If you are going to visit Varanasi then definitely explore these places
If you are going to visit Varanasi then definitely explore these places

Varanasi, also known as Benares or Kashi, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Nestled along the banks of the sacred Ganges River, Varanasi is a spiritual epicenter that attracts millions of pilgrims, tourists, and seekers of wisdom every year. If you're planning a visit, here are the must-see places that will make your trip unforgettable.

Ghats of Varanasi: The Soul of the City

Dashashwamedh Ghat

Dashashwamedh Ghat is the most prominent and bustling ghat in Varanasi. According to legend, Lord Brahma created this ghat to welcome Lord Shiva. It's famous for the Ganga Aarti, a mesmerizing evening ritual where priests perform a synchronized prayer ceremony with lamps and chants.

Manikarnika Ghat

Known as the burning ghat, Manikarnika Ghat is one of the most sacred ghats where Hindus believe that cremation here leads to salvation. It’s a place that starkly showcases the cycle of life and death, offering a profound and humbling experience.

Assi Ghat

Situated at the confluence of the Ganges and Assi rivers, Assi Ghat is a popular spot for both tourists and locals. It's known for its serene atmosphere and is a great place to witness the sunrise. Morning yoga sessions and aarti performances add to its charm.

Temples: A Divine Journey

Kashi Vishwanath Temple

One of the twelve Jyotirlingas, Kashi Vishwanath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple's golden spire and domes are a sight to behold. Despite the crowds, the spiritual ambiance is palpable, making it a must-visit for devotees and tourists alike.

Durga Temple

Also known as the Monkey Temple due to the numerous monkeys that roam the premises, the Durga Temple is an architectural marvel dedicated to Goddess Durga. The temple's red hue and intricate design are captivating, and it's a significant site during the Navratri festival.

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple

Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, this temple is believed to protect devotees from troubles and hardships. The serene environment and the frequent chanting of Hanuman Chalisa create a peaceful and spiritual experience.

Historical Sites: Windows to the Past

Ramnagar Fort

Located on the eastern bank of the Ganges, Ramnagar Fort is a beautiful structure built in the 18th century. The fort houses a museum with a fascinating collection of vintage cars, royal palanquins, weapons, and more. The fort’s architecture and the view of the river from its balconies are spectacular.


Just a short drive from Varanasi, Sarnath is the site where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon. The Dhamek Stupa, Chaukhandi Stupa, and the Ashoka Pillar are key attractions here. The Sarnath Museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts from the Mauryan era.

Cultural Experiences: Dive into Varanasi's Rich Heritage

Banaras Hindu University (BHU)

One of Asia's largest residential universities, BHU boasts a sprawling campus with beautiful gardens, temples, and museums. The Bharat Kala Bhavan museum on the campus is a treasure trove of ancient artifacts, paintings, and sculptures.

Ganga Aarti Ceremony

Attending the Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat is an unforgettable experience. The evening sky lit with countless diyas (lamps), the sound of conch shells, and the rhythmic chanting create a magical ambiance that touches the soul.

Boat Ride on the Ganges

A boat ride on the Ganges at dawn or dusk is a serene experience. Watching the ghats come alive with rituals and seeing the city bathed in the soft light of sunrise or sunset provides a unique perspective of Varanasi's spiritual essence.

Local Cuisine: A Culinary Adventure

Street Food Delights

Varanasi’s street food is legendary. From kachoris and chaat to tamatar chaat and chena dahi vada, the flavors are vibrant and diverse. Don't miss trying the Banarasi paan, a betel leaf preparation that’s an essential part of the local culture.

Lassi and Thandai

Cool off with a glass of lassi or thandai. The Blue Lassi Shop is famous for its creamy lassis with a variety of fruit flavors. Thandai, a milk-based drink with spices, nuts, and often bhang (cannabis), is a traditional drink especially popular during festivals like Holi.

Banarasi Sweets

Indulge in the famous Banarasi sweets like malaiyyo, a frothy milk dessert available only in winter, and lal peda, a type of milk fudge. The sweet shops in Varanasi offer a delectable array of traditional Indian sweets.

Shopping: Souvenirs and Treasures

Banarasi Silk Saris

No trip to Varanasi is complete without shopping for a Banarasi silk sari. These handwoven masterpieces are known for their intricate designs and luxurious feel. Visit the local markets or weaver’s villages to see the artisans at work.

Handicrafts and Artifacts

Explore the bustling markets for brassware, wooden toys, and other handicrafts. The intricate work and unique designs make for perfect souvenirs to take back home.

Books and Spiritual Items

Varanasi is a haven for books, especially those on spirituality and philosophy. The numerous bookshops around the ghats and temples offer a wide range of reading material. Spiritual items like rudraksha beads, incense, and idols are also popular buys.

Festivals: Celebrating Culture and Tradition


The festival of lights is celebrated with great fervor in Varanasi. The ghats are illuminated with thousands of diyas, and the entire city comes alive with festivities, fireworks, and special rituals.

Dev Deepawali

Celebrated fifteen days after Diwali, Dev Deepawali is when the gods are believed to descend to Earth. The ghats are lit with millions of lamps, creating a breathtaking spectacle that’s best viewed from a boat on the Ganges.


The festival of colors, Holi, is celebrated with enthusiasm and joy. Streets and ghats become a riot of colors as people smear each other with colored powder and water. It’s a vibrant and joyous celebration that’s a must-experience if you're in Varanasi during this time.

Wellness and Spiritual Retreats

Yoga and Meditation Centers

Varanasi is dotted with numerous yoga and meditation centers offering courses and retreats. These centers provide a serene environment to learn and practice ancient disciplines that promote physical and mental well-being.

Ayurvedic Treatments

Experience traditional Ayurvedic treatments and massages that are designed to rejuvenate and heal the body and mind. Many wellness centers and spas in Varanasi offer personalized Ayurvedic therapies.

Spiritual Tours and Workshops

Join a spiritual tour or workshop to delve deeper into the religious and cultural fabric of Varanasi. These tours often include guided visits to temples, participation in rituals, and lectures on Hindu philosophy and spirituality.

Nature and Scenic Spots

Rajdari and Devdari Waterfalls

Located about 65 km from Varanasi, these waterfalls offer a refreshing escape from the city. The scenic beauty and the sound of cascading water create a tranquil atmosphere ideal for picnics and day trips.


A pilgrimage site situated on the banks of the Ganges, Vindhyachal is known for its beautiful temples and serene surroundings. The Vindhyavasini Temple and the nearby Ashtabhuja and Kali Khoh temples are significant religious spots.

Plan Your Trip: Tips and Advice

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Varanasi is from October to March when the weather is pleasant. The temperatures are moderate, making it ideal for sightseeing and participating in outdoor activities.

Getting Around

Varanasi is well-connected by air, rail, and road. Within the city, auto-rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, and e-rickshaws are the most convenient modes of transport. Walking along the narrow lanes near the ghats is also an experience in itself.

Respecting Local Customs

While exploring Varanasi, it’s important to respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly, especially when visiting temples and participating in rituals. Always seek permission before taking photographs of people, particularly during ceremonies.

Final Thoughts: Embrace the Spirit of Varanasi

Visiting Varanasi is more than just a travel experience; it's a journey into the soul of India. The city’s ancient ghats, sacred temples, and vibrant culture offer a unique blend of spirituality and history. Whether you're seeking spiritual enlightenment, cultural immersion, or simply a memorable travel adventure, Varanasi promises to leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul.

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