The religious capital of India and the city of temples Varanasi also know as Kashi or Banaras is one of the world oldest continually inhabited cities of the world is famous for it Art, Music and Literature and Textiles. Varanasi located on western bank of Ganges is the magnet for Knowledge Seekers, Pilgrims and Curios Travelers form across the World.
Must Do In Varanasi
Boat Ride in the river Ganges from Ashi ghat to Raj Ghat
Boating down in the river Ganges is the unique way of Kashi Drashan it will take you on journey from 21 Century to 3000 BC. The old buildings, ashrams and small fort like houses look very colorful when sunlight hits them. At Benaras Ghat you can see people taking bath, performing rituals and worshipping. Most important ghats are Asshi Ghat, Dasaswamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Kedar Ghat, Ahilya Ghat.
Attend Ganga Arti
Ganga Arti is the magnificent event performed every evening at the Dasaswamedh Ghat. It is believed Lord Brahma sacrificed 10 horses in a yagna to welcome Lord Shiva at this Ghat hence named Dasaswamedh Ghat. Thousands of pilgrims arrive daily at the ghat to witness the Arti performed by groups of priest dedicated to Lord Shiva , Mother Kashi and Mother Ganga together called Shiv-Ganga-Kashi.
Visit Kashi Viswanath Temple
Kashi Viwanath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotilinga and holiest of all temples and dedicated to Lord Shiva. Temple was destructed various time in the history by Muslims rulers while constructed again by Hindu Rulers. Aurenzeb demolished the temple in 18 century and created Mosque over it, Later Queen of Indore Ahilaya bai constructed Viswanath Temple at near by place to avoid conflicts, remains of the older Temple can still be seen in mosque campus however mosque area is prohibited for the visitors.
Visit BHU Campus
The Banaras Hindu University is an internationally reputed University over a period of time, it has developed into one of the greatest centers of learning in India. It has a sprawling campus, spanning across 1400 acres. Inside campus IIT , Bharat Kala Bhavan an art and archeological museum and Birla Temple also called New Viswanath Temple is major attraction.
Purchase a Banarsi Saree
Banaras is famous for its silk, textiles, brassware, copperware, wooden toys and heavy gold jewelry Major shopping hotspot are Golghar, Chowk,. Viswanath Gali, Godowalia, Thateheri Bazzar. While Shopping for Benarsi Saree beware of cheap quality products that may resemble like the real one and are not easy to distinguish.
Sarnath is one of the most prominent Buddhist site. At Sarnath Mauryan king, Ashoka. constructed Lion capital featuring four Asiatic lion representing Power, Corurage, Confidence and Pride which is now national emblem of India. Dhamek Stupa build by Ashoka and Thai Temple is major attractions near Sarnath and is built in the Thai architectural style.
Try Benarsi Cuisine
Varanasi offer cuisine that are little different from other parts of Uttar Pradesh. Kachori zalebi is widely popular among tourist mostly available in morning time, Dal bhari puri and chimi chura are mostly made in winter days. Chock and Godolia are the best places for trying the local food both on streets as well on restaurant.
Bath in River Ganges
Ganga is not just a river it’s a soul of the city from birth to death no function can be performed in the city without including mother Ganga. It is believed that on bathing in Ganga it take away all the sins of devotee. Ghats are the best place to bath, some ghats offer changing room as well, panda’s are always available for performing any special puja according to devotee need.
Visit Temples of Varanasi
Varanasi has large number of temples major attraction out of them is Durga Kund –18th century temple build in north Indian Nagara Style. Sankat Mochan Temple dedicated to Hanuman was established by Tulsi Das. Bharat Mata Temple once inspired the freedom movement of India. Other attractions are Tulsi Manas Mandir and Kal Bhirav Temple.
Listen Banarsi Music
Varanasi has its own rich history and treasure of music.Varanasi in 2015 is added as one of the most creative city for music in the world by UNESCO (UNESCO’s Creative City Network). One must listen locals as well as foreigner’s singers and musician performing at the event ‘Subah-e-Banaras’ at Assi Ghat every morning from 5:00 to 7:30 AM.
For top 10 destinations of Uttar Pradesh Click here