Varanasi (Banaras or Kashi) is one of the ancient living cities of the world, settled along the Ganges River. Mark Twain, an English Author once wrote that the Benaras (Varanasi) is older than History, older than tradition, even older than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together. Being a sacred city of India, millions of people from all across the world flow into this place to explore the historical grandeur of the city. It is believed that Lord Shiva created the Banaras about 5000 years ago. The name of Banaras is among those places that are found in Hindu epic Ramayana and Mahabharat. Hence it is one of the sacred cities in India and a blend of history, culture, spirituality and traditions. Varanasi is an ultimate pilgrim center for Hindus of all ages and It is believed that one who passes away in Varanasi would attain salvation and get freedom from the cycle of birth and rebirth. As far as tourism is concerned, the city is most visited by Indian as well as the foreign tourists throughout the year. Since it is located on the bank of Ganges, there are many ghats which have religious value and remain dotted with devotees. River Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash out all the sins of mortals. People visit the ghats to offer homages to their forefathers, submerge the remains of funerals in the Ganges, at the morning time offer the Aarti and prayers to Sun while bathing, all that can be witnessed while you are in Benaras. Evening Aarti at Ghat offered by Pandas (Pandit), is a must witness experience and it is unique.

The major attractions in Varanasi

Along with the importance of Banaras Ghats, Varanasi is also famous for the Hindu Temples. One of the most famous temples is Kashi Vishwanath.

Ganges River - The Ganges River flows along the Varanasi and it is named after the Goddess Ganga. It starts from the Northeast of the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal. It serves millions of million people and provides the water for irrigation, drinking, bathing etc. Hindu, comes to Varanasi from all around the world to purify their souls and wash out the sins in Ganges. For tourists, one can enjoy the boat ride on Ganges and witness the daily happenings on the various Ghats. Best options to enjoy boat rides in the morning and evening to witness Aarti offered at Ghats and see the people offering prayers.

Shree Kashi Vishwanath - The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is believed that the Lord Shiva has created Banaras itself. The structure and design of this temple inspired the architecture of thousands of other temples across India. The temple is visited by devotees throughout the year, but during the festival thousands of devotees come and there is a long queue of devotees outside the temple.

Dasaswamedh Ghat : - The living Ghats of Varanasi, filled with Sadhus, devotees, flower sellers, tourists, boat operators and hawkers etc. Daly evening Aarti is performed by Hindu priests at this ghat. Thousands of people gathered at the Ghat to witness the Aarti. Best of evening aarti can be witnessed while you are in the evening boat. It gives the best viewing experience from the Ganges River.

Manikarnika Ghat -: The Ghat is known for the cremation bodies. Hindus believe that the Manikarnika Ghat is an auspicious place for departed souls to get Moksha (liberation from the cycle of rebirth.) Around 100 dead bodies are cremated daily and the funeral pyres are kept burning 24 hours a day at this ghat. There is another Ghat called Harichandra Ghat where dead bodies are cremated.

Dhamek Stupa -: close to Varanasi about 12 kilometers at Sarnath famous for the Buddhism sites. Here you will find Dhamek Stupa. The Devout believes that after the enlightenment, Buddha gave his first sermon at Dhamek Stupa. The Dhamek stupa was built more than 1500 years ago.

Sarnath Museum :-

it one of the oldest site museums of Archaeological survey of India. It houses the findings and excavations found at the sites of Sarnath. One can see the antiquities ranging from the 03rd BCE to 12th AD. One of the most famous exhibits of the museum is the Lion Capital Ashoka which is now the national emblem of India.

Best time to visit Varanasi -: Except monsoon season from July to September, round the year Varanasi is open for tourism. However, from October till April is the best time to travel. May-June is summer in India and the lean season. During the monsoon season boating on the Ganges River and bathing in down steps to Ghats remain restricted.

How to Reach Varanasi -: Varanasi is well connected by rail, Roads and Air. By Air, one can connect any part of India. There are many direct flights available to reach Varanasi from major cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Ahmedabad. And flights from Dubai and Kathmandu are also available. Varanasi is well connected by Railways too. Anyone can reach Varanasi by day train or overnight train from Delhi, Agra, Mumbai, Kolkata and Lucknow etc. for more information you may contact Luxury India vacations. By Road the Varanasi is about 321 kilometer from Luckow, 218 kilometer from Ayodhya, 121 kilometer from Prayagraj and Bodh Gaya 255 kilometer.

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