Varanasi is one of the oldest and continuously inhabited cities whose traces can be found in Hindu epic books. Its name is derived from the two tributaries of Ganga River, Varuna and Assi; other names are Banares and Kashi. The city is recognized for being a sacred place for death.

Hindu mythology states cremation in this city helps one achieve moksha (salvation). A lot of pilgrims and travelers throng the city; some to take blessings and a holy dip in Ganga and some to unlock its religious mysteries. The river is edged by 84 ghats that dub the city as 'City of Ghats'. A boat ride is the best way to see them which also rewards with stunning sunrise and sunset views.

Alluring Destinations of Varanasi

Dashashwamedh Ghat

It is one of the prominent ghats famous for the grand Ganga Aarti. The legend associated with it says it was this place where Lord Brahma sacrificed ten horses during Dasa-Ashwamedha yajna. You should attend the evening Ganga aarti which is held as a daily ritual. It is performed by chief priests creating a blissful environment that soothes the soul.

Manikarnika Ghat

A visit to this ghat will open your eyes to different cultures and experiences you’d never seen before. Named after the Rani of Jhansi, it is venerated for being am an auspicious place for death. It is mainly a revered cremation ground where last rites are performed by family members. The dead one is believed to attain moksha after cremating here.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Visit this popular Shiva temple which happens to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingas (holiest Shiva temples). It is located on the western bank of Ganga River. The presiding deity is known by the name Vishvanatha or Vishveshvara meaning Ruler of The Universe. The most striking feature you should not miss is 15.5 m high gold spire and three gold domes.

Sankat Mochan Temple

Sankat Mochan meaning 'remover of difficulties' is a popular name used to address Lord Hanuman, to which this temple is dedicated to. It was established by noted Hindu preacher and Saint Sri Goswami Tulsidas in the 16th century on the bank of Assi River. You will see the idol of Lord Hanuman facing his Lord Rama.

Tulsi Manas Temple

The mystical temple dedicated to Hindu poet-saint Tulsidas is a must-visit in Varanasi. It is said that Tulsidas translated Hindu scripture, Ramayana from the Sanskrit language to Awadhi dialect in this temple. Take a tour and see its beautiful walls adorned with verses and scenes from Ramcharitmanas.

Ram Nagar Fort & Museum

It is a heritage fort that once belonged to Maharaja Kashi Naresh of Benaras (now Varanasi). He built it in the 17th century on the bank of Ganga River following Mughal architecture. Extensive use of sandstone can be seen on the fort. A part of it is still the residence of the descendants of the last ruling Maharaja of Varanasi. You can also admire its beauty with a boat ride.

Best Time to Visit Varanasi

Varanasi is best visited in the winter months from October to March.

How to reach

By Air- The easiest way to get here is to fly to Babatpur (26 km away) which has Varanasi's nearest airport, Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport.
By Rail- Varanasi Cantt and Mughal Sarai are the main railway stations that connect it with all major cities.
By Road- It is well-connected through the National Highways with the rest of the country.

This was a sneak peek into some of the fascinating destinations in Uttar Pradesh. Taj Mahal is certainly on every traveler’s bucket list but the other architectural gems of Uttar Pradesh also merit a closer look. Please reach us for personalized tour packages to help us create an exclusive travel experience for you.

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