holy city of Varanasi is situated along the west bank of the Ganges in the
north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Mythologically Varanasi is believed to
be the first city to be created on the Earth! Varanasi, one of the holiest
pilgrimage centre for the Hindus, is the city which enshrines the very
essence of Hinduism. Varanasi, the cultural centre of India, is the oldest
living city in the world. Since the ancient times, Varanasi has preserved
the rituals and traditions of Hindu philosophy and stood as an emblem of
Hindu history. From the time unknown, pilgrims from far reaching places have
come to Varanasi in search of divine blessings.
When to travel
Throughout the year, but preferably October to March.
How to Reach There
Varanasi is well connected by air to several cities in India. It is on the
popular daily tourist service Delhi-Agra-Khajuraho-Varanasi route. Varanasi
has two railway stations - Kashi and Varanasi Junction. Though there are not
many trains running directly between Delhi and Varanasi, most Delhi-Calcutta
trains pass through Mughalsarai, which is 10 km south of Varanasi. Varanasi
is very well connected by a network of roads and road transport to all major
towns of Uttar Pradesh and surrounding areas.
Where to Stay
Varanasi offers a long list of accommodation from heritage, luxurious to
deluxe and budget hotels along the lanes behind the ghats. Some of the
hotels are : Taj Ganges (5 star), Clarks Varanasi (5 star), Varanasi Ashok
(ITDC) (4 star), Hotel de Paris, Pallavi International (3 star), Vaibhav (3
star), Best Western Kashika, Pradeep (2 star) and lots more.
Temples are the major source of attraction in this ancient city of
Varanasi. The Ganges, considered to be a sacred river by the Hindus, are the
centre of much of the religious activity that occurs in the city. The ghats
built along the banks of the river for such religious activity also form a
major source of attraction here.
Some of the Tourist attractions are :
Kashi Vishwanath Temple :
Kashi Vushwanath Temple is must for the Pilgrims to Varanasi. The temple is
located in the premises of the Banaras Hindu University. It is about thirty
minutes walk from the gates of the university. Built by the Birlas, this
temple was planned by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. This temple is open to
all irrespective of caste or creed.
The ghats, the chain of stone steps, along the western bank of the Ganges
are the major attraction of Varanasi. There are about hundred ghats in the
city. Each of the ghats is marked by a lingam and all of them have their own
special significance in the religious geography of the city. Most of the
ghats are thriven by early-morning bathers, Brahmin priests offering puja
and people practicing meditation and yoga. Cremations are also perfomed in
several 'burning ghats.'
The other Place of Attraction are :
River Front, Alamgir Mosque, Bharat Mata Temple, Tulsi Manas Temple,
Gyanvapi Mosque, Durga Temple, Sarnath, Archaeological Museum and lots more.