Varanasi Tourism



Varanasi or Banaras is a city situated on the banks of the river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh. The city is considered holy by the Hindus, Buddhists and Jains alike, and has the eminence of being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the oldest in India

Varanasi has served as a place of culture and religion in northern India for centuries. Applauded as the cultural capital of India, its endeavours are numerous. This has given the world classical Hindustani music and produced numerous salient Indian philosophers, poets, writers, and musicians. This city also has given considerable inputs to traditional medicine of Ayurveda.

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It has close to a hundred ghats and may be called as the city of ghats. Varanasi is also known as the religious capital of India by merit of the various temples. It appears as home to the spiritual mythology accounts to the initiation of the city in the Hindu deity, Shiva, thus making it one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in India.

Varanasi stands as one of the seven divine cities of Hindu religious map. The city is mentioed in the Rigveda, Ramayana, and Mahabharata. Varanasi has a wealthy educational history as well. It is home to the Banaras Hindu University that makes efforts to impart learning and education.

How to Reach Varanasi

Varanasi is well linked to the rest of India by air travel, with the closest airport being around 30 kms from the city centre. Several domestic flights function to Delhi, Mumbai, etc. Train seems to be as the best way to get to Varanasi, from Delhi, Lucknow and Kolkata. Buses run by the State Government connect Varanasi with the other cities in North India. They are available in the mornings and in the evenings also.


Varanasi has several accommodation options, in terms of the luxury hotels and budget hotels. Ramda Plaza hotel, Hotel Varanasi, Hotel Meraden Grand and the Taj Ganges are some of the high-segment options available, while budget hotels provide cheaper rates. Sita Guest House, Maruti Guest House and Shanti Guest House are among the tourist options.


In the ancient times, Varanasi was a commercial and the industrial centre famous for its muslin and silk, perfume, ivory and sculpture. Silk items appear on the display almost all over the marketplace, so one should pick up a Varanasi silk saree or two. Large embroidery work with rich borders have made the sarees famous worldwide. Stone items and the handicrafts are worth a shopping trip.


Varanasi has several restaurants, both speciality and multi-cuisine. North Indian thalis are an option here. Middle-Eastern food is also avaliable, which can be considered while choosing your cuisine

When to go

In the summers, temperatures touch levels as high as 45 degree Celsius so the winters are a better bets. October-April is a good time to visit Varanasi as the weather is pleasant and welcoming in this time.

Fairs and festivals

Dhrupad Mela of Varanasi is popular among the tourists. This is a music festival performed by renowned artists on the Tulsi Ghat. The Ramlila festival here presents ancient rituals of Rama’s time and the several themes from the Ramayan, which is another hit with international tourists. Diwali that celebrates the return of Ram to Ayodhya is celebrated with a lot of joy in Varanasi. Most of the fairs and festivals here falls in the month of October-November. 

Important tourist information

It is important for tourists to be aware and alert at all times. Tourists may be asked to leave their electronic belongings at the temple entry points, so beware of theft. Often, cell phones that tourists carry are deposited, if one is entering a temples or other holy abodes. Varanasi being a holy place is considered sacred, tourists should try and respect the customs of this place.

Ghats of Varanasi

Varanasi is well-known for its many Ghats that are a tourist attraction. Among the several ghats of Varanasi, Dashashwamedha is the most impressive Ghat. Some consider that Lord Brahma created it to welcome his heavenly counterpart Shiva, whole others say that Lord Brahma sacrificed ten horses in a sacrifice here and the name Dashashwamedha came to be.

A daily fire ritual is held here. The Manikarnik Ghat is attributed to a Shiva-Parvati tale, where the Goddess is said to have hid her earrings and asked Shiva to find them. The ghat also functions as a crematorium. The Shinde Ghat lies close to the Manikarnik and has a Shiva temple. Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur built the Mana-Mandir Ghat and his observatory is also located here, with similar observatories in Delhi, Jaipur and Ujjain. 

Man Singh of Amber built upto Mana-Sarowar Ghat. Maharaja of Darbhanga built upto the Darbhanga Ghat. The Lalita Ghat comes as the site of Ganga Keshav Temple, a wooden temple built in Nepali architectural style, devoted to Lord Vishnu. Assi Ghat is a favourite site of painters and photographers, at the end of the continuous line of ghats.

Durga Temple

Durga Temple is 18th century construction. The temple is also known as the Monkey temple owing to the presence of troops of monkeys in the temple. Local legends explans that the Durga image was not man-made but appeared on its own. This temple emerges as a favorite destination especially during Navratri. 

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The temple architecture is North Indian that reflects the Nagara Style.Multi-tiered spires and the red stone distinguish the temple, representing the red colour of Durga. The temple tank (the Durga Kund) was earlier attached to the river itself, thus refreshing the temple. The annual snake festival, Nag Panchami is well-marked by large ornamentation of the tank with imagery of Lord Vishnu on a snake.

Bharat Mata Temple

Different to the other favourite tourist representation, Bharat Mata Temple is a commendation to the Mother India. This temple at Varanasi became inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936 and is home to some of the most artistically drawn relief maps of India in marble. The Temple was a gift from the nationalists Shiv Prasad, a Bharat Ratna awardee.

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple

The Golden Temple of Varanasi, Kashi Vishwanath Temple was built in 1780 by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore.This enshrines to the Jyotirlinga version of Lord Shiva and is an important tourist site. In the 1800, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the ruler of Punjab donated gold to cover the two domes of the temple. 

The temple was pulled down by the Mugal Emperor Aurangzeb who built a mosque over it. It was later reconstructed close to the mosque, and is many times a cause of local strain among Hindus and Muslims. This temple is open only to Hindus.

Tulsi Manas Temple

Tulsidas temple is another temple on the Varanasi itinerary. This temple was constructed as a tribute to Lord Rama. It is set at the place, where Tulisdas, an outstanding medieval poet wrote the epic Ramcharitmanas that narrates the life of Lord Rama. The walls of the temple deliver verses from the Ramayana.

New Vishwanath Temple

This temple is situated on the premises of the Banaras Hindu University, a modern place of worship conceptualised by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya. This Birla construction basks a secular flavour and is open to all, regardless of caste and creed.


Manmandir stands illustrious basically for its impressive observatory built in the 18th century, with ornate window casings. This was built by the Maharaja of Jaipur, Sawai Jai Singh II. The northern part of the ghat is set with a beautiful stone balcony. The pilgrims pay respect to the important lingam of Someshwara, the Lord of the Moon.

Bharat Kala Bhawan

Bharat Kala Bhavan is an installation of art, architectural data and a large assemblage of paintings that are of historical value. Several images in this museum is testimony to the existence of the Krishna cult in Kashi in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

This was established in 920 in the BHU campus. Bharat Kala Bhavan keeps an outstanding assemblage of miniature paintings from the Mughal era and other dynasties as well. Some of the crucial sections in the Bharat Kala Bhavan are Mahamana Malaviya gallery, Nicholas Roerich gallery and the various other galleries that capture the evolution of art, architecture and sculpture in Banaras through the ages.

Banaras Hindu University

This was founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, with the assistance of Annie Beasant. Its expansive campus was built on the land donated by the Maharaja of Kashi. This is positioned as a spectacular educational institution on the India map, with the university presenting various courses and specialising in Sanskrit.

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Early Morning Boat Ride on the Ganges

The early morning boat ride on the River Ganga begins with a acknowledgement by the sun in all its glory. Lighted candles floating on exquisite banana leaves on the river and devotees taking a holy dip in the Ganga are common sights. The boat ride takes you past the different ghats of Varanasi, presenting an aspect of the city at its spiritual best, with the men ready for their daily prayer and ritual. 

This begins from the Dashashwamedha Ghat and takes you through various others, such as the Manikarnik Ghat that is the cremation zone of Varanasi. The Munshi Ghat inhabitated by the city’s Muslim population. In short, the boat ride is the best part of the Varanasi trip and represents India at its traditional best.

Varanasi belived to made by Lord Shiva is a religious destination for the Hindus.


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