Best Way to Explore Varanasi
Ever thought of taking a journey back in time? A tour to Varanasi, or Benaras, offers you just that. Situated on the banks of the holy Ganges, Varanasi is an explosion of sights, sounds, and colors. It's a city that both bewilders and bewitches. As you tour Varanasi, you'll find that in its narrow labyrinthine lanes, life unfolds in the most extraordinary way, making each day a celebration.
Historical Significance of Varanasi
Ancient Sites in Varanasi
Varanasi has been a cultural and religious hub since time immemorial. The city is like a treasure chest, brimming with historical gems. Various archaeological sites dot the cityscape, each narrating a tale of its glorious past. The sense of awe you'll feel while exploring these sites is hard to put into words.
The cultural spectrum of Varanasi is as diverse as it is vibrant. A place where life and death exist side by side, the city has a unique spirituality that transcends religion. The echoes of temple bells, the smell of burning incense, and the sight of devotees performing rituals on the ghats create a serene and surreal atmosphere that envelops you in its fold.
How to Reach Varanasi
Varanasi's Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport, a welcoming gateway to the city, is well-connected with major Indian cities and a few international destinations. The city center is about 25 kilometers away, and you can easily hire a taxi or an auto-rickshaw from the airport.
Chugging along the Indian Railways is another great way to reach Varanasi. The city has two main railway stations, Varanasi Junction and Manduadih Railway Station, connecting it with various parts of the country.
Fancy a road trip? Varanasi is well-linked with other cities and towns of Uttar Pradesh and neighboring states through a network of well-maintained roads and national highways.
Best Time to Tour Varanasi
Timing is everything, isn't it? If you want to witness Varanasi in all its glory, plan your visit between October and March. The weather is pleasant, and the city is abuzz with numerous religious festivals and fairs that offer a deep insight into its rich culture.
Must-Visit Places in Varanasi
Ghats of Varanasi
Ever watched a painting come to life? The Ghats of Varanasi are like a living canvas. From the early morning rituals to the grandeur of the evening Ganga aarti, the Ghats are the city's lifeline. Each one, whether it's Dashashwamedh Ghat or Manikarnika Ghat, holds a unique charm.
Temples of Varanasi
A city of temples, Varanasi is a spiritual nirvana. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the most sacred. The aura of devotion that surrounds these temples is palpable, and even if you're not religious, the energy is sure to stir your soul.
You can't leave Varanasi without a shopping spree in its bustling markets. The city is renowned for its Banarasi silk sarees, brassware, and exquisite handicrafts. The markets offer a sensory delight and are a great place to mingle with the locals.
The gastronomic journey in Varanasi's culinary scene is as enchanting as its landscape. It's a city that takes its food seriously. From spicy chaats to the sweet jalebis, and not to forget the famous Banarasi paan, the city's streets are a food lover's paradise. Don't forget to sip on the local 'lassi', a sweet yogurt-based drink that's sure to leave your taste buds tingling.
Tips for Travelers
Even though Varanasi is a city of the modern world, it's rooted in ancient traditions. While there are no strict dress codes, dressing modestly goes a long way in respecting the city's cultural ethos. Comfortable, conservative clothing is recommended.
Varanasi is a city of deep religious sentiments. As visitors, it's important to respect the sanctity of this place. Refrain from taking pictures during religious ceremonies or of people in their private moments of worship or grief.
In a nutshell, touring Varanasi is like peeling off layers from an age-old manuscript. Every corner of the city has a story to tell, every stone sings a silent song, and every person you meet has a piece of history to share. The city is not just a place to visit; it's a feeling to experience, a story to tell, and a memory to cherish forever.