Varanasi, a city on the banks of river Ganga, attracts millions of pilgrims and tourists every year. It is one of the holiest cities according to Hinduism and is one of the oldest cities of the world. Naturally, over time, the city has been at the centre of confluence for other religions like Buddhism and Jainism as well. Dating back to as far as the 11th century B.C., Varanasi has witnessed a lot of social, cultural and religious transformations which are evident from the astonishing number of temples, ghats, forts, observatories, stupas and museums adorning this timeless city.
For an unforgettable travel experience, make your bookings in one of the good hotels in Varanasi and set out to explore its history amidst the bustle of modern lifestyle. There are lots of different places to visit during your stay at Varanasi. Read on to find out the ones not to be missed.
- The Varanasi Ghats: Undoubtedly, the most popular of all the attractions in Varanasi are its ghats which come in nearly 88 different varieties. The principal ones like Dashashwamedhghat and Manikarnikaghat should be a priority for the stark contradictions they impose on your senses. The evening aartis are a treat to the eyes and if you are here during festival season then you will see a lot of activities surrounding the ghatson a daily basis. If you have the time, soak in on the rich history of the Man Mandir, Scindhia and Tulsighats as well.
- Vishwanath Temple: For the devout Hindu, a visit to this temple is always on the itinerary. Be prepared to be dazzled by its iconic golden tower and dome which are plated with almost 800Kg of gold. The security is quite strict and the place gets extremely overwhelming during auspicious days when devotees attempt to touch the Shiva-linga inside the temple to absolve their sins.
- Ramnagar Fort: A classic example of Mughal-era architecture, the Ramnagar fort, standing on the opposite bank of the Tulsighat, provides a gorgeous view of sunset. It houses a vintage museum which has preserved among other things, a gigantic astronomical clock and medieval costumes and weapons.
- Sarnath: It is one of the popular Buddhist pilgrimage locations around 10 Kms away from the city. You can get a taxi or auto from any of the resorts in Varanasi to reach here. Once here, check out the stupas and tallest statue of Lord Buddha in a peaceful and meditative atmosphere which is sure to instil a sense of calm.
- Kala Bhavan Museum: Located within the premises of the prestigious Banaras Hindu University, the museum houses paintings, scripture, sculptures and detailed records of local history. A visit to these hallowed halls will definitely bring a smile to the face of the academically inclined.
There are countless other places to visit during your stay in Varanasi like the Chunar Fort, TulsiManas Temple, Durga Temple, Gyan Vapi Well etc., which give you the old-world charm of the city. So, do not hesitate and plan your trip to Varanasi and check out the above-mentioned sites. You would not be disappointed.