𝐕𝐀𝐑𝐀𝐍𝐀𝐒𝐈 also known as Benares, Banaras or Kashi is a city on the banks of the river Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, India, 320 kilometres (200 mi) south-east of the state capital, Lucknow, and 121 kilometres (75 mi) east of Allahabad. A major religious hub in India, it’s the holiest of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism and Jainism and played a crucial role within the development of Buddhism and Ravidassia. Varanasi lies along National Highway 2 and is served by Varanasi Junction railroad station and Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport.
Varanasi grew as a crucial industrial centre famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture. Buddha is believed to possess founded Buddhism here around 528 BCE when he gave his first sermon, “The Setting in Motion of the Wheel of Dharma”, at nearby Sarnath.
The Ramnagar Fort, near the eastern bank of the Ganges, was inbuilt the 18th century within the Mughal sort of architecture with carved balconies, open courtyards, and scenic pavilions. Among the estimated 23,000 temples in Varanasi are Kashi Vishwanath Temple of Shiva, the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, and the Durga Temple. The Kashi Naresh (Maharaja of Kashi) is that the chief cultural patron of Varanasi, and an important a part of all religious celebrations.
𝐖𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐈𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐚 𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐯𝐢𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭? 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐕𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐢 𝐢𝐧 𝐔𝐭𝐭𝐚𝐫 𝐏𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐡. 1:- 𝐆𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐬 𝐑𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫: Named after the Hindu goddess Ganga, the Ganges River is one of the most revered natural sites in India. Hindus come to Varanasi from all around the world to purify themselves in the holy Ganges water and perform rituals along the dozens of ghats along the river. In the afternoon or early evening, one of the top things to do in Varanasi is purchase a small floating offering filled with fresh flowers and a candle, and release it onto the Ganges River.
2:- 𝐃𝐚𝐬𝐚𝐬𝐰𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐡 𝐆𝐡𝐚𝐭: This tourist attraction is a swirling hodgepodge of flower sellers touting bright blossoms, boat operators hawking rides along the Ganges River, and sadhus (holy men) with face paint. Thousands of tourists gather to watch the priests chant and wave tiered plates of sandalwood-scented incense in intricate patterns for about 45 minutes. It’s an extravagant sight that you won’t want to miss.
3:- 𝐀𝐬𝐬𝐢 𝐆𝐡𝐚𝐭 : Assi Ghat’s star attraction is a Shiva lingam (phallic representation of the Hindu deity) beneath a sacred fig tree. It draws hundreds of pilgrims every day, who come to worship Lord Shiva after rinsing in the Ganges River.
4:- 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐤𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐤 𝐆𝐡𝐚𝐫: Hindus believe that Manikarnika Ghat is one of the most auspicious places for the departed to reach moksha (emancipation from the cycle of spiritual rebirth). The funeral pyre at this ghat burns 24/7, and around 100 cremations take place every day
.5:- 𝐃𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐤 𝐒𝐭𝐮𝐩𝐚: Dhamek Stupa, a massive stone and brick structure that’s 43.6 meters tall and 28 meters in diameter. The stupa was built more than 1,500 years ago as a replacement for a structure that dated back to 249 BCE. The devout believe that the Buddha came to Dhamek Stupa to give his first sermon, which revealed the Eightfold Path, after he achieved enlightenment.
6:- 𝐒𝐡𝐫𝐢 𝐤𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐢 𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞: Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, a sacred attraction around four kilometers from the Varanasi Junction railway station near the Manikarnika Ghat. The impressive structure, dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva, has earned the nickname “The Golden Temple” for its striking spire – plated in some 800 kilograms of pure gold. Everyone waits eagerly to touch the 60-centimeter-tall, sin-absolving Shiva lingam in a silver alter. It’s an intense, yet rewarding experience
7:- 𝐒𝐡𝐫𝐢 𝐃𝐮𝐫𝐠𝐚 𝐓𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞: The Shri Durga Temple is a popular attraction for Hindus who wish to pay tribute to the goddess Durga. You can’t miss the 300-year-old temple – it’s painted bright red from top to bottom. The temple’s nickname, “Monkey Temple,” gives you a clue about the creatures you might find swinging about in this area
.8:- 𝐑𝐚𝐦𝐧𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐫 𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐭: About 14 kilometers from the city center, you’ll find Ramnagar Fort. The 18th-century sandstone fort and palace is no longer used as a defensive structure, but instead houses a quirky museum brimming with vintage automobiles, elaborate hookahs, antique weapons, sedan chairs decked out in jewels, and a one-of-a-kind astronomical clock that’s more than 150 years old.
9:- 𝐃𝐚𝐫𝐛𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐚 𝐆𝐡𝐚𝐭: Darbhanga Ghat offers the best opportunity to get amazing shots of Varanasi. The stairs leading down to the riverbank are crowned by the ultra-luxurious BrijRama Palace, an old fort that has since been converted into a heritage hotel. The property’s Greek pillars and rounded balconies give the area (and your photographs) a regal backdrop. Plan to get here around dawn to capture unobstructed views of the incredible sunrise over the horizon of the Ganges River.