One of the oldest cities that is still inhabited in the country, Varanasi is embedded with hundreds of temples built around the holy River of Ganges. This city is the heart of Hindu pilgrimage. The city provides a mixture of color, custom and culture. Numerous people visit Varanasi for the beauty of it.
Here are five basic reasons to make Varanasi an important destination in your bucket list.
1. Ganga Aarti
This beautiful performance of rituals takes place on every evening at the Dashashwamedh Ghat. By the end of the ritual, devotees let go of thousands of oil lamp on banana leaf on the water. These lamps will look like stars on the water. Tourists hire boats to watch this activity from the water. This is one of the most commonly photographed event in India. This is the iconic attraction of the city along with the sunset boating on River Ganges.
2. Architectural Beauty
You can find numerous temples in this city of varying era, style and décor. You ought to visit the modern temples, ancient monuments, temple of Mother India, temple for monkey God and so on. There are temples that are more than 1000 years old here. These temples are the best spot for enjoying unique rituals and other attractions in Varanasi. If you visit during auspicious days, you can find Hindu marriages taking place in the temples.
Every temple’s streets are filled with small and large shops that sell important and interesting souvenirs. Top souvenirs to buy are brass articles, deity statues, silver items, incense sticks, wood articles, Ganga water, carpets, religious items and others. The most important and expensive souvenir of this land is Benaras saree. This textile is carried through generations as heirloom in India.
Apart from these, people also shop for delicacies to take to their family. Before you buy them in bulk, ask about the shelf life of the delicacies. The delicacies found here are not made with preservatives and thus, you might not be able to store them for very long time.
4. Art Forms
Dance and music performances can be enjoyed in many temples and in the streets during festivals. Apart from these, you can find Yoga and Meditation classes here in many places in Varanasi. There are many halls in the city, which showcases concerts or other performances of celebrities. If you are interested in learning, you can find many music and dance classes throughout Varanasi.
A little away from Varanasi, the iconic Buddhist pilgrimage site lies. Sarnath is the place where Lord Buddha preached for the very first time after enlightenment. You can find many temples, monuments and stupas here. A small museum holds relics from structures that fell as ruins. There is also a deer garden for those who wish to relax.
How to Reach Varanasi
Because Varanasi is an important pilgrimage site, you can easily find cabs, buses and trains from various parts of the country to Varanasi. If you are looking for a luxurious travel, you can choose either luxury trains like Maharaja Express Train or airlines. The nearest airport is located very close to the city. The nearest international airport is located in Delhi. Maharajas’ Express scales Varanasi as a part of its itineraries. Choose the itinerary that covers Varanasi and book for a luxurious vacation.