Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India, is a city that beckons travelers from around the world with its rich cultural heritage, mystical atmosphere, and religious significance. Situated on the banks of the sacred River Ganges in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi is a captivating destination that offers a deep insight into the spiritual traditions of India. In this article, we will embark on a journey to explore the mysteries and spiritual city of Varanasi.
Are you planning a visit to Varanasi?
Varanasi, also known as Banaras or Kashi, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with a history dating back over 3,000 years.
Varanasi is the spiritual city of the country. It is one of the oldest colonize cities in the world. This city is the iconic pilgrimage spot in the country for Hindus and Buddhists. The place is filled with ancient and modern temples, ghats, ritual spots and much more.
So let explore the mysterious & spiritual city of Varanasi
Varanasi is regarded as a gateway to spiritual enlightenment and liberation from the cycle of birth and death. It is believed that dying in Varanasi and being cremated on the banks of the Ganges grants moksha, the ultimate liberation of the soul. Thousands of devotees flock to Varanasi each year to cleanse their sins, perform rituals, and seek spiritual solace.
Top Ghats to Visit in Varanasi
There are 88 ghats around the Ganga River. These ghats were built by Raja who wanted to worship and meditate near the water. Each ghat has a specialty associated with it. The ghats also contain temples. These ghats are the proper place to enjoy rituals, aarti, etc.
Here are the list of Top ghats to visit in Varanasi Spritual City In India are –
- Dashashwamedh Ghat – Boating, Ganga Aarti ceremony and others
- Manikarnika Ghat – Cremation Ghat.
- Panchganga Ghat – Meeting point of Five Rivers.
- Kedar Ghat – Photogenic Spot.
- Hanuman Ghat – Temples.
- Scindia Ghat – Submerged Temple, Boating.
- Assi Ghat – Famous for Shivalingam under a tree.
- Manmandir Ghat – Temples like Someshwara temple, Rameshwara temple and others.
- Shivala Ghat – Temples.
- Darbhanga Ghat – Rituals.
- Ahilyabai Ghat – Boating and Rituals.
Top Temples to go to in Varanasi
- Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple – this is often the oldest temple within the city. It receives quite a thousand devotees a day. The highest features of the temple are its architectural marvels, interesting rituals, and shopping around the temple.
- Annapurna Temple – on the brink of the Vishwanath temple, it’s an 18th-century temple for the concert of Lord Shiva. this is often the temple of the Goddess of food and nourishment.
- Sankat Mochan Temple – Famous Hanuman temple of 20th you’ll find many monkeys here.
- Kaal Bhairav Temple – Guardian temple of the town. Tourists and locals need to visit this temple before leaving or entering the town.
- Tulsi Manas Temple – Temple of Lord Ram built in 20th Famous for writing on the walls.
- Bharat Mata Temple – Temple for Mother India. The temple was inaugurated by Gandhi.
- Visalakshi Temple – A south Indian styled temple in Varanasi which is very much popular
- Tridev Temple – A temple dedicated to the three main powers of divinity; Lord Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma.
- New Vishwanath Temple – The temple with the tallest temple tower within the country. it’s found inside the campus of Banaras Hindu University(BHU).
- Nepali Temple – this is often a wooden temple inbuilt Pagoda style by the King of Nepal in 19th it’s a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
There are numerous other temples within the city like Sri Durga Devi Temple, Kardameshwara Mahadeva Temple, Durga Kund Mandir, Mrityunjay Mahadev Temple, etc. Every street is crammed with small and enormous temples. Choose the proper time to witness interesting rituals.
Top Tourist Attractions in Varanasi
- Alamgir Mosque – it’s an old mosque famous for its architecture. it’s famous for Gyanvapi well inside it.
- Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum – Famous for 11th-century paintings, sculptures, miniature sculptures of Mughals, deity statues, etc.
- Ramnagar Fort – 400-year-old fort of royals of Varanasi. Photographs of royals, tigers, etc are often seen. The Durbar hall is now a museum that holds antiques like palanquins, elephant howdah, etc.
- Chunargarh Fort – 2000-year-old fort.
- Man Mandir – Observatory.
Shopping in Varanasi
All temples have many small stalls around it. During festivals, the amount of stalls increase many-folds. you’ll also find many shops near the ghats. Even during boating, you’ll find small boats with people selling small items. Top things to shop for in Varanasi are –
- Benaras silk
- Embroidery sarees
- Persian carpets
- Cashmere wool clothing
- Natural oils, perfumes, et al.
- Water of Ganges
- Deity statues, brass oil lamps, candles, and other religious items
- Books on religion, city, and history
- herb tea
Ganges water is sold in small copper pots that are sealed to avoid leakage. you’ll also find boatmen selling water in larger cans. When inquired, they state that they row to the center of the river to gather the pure water. it’s up to you to make a decision whether or to not by the can of water.
Top Dishes to dine in Varanasi
You cannot find many non-vegetarian hotels here.Top dishes to undertake during this city are –
- Banarasi duma loo – Spicy potato full of spices and cooked in gravy.
- Aloo chat – Street food made with potato.
- Paan – With tobacco and without tobacco.
- Malaibalai – Milk sweet.
- Lassi – Sweeted curd with layers of malai.
Paan that you simply find in Varanasi is banned in other parts of the country. Thus, don’t pack a couple of for your friends reception . Some paans are made with just natural ingredients and haven’t any tobacco content. Children can consume this paan too. The tobacco paan is strictly for those above the age of 18. Bhang may be a drink made with powdered marijuana, which is legal only in Varanasi. it’s available in certain Shiva temples as Oblation to devotees. The marijuana is mixed in lassi (sweetened curd) and served.
Apart from these, you’ll find many international and native cuisines, mainly vegetarian. you’ll find many continental bakeries to undertake food here.
Best time to go to Varanasi
Varanasi is at prime beauty throughout the year. the town has temples of just about all deities of Hinduism and thus, monthly , you’ll find a couple of festivals. During festivals, the town becomes more beautiful with rituals et al. . Best time to go to the town is from October to March.
The first reason is that the pleasing climate. the town has got to be scaled on foot and thus, you’d be under the sky for many of the day. Summer starts in April and ends in June. the recent and humid climate can cause dehydration. The monsoon starts in August and ends by September. Although the town receives moderate rainfall, sightseeing becomes a touch hard with frequent showers. The winter starts in October. The climate are going to be pleasant and rainfall becomes scarce. The humidity are going to be mild too. Thus, the winter is that the best time to go to the town . Winter ends by March.
The second reason is that the frequency of festivals of Varanasi. The winter is that the time of the many prime Hindu festivals like Diwali, Dusshera, Maha Shivaratri, Chhat Pooja et al. . Maha Shivaratri that takes place in February or March is that the best time to go to Varanasi. you’ll participate within the Indian serious music festival that goes on for 72 hours. you’ll also find many dance performances in Shiva temples that are arranged to stay pilgrims awake throughout the night.
Top activities to enjoy in Varanasi
What to expect in your trip to Varanasi? the primary and foremost activity is boat ride on the River Ganges, sightseeing, visiting temples, enjoying unique rituals, tasting foods that are served to Gods then on. Other top activities to enjoy within the city are –
- Sunrise and sunset boating.
- Visiting alley for shopping round the temple.
- Take holy dip in ghat. does one know that every ghat features a special power? Taking a holy bath in certain ghats provide health while others grant 4. eternal salvation.
- Yoga and meditation classes.
- Ayurvedic massages.
Varanasi, with its spiritual aura, rich cultural heritage, and mystical charm, is a city that captivates the soul of every traveler. Exploring the ghats, temples, and festivals of Varanasi offers a glimpse into the deep-rooted traditions and spirituality of India. The city’s timeless allure continues to attract seekers of enlightenment, curious wanderers, and those in search of a profound connection with the divine. A visit to Varanasi is a transformative experience that lingers in the heart and mind long after the journey ends.
And if you are planning to visit other city of India in Summer read this article
Varanasi holds immense spiritual significance in Hinduism and is considered one of the holiest cities in India. It is believed that dying in Varanasi and being cremated on the banks of the River Ganges can grant liberation of the soul, known as moksha.
Varanasi boasts a history dating back over 3,000 years, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
The ghats are steps leading to the River Ganges and are an integral part of Varanasi’s cultural fabric. There are around 87 ghats, each with its unique significance. They serve as bathing and ritualistic sites for pilgrims and locals alike.
Dashashwamedh Ghat is the main and most popular ghat in Varanasi. It is famous for the Ganga Aarti, a mesmerizing ritual performed every evening to worship the River Ganges.
Varanasi is home to several renowned temples. The most revered among them is the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Other popular temples include Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple and Durga Temple.
Varanasi’s cultural heritage is vibrant and rich. It has been a center of art, music, and learning for centuries. The city’s traditional silk weaving industry and the famous Benaras Gharana of classical music are well-known.
Varanasi celebrates various festivals with great enthusiasm. Some notable ones include Diwali, Dev Deepawali, Holi, Durga Puja, and Maha Shivaratri. During these festivals, the city comes alive with vibrant decorations and rituals.
Dev Deepawali is a unique festival celebrated in Varanasi on the full moon day after Diwali. The ghats of Varanasi are adorned with thousands of diyas (earthen lamps) during this festival, creating a mesmerizing sight.
Varanasi offers a delightful culinary experience with its street food delicacies. Some popular dishes include kachoris, chaat, lassi, and the famous masala chai (spiced tea).
Varanasi is known as the spiritual capital of India due to its profound religious and spiritual heritage. It is a place where people come to seek spiritual solace, perform rituals, and experience the divine connection.
Explore the Mysteries and Spiritual City of Varanasi, and immerse yourself in its ancient traditions and captivating aura. Whether you seek enlightenment or simply want to experience the rich culture of India, Varanasi offers a transformative journey like no other.