One of the oldest city in the country and the religious city for Hindus. Varanasi is famous for its history, architecture and sunset tints. But this is not all there is plenty for you to travel in Varansai.
Here are 10 things to explore in Varanasi :
1. Boat Ride in the Ganges –
The best time to do a boat ride in Varanasi is the dawn and dusk hours. The boat ride is one of the main attractions in the city because you can watch the entire city. You can see the city in its beautiful holy shades if you take an early morning trip.
2. Visit the temples –
Varanasi is one of the 7 holy cities, and as old as human civilization itself. See the architecture and the structure, the value and poise of the temples. But more importantly, see the history of the Gods – not simply because it is religious, but because religious places are full of people with positive vibes. It is the making of a country, and because it is the foundation of our society. Because it is peaceful and beautiful and, well, in simple terms, Godly.
Some of the more famous temples are –
- Kashi Vishwanathan Temple
- Durga Temple
- Annapurna Temple
- Ankatha Temple
- Kalbhairav Temple
- Mritunjay Mahadev Temple
- Tulsi Manas
- Bharat Mata Temple
3. Evening Aarti at the river –
Have you seen the lights? The incense? The aroma and atmosphere? Have you seen the priests with their attention and dedication? Varanasi has an ethos. It is a city with a method, a story. The entire aarti is simply surreal. Watch the aarti from the Dasawamedh Ghat. Every evening the aarti ceremony starts at 6:45 pm and lasts for 45 minutes.
4. Explore The Weavers Village –
Varanasi is famous for weaving. The Sari Mohana Village is famous for its silk weaving. Buy a souvenir of silk. Banarasi sarees are famous internationally. When doing a trip to Varanasi, why not buy directly from the source? Known for their Zari work, fine silk and opulent embroidery, these weavers and their craftsmanship is something to see.
5. Tour Sarnath –
Located just 12 km from Varanasi, Sarnath is famous for Buddha’s teaching of the Dharma. This city is full of relics and core to the Buddhist religion. This mini trip is for people who love ruins, architecture and archaeology. While in Sarnath, take a note to see the Dharmekh Stupa, The Ashoka Pillar, Mulagandhakuti Vihar, Archaeological Museum and the six national temples.
6. Visit the popular historical locations –
And the not so popular ones as well. The Gyan Vapi well has the ling from the original Vishwanathan Temple. The Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum at the Benaras Hindu University is very famous for its Indian Paintings dating as back as the 11th century. The Ramnagar fort beyond the Assi Ghat is over 400 years old and still has its beauty and poise.
7. Take a stroll on foot –
If you haven’t already thought of it, then here is the best way to know a city, and it is by talking to the locals. Hearing what they have to say, how they lived their lives, their stories and incidents. This is how you know the ethos of a city – because a city is not only the things, but also the people. Taking this stroll early morning and at sunset.
8. Look for Great Photography Locations –
This is actually an easy way to actually explore the city inside out. This way you will walk into narrow streets. You will see not so famous structures and watch people going about their daily routines. Varanasi is actually a great city for photography.
9. Eating local food –
This goes without saying. No place is complete without one eating the local cuisine. The famous delicacies are the tamatar (tomato) chat, aloo tikki, sweet – because UP is famous for those, snow cones, peanuts, Pani puri and kachoris. Notice how most of these are street foods? And No, I did not forget the famous Banarasi Paan. Neither do you when you go for a visit.
10. Places around Varanasi –
Travelling all the way to Varanasi and not visiting the nearby destinations are a no-no. Visit the Vindhyachal – one of the 64 Shaktipeeths. Chandra Prabha Sanctuary is a scenic and picnic spot for a more calm evening. Chunar Fort and Jaunpur and great for building and architectural enthusiasts. Make sure you cover all of these and more.
Do not forget to document your visit. Mention in the comments what you saw when you visited or what you want to cover when you go. Also, of course, Shop a lot. Help those hardworking artisans.