Things to see and do in Varanasi aren’t quite as numerous as the lists in other cities. But some of them are overlooked by those planning a trip to this city. Varanasi. The ancient city nestled on the banks of the Ganges River is located in Uttar Pradesh.
One of the seven holy cities in India, Varanasi also has the names of Benares and Kashi. From birth to death, every aspect of earthly existence and some argue that even salvation is only achieved in the 5,000-year-old city.
Boat tour in Varanasi is part of all Varanasi itineraries. The holy river Ganges provides Varanasi with a spiritual charm with rowing boat rides during sunrise is perhaps one of the best things to do in Varanasi. The ride along the Ganges River is some of the Varanasi experiences that you will cherish for a lifetime.
The best time to enjoy the boat ride on the Ganges River is the sunrise time and the sunset time. Early in the morning from 5:30 to 8:00 is a good way to see the sun rise and the city envelops you in its charm. A sunset boat ride, especially during the aarti, is also spectacular.
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Bathing in the River Ganges
The holy river Ganges provides Varanasi with a spiritual charm. The waters of the Ganges River are sacred. The divine river offers salvation to all who bathe in the water. Pilgrims from all over the world, regardless of their age, plunge into the water to absolve their sins and achieve moksha, liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
Varanasi has more than 84 Ghats with stairs leading down to the waters. The bathroom happens here seen from the first light of dawn. People sing prayers to appease the River Goddess.
Due to their religious significance, temples top the list of things to see and do in Varanasi. In the holy land of the gods, the temples of Varanasi offer a direct encounter with the gods. The ancient city has a temple on every corner. Some temples have links to Hindu mythology legends and many are built to honor their faith.
The most popular of the temples here is the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Set in two golden domes, the temple was built in 1780 by Queen Ahilyabai Holker of Indore. A Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva known as Vishwanath is kept here. Other popular temples are 18th century Durga temple, Annapurna temple, Ankatha temple, Kalbhairav temple, Mritunjay Mahadev temple, Tulsi Manas, Sankatmochan, Bharat Mata temple, etc.
The Ghat along the Ganga River in Varanasi is the most fascinating sight in the holy city. Walking along the Ghats at sunset is an unrivaled experience.
Exploring the Ghat is one of the best things to do in Varanasi. The city has nearly a hundred Ghats, the steps of each leading to the waters of the River Ganges. These are bathing Ghats, praying Ghats and cremation sites for Hindus around the world.
Dashashwamedh Ghat, associated with two Hindu mythologies, is one of the best places to explore. Some of the other major Ghats include Assi Ghat, Mata Anandamai Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Munshi Ghat, Raj Ghat, Scindia Ghat, etc. Tulsi Ghat is believed to get rid of leprosy and is highly revered by all.
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Ganga Aarti in Varanasi Ghat
When it comes to things to do in Varanasi, evening Aarti is one of the best activities when visiting Varanasi. The evening Aarti ceremony at the Ganges River in Varanasi is undoubtedly a sight to cherish for a long time. The surreal ceremony must be seen from the Dasaswamedh Ghat.
Witness the wonderful rituals unfolding before your eyes and enchant you. The large brass lamps of almost 4.5 kg are used during the spiritual greeting. Chants, aromas of flowers and incense create a heavenly blessing. The twilight sky shines with divine splendor. The Art ceremony takes place every evening a 45-minute ritual at 6.45pm.
Places to see in Varanasi Village
Varanasi weavers are internationally known for creating some of the finest masterpieces. Sarai Mohana village is the village of weavers, famous for its silk weaving. The Banarasi sarees made from these exemptions are among the best sarees in India. Known for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and opulent embroidery. These saris are mostly worn by Indian brides.
In Sarai Mohana village, discover the art of weavers with their different design. These weavers work hard to design these sarees to maintain its individuality. The sari masterpiece takes 15 days to a month and sometimes up to six months to complete.
Places to visit Sarnath nearby Varanasi
Sarnath is located just 12 km from the holy city of Varanasi. The sacred site of Sarnath is popular because it is here that Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma after his enlightenment. One of four Buddhist sacred sites, the relics in the area attracts visitors in large numbers.
Having faced destruction at the hands of the Turks, there are some fascinating ruins to explore. The Dharmekh Stupa is impressive. Dating from about 200 BC, the pillar is 128 feet tall and 93 in diameters.
What to do in Varanasi
Shopping in Varanasi is a great way to take memories of the holy city home. The city is widely famous for its silk saris and ornate jewelry, visit the local market to explore the plethora of colors, intricate patterns and elaborate designs.
In addition to saris, you can buy shawls, carpets, stone inlays, bracelets and idols of Hindu or Buddhist gods. Major shopping areas to explore in this city include Vishwanath Lane, Thateri Bazaar, Chowk, and Godowilia.
What to eat in Varanasi
Food in Varanasi is a gastronomic experience. Savor the vast assortment of mouth-watering delicacies. The streets of Varanasi feature the most famous food and various unique specialties of this city. The famous snow cone, roasted peanuts, delicious chat voices like Tamatar Chat, Pani Puri, Kachoris, Aloo Tikki, variety of sweets like Jalebis, Banarasi Kalakand, Rabri, etc.