varanasi takes quite a time, there is a fare number of direct trains plying this route on a daily bases thus you are never short of choice as far as departure times and ticket classes are concerned.
How long does it take to get to Varanasi by train?
The fastest trains need between twelve and 14 hours to reach Varanasi, while the slowest ones of which there are quite a few require about 17 hours.
How much are the railway tickets?
Expect to pay from INR850 for a non air-conditioned sleeper class to INR3,000 for a berth in a plusher first class sleeper compartment for four.
Second tiered AC class costs in the region of INR2,000.
Are there sitting classes on Delhi–Varanasi trains?
Direct Delhi–Varanasi trains do not offer sitting classes.
How many daily trains are there between Delhi and Varanasi?
There are six daily trains complemented by a dozen and a half of non-daily trains. Normally, each day you have no less than ten direct departures to Varanasi to choose from.
Where do trains to Varanasi depart from Delhi?
In Delhi, trains to Varanasi should be boarded at New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS), the main railway station of Delhi. It is the busiest railway station in the country and boasts the largest route interlocking system in the world, so it can feel quite chaotic at the first glance (and at the second, too!).
Some of the daily trains to Varanasi then call to Ghaziabad some 40 minutes after their departure from New Delhi and there are also trains originating from Anand Vihar Terminal, some 15 km east of NDLS which also call to Ghaziabad. Thus it is an option to use Ghaziabad as your departure station, too.
Which trains are recommended for the Delhi-Varanasi journey?
Out of daily trains the most convenient from the point of view of its schedule is
SWATANTRTA S Express 12562 leaving New Delhi Railway station (NDLS) at 8.40 pm and arriving to Varanasi Junction (BSB) at 8.25 am the next morning. It is also the fastest train which covers the distance in about 12 hours and offers all three air-conditioned tiered classes and a cheaper non air-conditioned sleeper class thus it comes highly recommended.
Similarly, SHIV GANGA Express 12560 at 6.55 pm from NDLS (arrives at 7 am) and SWATANTRTA S Express 12562 at 8.40 pm (8.25 am) are both a great alternative.
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday MAHAMANA Express 22418 is also a good option departing Delhi at 6.35 pm and arriving to Varanasi at 8.25 am.
How to get from Delhi to Varanasi by bus
While buses are not the most popular means of transportation on this route, there are direct buses from Delhi to Varanasi, too.
How long does bussing to Varanasi take?
Buses need between 14 and 16 hours to reach Varanasi. En route they make at least a couple of stops for snacks and bathroom as there are no toilets on board.
How much do bus tickets to Varanasi cost?
In media, bus tickets prices start from INR900 for a seat in an air-conditioned coach.
Are there sleeper buses serving this route?
Yes, there are. Usually, Delhi-Varanasi buses have both seats and berths in the same bus, so you have a choice.
Are there night buses to Varanasi?
Yes, there are. The majority of departures is scheduled around 8 pm and arrive to Varanasi at about 10 am.
Which companies serve this route?
The route is served by both government and private operators.
Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) runs buses from Anand Vihar (East Delhi) to Varanasi; Safar Express Tour and Travels, Indo Express and Royal Travels Delhi all offer buses to Varanasi.
Bus travel tip
Note that while the main bus station in Varanasi is located by the railway station, not all the buses of private operators call there and you can be dropped off at other locations.
How to fly from Delhi to Varanasi
It is a popular route served by five airlines offering daily direct flights between Delhi Indira Gandhi International airport and Lal Bahadur Shastri airport which serves Varanasi. The airport is located 26 km northwest of Varanasi.
How much is the airfare?
As a rule, with INR3,500-INR5,500 you can always secure yourself a ticket in the economy cabin.
For cheapest deals, check SpiceJet – it often has air tickets to Varanasi for about INR2,000.
How long does it take to fly from Delhi to Varanasi?
Flying time from Delhi to Varanasi falls between 85 minutes and one hour and 45 minutes.
Via connecting flights, expect to spend from five hours and up. The only reasonable connection is via Jaipur as all other options on offer – e.g. Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad or Hyderabad – are a considerable detour from the route.
Air travel tips
Getting from Varanasi’s Lal Bahadur Shastri airport to the city is possible via taxi or tuk-tuk. The latter is only slightly cheaper but takes twice the time than a taxi. A taxi generally reaches Varanasi in about one hour.
There is also a state bus but its stop is located out of the airport, within some 10 minutes walk. But it costs under one dollar.