Varanasi Travel Guide

  • Varanasi
    by kikili
  • River Ganges the heart of Varanasi
    River Ganges the heart of Varanasi
    by mantru
  • Dasaswamedh ghat
    Dasaswamedh ghat
    by mantru

Varanasi Things to Do

  • Visit the Kashi Vishwanatha Temple

    This is the main deity of the city of Varanasi. It is considered as one of the most sacred temples for the Hindus. Notwithstanding this great stature, the temple is maintained in the most deplorable fashion, The cleanliness is almost non existent and the devotees are jostled in a very rough manner. Will write more about this at a later...

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  • Visit Sankat Mochan Temple

    This is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. It is very peaceful and simple. In the evenings they have bhajans and singing. An ideal place to sit in meditation and contemplation in this place. However on Thursdays and Saturdays, it is more crowded.

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  • Sankat mochan temple

    Sankat Mochan Temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and is very popular with the local citizens. It is a place for many yearly religious as well as cultural festivals. The word "Sankat Mochan" means one who helps in removing sufferings.Every Tuesday and Saturday, thousands of devotees queue up in front of the Sankat Mochan temple to offer prayers to...

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  • Durga temple

    This ancient temple was constructed in the 18th century. This ancient temple has been constructed in the North Indian Nagara architectural style. This ancient temple is located at a distance of 4 kilometers from Godaulia in Varanasi, India.

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  • Kashi Vishwanath Temple

    The Kashi-Vishwanath Temple is also known as the Golden Temple and is a popular religious tourist destination. This temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity Vishveswara Shiva. The original temple is said to have been destroyed by the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb who constructed a mosque on this site. Ahalya Bai constructed the existing temple in the year...

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  • Chausathi ghat/ahalya bai ghat

    At the place of an old site of Kevelyagiri Ghat, in c. 1778 queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore made this a pucca ghat. For the first time name of a person was added after the ghat. She was also responsible for re-building the Visvesvara temle, as exists at present, in 1777.Causatti ghat-info from varanasi nicThis ghat is described in respect to...

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  • Assi Ghat

    Assi Ghat an important ghat of Varanasi traditionally constitutes the southern end of conventional city. Numerous References about this ghat are found in early literature Particulalry in matsypurana, again purana, kurma purana, padma purana and kashi khanda. According to a belief goddess Durga after slaining demon Shumbha- Nishumbha had thrown her...

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  • panday ghat

    In c. 1805 this ghat was built in honour of a famous wrestler who established a wresting site (Akhara) there: his name was Babua Pande. The shrine of Somesvara exists closeby to it. In its vicinity lies the old site of Prabhasa Tirtha, but presently it is spatially transposed at Raja Ghat.

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  • Kedar ghat

    This is the site of Haramapapa Tirtha. At the top exists the temple of Kedaresvara, the patron deity of the southern sacred segment

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  • Manikarnika

    Manikarnika ghat is the main cremation ghat of Varanasi and is one of the oldest and most sacred.Both the ghats are cremation ghat.accorning to mythology being burned here provides instant liberation.Manikarnika ghat symbolises creation and destruction.There is a sacred well at the Manikarnika Ghat, called the Manikarnika Kund. below as per...

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  • Man mandir ghat/prayag ghat

    This ghat (old Prayaga Tirtha) together with shrine of Prayagagesvara replicates the existence of Prayaga/ Allahabad in Varanasi. Prayaga, known as "Tirtharaja" (king of Tirthas), lies at the confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and the invisible Sarasvati rivers. It is commonly believed that doing rituals and taking sacred bath here provide exactly...

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  • lalita ghat

    Lalita ghat is next to makikarnika ghat.This ghat also offers aarati ,however there will be less people and less pompous...there is a nepali temple above it.The late King of Nepal built Lalita Ghat in the northern region of Varanasi. It is the site of Ganga Keshav Temple, a wooden temple built in typical Kathmandu style, dedicated to Lord Vishnu....

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Varanasi Restaurants

  • vpas's Profile Photo

    by vpas Written Feb 19, 2013

    You will find scores of shops all along the roads, especially close to the Vishwanathji temple. They sell samosas, jilebis, hot milk, kachoris etc. It is a must to try at least some of these. If you have a delicate stomach it is best to avoid these.

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Varanasi Nightlife

  • Prayer by the ghats

    The prayer ceremony by the ghats of the holy river Ganges, is an impressive event. At 6pm sharp, every evening, priests ('pujaris') all in white, line up in a row, and amidst fire and chanting and the sound of bells, they perform a choreographed ceremony. A pretty impressive sight.See my `aarti' travelogue for more pictures...

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  • Go To Bed Early

    I would suggest going to bed early and get up before sunrise in the morning! It is really worth it. The sun comes up on the other side of the river so if you take the boat along at sunrise you will have a great light shining on all the ghats and buildings packed on top of each other.

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  • Varanasi Hotels

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Varanasi Transportation

  • husain's Profile Photo
    boat ride on the ganges 1 more image

    by husain Updated Feb 20, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As a tourist, you will probably get the boatman to take you along the ghats for a view of the various aspects of life on the ghats.
    The locals and pilgrims usually use the boats for river crossings...

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    • Arts and Culture
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Varanasi Shopping

  • Buy a Banarasi sari

    All over Varanasi, you will find shops selling Banarasi saris. The prices range from Rs. 500 to Rs. 5000 or even more. It is better to check with a few shops before buying. There are many varieties of the sari and hence the price varies.

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  • Banarasi silk sarees

    The banarasi sarees the must have for all Indian women,is produced here,silk is brought from all parts of india and abroad and weaved here.The weavers pass this art from generations to generation.Pure silk is called "katan".There are a variety of sarees weaved here,most are handmade and costs from 2000 to 50000 rupees.

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Varanasi Local Customs

  • Ganga aarti

    The Ganga aarati happens every evening with pomp and show.Its a very beautiful sight,just sitting and listening makes you feel at peace.The aarati starts at 6.30 pm people fil the ghat steps to view aarati and few will take boats to view from the river side.

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  • puja and charity on no moon day-Amawasya

    On amawasya,the dark night people come in huge numbers to take bath in the ganges,also they offer money,rice vegetable to the beggars.The ghats were full of beggars who sat on the ghats spreading shawls for people to give something in charity.

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  • bathing in the ganges

    The ganges is the holiest of all the rivers in India.People come to wash off their sins by taking the holy bath.

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Varanasi Warnings and Dangers

  • Clean the Ganga campaign

    The Ganges is the Holiest river in India. However, it is also among the most polluted- at least when it crosses some of the bigger cities while it makes its way from the Himalayas to the sea...The Holy city of Benares, is one of the cities where the Ganges is at its most polluted. According to Hindu belief, the river washes away the sins of people...

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  • The Cremation ghats

    We were told that visiting shooting here or visiting the `burning ghats' is not the best idea... We required clearance from various people- religious and tourism department.We needed to shoot there for a last sequence, and when we finally did set out, it was somewhat eerie.It rained just when we were heading off in our boat. Thankfully, the boat...

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  • Beware of the Monkeys!

    There are troops of monkeys in Varanasi, these are not friendly monkeys. They scared me once, I was walking up the stairs up to my room, and this monkey came around the corner agressively. He was coming towards me, I got scared and had to go back. After that each time I went upstairs I was afraid the monkeys would jump up again. The monkey also...

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Varanasi Off The Beaten Path

  • mantru's Profile Photo
    sunset 2 more images

    by mantru Written Jan 31, 2009

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    If you want to get a good view and pics,go to the other side before sunset...the view is great so are the pictures.

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Varanasi Favorites

  • Varanasi - Benares - Kashi

    The city of Varanasi or [Benares as it was called up until recently] is one of India's most sacred cities. The Hindus call it Kashi, or the City of Light. Each year over one million pilgrims come to the city, while 50,000 Brahmins live there.I am not sure what I should call the city, I thougt the official name is Benares, but I am not sure. The...

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  • another beautiful sunrise...

    another beautiful sunrise across the river ganga. it also meant however, that we had to wake up at 4 am to shoot it:(

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Explore Deeper into Varanasi
Harischandra ghat
Things to Do
Ghats-Dashashwamedha the main ghat
Things to Do
boat ride -sunrise and sunset
Things to Do
Visit Sarnath
Things to Do
The Nepalese temple
Things to Do
Nepalese Temple
Things to Do
Getting Purified
Local Customs
Asi Ghat
Things to Do
Manikarnika Ghat
Things to Do
Dasaswamedh Ghat
Things to Do
Burning Bodies
Local Customs
Walking the Ghats
Things to Do
Map of Varanasi

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