Varanasi, also known as Benares or Kashi, is one of the most ancient and sacred cities in India. Located on the banks of the Ganges River, it is considered to be one of the seven holy cities in Hinduism and is a major pilgrimage site for Hindus all over the world.
If you’re planning to visit Varanasi, here are 10 things you can do to make the most of your trip:
- Take a boat ride on the Ganges: One of the most popular things to do in Varanasi is to take a boat ride on the Ganges River, which is considered to be sacred by Hindus. You can witness the sunrise or sunset over the river, and take in the sights and sounds of the city from the water.
- Visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple: This temple is one of the most important and sacred temples in Varanasi. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered to be one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, which are sacred shrines of Lord Shiva.
- Explore the Ghats: The Ghats are a series of steps that lead down to the Ganges River, and they are one of the most iconic sights of Varanasi. Take a walk along the Ghats and explore the different temples and shrines, as well as the many local merchants selling souvenirs and other items.
- Visit the Sarnath Museum: This museum is located in Sarnath, which is where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. The museum houses a collection of artifacts from the Buddhist period, including sculptures, manuscripts, and other historical items.
- Take a cooking class: Varanasi is known for its delicious street food and traditional Indian cuisine, and taking a cooking class is a great way to learn more about the local food culture. You will learn how to cook traditional dishes and even get a chance to taste them.
- Attend the Ganga Aarti ceremony: The Ganga Aarti is a Hindu ceremony that takes place every evening on the Ghats. It is a beautiful and moving ceremony that involves the lighting of lamps and the offering of prayers to the Ganges River.
- Visit the Banaras Hindu University: This is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in India, and it is located in Varanasi. The university has a beautiful campus with many interesting buildings, and it’s worth visiting for the architecture alone.
- Explore the local markets: Varanasi is a shopper’s paradise, and there are many local markets that are great for buying souvenirs and other items. You can find everything from traditional silk saris to handmade crafts, jewelry, and other items.
- Take a yoga class: Varanasi is a great place to practice yoga, and there are many yoga studios and instructors in the city that offer classes for all levels.
- Visit the Ramnagar Fort: This fort is located on the opposite bank of the Ganges and offers a great view of the river and the city. The fort has been the residence of the Maharaja of Banaras and it is a great place to explore the history and heritage of the city
Varanasi is a city full of history, culture, and spirituality. These are just a few of the many things you can do while visiting, and no matter what you choose to do, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience in this fascinating city.