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Varanasi

Varanasi Overview

Varanasi is the land of God. It is an ancient city located in Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the ancient cities that is still in use. People consider Varanasi as the place where Gods descend to Earth to meditate. This city has a place in many epics and mythologies.
The significance of this place is beyond numerous ancient and new age temples here. This is the place to find unique traditions like Ganga Arti, Hindu style cremation and other rituals. This place is famous for shopping silk, wood items, copper articles and brass items. People visit this city to become a part of Indian culture and also for religious purposes.

Best Time to Visit Varanasi

There are two reasons to why you should visit Varanasi in winter. The city will have a pleasing climate, which makes sightseeing easier. During winter, which extends from October to March, you can find many religious festivals and events. During these events, you can find extraordinary rituals here.
The summer starts in April and ends in May. This is the worst time to visit Varanasi due to the heat. The temperature can go as high as 46 degree C. Varanasi receives mild showers during this season but this will do no good in reducing the temperature or humidity. The monsoon starts in July and ends in September. The city gets average rainfall. You can find a few important religious festivals during this season.

What to see/ Attractions of Varanasi

This is the city of temple. Top interesting temples in Varanasi are

  • Kashi Vishwanath temple
  • Kathwala temple
  • New Vishwanath temple
  • Durga temple
  • TulsiManas temple
  • Bharat Matha temple

Important Ghats to Visit in Varanasi are

  • Dasaswamedh Ghat
  • Assi Ghat
  • Manmandir Ghat
  • Manikarnika Ghat
  • Harishchandra Ghat
  • Shivala Ghat
  • Darbhaga Ghat
  • Tulsi Ghat
  • Scindia Ghat

Other important destinations in Varanasi are

  • Alamgir Mosque
  • Rana Mahal
  • GyanVapi well
  • Benaras Hindu University
  • Ramnagar fort

Sarnath is a destination near Varanasi, which is famous as a Buddhist pilgrim spot. All Varanasi itineraries including luxury train trips like Maharajas Express include Sarnath in Varanasi trip. You can find stupas, temples, parks and other interesting elements here.

Shopping in Varanasi

There are a few shopping centers inside the park where you can find souvenirs. Local tribes make most of the souvenirs. Top handicraft stores in the park are Dastkar, Dhonk and Anokhi.

Famous handicrafts to buy from these stores are

  • Peeli Kothi: Benaras silk, sarees and other materials
  • Thatheri bazaar: Benaras silk and other garments
  • Gai Ghat: Minakari work, accessories, semi-precious gems, metal articles and others
  • Sankat Mochan Hanuman temple: Wooden toys, wood works, street foods and others
  • Vishwanath Gali: Deity statues, brassware, souvenirs, wood toys and others

How to Reach Varanasi?

Varanasi has a domestic airport that receives flights frequently from many destinations in India. The nearest international airport is in Delhi. You can find frequent flights from Mumbai to Varanasi too. From the airport, you can hire auto or cab until you reach the market near Dashashwamedh Ghat. Beyond, you need to scale on foot. You can find private and government buses from various parts of the country to Varanasi. Frequent buses arrive from Khajuraho, Bhopal, Agra, Delhi, Allahabad, Lucknow and others. You can also find cabs from surrounding regions to reach Varanasi.
The city can be easily reached through trains. Varanasi is served by luxury trains like Maharajas Express and other trains from many important destinations like Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Ooty, Alleppey, Goa and others.