People come here for spiritual enlightenment and to attain salvation. Renamed after the Varuna and Asi Rivers, it shines with millions of lights, candles, floating diyas and large Jyotis. The magical Indian destination will captivate you with its Ghats, endless lines of Sadhus and Saints, aartis and the floating of earthern lamps over the water of Ganga in the evening.
Varanasi is well connected and accessible to major Indian cities and tourist spots through air, train and bus. You will find daily domestic flights to and from Varanasi to several cities in India. The official language spoken here is Hindi. However, you will find many people who speak English language.
One of the best things to do in Varanasi is exploring the Ghats. The most charming sight is the Ghats along the River Ganga. To have unrivalled experience, take a walk at sunset hours along the Ghats. The city has almost a hundred Ghats which are bathing Ghats, praying Ghats and cremation sites for Hindus from all over the world. Dashashwamedh Ghat, Assi Ghat, Mata Anandamai Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Munshi Ghat, Raj Ghat, Scindia Ghat, Tulsi Ghat, Panchganga Ghat, Kedar Ghat, Rana Mahal Ghat, Causatthi Ghat, Lalita Ghat, Ahilyabai Ghat, Scindia Ghat, Darbhanga Ghat, Harishchandra Ghat, Shivala Ghat, Manmandir Ghat are highly auspicious places to explore that are known for their spiritual ambience. Having boat ride from one Ghat to another is the major attraction here. The Evening Aarti Ceremony which is performed every evening for 45 minutes at Ganges River can be viewed from the Dasawamedh Ghat. Chants, aromas of flowers and incense create a heavenly blessing.
Without including Kashi Vishwanath Temple, the list of places to visit in Varanasi would be incomplete. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas and has also been referred to in the Holy Scriptures. You will experience the divine vibes and vintage charm of the whole city in this temple. Without visiting this holy place, your trip to Varanasi will be outright incomplete. The temple once had a golden spire and domes and so it was also called the Golden Temple.
Just a few kilometers away from Varanasi, there is a sleepy village of Singhpur’s Sarnath which is a Buddhist centre of religion. This is the place where Gautama Buddha first came and taught about the concept of Dharma. The Dhamek Stupa, Ashoka Pillar, Chaukhandi Stupa and Dharmarajika Stupa are major attractions. Emperor Ashoka erected a number of stupas and monuments for spreading Buddhism. The crumbling stupas with manuscripts and fascinating inscriptions teach a lot of Indian history, development of Buddhism and provide alternative theories such as Aliens and how they visited the earth.
Situated in the Vindhya Range at a distance of about 45 odd km from Varanasi, Chunar fort is located in the Mirzapur district. Lord Vishnu had taken his first step in his Vaman incarnation in the dynasty of Great king Bali and so the fort was called Charanadri initially. However, the name Chunar came after the kingdom is captured by Babar followed by Shershah Suri, Humayun, Akbar, Aurangzeb and finally the Britishers in the year 1772AD.
Inside the fort there is 28 pillars reflecting purely the Hindu style of architecture, Engraving on the mehrab (arch) which is said to have been filled with gold earlier, Deep Bawali (water storage tank) in the fort which still has the water and Samadhi of Bharthari, the brother of King Vikramaditya behind the fort are the major attractions. If you would like to go for a day trek, then the Forest in the Vindhya ranges along the Ganges is an ideal site.
Situated some distance away from Dasaswamedh Ghat, the Man Mandir Observatory is a famous tourist spot that is made up of astronomical instruments that calculate time, prepare the lunar and solar calendar and study the movements, distances and angles of the myriad planets, stars and other heavenly bodies.
Situated in the Lalita Ghat, the temple is famous for its exquisite architecture and wood work. This shrine is also called Nepali Temple as it was built by King of Nepal. The major attraction of the place is the intricate wood carving.
Inside the Benaras Hindu University founded by Sanskrit scholar, Madan Mohan Malviya, there is Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum that has rich collection of Indian paintings that date back to between 11th century and 20th century and are about 12000 in number. The sculpture of marriage of Shiva and Parvati and the 11th century statue of Vishnu and the Gandhara sculpture are the major attractions here.