Lying on the banks of the holy River Ganga. Varanasi, which is believed to be the the oldest living city in the world. the city draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites. Along the city’s winding streets are some 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, the “Golden Temple,” dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Varanasi center of ancient domes, muths, ashrams, priests, narrow lanes with shops filled with Banarsi sarees ( Typical hindu women dress), Varanasi represents the colorful and fascinating India. Here is some of the must visit places in Varanasi.
- Visit Ghats and Boat ride
Walking down the steps of Varanasi is a fascinating experience. Hindus believe each ghat has a different story. The main ghats in Varanasi are Assi Ghat, Kedara Ghat, Harishchandra Ghat, Chauki Ghat, Chaumsathi Ghat, Dashashwamedha Ghat, Man Mandir Ghat, Lalita Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Scindia Ghat, Panchganga Ghat, Adi Keshva Ghat, and many more. Best time to walk on ghats are morning and evening as all the ceremony placed in the evening so you can be witness to grandeur of amazing Aarti Ceremony in any of the ghat.
- Ganges Ceremony (Ganga Aarti)
Watching Evening Aarti Ceremony is certainly once in a lifetime experience and you should never miss. You can go to any ghat to experience the ceremony but for the spectacular event must be viewed from the Dasawamedh Ghat, where beautiful rituals happen every evening and hundreds of devotees witness the ceremony. Brass lamps of large sizes are used during this event by the young priests, which are accompanied by chants and crowds of people waiting to pray. Many people enjoy the view from river also. Tourism Department also running a boat name Alaknanda to witness the aarti.
- Subah e Banaras
The Varanasi is known for its hours of dawn, when the city is in its most serene state. The morning glory of Banaras is the most auspicious tour to witness and discover life sprawling on the banks of the holy Ganga. If you are a morning person you can join the Subah e Banaras event. The event starts with Ganga Aarti at the Assi Ghat. The winter timings are 5.40 am to 7.00 am and the summer timings are 5.00 am to 7.00 am. The early comers can make use of the chairs put near the stage.
- Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Kashi Vishvanath Temple is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganga, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shivatemples. The main deity is known by the name Vishvanatha or Vishveshvara meaning Ruler of The Universe.
Sarnath, 10km from Varanasi, is one of the most revered Buddhist pilgrimage centers. After attaining the Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, it was here that Lord Buddha preached his first sermon, sanctified as Maha Dharm Chakra Pravartan. The great Dhamekh Stupa and several other structures stand testimony to the importance the place enjoyed at that time. The Chaukhandi Stupa is the place where, during his first visit to Sarnath, Lord Buddha met his first five disciples. The area is a treasure trove of archaeological findings such as Dharmrajika Stupa and Mulgandhkuti Vihar. The smooth glistening pillar established by Emperor Ashoka in 273-232 B.C. marks the foundation of the Buddhist Sangha, and the Lion Capital atop this pillar is now India’s National Emblem. Its reputation as a center of Buddhist learning spreads far and wide and is a revered location and a great attraction for tourists from across the world..
- Blue Lassi
This is a must have for all the Foodies. Take any flavour with Saffron. It’s too yummy, and enticing. It’s a small lassi shop located in one of the several alleys of Varanasi. It’s painted blue, several options of lassi to choose from. This tiny hole in a wall yogurt shop has been serving the best fruit filled lassis for over 90 years. You can add your flavor of choice. It is nearby Manikarnika Ghat and kasha vishwanath temple so once you are there you can stop by the place and enjoy your lassi.