Things to do in Varanasi

Things to do in Varanasi

By Kamlesh Agarwal

Brace yourself. You’re about to enter into the city which is known for its culture, tradition, spiritual and intellectual beliefs in God. Yes, Varanasi which is the oldest living city in the world created by Lord Shiva himself. It is the worldwide famous for its tourism and regarded as a holy city by all the Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. In Mark Twain’s words, “Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together. Pilgrims come to the Ghats lining the River Ganges here to wash away a lifetime of sins or to cremate their loved ones. Those who have an interest in history, this place give you a lot of knowledge.

Temples

Kashi Vishwanath Temple: Varanasi is home to the Lord Shiva Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of the most important places of worship in the country. It is made up of the gold and looks very dazzling and considered to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. There is no particular season to be visited here but monsoon season has religious importance.

Sarnath: It is the place near Varanasi, where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon to his followers after the enlightenment. There is a 1500-year-old Mahabodhi Temple marking the spot of the legendary Bodhi tree, under which Buddha meditated and attained enlightenment.

Ram Nagar Fort: It is located on the other bank of the River Gange which can be easily reachable by crossing the River. This is the huge fort of the Kashi known as Kashi Naresh.

Other temples to be visited: Sankat Mochan Temple, Tulsi Manas Temple, Kaal Bhairav Temple, Vyasa Temple, Durga Temple, New Vishwanath Temple.

Ganga Ghats (River Bank)

To the Hindus, the Ganges is a sacred river and has given most respect by its pilgrims and considered as “Gange Ma” for years. The holy water of Gange is conserved and as a Ganga Jal. At “Makar Sankranti” countless pilgrims take a holy dip in gange, they understand that they will definitely get “Moksha”. Varanasi has a lot of ghats with their religious values as it is located on the bank of the river Gange. Around 82 ghats at the bank of the river Ganga are a place of attraction and are the most peaceful eye-catching place to visit. Some of the important ghats are Assi Ghat, Dashashwamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Tulsi Ghat, Panchganga Ghat, Harish Chandra Ghat, etc.

Rituals on the Ghats

Most of the festivals and cultures of Benares is based on the river of Ganga.

  • Ganga Aarti: As the sun goes down, Ganga aarti is a great event to see in Benares at the Ganga ghat performed by the priests in the most stunning way. Without seeing Gange Aarti, the tour of Benares is considered as incomplete.
  • Chhath Pooja
  • Dev Diwali

 

Things to do in Varanasi

 

  • Boat rides: Boat ride along the ghats of river Gange, is an amazing event which tourists must try at sunrise and sunset. Have the real joy of nature through boats riding in the early morning which make us feel in our soul a deep silence, overwhelming cool climate and come close to the Supreme power.
  • Street and Ghats Walk: Walking along the ghats of the river gange in the early morning, apart from during and immediately after the monsoon, when the river level is too high is also very adventurous. Varanasi is situated on the western bank of the Ganges and extends back from the riverbank ghats in a labyrinth of alleys called “galis”.
  • Banarasi Khana: There is a variety of tasty and delicious food available at 15, 20 or 25 rupees per plate in the main market area. “Dum Aloo” and “Aloo Chat” are very tasty and luscious one must try while going to Varanasi. “Banarasi paan” is the most famous dish having a betel nut mixture. “Banarasi Lassi” is one of the most renowned dishes with layers of Malai and Rabri. It can be enjoyed on the evening of the summer season.

Varanasi is the land of legends also, many great persons born here and worked here and created their glory. Some of them are Kabir Das, Tulsi Das, Ravidas, Munshi Premchand, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, etc. Varanasi is the only city in India having four big Universities which are famous for its culture and languages in the world. They are Banaras Hindu University, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth University, Sampurnanand Sanskrit University and Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies. Varanasi is also famous for Classical music as music was first created in Varanasi. It offers you a great experience in the holiest of cities.