Varanasi What to See and Do in India’s Spiritual Capital: A Guide to the Best Attractions in Varanasi
One of the oldest towns in the world that have been inhabited continuously is Varanasi, sometimes referred to as Benares or Kashi. It is on the banks of the Ganges River in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
It is known as the spiritual capital of India. People know the city for its many temples, ghats (steps that lead to the river), and the traditional Hindu way of cremation. Below is a list of the top sights in Varanasi if you’re thinking about visiting.
A Magnificent Evening Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat
The most well-known ghat in Varanasi is the Dashashwamedh Ghat, which is located on the banks of the Ganges. A must-see sight for tourists is the ghat’s nightly aarti, a Hindu religious ceremony of worship.
A group of priests perform the aarti while using fire and flowers to pray to the river. The event is a spectacular display of light, sound, and colour that draws both tourists and residents in equal numbers.
The Holy Cremation Place at Manikarnika Ghat
Hindus believe that Manikarnika Ghat is the oldest and most holy ghat in Varanasi. They also believe that it is the place where the cycle of birth and death ends.
The ghat is sometimes called the “burning ghat” because Hindus once burned their dead there. Guests are welcome to watch the cremation from a distance, but it’s important to follow the rituals and traditions that go along with it.
The most sacred temple in Varanasi is Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
One of Varanasi‘s holiest temples, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, is devoted to Lord Shiva. The temple, which lies in the center of the city, is one of India’s twelve Jyotirlingas, or holy symbols of Lord Shiva. The temple has a lengthy and complex history, and throughout the ages, it has been both destroyed and rebuilt numerous times. Although non-Hindus are not permitted inside the temple, it is nonetheless worth visiting from the outside.
The birthplace of Buddhism is Sarnath.
It is said that Sarnath, a little village outside of Varanasi, is where Buddhism originated. Many Buddhist temples and monasteries can be found in the town, which is also the location of the first sermon that Buddha delivered after being enlightened.
The Dhamek Stupa, a huge, cylindrical structure that is thought to mark the location where Buddha delivered his speech, is the main draw of Sarnath.
A Look Back at Varanasi’s Imperial History at Ramnagar Fort
On the Ganges River’s opposite bank from Varanasi sits the medieval fort of Ramnagar. The royal family lived in the fort, which was constructed in the 18th century by Kashi Naresh, the hereditary king of Varanasi. Nowadays, the fort welcomes guests and is home to a museum showcasing Varanasi’s history and culture.
Other Attractions in Varanasi
A popular location for yoga and meditation is Assi Ghat
The Lord Rama temple Tulsi Manas Temple is located near the prestigious Banaras Hindu University.
A mosque constructed on the site of an old temple is called the Gyanvapi Mosque.
In conclusion, Varanasi is a city rich in history, culture, and spirituality. There is something for everyone in this historic city with its plethora of temples, ghats, and other attractions. Varanasi has a lot to offer, whether you are a history buff, a spiritual seeker, or just someone who enjoys travelling.
It is advised to hire a guide or go on a guided tour in order to get the most out of your trip. A skilled tour guide can help you get around the city’s crowded streets and alleys and can also tell you interesting things about the history and significance of each attraction. Also, when going to temples and other places of worship, it’s important to follow the local traditions and dress modestly.
In conclusion, Varanasi is a place that should not be missed by anyone who is interested in learning more about India’s rich cultural legacy. From its beautiful evening aarti to its ancient cremation practices, this city gives you a unique and interesting experience that will stay with you long after you leave. Make sure to include Varanasi on your schedule if you’re travelling to India, and get ready to be surprised by everything this enchanted city has to offer.