On being the spiritual capital of the country, Varanasi is also considered as one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. This is the iconic pilgrimage spot for both Hindus and Buddhists. It is surrounded with several divine ghats, holy Ganga River, ancient and modern temples, forts and museums.
Visitors from all over the world visit this holy spot to find peace and get the pleasant view of Ganga River surrounded with ghats here. As roaming in Varanasi is not difficult but to find the best is! So here we have made a complete itinerary for your all-time memorable visit to this city of ghats.
Best time to explore Varanasi:
Although every time is good to visit this holy place the time of October to March is considered as the best among all seasons. There are several reasons for this but the main reasons that are believed are its climate and festivals. During October to March, it is quite cold here and rainfall started fading that makes this location more pleasant for its visitors. Another reason is its festival during these months like Maha Shivaratri, Diwali, Dusshera, Chhat Pooja etc. Maha Shivratri is considered as the biggest festival here that attracts visitors from all over the world to participate in holy ceremonies.
Must Visit Ghats In Varanasi
River Ganga is considered as the holiest in Hindu Mythology and in Varanasi, it is surrounded by 88 ghats that were built by Kings who wanted to worship and meditate near auspicious Ganga. Although each ghat has its own story that makes it more divine and peaceful, some of the Ghats are very popular for tourists in all matters. These are the right place for Ganga Aarti, rituals, photography etc.
- Dashashwamedh Ghat: Ganga Aarti ceremony, Boating, photography etc.
- Manikarnika Ghat: Cremation Ghat.
- Panchganga Ghat: The Meeting point of Five Rivers.
- Hanuman Ghat: Temples.
- Kedar Ghat: Photogenic Spot.
- Ahilyabai Ghat: Boating and Rituals.
- Assi Ghat: Famous for Shivalingam under a tree.
- Scindia Ghat: Submerged Temple, Boating.
- Manmandir Ghat: Temples like Someshwara temple, Rameshwara temple and others.
- Darbhanga Ghat: Rituals.
Must Visit Temples In Varanasi:
Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple – It is the oldest and most famous temple in Varanasi that receives thousands of devotees every day. The architectural brilliance of this temple is the most interesting feature of it. You can easily get the view of holy rituals that always continues in this temple. The local market near this temple is also very popular for shopping among tourists.
Sankat Mochan Temple: It is one of the famous temples of Varanasi that was built in the 20th century. This temple is always filled with monkeys that are considered holy here.
Annapurna Temple: Built in the old 18th century this temple is very close to Vishwanath temple and is wholly dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed to be the temple.
Kaal Bhairav Temple: It is also known as Guardian temple of the city. As everybody has to visit this temple first before entering or leaving this town.
Tulsi Manas Temple: This temple was built in the 20th century and is wholly dedicated to Lord Ram. This temple is famous for its inscription on the walls among tourists.
Bharat Mata Temple: This temple is dedicated to the Mother India (Bharat Mata). This temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi.
There are many other popular temples in Varanasi such as Visalakshi Temple, New Vishwanath Temple, Mahadeva Temple, Durga Kund Mandir etc.
Tourist Attractions Must See In Varanasi
Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum: It is famous for its 11th-century paintings, sculptures of Mughals, deity statues etc.
Alamgir Mosque: This old mosque famous for its architectural beauty has a Gyanvapi well inside it. This holy well attracts the attraction of tourists from all over the world.
Man Mandir: This temple is popularly considered as the observatory among tourists.
Ramnagar Fort: It is 400-year old fort built by the royals of Varanasi. Inside this fort, there are several photographs of royals, tigers etc. The Durbar hall of this fort is now converted into a museum that consists of the antiques like elephant howdah, palanquins etc.
Chunargarh Fort: It is 2000-year-old fort that is extremely popular among tourist for its architectural designs.
Popular Tourist Spots in its nearby:
Sarnath is a Buddhist pilgrim spot near Varanasi. This place is popularly known as the holy place where Lord Buddha preached for the first time after enlightenment. It is the main attraction of tourist from all over the world. Dharmarjika stupas, deer park, Dhamekh stupa, Bodhi tree, Archeological museum etc are the main attractions of this place. It is also popular for its Buddhist artefacts with the centre attraction is the Ashokan lion capital here.
Now known as the Praygraj, it is a sacred place famous for its various temples, museums and churches etc. The centre attraction of this city is the Allahabad fort here.
Kausambi is a legendary place in Hindu mythology. It shows the direct connection with Mahabharata. According to legends, it is believed that this place was built by Pandavas. This place attracts the tourists towards it for its architecture, nature sightseeing, picnic etc.
What To Eat In Varanasi:
Varanasi is a holy place and known for its divine ghats and temples. The food in Varanasi is also pure as like their culture. It is quite difficult to find non-vegetarian hotels and Alcohol stores here.
Whenever you go to London Top dishes that you must try are:
- Paan: Available with and without tobacco.
- Banarasi duma loo – These are the spicy potatoes stuffed with spices and cooked in gravy.
- Aloo chat – It is a kind of street food made with potatoes, spices and other ingredients.
- Malaibalai – It is a type of Milk sweet that is quite popular in Varanasi.
- Lassi – It is a drink made with Sweetened curd and layers of malai.
What To Shop In Varanasi:
In Varanasi, every small and big temple have stalls around it and during festivals, these stalls increase several folds that enlighten up the whole city. Even you can find shops near the ghats as well as during boating, you will people find people selling small items in boats.
Although you can find each and everything in Varanasi, but there are some things that have their own speciality here:
- Embroidery sarees
- Benaras silk
- Water of Ganges
- Persian carpets
- Cashmere wool clothing
- Herbal tea
- Natural oils, perfumes etc.
- Religious items like- Deity statues, brass oil lamps, candles etc.
- Books on religion, city and history etc.
You can easily buy Ganges water there too for carrying home. These are packed in small copper pots to avoid leakage as well as boatmen also sell them in larger cans that are collected from the middle of Ganges for the reason of purification.