Welcome to one of the holiest of holy cities – the city where many come to find god!
Known by many names like Kashi, Avimukta and Benaras, Varanasi has been a seat of learning and spirituality dating back to 11th century B.C. Being considered as the spiritual capital of India, the city is for sure a home to endless number of Hindu pilgrims. People visit this city to take a dip in the holy river Ganga which is meant to wash away all your sins, to be blessed at its many temples and to die here because that ensures you’re going straight to heaven! The experience of this city is beyond words. Let’s take you through a virtual tour! 🙂
Varanasi is synonymous with the river Ganga. Take a morning boat ride in this holy river which is said to quite mystical at sunrise. The cruise will float you past all of the different ghats, passing multiple temples along the way.
Watching Evening Aarti Ceremony is certainly once in a lifetime experience. The spectacular event must be viewed from the Dashashwamedh Ghat close to the popular Vishwanath Temple.
Head to a 80-year-old family run food joint, Blue Lassi, to try some lip-smacking lassis! You can pick a base of peach, mango, banana, pomegranate or several other flavors before picking your toppings.
Take a holy bath at the Ganges as the waters of this holy river are considered to be sacred. It’s believed that the divine river offers salvation to everyone who bathes in the water.
In the holy land of Gods, a visit to the temples is a must. The most popular of the temples here is the Kashi Vishwanath Temple which was built in 1780 by Queen Ahilyabai Holker of Indore. Other popular temples are the 18th-century Durga Temple, Annapurna Temple, Ankatha Temple, Kalbhairav Temple, Mritunjay Mahadev Temple, Tulsi Manas, Sankatmochan, etc.
Just 10 km outside Varanasi lies the famous Buddhist pilgrim spot called Sarnath. In case you didn’t know, Sarnath is that place where Lord Buddha preached for the first time after achieving enlightenment.
Constructed by the then King of Banaras, Raja Balwant Singh, in 1750, Ramnagar Fort was home to the royal family. Overlooking the Ganga, the fort is a good example of Mughal architecture with decorated pavilions, courtyards and balconies.
The ghats of Varanasi are little paradise for foodies. Try Kachori subzi at Kachori Bazaar or Thatheri Gali, Choora matar at Gopal Mandir Gali, Meethe Golgappe at Gol Ganj, Tamatar Chaat at Dashwamedh Road and Nimish at Kachori Gali. You must also sample Pehelwan ki Lassi at Lanka Crossing and the famed Banarasi Paan. And end it with bhaang at one of the government authorized shops in the city!
Click here to check out some of the best cafes in Varanasi!
Visit India’s first residential university campus, Banaras Hindu University. BHU’s main campus, of 1,300 acres, has sprawling gardens, libraries and wide streets to stroll on.
Shopping in Varanasi is the best thing to do on a free afternoon or evening. The city is widely famous for its silk saris and ornate jewels. Visit the local market to buy different items of interest.