Varanasi- The Spiritual Capital of India

Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India is not only rich in culture but also is of great historical importance. From it’s stretch of long ghtas to the specially served Indian thali, Varansi fails nowhere to give you the best ethenic India tourism experiece. Come, find your way woth us as we embark on our tour to Varanasi.

Budget – Around 5500  per head for the complete stay in the city.

Best time to visit– October to March. This is the time when the city witnesses:

  • Most Pleasant Weather
  • State sponsored cultural art and craft exhibitions (Ganga Mahotsav, Varanasi Utsav)
  • Most of the festivals (Holi, Diwali, Dussehra, Eid,..)
  • Most of the cultural events and performances(Nakkataiyya, Ramlila, etc.)

What to do

Stroll on a continuous stretch of around 84 ghats.

Important ones being Manikarnika ghat, harischandra ghat,Dashashwamedh ghat,Tulsi ghat,Assi ghat.

You would see rituals and bathing occurences at all time of the day. Best way to see ghats would be to hire a boat and see all of it. Boat ride especially during sunrise and sunset ,Ganga aarti and unique rituals altogether make a distinctive experience. During the festivals, it is adorned like a bride.


Explore the largest residential university of Asia- Banaras Hindu University (BHU)

BHU has:

  • Total 124 departments.
  • Huge white marbled vishwanath temple.
  • Bharat Kala Bhawan- Museum of art and archaeology.

Man Mandir Observatory

It is at a walking distance from dashashwamedh ghat famous for its great astronomical instruments.


Ramnagar Fort

It is on opposite of tulsi ghat. It is a red sandstone fort with a glorious history and a must visit place in Dessehra.


Sarnath

At 10 kms from Varanasi, It has several buddhist temples with its own architectural  style.Lord Buddha gave first sermon to his disciples.


What to buy

  • – Varanasi is famous for silk fabric. So, shop around and bargain before you buy.

You may also like: How is the city of nawabs, Lucknow like


For food trailers

  • Food is essential part of varanasi’s culture.  Its hot kachoris in breakfast, refreshing paan,sweets, lassi and   thandai form the tradition. Also,they form excellent street food along the Ganges bank.
  • Besides, it also has variety of restaurants offering wide array of cuisines ranging from vegeterian indian and chinese to continental and italian.
  • Kesari Restaurant: Great vegeterian north/south indian food.
  • Buffalo’s Restaurant: Special north indian thali. They have chess tournament on Sunday and jamming session on Thursday.
  • Hayat Mediterranean: Try labanha or baba ghanSoush with pita.
  • The Nanas(Mint lemon drink)are best in the town.
  • Alcohol is not common in the city. Some of the restaurants like Taj and Radisson however offer. Several wine shops are there from where you could buy.

Where to stay:

Staying close to the Ganges river would be ideal for the wonderful views of ghats and of the river.

Ensuring it, you could stay at:

  • Ganpati Guest House : room of two @ 4000 INR. The hotel provides you with private balcony view, Ganga view Rooftop Restaurant, Pick up services,Massage, and tour guide. Location: D3/24 Meer Ghat
  • Shiva Ganges View : Room of two for 6000 INR.  It offers breakfast service and other basic amenities. It provides yoga services for free. Location:Mansarovar Ghat near Andhra Ashram.
  • Brijrama Palace : It is luxury hotel @ 12,000 INR with buffet breakfast included, located near the river bank. You could get buffet dinner included @ 14000 INR. Moreover you could enjoy candlelit dinner, river dining. Location: Near Dashashwamedh ghat.
  • Besides, You could get homestays and inn at Dashashwamedh road under 1000 INR. Notable ones are Hotel Elena,Hotel Sahu, Teerth guest house.

How to travel

Getting in:

Varanasi is well connected by plane,train and buses. However within the city the buses are overcrowded.

To reach Ganges area:

  • Bus stand at walking distance from airport. Taxi/Tuk Tuk would cost 750 INR.
  • Bus stand nearby varanasi junction. Better take tuk-tuk at 100 INR to Ganges area.

Getting around:

  • Walking tour: Best way to see ghats and hard to find places. You could get operating companies at 100 INR (3hrs) plus transportation.
  • By car or taxi : Best way to reach best touring places. However, traffic pose a threat.
  • Bicycles are available for rentals. You should contact your hotel.

Read: Allahbad, your other spiritual destination.


Tips:

  • Carry a light or a phone, power outages are extremely common.
  • Rickshaw /Taxi Scams are probable. Drivers may tell you that the hotel you are visiting is closed. Don’t believe him.
  • Wear flip flops that are easy to take off. You may have to take off your shoes at every temple.
  • Many streets are too narrow. You may have to walk to the destination.
  • Try to wear local dress to avoid oggling . Local people are happy to help in case you are lost.

Varanasi is to enjoy heritage,colours,pilgrimage and various moods of indian culture. Enjoy the city full of life.

Post Author: Satyam Prakash

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