Varanasi is perhaps the people’s most exited to visit in India. Varanasi (Benaras) also known as Kashi is also one of the oldest continually inhabited cities. It was one of the first major urban settlements in the middle of the Ganges valley. Varanasi is situated in between two god-made rivers of Varanasi. The city is also known as it considered that was built by the lord Shiva. A city on the Ganges river in Northan India has a central place in traditions of pilgrimage, death, and mouring in Hindu world. It has become the most famous place for tourism in India because of its culture, tradition, sightseeings, attractive places, ghats, fairs, festivals, temples, and cultural heritage. Beautifully placed by the roaring and merciless Ganges river mother Ganga to Indian’s, You can truly immerse yourself into a world of fabulous ghats (stairs to reach the river). Temples, Sadhu’s (holy men), and More.
Whatever name we call Varanasi Varanasi, the fabulous place will remain as spiritual and charming as it is. Intersting the ancient city has got all three names and each has it’s own significance, Kashi, Varanasi, or Banars.
Devotees Believe the ancient city of Varansi is where they can break free from cycle of rebirth and unit with the divine upon death. Their soul will be transported to heaven and escape the cycle of rebirth conduction manifests in perofounded intensity that pulses throughout the frenetic city. This concept called “moksha” is profound.
Since many believe the ancient city of Varanasi has been inhabited for 5,000 plus years (which would make it one of the world’s oldest cities), It is considered to be the most sacred of cities on the banks of the fabulous Ganges river.
The ancient city Varanasi has a lot to offer to touirsts from ancient temples, sadhu’s (holy men), and ghats to local markets and awesome street food. In this blog we will discuss the fabulous top 12 destinations in Varanasi that goes must visit during your trip.
List of fabulous top 12 tourist destination in Varanasi.
- Ganges River
- Dasaswamedh Ghat
- Assi Ghat
- Manikarnika Ghat
- Dhamek Stupa
- Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple
- Banaras Hindu University
- Ruchika Art Gallery
- Shri Durga Temple
- Ramnagar Fort
- Darbhanga Ghat
- Shivala Ghat
1. Ganges River:
The great Ganges River, also known as the Ganga, is one of the most important and revered rivers in the world. It is the longest river in India and plays a vital role in the country’s culture, religion, and economy. The river originates from the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas and flows for approximately 2,525 km before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. The Ganges river faces a lot of serious challenges, mainly because of the fast growth of cities, agriculture and industries in recent decades. The river and its tributaries are a vital water source for 400 million people. Most of India’s population can be found in the northern belt around the Ganges.
In the foothills of the Himalayas, the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers converge in the small hill town of Devprayag. This is where the Ganges begins. By the banks of the river, Hindu priests offer prayers and bathe in the icy water.
The Ganges River, which is 1,560 miles (2,510 km) long and drains one-fourth of the territory of India, ends in the Ganges, or Ganges-Brahmaputra, delta and empties into the Bay of Bengal.
The Ganges has been revered from the earliest times and today is regarded as the holiest of rivers by Hindus. Places of Hindu pilgrimage, called tirthas, that are situated on the Ganges have particular significance. Hindus cast the ashes of their dead into the river, believing that this gives the deceased direct passage to heaven, and cremation temples have been built in many places on the banks of the Ganges.
Gaumukh, which is about 13 miles (21 km) southeast of Gangotri, is considered to be the precise source of the Ganges River. Gangotri itself is a sacred place for Hindu pilgrimage.
Here are some interesting facts about the Ganga River, how to reach it, the best time to visit, its history, and the festivals celebrated on its banks.
Facts about Ganga River:
- The Ganga River is the second-largest river in India, after the Brahmaputra.
- The river is approximately 2,525 km long and originates in the Himalayas in Uttarakhand.
- The Ganga Basin is home to more than 400 million people.
- The river is worshipped by Hindus as a goddess, and they believe that bathing in the river can cleanse one’s sins and grant salvation.
- The Ganga River is home to many species of fish, including the famous Ganges River Dolphin.
- The river is also home to the Gharial, a critically endangered crocodile species found only in the Indian subcontinent.
How to reach Ganga River:
The Ganga River flows through five Indian states – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal. Some of the major cities along the river include Haridwar, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, and Kolkata. Depending on where you want to visit, you can reach the river by road, rail or air.
Best time to visit Ganga River:
The best time to visit the Ganga River is between October and March when the weather is pleasant, and the river is relatively clean. During the summer months, the river can be very polluted due to industrial waste and human activities.
History of Ganga River:
The Ganga River has been an integral part of Indian culture and mythology for centuries. According to Hindu mythology, the river was brought to earth by Lord Shiva to cleanse the sins of humanity. Many ancient cities and civilizations, including Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, flourished along the riverbanks. The river has also witnessed several battles and invasions throughout history, including the famous Battle of Plassey in 1757, which marked the beginning of British colonial rule in India.
Ganga River Fairs and Festivals:
Several fairs and festivals are celebrated on the banks of the Ganga River throughout the year. Some of the most famous ones include:
- Kumbh Mela: The Kumbh Mela is a major Hindu festival celebrated every 12 years in Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik, and Ujjain. Millions of people gather to take a holy dip in the river and seek blessings from the gods.
- Ganga Dussehra: This festival is celebrated on the 10th day of the waxing moon in the Hindu month of Jyeshtha (May or June). It marks the day when the Ganga River descended from heaven to earth.
- Chhath Puja: This festival is celebrated in Bihar and parts of Uttar Pradesh in November, six days after Diwali. It is a festival dedicated to the Sun God and involves worshipping the river and taking a holy dip.
- Sidharth Paying Guest House:- 2.25km from Ganges River
- De Bougainvilla:- 1.9km from Ganges River
- Collection O 45990 Premiere Villa:- 2.13km from Ganges River
- Maruti Guest House:- 2.13km from Ganges River
- Vijaigarh Kothi:- 2.04km from Ganges River
- Vandana Residency:- 2.03km from Ganges River
- Hotel Ganesha:- 2.01km from Ganges River
In conclusion, the Ganga River is much more than just a water body. It is a symbol of Indian culture, spirituality, and way of life. If you’re planning a trip to India, a visit to the Ganga River should definitely be on your itinerary.
2. Dasaswamedh Ghat:
Dasaswamedh Ghat is one of the oldest and most popular ghats (riverfront steps) on the banks of the Ganga River in Varanasi, India. It is located close to the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple and is considered to be one of the holiest places in India and is known for its religious significance, cultural attractions, and historical importance.
It is famous for hosting the Ganga Aarti event, which is an elaborate and lively ceremony that takes place at dusk everyday. Amid blowing of conch shells, ringing of bells, clanging of brass cymbals and chanting chorus of mantras, priests venerate the Ganga, the lifeline of Varanasi, with brass lamps that rise several tiers.
Dasaswamedh Ghat, Uttar Pradesh, India gains its name from the Mythological incident in which Lord Brahma sanctified (medh) 10 horses at Varanasi. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma performed the Dasa-Ashwamedha sacrifice at this site. Hence the ghat is named Dasaswamedh Ghat. It is also said that Bajirao Peshwa I had the ghat reconstructed in 1740 AD. It was later constructed over by the queen of Indore, Ahilyabai Holkar, in 1774. This ghat lies very close to the famous Vishwanath Mandir. Therefore, this Ghat is one of the most popular pilgrim spots. The rows of Pandyas sitting on the wooden planks and offering homage to the Lord is indeed a spectacular scene that one gets to see at Dashashwamedh Ghat, Uttar Pradesh, India. They sit underneath bamboo umbrellas and offers prayers to the dead souls.
Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi was commenced in 1991, assimilating grandeur and many other finer aspects of Ganga Aarti on Har Ki Paidi in Haridwar. The Ganga Aarti in Varanasi has now become very popular as a major tourist attraction among domestic as well as foreign tourists.
The famous Ganga aarti of Varanasi is performed of the Dashashwamedh ghat. It’s organized by an NGO Ganga Seva Nidhi commences at 6:30 pm every evening. The Ganga aarti is one of the main attraction of Varanasi and devotess participate in it.
|Monday||4:00 pm||12:00 pm|
|Tuesday||5:30 am||9:00 pm|
|Wednesday||4:00 pm||12:00 pm|
|Thursday||5:30 am||9:00 pm|
|Friday||4:00 pm||12:00 pm|
|Saturday||5:30 am||9:00 pm|
|Sunday||4:00 pm||12:00 pm|
Facts about Dasaswamedh Ghat:
- Dasaswamedh Ghat is one of the oldest ghats in Varanasi and dates back to the 18th century.
- It is named after the ancient Hindu ritual of “Dasaswamedh Yajna,” which translates to “the sacrifice of ten horses.”
- The ghat is located close to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of the most important Hindu temples in India.
- The Ganga Aarti, a daily evening ritual that involves worshipping the river with fire and music, is performed at Dasaswamedh Ghat.
- The ghat is a popular destination for pilgrims and tourists and is known for its bustling bazaars, boat rides, and shopping.
How to Reach:
Dasaswamedh Ghat is located in the heart of Varanasi and is easily accessible by road, rail, and air. The nearest airport is the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, which is around 24 km away. The nearest railway station is Varanasi Junction, which is around 5 km away. Local buses, taxis, and auto-rickshaws are easily available from both the airport and railway station.
There are several hotels and guesthouses located near Dasaswamedh Ghat, ranging from budget to luxury options. Some of the popular hotels near Dasaswamedh Ghat include Hotel Surya, Hotel Alka, and Hotel Ganges View. These hotels offer comfortable accommodation with easy access to the ghat and other nearby attractions.
In conclusion, Dasaswamedh Ghat is a significant site with a rich history and cultural heritage. It is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Varanasi, and the Ganga Aarti is a spectacular event that should not be missed.
3. Assi Ghat:
Assi Ghat is the southernmost ghat of Varanasi. Named after the Assi River, Assi Ghat is just opposite the congested Dashashwamedh Ghat. Assi Ghat and its surrounding area are where most of the students, pilgrims, and foreign tourists prefer to stay. Baiyu is quite close and serves the area close to Dashashwamedh Ghat and Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
Assi Ghat is one of the most popular ghats in Varanasi, visited regularly by tourists and locals. Situated on the banks of the river Ganges, Varanasi has long been an important place for many religions including Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, and Ravidassia. So in true sense Banaras is a “Microcosm of India“. It is located in the southern part of the holy city of Varanasi at the confluence of the Ganges and Assi rivers. People throng the Ghats for many reasons, to soak in the spiritual atmosphere, to enjoy the famous Sandhya Aarti, and to have a glimpse of the local culture. This ghat finds mentioned in various Hindu texts such as Kurma Purana, Matsya Purana, Padma Purana and Agni Purana.
As the sun rises over the river Ganges, the ghats of Varanasi throng with people to pay their respects to the holy river and perform their daily puja.
The temples on this Ghat date back to the first half of the 19th century, the Lakshminarayan Temple is of the Panchayat style, it not only deals with three different worldviews but also recognizes the civil standing style. The Asangameshwar Temple in Kashikhand is one of the details of the special Guru Shiva Puja.
Assi Ghat is one of the important ancient ghats of Kashi, it is the first ghat of Varanasi if you go along the river Ganga and is situated on the southern border of Kashi at the confluence of Ganges and Assi (now extinct).
Every morning before sunrise, a cultural program is organized at Assi Ghat, where classical songs mainly from the Banaras Gharana are sung. Aarti is also conducted, worshiping the Sun God and the river Ganges.
According to a legend in Hinduism, Goddess Durga threw away her sword after slaying the demons Shumbha-Nishumbha. At the place where the sword fell, a river arose, which was then called Assi.
If one ever visits Varanasi, Assi Ghat is a must-visit not purely for its core significance but to experience the more serene and quaint side of Varanasi.
Facts about Assi Ghat:
- Assi Ghat is one of the most famous and sacred ghats in Varanasi, and is located at the confluence of the Ganges and the Assi rivers.
- The ghat is named after the Assi river, which is a small stream that flows into the Ganges at this point.
- It is believed that taking a dip in the holy waters of Assi Ghat during the Hindu month of Kartik (October-November) is equivalent to performing Ashwamedha Yajna.
- The ghat is a popular spot for morning yoga and meditation practices, and many yoga ashrams are located in the vicinity.
- Assi Ghat is also known for its colorful and vibrant evening aarti (worship ceremony) which is performed every day.
- The ghat is surrounded by many temples, including the famous Durga Temple, which is located a short walk away from the ghat.
How to reach Assi Ghat:
Assi Ghat is easily accessible by road and air. The nearest airport is the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, located around 25 km away from Varanasi city center. The nearest railway station is Varanasi Junction, which is located around 4 km away from Assi Ghat. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to reach the ghat.
Best time to visit Assi Ghat:
The best time to visit Assi Ghat is during the winter season, from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and the river is not flooded. The early morning hours are the best time to visit the ghat, as you can witness the sunrise and the morning rituals performed by the locals.
History of Assi Ghat:
Assi Ghat has a rich history and is mentioned in several ancient scriptures and texts. It is believed that Lord Shiva himself established this ghat, and it has been a popular spot for spiritual practices and rituals for centuries. The ghat was also an important trading center during the Mughal era, and several traders and merchants used to come here to sell their goods.
Assi Ghat Fair and Festivals:
Assi Ghat is famous for the annual Shivratri Mela, which is held in the month of February/March every year. The fair attracts a large number of devotees from all over the country, who come to take a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges and seek blessings from Lord Shiva. The ghat is also decorated during festivals like Diwali, Holi, and Navratri, and the evening aarti is performed with great pomp and show.
Timing and Fees of Assi Ghat:
Assi Ghat is open to visitors throughout the day and night, and there is no entry fee to visit the ghat. However, if you wish to take a boat ride or attend the evening aarti, you may have to pay a small fee.
Nearby Hotels at Assi Ghat:
There are several hotels and guesthouses located near Assi Ghat, which offer comfortable accommodation at reasonable prices. Some of the popular hotels near Assi Ghat include Hotel Temple on Ganges, Kedareswar Bed and Breakfast, and Hotel Sita..
4. Manikarnika Ghat:
Manikarnika Ghat is the main cremation ghat in Varanasi, and it is believed that anyone who is cremated here attains salvation.
5. Dhamek Stupa:
The Dhamek Stupa is a magnificent Buddhist monument located in Sarnath, a small town located just outside Varanasi. The stupa is believed to have been built by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC, and is one of the oldest and most important Buddhist sites in India. The stupa is made of stone and brick, and is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures depicting scenes from the life of Buddha. It is a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims alike, and is an important symbol of India’s rich cultural heritage.
6. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple:
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most revered Hindu temples in India. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is located in the heart of the city and is visited by thousands of pilgrims every day.
7. Banaras Hindu University:
The Banaras Hindu University is one of the largest residential universities in Asia. It has a beautiful campus that is spread over several acres, and is home to several temples and museums.
8. Ruchika Art Gallery:
Located in the heart of Varanasi, the Ruchika Art Gallery is a must-visit place for art lovers. The gallery showcases the works of some of the most talented artists from India and around the world. It features a wide range of paintings, sculptures, and handicrafts, including traditional Indian art, contemporary art, and folk art. The gallery also hosts regular exhibitions, workshops, and events, making it a hub of cultural activity in the city.
9. Shri Durga Temple:
The Shri Durga Temple is a famous Hindu temple located near the Chowk area in Varanasi. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga, who is worshipped here in her nine different forms. The temple is known for its exquisite architecture and intricate carvings, and is a popular destination for devotees seeking blessings from the goddess. The temple is also known for its annual Durga Puja celebrations, which are a major event in the city’s cultural calendar.
10. Ramnagar Fort:
Ramnagar Fort is a famous fort located on the eastern bank of the river Ganges. It was built by the Maharaja of Benares in the 18th century and is now a museum.
11. Darbhanga Ghat:
The Darbhanga Ghat is one of the most famous and historic ghats in Varanasi. The ghat is named after the Darbhanga royal family, who were the patrons of the ghat during the 19th century. The ghat is known for its magnificent architecture and beautiful views of the river Ganges. It is also an important destination for pilgrims, who come here to take a holy dip in the river and perform rituals.
12. Shivala Ghat:
The Shivala Ghat is another popular ghat located on the banks of the river Ganges in Varanasi. The ghat is known for its beautiful architecture and serene surroundings, and is a popular destination for tourists seeking peace and tranquility. The ghat is also famous for its evening aarti ceremony, which is performed every day and is a spectacle to behold.