A visit to Varanasi can be an exciting experience. The city can blind you with its incredible array of colors and can be unrelentingly chaotic at times. Yet, Varanasi is spectacularly captivating and you will soon come to love its charms.Alternatively known as Kashi and Benaras, the city of Varanasi is one of the seven most sacred sites of the Hindu religion. It is also one of the oldest cities to have been continuously inhabited in its history. Lined by the ever graceful and generous holy river Ganga, Varanasi can be overwhelming with its sights, sounds and smells. According to the Hindu religion, it is believed that people who die here will achieve moksha, the complete freedom from the cycle of life and death.
The city can be a maze at first and easy to get lost but that is a part of its charm. You can enjoy a walk by the ghats which can relax you and give you a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the locals and pilgrims. You will also love the cityscape which is replete with innumerable temples.
How to Get There
By Air :
Varanasi is well connected and accessible to major Indian cities and tourist spots. There are daily domestic flights to and from Varanasi to several cities in India.
By Rail :
Varanasi is well connected to Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and other parts of India. There are two railway stations in Varanasi, the Kashi Junction and the Varanasi Junction.
By Road :
Varanasi has a good network of roads. frequent public and private buses and road transport to all the major towns of Uttar Pradesh and nearby areas.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Although it seems that there is a temple at every turn at Varanasi, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple happens to be the most spectacular. In fact, you may let your jaw drop at the absolute mind-boggling nature of it all. The towers of the temple along with the dome are decorated fabulously with 800 kilograms of gold plating that gleam under the warm rays of the sun. This magnificence of the temple is rather appropriate given that it is dedicated to Lord Vishwanath, the lord of the universe and an avatar of Lord Shiva.
The Ghats of Varanasi
Being located on the banks of the glorious sacred river Ganga, Varanasi is filled with ghats of all sizes and importance. These ghats are the epicenter of spirituality and happen to be among the most photogenic of places. Most of these ghats are meant for bathing and religious purposes. However, you will also come across burning ghats. At these places, bodies are cremated with the all the traditional Hindu rituals. The most important of these burning ghats is Manikaran.Visit the ghats at dawn to experience a serene sight. The waters of the river light up under the golden rays creating an incredible sight. The other time for visit is during the sunset. As the fiery rays of the sun die out, pilgrims approach the ghats for the evening prayers. There are around 80 ghats here. The Assi ghat and the Hanuman Ghat are two of the popular ones.
Benaras Hindu University
The history of the Benaras Hindu University is fascinating and rich. It has long been regarded as one of the more popular universities in India due to its high quality education. However, you will be there to enjoy the beauty of the university with its striking architecture and sprawling campus. The streets are wide and lined with trees that create an atmosphere of relaxation far away from the chaotic bustle of the Varanasi center
Tulsi Manas Temple
The architecture of the Tulsi Manas Temple is modern but looks amazing. It has been constructed with marble that gleams under the sun. Rather interestingly, the marble walls have been engraved with the verses that depict the scenes from Ram Charit Manas which is the Hindi rendition of the epic Ramayana.
Ram Nagar Fort
The ancient Ram Nagar Fort was built in the 17th century can contains a palace. The place is quite beautiful and offers you a chance to witness the dazzling sight of the sun setting over the Ganga River. The fort may have lost much of its former sheen, but it is quite chamming nonetheless. There is also a museum here filled with a quirky collection. You can enjoy the spender of the vintage cars from America and the superb section on weaponry.
Bharat Mata Temple
This lovely temple was constructed in the year 1919 and is dedicated to Bharat Mata, the personification of India. Interestingly, there are no idols inside the temple. Rather, you will find a marble slab that showcases an exquisite relief map of India.