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Things to do in Varanasi
Evermore inhabited for some 2,800 years, Varanasi is one of the most sacred places for Hindus. Devotees believe Varanasi is a place where they can break free from the cycle of rebirth and unite with God after death. Confidence emerges in the deep intensity that pulsates through the busy city. Varanasi or Banaras (also known as Kashi) is one of the oldest cities in the world. Varanasi's significance in Hindu mythology is virtually undisclosed. The land of Varanasi (Kasi) has been the ultimate pilgrimage destination for Hindus for centuries. Hindus believe that those who have the grace to die in the land of Varanasi achieve salvation and liberation from the cycle of birth and rebirth. The abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the origin of Varanasi is still unknown. The Ganges River in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away human sins.
Beyond the spiritual side, Varanasi has many others waiting to be discovered in its bustling neighborhood. Explore the simple yet delicious food, the tranquillity of the passageways and the clever placement of the ghats. All of this contributes to Varanasi's aesthetics and vibrancy. What else can you discover?
Dasaswamedh Ghat Aarti
Every night, thousands of lamps and lights illuminate Varanasi's ghats during the daily aarti ceremony. This spectacular event can be seen from Dasaswamedh ghat where the priest holds a huge brass lamp and recites a prayer. The beautiful ceremony lasts for 45 minutes but will be remembered for the rest of his life. Make sure you arrive early to attend the aarti as the ghats can get busy.
To fully experience Varanasi, a walk through the mesmerizing Ghats is a must. The city has more than 100 ghats overlooking the Ganges River. Enjoy spectacular sunset views and sacred ceremonies. Dashashwamedh Ghat, Assi Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat and Kedar Ghat are must-see ghats during your trip.
If you want to experience Varanasi in its quietest moments, board the boat early in the morning. Best taken before sunrise. Trust us, you'll be amazed at how the city looks, full of excitement and splendor, with little human involvement. The tranquillity you experience during this time is all you need to prepare yourself for the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And if you're someone who needs to escape the weight of life, this boat trip may even change your outlook on life. Open your mind to fresher perspectives and understandings.
Boat tours offer panoramic views of the ghats and former palaces near the riverbank. In addition to this, you will also notice the locals prepping their boats, setting up stalls, bathing and washing lots of clothes in preparation for the day. This is the most serene view seen at dawn in Varanasi.
Ramnagar Fort is more than just a gorgeous structure made of cream-coloured Chunar sandstone. Nearby is Saraswati Bhawan, a museum that houses a variety of vintage American cars, precious jewelled palanquins, an arsenal of ancient weapons and swords, vintage clocks and more. The main attraction is the huge clock housed within the fort's sturdy walls. What makes this watch special is that it not only displays the year, month, week and day, but also astronomical facts about the sun, moon and various constellations. Pretty impressive, right?
The fort's attractions are not limited to its museums. It has gorgeous courtyards, balconies and pavilions that adorn the royal residence, the Veda Vyasa Temple and the famous Hanuman Dakshin Mukhi Temple.
Street Food Cuisine
Varanasi is well known for its unique street food cuisine. After you've had enough time sightseeing, fill up on some of the most famous dishes like Kachori Sabzi, Chola Matar, Chena Dahi Vada and Malayo. In fact, we wrote an entire article about must-eat street food, but it's still not enough!
Blue Lassi Shop
Varanasi has many restaurants, but be sure to visit the Blue Lassi shop. This is an age old name that not only represents the blue decoration but also the emotion. One sip from any of the 83 flavors of lassi blows away any melancholy. This small establishment has been around for over 78 years. However, it is still one of the most visited places. Here, overlooking the street, you'll find a man diligently crafting the right ingredients to make lassi, chocolate, coffee and banana being one of the stars of his batter.
Visit Sarai Mohana
Varanasi sarees are world-famous, but few people know that there is a weaving village where local artisans create these fine works of art. Visit Sarai Mohana, the home of weaving, to see the process of zari and embroidery. Honestly, exploring this area is one of the interesting things to do in Varanasi.
Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum
Get up close to Varanasi's cultural heritage at the Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum, located in the renowned Banaras Hindu University. The museum was founded in 1920 with Rabindra Nath Tagore as its chairman. Here you can explore a variety of paintings, sculptures, and other memorabilia depicting local history. You can also visit this gallery of art, where the impeccable works of the famous Russian artist Nicholas Roerich are exhibited.
Varanasi is well connected to the rest of India by train, bus, and plane. You can fly to Varanasi Airport from major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore, or take a train or bus. Varanasi Railway Junction and Kashi Railway Station are the two main railway stations serving the city. There are 12 trains running daily from New Delhi to Varanasi and the fastest train from New Delhi to Varanasi is 12560 SHIV GANGA EXP. Additionally, you can take the Uttar Pradesh State Road Bus from Lucknow, Patna, Gorakpur and Ranchi to Varanasi.
The best time to visit is from October to March when it's not too hot to explore the city. You will have a great time exploring Varanasi. This city has a lot to offer in terms of culture, cuisine and traditions, and people will tell you that It makes you feel like you are inside.
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