Deemed as one of the oldest living city, Varanasi lies on the banks of the holy river Ganga. The city is also known as Banaras. It is world-famous for its spirituality and religious significance. For centuries, it has been a place attracting pilgrims from all over the world.
Varanasi is a perfect destination that depicts the colours and diversity of India. The fascinating Aartis, ancient temples, priests, lively people, the gorgeous Banarasi sarees and the delicious cuisine, has made the city unique in its way.
The city is popularly called ‘The City of Lights’ for the colourful environment it has. With everything, that Varanasi brings, there are a lot of places to visit in Varanasi that are worth visiting. From seeing the beautiful Ghats along the Ganges, the ancient temples and the spiritual environment one can surely have an experience for the ages. Now, let us know a bit about some of the best places to visit in Varanasi.
Best Places to visit in Varanasi
1. The Ganges River
Known as the pride and life-provider of the country, the Ganges River is one of the best natural sites one could witness. The river goes all the way from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, along the way being the lifeline of the majority of our country’s population. Tourists especially enjoy sightseeing and life around the river. People try to attain purity with the holy water.
Tip – Prefer waking up early and enjoying a boat ride along the Ghats. The utter calmness that the river would instil in you makes it one of the best place to visit in Varanasi.
2. The Dasaswamedh Ghat
There is an abundance of beautiful and lively Ghats along the river Ganges in Varanasi. Filled up with flower sellers and holy saints called Sadhus, you can easily spend your day along the Dasaswamedh Ghat witnessing the life out there.
Tip – Don’t miss the Ganga Aarti which begins at around 7 pm. It includes people paying pilgrimages and the saints performing some rituals with shells being blown. The ceremony happens for about 45 minutes and is a sight to savour for the ages.
3. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple – Best Places to visit in Varanasi
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is a sacred pilgrim attraction that attracts Hindus and tourists from various parts of the world. The detailed and distinctive design of the temple makes it stand out and has inspired numerous other temples across the span of India.
Termed as ‘The Golden Temple’ for its 800 kilograms gold plated structure, it is devoted to Lord Shiva. On Hindu festivals and holidays, devotees tend to wait in lines for up to two days for entering the temple as they strongly believe that the sight of Shiva purifies the soul and helps attain enlightenment.
4. Assi Ghat
One of the best places to visit in Varanasi, the Assi Ghat is known for the Shiva Lingam under the sacred fig tree. Pilgrims arrive every day to worship Lord Shiva and see another Ganga Aarti takes places at the Assi Ghat.
5. Banaras Hindu University
An intricate part of the city, the Banaras Hindu University is an identity of Varanasi since it was started in 1916. The lush green serene campus of the university covering 1300 acres provides freshness and serenity. It is one of the largest residential universities in Asia with over 25000 students pursuing their studies.
6.Manikarnika Ghat – Best Places to visit in Varanasi
The main cremation ghat along the banks of Ganga, the Manikarnika Ghat is one of the significant ghats for Hindus. One may notice fumes in the air which is of the smoke caused by these cremations. You may see continuous progressions of funerals and should try to remain calm as the scene is not for the faint-hearted.
Tip – If viewing a cremation is not your thing, you could try a boat ride along the Ganges
where you would get the essence of the Manikarnika Ghat without seeing a funeral up close.
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7. Bharat Kala Bhavan
Displaying a contrasting experience from the busy Ghats, the Banaras Hindu University has an on-campus museum known as the Bharat Kala Bhavan. It is a must-visit destination for all art and history lovers as it showcases over 1 lakh artefacts of artistic importance and some of the most magnificent miniature paintings of the country.
8. Ramnagar Fort – Best Places to visit in Varanasi
Built-in 1750 AD, the Ramnagar Fort was made up by the King of Banaras. The palace is built up of red stones and features a big central clock that shows astronomical details of space objects. The museum inside the fort stores vintage vehicles, antique armouries, sedans and much more. It is a collection of architectural and astronomical brilliance which makes it a compulsory place to visit in Varanasi.
The city of Varanasi is not solely based on Hinduism. In the village of Sarnath, one will find the Dhamek Stupa devoted to Buddhism. Nearly 44 metres tall and 28 metres wide, the Stupa was built around 1500 years back. It is believed that Buddha arrived here for his first sermon, which ultimately revealed the Eightfold Path.
9. Dhamek Stupa
Tip – Witness the detailed carving of birds, flowers and people on the walls making it a serene attraction. Sarnath is not only about Dhamek Stupa. Pay a visit to the Sarnath Museum and the Tibetan Temple.
10. Shri Durga Temple
Varanasi is no short of temples. Another wonderful temple to visit is the Shri Durga Temple. Walking distance away from the Assi Ghat, the temple is painted from top to bottom in bright red. It is known as the ‘Monkey Temple’ by the locals because of the number of monkeys you are going to see there.
11. Alamgir Mosque
Famous for its Islamic architecture, the Alamgir Mosque is believed to be constructed by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The mosque is located along the banks of Ganga and is well known for its intricate art style.
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12. Standing Buddha Statue- Best Places to visit in Varanasi
An 80-metre tall statue of Buddha, inaugurated in 2016 and surrounded by several lush green gardens paves a way for one of the best place to visit in Varanasi.
Varanasi is a historic city in India with stories dating back ages. One of the holiest city in the country, Varanasi boasts many temples and pious places. When visiting Varanasi, one would be free from getting bored or anything as the city is filled up with colourful and calming experiences. All the places to visit in Varanasi offer you something different which would stay with you for your lifetime. By now you have known the places to visit in Varanasi. Now, it is your turn to plan a trip to Varanasi and experience everything that the city has to offer.