OpenHand Café & Shop Varanasi

"Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” - Mark Twain


This shoes-off cafe-cum–gift shop serves the best espresso and French Press we had in India, as well as a range of excellent muffins, pancakes, muesli and juices that will delight you to no end. There’s also a large selection of gorgeous handicrafts made in the local community. Couldn’t be more pleasant. –

Welcome to OpenHand Café & Shop Varanasi!

Use this Google Map to help you find our Café


Latitude/longitude: 25°19’59″N83°00’00″E
Decimal coordinates: 25.3333 83.0000
Altitude: 77 m.
Time Zone: Asia/Kolkata.
Population: 1164404
Geonames-ID: 1253405

Open Hand Cafe and shop varanasi

Open Hand Shop & Café Varanasi

Open Hand Shop & Café Varanasi has been the face of OpenHand over the years and has become a must-stop for tourists. It is well advertised and acclaimed in travel guides and with tour operators. The shop was established in 1999 and comprises a retail shop, a café as well as the Udaya Income Generating Project. Our customers are primarily tourists, although expatriates and locals are also among customers. Situated in the Old City in Assi area of town it is walking distance from Assi Ghat and the Ganges River, sites popular among tourists.

The retail shop offers a variety of home décor and crafts items, such as table linen, bed linen, pillow covers, curtains, shawls, silk scarves, jewelery boxes, and postcards. The café offers a variety of drink, food, and baked products. The coffee has a competitive advantage in Varanasi, as there are few cafés that offer a similar experience.

It is one of only two shops recommended in the Lonely Planet guide for silk shopping in Varanasi and is a quiet resting place in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Holy City. It holds a competitive advantage particularly because of its combination of café and shop. The Open Hand Coffee Shop was the first of its kind in Varanasi and helped to create a coffee-culture among travelers and locals in the city.

The Udaya Income Generating Project produces quality hand made goods for customers and employs previously marginalized woman, most of whom are survivors of burn accidents.

Here are some Open Hand Shop & Café Varanasi reviews:

Tripadvisor – Open Hand Shop & Café Varanasi – Uttar Pradesh

Lonely Planet – Open Hand Open Hand Shop & Café Assi Ghat

Contact Us:

Open Hand Shop & Café Varanasi
B1/128-3 Dumraun Bagh Colony, Assi, Varanasi, 221005, Uttar Pradesh
+91 (0542) 2369751
+91 (0542) 3253626

Varanasi has a charm of its own that is hard to describe…it grows on you one may say. This oldest of old cities makes one believe that time stood still here.
Varanasi a city holy to Hindus attracts artists, musicians and language students from all over the world and is a favorite with photographers due to its unique character and spectacular sunsets. Varanasi, also known as Banaras, is also a student city due to the old and respected Banaras Hindu University. The campus has a unique circular layout and is a virtual forest which provides a wonderful escape from the dusty streets and crowded markets in town.

The Ganges river is home to Gangetic Dolphins (Platanista Gangetica) and a few can still be seen in the Varanasi river area.
Apart from visiting an assortment of temples and shrines in the city a visit to the Buddhist pilgrimage site Sarnath outside Varanasi is well worth the trouble getting there (and back).

In the Sarnath Museum Emperor Ashoka’s famous “Lion Capital of Ashoka” (circa 250 BC) is on display and the remnants of the pillar it once stood on can be seen in the archaeological site next to the Dhamekh Stupa. This four Asian lion head sandstone carving has been adopted as India’s National Emblem and is engraved on most government stationary, coins, stamps and currency. The ‘Wheel of Dharma’ or ‘Ashoka Chakra’ is a spoked chariot-wheel carved out of a solid piece of sandstone and was believed to be part of the famous pillar.