Traveller’s Guide to Visiting the Vivacious Varanasi
A visit to Varanasi is said to be one of the most holy affairs and the place itself is a doorway to salvation. One cannot come to India and return without visiting this divine city that is the epitome of what India stands for- religious and spiritual excellence. But what makes Varanasi such a loved tourist destination and how is it such a significant place on the spiritual front? If you are looking for answers to such questions, you are at the right place! We will fill you up with lots of interesting facts about Varanasi which will feed your curiosity and make your tour all the more exciting, prepping you for exploring the various facets of this centre of cultural magnificence like never before.
What are the best pilgrimage sites in Varanasi?
Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in India and is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh of our beautiful country. With a history of over 3000 years, the city is an important cultural and religious site. It is believed that the Hindu lord Shiva himself created the city of Varanasi and therefore it is undoubtedly a momentous site for pilgrimage for people around the world who have a religious inclination. Home to a myriad of temples dedicated to various Hindu gods, there are a number of places to visit in Varanasi that appeal to the pilgrims. The most important place is the Kashi Vishwanath or the Golden Temple that is dedicated to lord Shiva and is a must-visit during your tour to Varanasi. Other pilgrimage sites include Tulsi Manas Temple, Monkey Temple, and Bharat Mata Temple among many others. Ghats such as Dasaswamedha Ghat and Assi Ghat also hold extreme religious significance and are quite popular among devotees. For Christian and Muslim pilgrims, places such as St. Mary’s Church and Alamgir Mosque are popular sites, respectively, which also reflect the diversity of the city and the harmonious co-existence of all religious groups.
What are the top sightseeing attractions in Varanasi?
One cannot deny the cultural and religious importance of Varanasi owing to its deep rooted history and divine mysticism. Therefore, places that explore the divine and spiritual aspect of the city are among the most attractive spots in any Varanasi tour itinerary. The geographical location of the city also makes for an excellent point of attraction. Therefore, globetrotters will never fall short of places to explore here. You can visit the numerous temples, make your way to the various Ghats in the city that are not only picturesque but also hold great sanctimonious importance, or take up a Varanasi walking tour to discover the local flavors of the city amidst its narrow lanes. But that’s not all! For the art and culture lovers, the place has a plethora of places to indulge them like the Bharat Kala Bhavan, Jantar Mantar, Sarnath, Archeological Museum, and Banaras Hindu University. All these places add an indisputable charm to the glorious city of Varanasi.
When is the best time to witness the Ganga Aarti?
If there’s one thing that becomes the defining aspect for Varanasi throughout the world, it is its glorious and extravagant Ganga Aarti scenes on the sacred Ghats that add a glistening beauty to the city’s divine aura. At around 7 in the evening, an announcement is made to gather people for the event. A group of 7 priests conduct the Aarti since they represent the 7 days of a week. Although the grandiose of the Aarti on the Dasaswamedha Ghat is a sight to behold on any evening, the Ganga Aarti is at its scenic best during Dussehra when uncountable idols of Goddess Durga are also immersed into the river. But whenever you visit, this one hour long daily routine is the most soothing aspect of Varanasi excursions.
Also Read: Ganga Aarti Ceremony in Varanasi
What are the best boat rides in Varanasi?
Depending on what time of the day appeals to you the most, you can choose among the various boat ride tours in Varanasi. If you want to explore the city on the calming waters of the river Ganga, with the first rays of the gleaming Sun, then a sunrise boat ride tour would be a perfect way to start your day. On the other hand, if you want to witness the Ghats in action amidst the dusky aura of the city, then a scintillating evening aarti tour with boat ride is an appealing option. Either way, any Varanasi tour package is incomplete without a peaceful boat ride on the river Ganga.
Which are the best places for meditation in Varanasi?
Known as the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi is home to some of the most interesting spiritual activities and among these yoga or meditation happens to be the most loved things to do in Varanasi. People from across the world visit this city to find peace and tranquility through meditation. Places such as the Manikarnika Ghat, Tulsi Mata Mandir, and Bharat Mata Mandir are popular sites where people come to meditate. There are also institutionalized centers such as the Satyalesary Cosmic Energy Center and the Osho Meditation and Yoga Centre that provide classes for meditation. So, if you have an inclination towards meditation, you know where to head to on your trip to Varanasi.
Also Read: Experience the spiritual capital of India – Varanasi!
Which are the best cultural and thematic tours in Varanasi?
Owing to the religious and sacred nature of the place, there are a number of cultural and thematic tours that you can take up in your Varanasi city tour. From boat rides to village tours to heritage walks and handicrafts market tour to street food tours, Varanasi offers an array of activities that one can indulge in to make their tour all the more rewarding. If you are an art lover, you can also visit the Music and Dance Academy of Varanasi or book a tour to a musical concert night to savor all the flavors of the city.
With such detailed insights into Varanasi, I’m sure you will not miss a thing when you plan to travel the city. So why delay? Pack your bags and set forth to explore Varanasi in all its glory.
February 20, 2020
February 14, 2020