Varanasi. The one thing which comes to your mind obviously when you hear about this city in the Northern state of Uttar Pradesh is Ganga. Over the years Varanasi has been synonymous with the majestic Ganga and her numerous sub-Rivers. Varanasi is famous for thousands of bathing ghats along the banks of the river Ganga stretching over thousands of kilometres. The Panchganga ghat is believed to be the most sacred among them and is a must visit place for those planning a holiday in UP
. Pilgrims throng these ghats to bathe and rid themselves of their sins. Hindu’s are of the opinion that immersing the Crematorial ashes on the banks of these rivers will assure their loved ones a safe journey to heaven.
Varanasi - Purest City
Varanasi consists of thousands of temples most of them dedicated to Lord Shiva. The golden temple and the Well of wisdom are major attractions among the pilgrims. Varanasi has been established as the oldest city with a population of more than 50 lakhs, surpassing the Vatican City. In India, Varanasi is considered as the purest city. An enchanting spectacle usually takes place at dawn when the sun’s rays fall on the rivers creating a golden sparkle.
You can reach Varanasi by any mode of transport either by air, train or by road. Trains to Varanasi are available from almost all major railway stations and it acts as a junction to other tourist attractions in Uttar Pradesh. Buses ply regularly between Varanasi and Delhi and numerous packages from Delhi
are also available.
Must See Attractions
A quick visit to all important places of interest in Varanasi may take 2 days. The places one must visit when in Varanasi are-
- Panchganga - This is the place where five of the purest and holiest rivers in Hindu mythology merge together forming a huge delta. Pilgrims believe that a visit to Panchganga will cleanse their soul and guarantee them a place in the holy abode of the Lords
- Golden temple - According to local belief, Lord Shiva lives in this area and the thought of close affinity with the Lord himself draws in numerous religious pilgrims every day.
- Almagir mosque - It’s quite ironical that the mosque is just above the Panchganga ghat. This mosque was built by Aurangzeb with a unique blend of Mughal and Indian architecture
- Chunnar fort - Varanasi is not just about temples, mosques and Ghats. The Chunnar fort housed many rulers who ruled India, including the Mughals and the British.
If you are religious and prefer staying under the influence of the God’s, Varanasi offers you numerous ashrams and mutt’s around the Ghats. Affordable hotels and lodgings are also available in the interior sections of Varanasi. the holy city of Varanasi is a popular place for pilgrimage and holiday in North India
Planning Your Trip
First day of your stay in Varanasi may be spent by visiting the ghats of Panchganga, and you may want to take a holy dip at sunrise. Have a cup of warm coffee at dawn which will soothe your nerves and provide a refreshing start to the day. Visiting the Golden temple will take up most of your day as it has an aura of calmness around it and you will be enchanted by its mere sight. The evening may be spent shopping near the banks of Ganga. Some of the items you may want to buy are the holy water of Ganga and the Varanasi handicrafts. One experience you must have while on a visit to Varanasi is a ride on the Tong’s, which are hand pulled rickshaws. This is one ride you will never forget for a lifetime. Have a good night’s sleep, providing you ample rest for the next day of your trip. The second day may be utilised to visit the Almagir mosque, if you are someone who appreciates ancient Mughal architecture. The Chunnar fort provides a breath-taking view of the Ganga and its surrounding ghats. Viewing the sun set from the fort will stay in your memory long after you will have left Varanasi
Food served in Varanasi is basically traditional but one of the specialities if you carve for ‘paans’ are the ‘Banrasi paan’. The food served here is plain and simple.
A trip to Varanasi for a couple from New Delhi may cost anywhere between 4000-6000 INR depending on the places of your visit and the hospitality services you might choose.