You have to be at the Heart and Centre of Varanasi to experience the true spirit of this Holy Place. Hotel Alka is not only located at the Heart of Varanasi but the Staff especially Munna the Tour Manager will ensure you experience the Holy Spirit.
We visited for scattering the Ashes of my Grandmother. Our travel itinerary included Kashi Vishwanath and the Ghats. That was the simple plan we had.
However, we got multiple folds than what we planned. Let me describe the full story or rather an experience!
We reached Varanasi station just before noon and took an Auto (Taxi's also available), Auto dropped us close to Mazda parking.
Reaching the Hotel is a bit inconvenient as you have to walk close to 600 meters with luggage through the narrow lanes bustling with people and stray cows. However, once you reach the Hotel your suffering ends.
The reception and the other staff were very cordial and helping. They had the service attitude. They helped us with the room. Check in was smooth. Our stay was pre-booked for two days.
Rooms are spic and span, small & basic (A/c Std. Room) but It is good, no complaints. Linen, toilet, bed was clean. We took bath and went for lunch.
The restaurant serves tasty home cooked food especially made for you on order. The wait time is longer but the food is worth the wait. Restaurant rates are very reasonable and the menu serves a mix of local and western choices. Many foreigners stay at this Hotel, infact I think we saw foreigners mostly in the restaurant.
Post lunch we visited the Kashi Vishwanath temple on the advice of the Hotel staff and the visit went like a breeze, hardly any waiting. The only thing we missed is touching Sri Kashi Vishwanth with our own hands. Somebody told this is now only allowed during morning visit around 4.30 am.
Returning to Hotel we asked the Tour Manager Mr. Munna if he can help us with a better Kashi Vishwanath Darshan and he said not to worry and he will arrange it for us tomorrow.
It was only 5 pm and we wanted a Boat to visit the Ghats. The Hotel staff obliged and the boat was arranged at a very reasonable price. It was around 1.5 hours for the Ghat Darshan and Aarti. During the boat ride there were showers of rain intermittently and it was just amazing, we were so thrilled to see the ghats and the climate had become amazing. We saw all the Ghats till Assi and then circled back and went to Manakarnika Ghat. I scattered my Grandma's ashes at Manikarnika Ghat. Then we went to Dashashwamedh Ghat for the divine Aarti. Everybody watched and enjoyed the divine experience.
Actually, this completes our agenda of the visit but it did not stop there. Ladies always have shopping plans. Reaching the Hotel at 8 pm, we asked for a good place for Banarasi Saree. We were guided to Sarla Silk Factory and boy what a place. I have never seen such a variety of sarees and such designs. Ofcourse, that means the ladies went crazy and we spent nearly three hours and a lot of money. The shop keeper was kind to serve us the best lassi of Banaras (Blue Lassi).
Since it was 11 pm already, we called the Hotel and asked to keep some dinner for us and they prepared dal khichdi with dahi and french fries. On the way to Hotel we had garam dudh near Kashi Vishwanath temple, it tasted heavenly.
Returning to Hotel we had this delicious and light Khichdi just prepared for us and went to bed.
Next morning we got ready by 8 am and came down. Mr. Munna had arranged a taxi for us to visit nearby Kashi temples and Sarnath. On the journey, the driver helped us with the best place to eat Pan, Chai, Siddu Paratha. We returned after a full day trip back to Hotel around 5.30 pm. Went to the room had some rest. We were asked to come down around 7 pm. Mr. Munna had arranged an elaborate visit at Sri Kashi Vishwanath temple.
We had to take a special entry ticket. Inside there were a limited no. of people as the Abhishek (Pooja) was about to begin. We not only got a chance to offer water, bel to Sri Mahadevji but also were able to touch and take aashirvaad. Then we got seats just in front of Mahadevji wherein the Pandits were performing the complete Pooja (Abhishek). We witnessed the complete rituals. We saw the immense dedication and passion of the pandits and devotees towards the Sri Kashi Vishwanath. The flower decoration, the chants, the mantras, the pooja and above all the aarti was something we had never experienced. My mom is a devout worshipper of Lord Shiva but even she said this was a never before experience. So thrilling was it that we will remember it for our life time. After aarti we got the first prasad of rice kheer.
We returned to the Hotel with a heavy heart and an experience we cannot describe. Each of my family members was just so soaked in the spiritual experience that had left us spell bound. We could not thank the Hotel enough, they helped us with everything to make our Spiritual experience of Kashi complete.
Me and family members thank Mr. Munna and the entire staff of Hotel Alka.
Anybody who is visiting Kashi-Banaras for the spiritual experience, please stay at Hotel Alka and give their hospitality a chance. You will not regret your decision.
stayed for 3 night ( 2 ac rooms)...reaching hotel alka is task....but once u reach...its a pleasure to view gangaji from gallery of the room.....boats easily available to any ghat....temple entrance nearby...and food is really good....rooms had all amenities....will definitely stay here again.....they arranged ataxi for our sarnath trip and also a taxi for pick up from airport....do nothing jus stay and watch life on ganga....
We went to Varanasi with our family. We stayed in Alka hotel. It was very nice viewing Ganges. Mukesh Sharma received us, take care of us very well. Their hospitality is very good.Food nice.very fresh. we can trust him 100%. He made darshan also easy. It was amazing trip. Thanks to Mukesh. Thanks to Alka.
We really enjoyed our visit to Varanasi. The hotel had a great view of the Ganges, and our room had a balcony onto it also. Food was good, and the rooms were clean. The hotel is a little hard to get to, through narrow and often dirty streets, but the hotel itself was very nice. Munna uncle was incredibly helpful and took us everywhere and made sure our stay was hassle free. Thank you very much!
Fantastic Stay , even more fantastic was the hospitality of the Hotel staffs , especially Mr. Munna . Location wise grade 1 . Just contact the front office and search for Munna Bhai. You want something special , just ask for it. Munna Bhai would arrange it for you. Love to be there again.