India's Spiritual Epicenter: From holy ghats to temple bells, every alley reveals tales of faith and devotion.
Spiritual havens, ancient architecture, sacred rituals, profound faith.
Riverside sanctuaries, dawn rituals, serene boat rides, timeless culture.
Ancient lanes, historical treasures, architectural wonders, cultural tales.
October to March
3- 4 days
One of the oldest cities in India, Varanasi is a prime sacred center in the country for the followers of many religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Kashi and Banaras are other names by which the dazzling city of Varanasi is known. It is believed that the city was created by Lord Shiva himself and so the people living here are reckoned to be the greatest admirers of him.
Varanasi is one of those places that find mentions in the Hindu epics of the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The culture, traditions, and beliefs of Varanasi are also closely related with the River Ganges which flows through the city. For years, the sacred city has been one of the popular places in India to achieve salvation through various spiritual practices.
Varanasi is a perfect blend of history, spirituality, culture and traditions and has therefore become one of the destinations in India that you must visit in your lifetime. The festivities of Diwali and Chhat Puja in Varanasi take place in such a fascinating manner that you definitely do not want to miss.
The city remains packed with people, locals as well as tourists, throughout the year and is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in India. The city has many Ghats or river banks with steps leading to the water, which hold religious values, and hence are always dotted with devotees. At the Ghats you can see people offering homage to their forefathers, devotees taking a holy dip in the river and kids diving around in the water.
Be ready to immerse yourself in the spiritual city of Varanasi, and unveil the historic grandeur of the city where millions of tourists flock from across the world every year.
The holy city of Varanasi is famed for its Hindu temples, being a popular pilgrimage site. With an abundance of it, you can find temples on almost every street.
The most famous among them is the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas among the country and is dedicated to the Hindu God, Shiva who is worshiped in the form of Vishwanath, the ruler of the universe. The temple is even mentioned in the Vedas and Puranas.
The is Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple is another popular temple at Varanasi but this one is dedicated to the Hindu God Hanuman, a disciple of Lord Rama. Sankat Mochan translates to reliever of troubles. The temple was founded by Tulsidas, a Hindu poet and philosopher most commonly known for his Ramcharitmanas, and is located on the banks of the river Assi.
The Tulsi Manas Temple in the city is dedicated to Lord Rama and built in honor of the Hindu poet and philosopher, Tulsidas. The temple is a marble structure with verses of Tulsidas Ramcharitmanas written on its walls. The stories from the epic are also depicted throughout the temple through an ensemble of pictures, paintings and sculptures.
Dedicated to the Goddess Durga is the Durga Temple at Varanasi. The exquisite architecture of the temples exterior is made of multiple layers of sikhara whereas the red color of the structure is to match the Goddess idol inside the temple. The idol, according to the locals, existed by itself and the temple was later made around it.
The Ghats or the stepped banks of the river at Varanasi are equally important to the city as its temples. The ghats along the holy river of Ganges are a site for various Hindu rites and rituals, each with its own significance.
One of the things that you must experience at the ghats is the Ganga Aarti that takes place every evening and is truly a captivating sight. The Ganga Aarti takes place at the Dashashwamedh Ghat near the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The worship of the Ganges river with chants, prayers and the beautiful multi-tiered lamps create a wonderfully spiritual atmosphere that will be hard to forget.
Another ghat where you can witness the ganga aarti is at the Assi Ghat. Here, the worship of the River Ganges happens early in the morning and is called the Subah-e-Banaras. Apart from the aarti, visitors get to witness vedic chants, morning performances of classical music, and yoga. Since the aarti at the Assi Ghat takes place early in the morning, there are fewer crowds as compared to the Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat but it is equally mesmerizing and the perfect way to start the day.
The Manikarnika Ghat at Varanasi is another ghat that holds significance in the life of devotees of Hinduism. The ghat is a cremation ground and is a prominent one among all the ghats of the city. It is believed that the bodies that are cremated here attain salvation as Lord Shiva himself guides their souls to the other side and leads them to salvation by speaking the Taraka Mantra to them. Visiting Manikarnika ghat is sure to evoke some emotions and remind you of the vanity of this journey called life.
As established, Varanasi is a major site for Shiva devotees and people in search of salvation. Besides the temples, the city also has numerous historic sites and museums that display the rich culture and heritage of Varanasi and India.
A site with equal importance in history and religion lays Sarnath. It is a revered site for the followers of Buddhism due to it being the place where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. The Deer Park at Sarnath where the sermon was held is a popular tourist spot today. Along with being a pilgrimage site, Sarnath is also known for its historic importance due to the presence of The Ashoka Pillar and the Dhamek Stupa which were built centuries ago.
Sarnath is also significant for followers of Jainism too for its Digambar Jain Temple also called the Shreyansnath Jain Temple, built in honor of the 11th Jain Tirthankara Shreyansnath. Tirthankara in Jainism are spiritual leaders who have attained complete enlightenment through a life of asceticism and are highly revered among the devotees.
Located within the campus of the Banaras Hindu University is the Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum and houses various archaeological artifacts. It also houses a collection of beautiful miniature paintings of the Mughal era. The museum also show India's fine arts through its display of decorative art, sculptures, and textiles.
Built in the 18th century by Maharaja Balwant Singh, the Ramnagar Fort is built in honor of the Rishi Ved Vyas who wrote the Mahabharata. The fort is made in Mughal architectural style and is the ancestral palace of the Maharaja of Banaras. There is a museum within the fort which showcases the belongings of the royal family of Banaras, such as vintage cars, palanquins, elephant saddles, and swords and weapons from different countries.
The sacred city of Varanasi is blessed with an abundance of temples, ghats, and places of historic importance. But the city is known for much more than that. While you are here, delight yourself in the local delicacies and the traditional handicrafts that Varanasi has to offer.
The intricately woven Banarasi saree is also something Varanasi is known for. Banarasi silk sarees are popular for their beautiful designs which are delicately woven with strings of gold and silver which gives them a particular sheen making them stand out. The traditional Banarasi silk sarees are handwoven in Varanasi and can take many days to finish. The artistic designs, motifs and the drape make it a popular choice as bridal sarees as well.
Varanasi also called Banaras has its own delicacy that it prides itself on, and that is the Banarasi Paan. Here, paan is more than just a mouth freshener. It is an important part of life and is also considered auspicious. You can find paan shops at every corner of the city serving a variety of paan which you can even customize to suit your taste, yet the paan most preferred by the Banarasis is the paan made of kattha, chuna and supari, the classic way! Recently, with the Banarasi paan getting a GI Tag it has once again established itself as the pride of Varanasi.
The best time to visit Varanasi is between the months of October and March when the weather is colder and pleasant. It is the peak season for tourism in the city since the second half of the year brings various Hindu festivities. In the months of April to June, Varanasi can get extremely hot and is not ideal for travel, and so it is best to avoid these months. The city experiences monsoon from July to September. There might be fewer crowds as compared to other months but the weather can get pretty humid.
1 Nights - 2 Days
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6 Nights - 7 Days
16 Nights - 17 Days
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15 Nights - 16 Days
The weather in Varanasi during summer presents a challenging climate, with temperature ranges soaring to great highs, making the holy city both spiritually and thermally heated.
Monsoon in Varanasi transforms the weather, bringing a cooler climate amidst showers. The temperature range moderates, offering a refreshing break from the city's usual heat.
Winter in Varanasi introduces a crisp weather, with the climate turning pleasantly cool. The temperature range dips, enveloping the sacred city in a serene, chilly embrace.
A revered shrine, dedicated to Lord Shiva, attracting pilgrims worldwide for its spiritual significance and splendid architecture.
Known for its red edifice, this temple venerates Goddess Durga, symbolizing female power and grace.
A sacred site honoring Lord Shiva, it emanates serenity amidst its historical and religious prominence.
Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, it's a sanctuary for devotees seeking solace and blessings to overcome life's obstacles.
Esteemed for venerating Goddess Shitala, a symbol of health and prosperity, it's visited by many seeking well-being.
A unique structure housing 64 Yoginis, it's a testament to ancient spiritual practices and architectural brilliance.
Celebrating the life and works of Saint Tulsidas, it's a homage to the epic Ramayana, written in Awadhi here.
Uniquely worshipping Mother India, it showcases an undivided India map, emphasizing national unity and integrity.
A treasure trove of Indian art and culture, it offers a rich display of artifacts, paintings, and historical items.
Showcasing contemporary art, this gallery is a haven for art lovers and critics, emphasizing modern creative expressions.
An epitome of elegance and creativity, it features traditional and modern artworks, making it a must-visit for art aficionados.
Delve into Varanasi's spiritual essence by visiting ancient temples, each narrating tales of faith and devotion.
Wander the emblematic ghats, witnessing rituals and life unfold by the sacred Ganges' banks.
Embark on a serene journey along the Ganges, capturing the city's timeless beauty at sunrise or sunset.
Experience tranquility while cruising the Ganges, observing the vibrant interplay of culture and spirituality on its banks.
At Dashashwamedh Ghat, witness the captivating evening ritual as priests venerate the Ganges amidst soulful chants and ringing bells.
Discover authentic Banarasi treasures, from intricate silk sarees to handicrafts, in bustling market lanes.
Relish Varanasi's gastronomic delights, from spicy chaats to sweet jalebis, amidst its animated streets.
Rejuvenate your spirit with yoga by the Ganges, absorbing the city's calming energy and age-old practices.
Therapy: Immerse in traditional Ayurvedic therapies, attaining relaxation and healing in this ancient city's embrace.
Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport serves Varanasi. Numerous domestic and some international flights operate regularly, providing swift aerial access to the city.
Varanasi boasts a well-connected railway station, Varanasi Junction. Major cities frequently run trains to this spiritual hub, making rail travel both convenient and popular.
Accessing Varanasi by road is feasible via national highways. Buses and cabs ply regularly, linking Varanasi to neighboring cities and states with smooth connectivity.
Varanasi is located in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India.
The best time to visit Varanasi is during the cooler months from October to March.
Which are the must-visit ghats in Varanasi?
The Ganga Aarti takes place every evening at Dasaswamedh Ghat. Arrive early to get a good viewing spot or consider hiring a boat to watch from the river.
Some famous temples include the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, and Durga Temple.
Yes, boat rides are a popular way to see the ghats and experience sunrise or sunset on the river.
Varanasi is well-connected by air, train, and road. Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport serves the city.
The local markets, especially Godowlia Market and Thatheri Bazaar, offer a range of handicrafts including Banarasi sarees and wooden toys.
Yes, Tour My India offers numerous guided tours for Varanasi sightseeing along with other excursion tours from Varanasi.
How many days are ideal for a visit to Varanasi?
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