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Holidays for Soul - Varanasi

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Spiritual Holidays - Varanasi
| Places to see | Places Nearby | Places to Stay | How to Reach |

The holiest of holy and the oldest living city in the world, Varanasi or Banaras (also spelled Benaras) is located on the banks of the Ganga. Such is the appeal of this city that travellers from different corners of the globe come down to find out why the city is held in such a high esteem. The city is believed to be the first city to have been created on the earth and that is why called the oldest living city. Earlier known as Kashi in reverence of the supreme light that leads to salvation, Kashi later became Varanasi, because of its location between two rivers Varana and Asi.

Today, it is not only the ultimate pilgrimage for devout Hindus, but seekers of peace also make it a point to visit Varanasi to de-stress, relax and recharge their batteries.
This City of Light is not only religious but is spiritual as well. The one, which is an eternal witness to the ongoing circle of life and death, for the Manikarnika Ghat and the Dasaswamedh Ghat belong to the dead and alive respectively. A melting pot of cultures, Varanasi is the most visible and striking city of Hinduism.

A city of temples, of age old rituals and customs; Varanasi is the place where mythology reigns supreme. It is also a city, which has been a great center of learning for ages. It is closely associated with promotion of spiritualism, mysticism, Sanskrit, yoga and Hindi. The city is also well known for its Banarasi sarees and its mouth watering delicacies. The other highlights of Varanasi are its many ghats, which have been attracting travellers for ages.

Places to see in Varanasi
Dalai Lama Temple

Varanasi is dotted with a large number temples, some of them are well known and some of them are not. The most important temples in Varanasi that one should not miss are the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Sankat Mochal Temple and Durga Temple. Kashi Vishwanath Temple is the most important of all, where non-Hindus are not allowed inside. The temple is located in the heart of the city and is the center of faith for millions of Hindus. The Jyotirlinga of Shiva or Vishweshwara enshrined in the Kashi Vishwanath Temple is considered as one of the holiest places of worship. The aarti that takes place at various times of the day is something you should not miss.

Durga Temple dedicated to Goddess Durga is situated on a rectangular tank, called the Durga Kund. Thousands of devotees visit the temple during Navratri and other auspicious occasions. Sankat Mochan Temple, dedicated to Lord Hanuman is another major temple in Varanasi. The temple teems with devotees every Tuesday, when they visit the temple to pay their obeisance to Lord Hanuman. Other popular temples in Varanasi include Tulsi Manas Temple and the Bharat Mata Temple.

Benaras Hindu University & Museum is another main landmark that one should not miss when visiting Varanasi. The Benaras Hindu University or BHU is spread over an area of 1300 acres. The university has well maintained roads, extensive greenery, a temple, an airstrip and buildings, which are an architectural delight. Bharat Kala Bhavan, located inside the BHU campus, is an art and architecture museum. It houses a vast collection of paintings, Hindu and Buddhist sculptures and other materials of archeological importance.

The many ghats of the Ganga are of special interest to travellers to Varanasi. Some of the prominent and popular Ghats at Varanasi are Manikarnika Ghat, Dasaswamedh Ghat, Harischandra Ghat, Kabir Ghat & Assi Ghat. The Manikarnika Ghat is the main cremation ghat of Varanasi. It’s one of the oldest and most sacred ghats in Varanasi. Dasaswamedh is another popular ghat, where the evening aarti takes place.

Places Nearby
Things to do

- Wash your sins, take a dip in the Ganga
- Take a boat ride in the morning
- Watch the Ganga Aarti
- Sit on the banks of the Ganga, meditate
- Take a course on yoga & meditation
- Shop for Benarasi sarees, handicrafts, carpets etc.

Ramnagar Fort, 14 kilometer away from Varanasi is situated on the opposite bank of the Ganga. The fort built in red sandstone has a temple and a museum. It is the ancestral home of the Maharaja of Benaras, which houses a museum displaying the Royal collection which includes Royal palkies, an armory of swords and old guns vintage Cars, ivory work and antique clocks.

Sarnath, 10 kilometer from Varanasi is the place where Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya. 'Buddham Sharanam Gachhami', owes its origin to Sarnath. Some of the important Buddhist monuments at Sarnath are the Dhamekha stupa, the Chaukhandi stupa and monasteries and temples of different schools of Buddhism from Japan, China, Thailand, Burma and others.

Places to Stay

Since Varanasi is major tourist hub, there is no dearth of hotels in Varanasi. Hotels in Varanasi range from luxury hotels to mid range and budget hotels. Varanasi hotels offer comfortable accommodation to pilgrims and tourists visiting Varanasi. Check hotels in Varanasi

How to reach

By Air: The nearest airport is at Babatpur, 23 km away from Varanasi. It has a direct flight from Delhi.

By Rail :Varanasi is an important and major rail junction connected to major cities in India.

By Road: Varanasi is well connected by road to neighbouring cities. National Highway (NH2) connects Varanasi to Delhi. Daily bus services are available from Delhi's ISBT Anand Vihar terminus to Varanasi. There are frequent buses from Lucknow and Allahabad to Varanasi. UP Roadways offers connections to Patna, Lucknow and other parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh from its bus stand opposite the Varanasi Railway Station

Best Time to Go: Though Varanasi can be visited throughout the year, the best time though is from October to March, when the weather is pleasant.

About Varanasi: Varanasi Information & Fact File
Altitude 80 meters
Summer 42 (Max) & 34(Min) Degrees Celsius
Winter 24 (Max) & 7 (Min) Degrees Celsius
Best time to Go October – March
Monsoon July to September
Summer April to June
Winter Dec-January
Clothes Heavy woolens in winter and cottons in summer
Nearest Airport Babatpur (Suburb of Varanasi) – 22 km
Nearest Railway Station Varanasi is a major Rail Junction in the Northern Railway Network. Well connected by train.
Bus Station Varanasi
Hospital & Doctor

7 Major Hospitals with Emergency facilities and 1 Cancer Hospital are located in Varanasi Town.

Places to see Vishvanath Temple, Ramnagar Fort, Bharat Kala Bhawan, Durga Temple, Sankat Mochan, Bharat Mata Temple, Kashi Ghats
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