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14 Best Places to Visit in Varanasi

Written by Joni Sweet Updated Mar 20, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

The best places to visit in Varanasi give you the chance to experience the spirituality of India at its most vibrant. Head to the Banaras ghats to watch Hindu devotees wash away their sins in the Ganges River each morning and return for fire-fueled prayer ceremonies as the sun sets.

You can see perpetually burning funeral pyres at the Manikarnika Ghat, a holy cremation ground for Hindus. Feeling inspired? You can deepen your connection with this side of Indian culture by releasing your own floating offering, available from vendors along the ghats.

More than a spiritual center, Varanasi also has a strong artistic side . Visit the museum at Banaras Hindu University to see a fantastic collection of miniature paintings or try creating your own masterpiece in a hands-on workshop at Ruchika Art Gallery. When you need a pick-me-up, make your way to Vishnu Tea Emporium for a cup of the best chai in India (along with tea souvenirs to bring home).

Discover more of this ancient city with our list of the best places to visit in Varanasi.

1. Ganges River

2. dasaswamedh ghat, 3. assi ghat, 4. manikarnika ghat, 5. dhamek stupa, 6. shri kashi vishwanath temple, 7. banaras hindu university, 8. ruchika art gallery, 9. shri durga temple, 10. ramnagar fort, 11. darbhanga ghat, 12. shivala ghat, 13. sankat mochan hanuman temple, 14. vishnu tea emporium, map of places to visit in varanasi.

Sunset view of Varanasi from the Ganges River

Named after the Hindu goddess Ganga, the Ganges River is one of the most revered natural sites in India. The river extends southeast from the Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal. Between 400 million and 600 million people rely on the Ganges River to provide water for daily bathing and drinking.

Hindus come to Varanasi from all around the world to purify themselves in the holy Ganges water and perform rituals along the dozens of ghats along the river . For tourists, the river helps provide a fixed point of orientation for navigating around the labyrinthine city, and you'll no doubt spend lots of time sightseeing and watching life happen around the Ganges.

Consider waking up early and taking a sunrise cruise along the river — negotiate with one of the countless boatmen hanging out along the ghats.

In the afternoon or early evening, one of the top things to do in Varanasi is to purchase a small floating offering filled with fresh flowers and a candle , and release it onto the Ganges River. The blissful experience will connect you more deeply with Hindu culture and stay in your mind for years to come.

Read More: Best Things to Do in India

Dasaswamedh Ghat

The lively atmosphere of the Dasaswamedh Ghat makes it one of the best places to visit in Varanasi. This tourist attraction is a swirling hodgepodge of flower sellers touting bright blossoms, boat operators hawking rides along the Ganges River, and sadhus (holy men) with face paint. You can spend hours people-watching in this area during the day.

Hindu priests put on the Ganga Aarti every night at the Dasaswamedh Ghat, starting at around 7pm. Donning saffron-hued robes, the priests spread out plates of flower petals and other offerings and blow a conch shell to signal the start of the spiritual ceremony.

Thousands of tourists gather to watch the priests chant and wave tiered plates of sandalwood-scented incense in intricate patterns for about 45 minutes. It's an extravagant sight and one of the top things to do here.

Hot tip: Get to the ghat at least a couple of hours early if you want to beat the crowds and score a great spot for the show. You can also get incredible views from boats along the river or from shop balconies above the ghat.

Address: Dasaswamedh Ghat Road, Bangali Tola, Varanasi

Ganga Aarti at Assi Ghat

When it comes to famous places to visit in Varanasi, the city's southernmost main ghat regularly tops the list. Assi Ghat's star attraction is a Shiva lingam (phallic representation of the Hindu deity) beneath a sacred fig tree. It draws hundreds of pilgrims every day, who come to worship Lord Shiva after rinsing in the Ganges River.

Feeling a little stiff from traveling? Swing by Assi Ghat at sunrise, when you can get your downward-facing dog on with dozens of others during free morning yoga classes accompanied by live music every day. Tourists can also see another Ganga Aarti performance here in the evening, which is slightly smaller and more intimate than the one at Dasaswamedh Ghat. It typically starts around 6:30pm.

Funeral pyres burning at Manikarnika Ghat

Plumes of smoke swirl toward the sky at Manikarnika Ghat. No, it's not from a factory — it's from the perpetual cremations that happen on this ghat. Hindus believe that Manikarnika Ghat is one of the most auspicious places for the departed to reach moksha (emancipation from the cycle of spiritual rebirth). The funeral pyre at this ghat burns 24/7, and the flame that feeds it is believed to have been lit for centuries. Roughly 100 cremations take place at this site every day.

Priests or guides frequently offer to lead tourists through the fascinating ghat; however, some can be aggressive in their demands for money. You may see doms (members of an untouchable caste) carrying cloth-wrapped bodies on makeshift stretchers, along with piles of firewood stacked up, ready to feed the pyre.

You may also be offered the chance to see a cremation up close — for a fee, of course. While profound, the experience is not for the faint of heart, nor is it a tourist attraction in the traditional sense. Know your limits; be respectful; and avoid taking photos of the funerals, mourners, and the departed.

Hot tip: If you're interested in the ritualistic cremations, but can't stomach the idea of seeing them up close, consider passing by Manikarnika Ghat on a boat tour along the Ganges River . The distance dampens the effect while still giving tourists a sense of what's happening in this important place.

Dhamek Stupa

Hinduism certainly has a stronghold on Varanasi, but Buddhism has a major presence less than 12 kilometers away in the village of Sarnath . Here, you'll find the Dhamek Stupa, a massive stone and brick structure that's 43.6 meters tall and 28 meters in diameter. The stupa was built more than 1,500 years ago as a replacement for a structure that dated back to 249 BCE.

The devout believe that the Buddha came to Dhamek Stupa to give his first sermon, which revealed the Eightfold Path after he achieved enlightenment. Take a look at the elegant carvings of birds, people, and flowers that cover the walls of the stupa as you wander around the attraction.

Sarnath also has plenty of other tourist places that make it a worthwhile day trip destination from Varanasi. Check out the Chaukhandi Stupa (a Buddhist shrine that dates back to at least the 6th century), then make your way to the Sarnath Museum to see the Lion Capital of Ashoka , a sculpture that used to sit atop the Ashoka Pillar in 250 BCE and became the National Emblem of India in 1950.

Round out the day with sightseeing at the peaceful Tibetan Temple, located near the main market, before making your way back to Varanasi.

Address: Dharmapala Road, Singhpur, Sarnath, Varanasi

Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Hindu pilgrims and tourists alike travel for thousands of miles to reach the Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple , a sacred attraction around four kilometers from the Varanasi Junction railway station near the Manikarnika Ghat .

The impressive structure, dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva, has earned the nickname "The Golden Temple" for its striking spire — plated in some 800 kilograms of pure gold. The distinctive design of this temple has gone on to inspire the architecture of hundreds of other temples across India.

Strict security measures around the complex require that tourists stash their cameras, phones, bags, and other belongings in a rentable locker nearby. Foreigners will also need to get their passports and visas verified at the Darshan Booking Desk. Expect to ditch your shoes and wait in line with hundreds of other visitors, all eager to touch the 60-centimeter-tall, sin-absolving Shiva lingam in a silver alter . It's an intense, yet rewarding experience

Hot tip: Skip this attraction on Hindu holidays, when devotees wait in line for up to two full days to enter the temple.

Address: Lahori Tola, Varanasi

New Vishwanath Temple at Banaras Hindu University

Banaras Hindu University has been a central part of Varanasi's identity since its inception in 1916. The well-respected public university is home to more than 25,000 students, making it one of Asia's largest residential universities.

There are no hill stations near Varanasi, so if you're looking for an escape from the crowds and busy city, come to this lush 1,300-acre campus. The serene area is shaded by hundreds of tall trees and offers a breath of fresh air from the hectic atmosphere at the Banaras Ghats.

While on campus, swing by the New Vishwanath Temple, a famous temple that finally finished its decades-long construction in 1966. Standing 77 meters high, the temple is one of the tallest in India and draws architectural inspiration from the nearby Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

Visitors to the university should also make a point to explore the on-campus museum, Bharat Kala Bhavan . The cultural institution features a spectacular collection of miniature paintings , along with over 100,000 other artifacts of archeological and artistic importance.

Want to take a piece of Varanasi home with you? Look no further than the Ruchika Art Gallery , just off Ravindrapuri Road . The gallery's namesake owner, Ruchika Mehrotra, has created a warm, delightful shop to display a vibrant collection of paintings that capture the energy of Varanasi and the ghats in a rainbow of colors.

While there are some larger works that would require shipping, many of the paintings are small enough to pack in a suitcase as souvenirs. There are also charming postcards available for purchase.

In addition to showcasing locally made creative works, Ruchika Art Gallery also invites tourists to pick up a paintbrush during artistic workshops . Get in touch with Ruchika to see what's on the calendar during your trip to Varanasi.

Address: 1 Ground floor, Shwetabh Building, near Sankat Mochan Mandir and Lanka Post Office, Lanka Road, Varanasi

Shri Durga Temple

Spiritual activities around Varanasi aren't solely confined to the ghats. Just a five-minute walk west of Assi Ghat , the Shri Durga Temple is a popular attraction for Hindus who wish to pay tribute to the goddess Durga. You can't miss the 300-year-old temple — it's painted bright red from top to bottom.

The temple's nickname, "Monkey Temple," gives you a clue about the creatures you might find swinging about in this area. You may also see a couple of graceful swans floating on the pool of water outside the temple.

Address: 27, Durgakund Road, Durgakund, Anandbagh, Bhelupur, Varanasi

Ramnagar Fort on the banks of the Ganges River

There are few destinations in India without a fort, and Varanasi is no exception. About 14 kilometers from the city center, you'll find Ramnagar Fort.

The 18th-century sandstone fort and palace is no longer used as a defensive structure but instead houses a quirky museum brimming with vintage automobiles, elaborate hookahs, antique weapons, sedan chairs decked out in jewels, and a one-of-a-kind astronomical clock that's more than 150 years old.

After enjoying an archeological treasure hunt at the museum, check out the fort's temples, one of which honors Veda Vyasa, author of the Mahabharata and other important Hindu epics.

Address: Mirzapur - Varanasi Road, Purana, Ramnagar

Darbhanga Ghat

Photographers, take note: Darbhanga Ghat offers the best opportunity to get amazing shots of Varanasi. The stairs leading down to the riverbank are crowned by the ultra-luxurious BrijRama Palace , an old fort that has since been converted into a heritage hotel. The property's Greek pillars and rounded balconies give the area (and your photographs) a regal backdrop.

Plan to get here around dawn to capture unobstructed views of the incredible sunrise over the horizon of the Ganges River.

Location: Near Ahilyabai Ghat, Bangali Tola, Varanasi

Man praying in front of Shivala Ghat

While not as active as other riverfront spots in Varanasi, Shivala Ghat is a pleasant place to visit if you're looking for some peace and quiet along the Ganges.

The lack of crowds at the ghat makes it easier to respectfully observe the devout doing their ritualistic dips in the holy river and families gathering for prayers and tea in the morning. Don't be surprised if you wind up sharing the space with water buffalo, which are known to hang about in the area. You can also see a palace built by Nepalese king Sanjay Vikram Shah in the 19th century.

It's also worth devoting a few hours to wander the maze-like alleyways leading to Shivala Ghat. The densely packed neighborhood offers a glimpse at what everyday life is like for locals in Varanasi.

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple

Situated on the banks of the Assi River, the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple draws thousands of visitors a day, all eager to make an offering of sweets and flowers to the Hindu god Hanuman.

Legend has it that this temple was constructed exactly where Hindu saint and poet Goswami Tulsidas had a vision of the monkey god. Speaking of monkeys, keep your eye out for the mischievous creatures who are regularly spotted bouncing around the temple.

Hot tip: April or May can be a particularly great time to visit this Varanasi attraction. That's when the temple hosts its annual "Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh," a festival of classical music and dance recitals held over a series of five to six days. Performers come from all over the world to take part in the nearly 100-year-old event.

Address: Sankat Mochan Road, Padampuri Colony, Jawahar Nagar Colony, Bhelupur, Varanasi

Masala chai in Varanasi

Tea is practically a way of life in India — you're almost never more than a few steps away from a chaiwala (tea seller) whipping up spicy, creamy masala chai from roadside stands.

Take a deep dive into this culinary ritual with a visit to the Vishnu Tea Emporium. Just a four-minute walk from Dasaswamedh Ghat, this casual shop offers up-close demonstrations of how to make masala chai from spices and fresh ingredients.

It also offers a curated selection of tasty tea and spice blends for tourists to recreate the classic Indian drink at home. There's no pressure to make a purchase, but this is one souvenir you won't regret buying.

Address: D 15/51 Manmandir, Dasashwamedh Road, Varanasi

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1. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple

4 km from city center 1 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Situated on the western bank of holy river Ganga in Varanasi, Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas or temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The main deity of Kashi Vishwanath Temple is Lord Shiva, also known as Vishwanatha or Vishweshwarar meaning 'the ruler of the universe'. The city of Varanasi, the cultural capital of India, is thus known as the city of Lord Shiva. The temple has 800 kg of gold plating on its tower.

2. Dashashwamedh Ghat

Dashashwamedh Ghat

4 km from city center 2 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Dashashwamedh Ghat, situated on the Ganges River in Varanasi, holds immense religious significance and cultural vibrancy. Renowned for its daily Ganga Aarti, it offers a mesmerizing experience with spiritual rituals, pilgrim activities, and a lively atmosphere. Every evening, Dashashwamedh Ghat hosts the renowned Ganga Aarti, a spiritual ceremony featuring priests conducting rituals with brass lamps and hymns.

3. Ganga Aarti, Varanasi

Ganga Aarti, Varanasi

4 km from city center 3 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Ganga Aarti is an important ritual held on a grand scale every morning and evening on the banks of the holy Ganges. The priests perform the Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat. The entire Ghat gets illuminated with a divine light that can be felt strongly. The magnificent ritual involves huge brass lamps lit with oil and the priests chant the holy mantras that reverberate in the entire location.

4. Assi Ghat

Assi Ghat

5 km from city center 4 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

The Assi Ghat is placed at the confluence of the Rivers Assi and Ganga and is famous for the large Shiva Lingam installed under a peepal tree. It has immense religious importance and has been mentioned in the Puranas and various legends as well. Assi Ghat is the heart of Varanasi and the locals, as well as, the tourists flock there to enjoy the amazing view of the sunset and sunrise at the Ganges.

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Experience varanasi tour package with sarnath, kashi yatra tour package, pilgrimage special package: varanasi, bodh gaya, allahabad, super saver delhi agra jaipur varanasi tour package, buddhist pilgrimage tour: varanasi & bodhgaya, 5. sankat mochan hanuman temple.

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple

4 km from city center 5 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

The Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple is situated by the River Assi and was built in the 1900s by the freedom fighter Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya. It is dedicated to Lord Rama and Hanuman. Varanasi is always related to Sankat Mochan Temple and is an essential part of this holy city. Every person visiting Varanasi visits this temple and pay their respects to Hanuman.

6. Ganga Mahotsav, Varanasi

Ganga Mahotsav, Varanasi

6 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

The Ganga Mahotsav is celebrated every year to display the cultural heritage of the Gangetic plains, especially that of the ancient city of Kashi, which is now known as Varanasi. The festival is celebrated for five days and is organised by the Mahotsav Samiti of the Department of Tourism of the Government of Uttar Pradesh.

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7. Shri Satyanarayan Tulsi Manas Mandir

Shri Satyanarayan Tulsi Manas Mandir

4 km from city center 7 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Constructed in 1964, this temple is dedicated to Lord Rama and is named after the saint poet Tulsi Das. It displays the Shikhara style of architecture and exhibits various inscriptions from the Ram Charit Manas on the walls of the temple. Various episodes of Ramayana have also been depicted on the upper storey of the temple in the form of carvings.

8. Ramnagar Fort

Ramnagar Fort

7 km from city center 8 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Located on the Eastern banks of River Ganga, opposite to Tulsi Ghat, Ramnagar Fort is a stunning historical monument in Varanasi. It was built by Raja Balwant Singh in 1750 according to the Mughal style of architecture. Even though the system of Kings was abolished in the region, the current Maharaja, Pelu Bhiru Singh, resides in the Fort.

9. Vishwanath Gali

Vishwanath Gali

4 km from city center 9 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Vishwanath Gali is famous for street shopping in Varanasi. A variety of items are sold in the bustling gali at affordable rates. One can easily find modern or traditional apparel, household items, home decor items, brass idols of deities, etc. The Gali is also well known for local snacks and sweets.

10. New Vishwanath Temple, BHU

New Vishwanath Temple, BHU

6 km from city center 10 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

The New Vishwanath Temple is every pious man's go-to destination to feel overwhelmed by the presence and power of the great Lord Shiva. Not only is it located in the heart of the cultural capital of India - Varanasi, but its divinity is multiplied by the holy river Ganga that flows by its side. Banaras Hindu University is hence home to one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city of Varanasi.

11. Ramnagar Ramlila at Varanasi

Ramnagar Ramlila at Varanasi

11 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Ramlila is a traditionally performed set of plays that depict Lord Ram's journey as told by the Ramayana. The 200-year-old Ramlila grew under the patronage of the Royal House of Benaras. Organized on a grand scale, around 10,000 people take part in the celebrations. The performance usually happens over ten days, but in Ramnagar, it stretches on for more than a month.

12. Durga Temple, Varanasi

Durga Temple, Varanasi

4 km from city center 12 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Durga Temple, nestled in the vibrant city of Varanasi, is a unique Hindu shrine dedicated to Goddess Durga built in the 18th century. Renowned for its vivid red color and intricate architecture, the temple exudes a spiritual aura. Devotees visit to seek blessings, especially during the festive fervor of Navaratri, when the temple comes alive with religious celebrations.

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13. Banaras Hindu University

Banaras Hindu University

6 km from city center 13 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Established by Madan Mohan Malviya in 1916, Banaras Hindu University is a 5.3 square kilometre campus in the city. It has about 30,000 students residing in the campus and is the largest residential university in the continent. The University has a long list of notable alumni and faculty. The Indo-Gothic architecture and the sprawling lawns add to the beauty of the place.

14. Nepali temple

Nepali temple

4 km from city center 14 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

One of the oldest temples in the city, Nepali Temple is a 19th century shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was established by the King of Nepal and is a spitting image of the Pashupatinath Temple located in Kathmandu. The traditional architecture of the structure made of stone, terracotta and wood carvings attracts visitors in large numbers.

15. Shivala Ghat

Shivala Ghat

4 km from city center 15 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Shivala Ghat is quite famous religiously and historically too. There are a number of historic monuments around the Ghat. The mansion of the King of Nepal, King Sanjay Vikram is situated right next to the Ghat, also the Chet Singh Fortress. The view of the river from the Ghat is worth a visit.

16. Kedar Ghat

Kedar Ghat

4 km from city center 16 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Kedar Ghat is one of the oldest Ghats in Varanasi and is considered cleaner for bathing in the holy River Ganga and offering prayers to Lord Shiva at the Kedareshwar Temple. It is often visited for the beautiful surroundings and the spiritual vibe.

17. Batuk Bhairav Mandir

Batuk Bhairav Mandir

2 km from city center 17 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Famous for being a place of worship for Aghoris and Tantriks, Batuk Bhairav Mandir is considered to be of immense religious importance. The temple is dedicated to Batuk Bhairav who was an incarnation of Lord Shiva. An interesting feature of the temple is the sacred Akhand Deep which is believed to be burning for ages. The oil from this lamp is said to have healing powers.

18. Gyan Vapi Well

Gyan Vapi Well

4 km from city center 18 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Gyan Vapi Well is a sacred well for the Hindu community located inside the premise of Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The water of the well was considered to be holier than the water of River Ganga before it was polluted by the offerings made by the pilgrims. It is said that when Aurangzeb attacked the old temple, the temple priest threw the Shivalinga in the well and jumped in it to protect it.

19. Bharat Mata Mandir

Bharat Mata Mandir

2 km from city center 19 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Bharat Mata Mandir is a unique shrine dedicated to our country, Mother India. The temple does not have any deity, but a relief map of the country carved in marble. The temple was the brainchild of Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta, a freedom fighter. It was built in 1936 and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi and has ever since been the only one dedicated to a country in the World.

20. Tibetan Temple, Varanasi

Tibetan Temple, Varanasi

8 km from city center 20 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

A shrine with stunning Tibetan Architecture, Tibetan Temple was where Lord Buddha taught his disciples the four truths of life. The edifice has a beautiful statue of Shakyamuni, prayer wheels and is decorated with traditional Buddhist paintings also called Thangksa. The unique feature of the temple is the prayer wheels that release strips of paper with chants written on them when rotated clockwise.

21. Alamgir Mosque

Alamgir Mosque

4 km from city center 21 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Alamgir Mosque is a 17th century structure built by Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, on a land which once had a Shiva Temple and was demolished by him. The mosque is an architecturally stunning building built according to the Indo-Islamic style with beautiful minarets and high domes.

22. Manmandir Ghat

Manmandir Ghat

4 km from city center 22 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Manmandir Ghat was built by Maharaja Mann Singh in the early 17th century. The Ghat is famous for a palace built by the Maharaja and an Observatory built in 1710 by Savai Jaisingh II. On the northern side of the Ghat is a stone balcony from where visitors can get a beautiful view of River Ganga.

23. ISKCON Varanasi

ISKCON Varanasi

4 km from city center 23 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

ISKCON was established by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to promote Krishna Consciousness and educate people with the teachings of Lord Krishna as per the Bhagwad Geeta. Regular poojas, kirtanas and chanting sessions are very popular here. Everyone is welcome to join these sessions without discrimination.

24. Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum

Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum

6 km from city center 24 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

An archaeological and art museum, Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum exhibits a beautiful collection of sculptures, artefacts, paintings, jewellery, pottery, textiles, etc. ranging between the 1st and the 15th century. The total artefacts on display are over 100,000 including their rare collection of miniature paintings and manuscripts.

25. Manikarnika Ghat

Manikarnika Ghat

4 km from city center 25 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Considered as a gateway to the next life, Manikarnika Ghat is a highly sacred riverfront in India. It is believed that spending the last few days of life at the Ghat and completing the rituals of cremation here ensure a painless passing and also a way to attain freedom from the endless cycle of birth and death.

26. Chunar Fort

Chunar Fort

24 km from city center 26 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Chunar Fort is an 11th century fort important for its history and architecture. With a part of the might fort extending on the rocky and uneven banks of River Ganga, Chunar Fort is a stunning structure to explore. It has an aesthetic appeal that draws tourists. The fort has also been featured in a famous Bollywood movie "Gangs of Waseypur".

27. Chinese Temple

Chinese Temple

9 km from city center 27 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Chinese Temple is a colourful shrine dedicated to Lord Buddha and built according to the Chinese/Buddhist architecture. The temple has a spacious meditation hall where visitors can meditate in silence and soak in the serene vibe.

28. St Mary's Church, Varanasi

St Mary's Church, Varanasi

9 km from city center 28 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

St. Maryês Church is a 200-year-old architectural marvel, the oldest church in the town and the oldest standing garrison church in the southern part of Asia. It was established in 1810 by Reverend George Weatly and was an important church for the European and British community residing in Varanasi.

29. Yoga, Varanasi

Yoga, Varanasi

4 km from city center 29 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Yoga Training Centres at Varanasi are the best centres to learn Yoga in its true form that involves the body, the mind and the spirit. The trainers are highly experienced professionals or Yoga Acharyas who guide students through the accurate postures and the science of Yoga.

30. Varanasi Fun City

Varanasi Fun City

5 km from city center 30 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Varanasi Fun City is one of the most popular water parks in the city. The park bustles with activity and vibrancy especially during the weekends owing to its exuberant swings, magnanimous roller coaster and the like. Ideal for all age groups, the park also has a food court to tend to your hunger pangs once you are done chilling in the waters.

31. Aqua World

Aqua World

9 km from city center 31 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Situated on the Varanasi- Allahabad highway, Aqua World is another one of the popular water parks in Varanasi. With a plethora of fun rides and slides, the theme park is the perfect way to spend an entertaining day with family and friends.

32. Vindham Waterfalls

Vindham Waterfalls

32 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Vindham Waterfalls is a gorgeous waterfalls in MIrzapur, 90 kms from Varanasi. The waterfalls are also in close proximity of other popular tourist attractions like Tanda fountains, caves and temples. The mesmerising waterfall is a famous picnic spot and attracts a large tourist influx.

33. Lakhaniya Dari Waterfall

Lakhaniya Dari Waterfall

40 km from city center 33 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Lakhaniya Dari Waterfall is situated at a distance of around 48 kms from Varanasi in Latifpur in Varanasi. The waterfalls are a hidden gem away from the din and chaos of the city. Especially popular among trekkers and adventure enthusiasts, the falls can be reached through a small trek in the hills.

34. Rajdari Waterfalls

Rajdari Waterfalls

46 km from city center 34 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Rajdari Waterfalls is situated in Chandauli, 60 kms from Varanasi. The beautiful waterfalls are a popular picnic spot among the city dwellers. The huge waterfalls gushing down the cliffs are a visual delight to the eyes. The top spot of the falls also offer beautiful views of the valley below.

35. Devdari Waterfall

Devdari Waterfall

45 km from city center 35 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

At a distance of 65 kms from Varanasi in Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh, Devdari Waterfalls is a beautiful spot with cascading silvery water amidst lush green surroundings. Falling down a height of 58 metres, the waterfalls are a popular spot of tourism and attracts a large tourist influx.

36. Mukkha Falls

Mukkha Falls

36 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Situated at a distance of 60 kms from Varanasi, Mukkha Waterfalls is a gorgeous mesmerizing waterfalls in the Sonabhadra district of Uttar Pradesh. The waterfalls are also in close proximity of Lakhaniya Cave Paintings and look the best during the rainy season.

37. Tanda Falls

Tanda Falls

54 km from city center 37 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Tanda Falls is another one of the beautiful waterfalls in Mirzapur district, 80 kms from Varanasi. The spot offers a very rejuvenating break from the hustle bustle of the city. The waterfalls especially come alive during the rainy season when the gushing waterfalls is sparkling in all its glory and fervour.

38. Sita Samahit Sthal

Sita Samahit Sthal

38 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Located in the Bhadoi district of Uttar Pradesh, around 54 km from Allahabad and 44 km from Varanasi, Sita Samahit Sthal is a revered Hindu temple and a popular pilgrimage spot. Enshrined by Goddess Sita, the temple is said to hold mythical as well as historical importance. It is believed that the temple is the place where Goddess Sita descended into the earth.

39. Street Food In Varanasi

Street Food In Varanasi

39 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Street food in Varanasi is as elaborate as the city's history. And Varanasi is as old as time itself. Since Aryan culture is found in the holy city, meat and beef is not that common and vegetarian cuisine is mostly followed with some exceptions due to Muslim habitations. The food of Varanasi is influenced by nearby states including Bihar and West Bengal, which has been given a different flavour by the locals of the city.

40. Boat Ride in Varanasi

Boat Ride in Varanasi

40 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

A boat ride on the sacred Ganges is an integral part of the Varanasi experience, offering a surreal encounter with spirituality, rituals, and the historical charm of this ancient city. Whether you choose a sunrise voyage to witness the dawn rituals or a sunset cruise to immerse yourself in the mesmerizing nightly aarti fire ceremony, the Ganges unfolds its mystical tales.

41. Dev Deepawali

Dev Deepawali

7 km from city center 41 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Dev Deepavali, also known as the Diwali of the Gods, is a grand celebration that unfolds in the sacred city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. Taking place fifteen days after the popular festival of Diwali, Dev Deepavali is a unique manifestation of devotion, spirituality, and a spectacular display of lights that transforms the spiritual capital of India into a realm of divine radiance.

42. Swarved Mahamandir Dham

Swarved Mahamandir Dham

13 km from city center 42 out of 42 Places To Visit in Varanasi

Nestled in the spiritual heart of India, Varanasi, the Swarved Mahamandir Dham stands as an epitome of spiritual enlightenment and architectural brilliance. Serving as the world's largest meditation center, this colossal structure is dedicated to the moral and spiritual growth of humanity, offering a sanctuary for seekers from all walks of life.

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Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh

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15 Best Places To Visit In Varanasi For The Best Of Culture, History, Religion Experience!

Varanasi , one of the Hindus’ seven holy cities, is a sight to behold. It is an overwhelming, empowering as well as unhampered experience; all at once.

In Varanasi, the monumental temples, ghats and also other popular places to visit in Varanasi attract millions of visitors each year. It is not only a favourite destination among Indian travellers but it is also loved by foreigners.

Although the city is famous for its ghats, temples as well as for music. There are many other tourist places in Varanasi  that will thrill everyone.

Perfect Time To Visi Varanasi

The best time to visit Varanasi is October through March. Each year in November, people celebrate a five-day festival famous as Ganga Mahotsav is a major tourist attraction in Varanasi.

Hence, winter is the best season to visit Varanasi. During this time, you’ll be able to see the city’s best! 

Places To Visit In Varanasi

15 Most Popular Places To Visit In Varanasi

Varanasi, a town situated on the banks of Ganga, is home to many ghats and temples. Here are some of the town’s most famous ghat as well as temples.

Moreover, if you attend the Arti at these ghats it will be one of the things for an enigmatic experiences to do in Varanasi. Let’s know more about these.

1: Assi Ghat-For spirituality seekers

Assi Ghat Places to visit in Varanasi

This is also one of the main places to visit in Varanasi ! Situated far south, Assi Ghat is where visitors make devotion to Lord Shiva by praying a large lingam under a peepal tree.

This ghat is a vibrant area rippling in excitement as well as sound one that covers Kashi’s antiquity beautifully. Also, Assi Ghat is among the most religious famous tourist places in Varanasi . Here’s attractive arti sight makes Varanasi one of India’s most beautiful cities.    

Location:   Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh,   Assi Ghat, Timings:  Anytime Popular For:  Festivals and Recreation 

Also Read : 15 Places To Visit  In Haridwar That Will Perfect Religious Experience!

2: Dashashwamedh Ghat-Town’s Most Lively Ghat

Dashashwamedh Ghat Places to visit in Varanasi

DashashwamedhGhat is a showy place also renowned for its spiritual transcendence, the largest ghat in Varanasi on the Ganges River. It is common knowledge that here, Lord Brahma sacrificed ten horses in a yajna, and therefore the name.

Dashashwamedh Ghat tops the list of best places to visit in Varanasi at  night , it is also a valid space to walk in this small town. Be here, as it is popularly called, for the Agni Pooja or Ganga aarti. 

Note Each Tuesday and at religious festivals, special aartis are held. Location:  Dashashwamedh Ghat Rd, Varanasi Ghats, Godowlia, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001 Timings: Open 24 hours Popular For: Culture, Heritage, Temples 3, 

Also Read : 15 Tourist Places In Jaipur To Visit For A Never Before Experience

3: Manikarnika Ghat-The Ghat of Prime Cremation

Manikarnika Ghat Places to visit in Varanasi

Manikarnika Ghat is called an important religious place to be cremated as well as is one of the main places to visit in Varanasi . This ghat is in itself an exasperating and also surprising experience as literally nothing here is sacrilegious.

The rising sun as well as the flaming pyres, along with candlelit flower bowls floating down the religious Ganga River, make Manikarnika Ghat a sight to see. Try this ghat while finding the famous tourist places to visit in Varanasi . 

Location:  ItsClose Rajendra Prasad Ghat, Garawasi, Jugul Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001 Timings: Open 24 hours Popular For: Sacred riverfronts, Cremation grounds 

4: Shivala Ghat-The Past Reflection  

Shivala Gha Places to visit in Varanasi

Shivala Ghat is yet another finest tourist place in Varanasi that focuses on the past of the region. A popular attraction to see here is the Shiva Temple, constructed far back by a Nepalese king in the 19th century.

Undoubtedly the magnificent architecture here is something that will take you by surprise and so will the temple’s craftsmanship. If you want to take a bath in the holy water, this is also one place to visit in Varanasi.  

Location:  Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh Timings: Historical Timings: Open 24 hours Popular For:  Religious reason. 

Also Read : Top 15 Most Famous Temples In India

5: Ahilyabai Ghat-It’s Name Is Renowned

Ahilyabai Ghat Places to visit in Varanasi

Recognised earlier as Kevalgiri ghat , this place is popular for becoming the first of its kind to have been named after an individual, like Queen Ahilyabai Holkar.

Though you can visit this ghat anytime, the best time is in the morning when you can see Hindu worshippers taking a dip believing it will purify their sin and see the ghat’s beauty at its finest. 

Location:  Dashashwamedh Ghat Rd, Varanasi Ghats, Bangali Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001 Timings:   open 24 hours Famous For:  Religious bathing rituals 

Also Read : 15 Best Places To Visit In Goa For Magnificent Vacations!

6: Rana Mahal Ghat- For The Real Explorers

Rana Mahal Ghat Places to visit in Varanasi

For memorable Varanasi sightseeing, these locations will certainly be part of our itinerary. However, founded by Raja Rana Jagat Singh at the time he came as a pilgrim to the area, this ghat invites many tourists day in and out.

It is located right next to a palace that is believed to be the Maharaja’s residence during its pilgrimage era.

If architecture is something that tickles your imagination, there is plenty here to see and appreciate. Also, it is among the places to visit in Varanasi with family.

Location: Varanasi ghats, Bangali Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221010 Timings:   Open 24 hours. Famous For:  Heritage Tour 

Also Read : Top 20 Tourist Places In Bangalore

7: Panchganga Ghat- Merger Point Five Rivers  

There is no question that Varanasi is full of countless ghats but certainly, the Panchganga Ghat stands out. Believed to be the legendary merging place for five sacred rivers, this place holds photos of the five goddesses namely Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Dhutpapa as well as Kirana.

Moreover, lots of tourists come by here to receive blessings and absorb some of the place’s calm vibes. Also, one of the best places to visit in Varanasi.  

Location:  7/111, Sonarpura Rd, Varanasi Ghats, Bangali Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001 Timings:   Open 24 hours Popular For:  Spiritual Bathing, Prayers, Festivals 

Also Read : 15 Best Tourist Places In Agra: Enjoy the City Beyond the Taj Mahal

8: Chousatti Ghat-The Shelter Of The Famous Sanskrit Scholar

Chousatti Ghat Places to visit in Varanasi

There are numerous reasons for finding this ghat also one of the best places to visit in Varanasi. This ghat is popular for being the shelter of the popular Sanskrit scholar Madhusudan Sarasvati, and also for its palace built by King Digbatiya of Champaran, Bihar.

This also houses a temple complex featuring pictures of Goddess Kali. And on occasions like Holi and Chaitra’s 12th Dark Half, this place also welcomes visitors in an enormous amount. 

Location:  Varanasi ghats, Bangali Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001 Timings:  24 hours.  open Famous For:  Temples 

Also Read : 20 Best Tourist Places In Kerala For A Wonderful Holiday

9: Kedar Ghat-Holy Place of Bathing

Kedar Ghat Places to visit in Varanasi

Kedar Ghat is popular for the best for holy bathing, also it’s also one of the oldest ghats in the town of Varanasi. Numerous tourists visit the Kedareshwar Temple here, and give prayers to Lord Shiva.

This ghat’s incredibly beautiful surroundings and heartwarming sensations make it one of the best sightseeing places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days where one can spend quality time! 

Location:  Bangali Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001 Timings: 24 Hours Open Popular For:  Spiritual Bathing, Prayers, Kedareshwar Temple 

Also Read : Places to Visit In Italy

10: Manmandir Ghat-Marvel At River Ganga Views

Manmandir Ghat Places to visit in Varanasi

Established by Maharaja Mann Singh in the early 17th century, this ghat is famous for its palace as well as for an observatory. However, the palace was built by the maharaja, and also the observatory was built by Savai Jaisingh 2 in the Year 1710.

From a stone balcony on the north side of the ghat, you will wonder at the views of the Ganga River. Moreover, It’s one of the famous places to visit in Varanasi.

Location:  Bangali Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001 Timings:  NA Famous For:  Visit the Palace, Observatory, Sunset Views on the Ganga River 

Prominent Temples In Varanasi

Being one of India’s most holy cities and having religious significance, it boasts many temples, each distinctive in its architecture as well as the variety of deities housed in each temple.

A place of adoration and also spiritual retreat, check out the best temples in Varanasi to visit. 

Also Read : Places to visit in France

11: Temple of Kashi Vishwanath- Only Jyotirlinga of UP

Kashi Vishwanath Places to visit in Varanasi

For good experience include the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple, which will complete the list of places to visit in Varanasi . Devoted to Lord Shiva, this temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas and was also mentioned in the Sacred scriptures.

As it stands today, the temple layout consists of a number of smaller shrines in the Vishwanath Galli. Also, one of the best tourist places in and around Varanasi.

Location:  Lahori Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001 Timings:  3 a.m. – 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. – 8 p.m., & 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Also Read : Places To Visit In Goa

12: Temple of Tulsi Manas-Where Ramcharitmanas Was Written

Tulsi Manas Places o visit in Vanaras

It is also one of the many sightseeing sites in Varanasi is the Tulsi Manas Temple, the place where Tulsidas wrote the Hindu epic Ramayana in the Hindi language Awadhi accent.

Also, the temple was financed by the Birla family and was built in 1964 in white marble. Also, on the walls of the mandir are engraved verses and scenes from the Ramcharitmanas. 

Location:  Close to   Jalan Sankat Mochan Rd, Durgakund Rd, Varanasi, 221005 Timings:  5 a.m. – 12 p.m. & 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

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13: Durga Temple-The Story of the Fabled Old World

Durga Temple Places to visit in Varanasi

This mandir, also called the monkey temple, is among the legendary places to visit in Varanas i. The temple was founded by a Bengali Maharani in the 18th century and also is painted red with ochre.

Moreover, it’s claimed Goddess Durga’s idol wasn’t established in the temple, it came on its own. it is one of the places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days , this is one attraction that you can not skip. Also, One of the places to visit in Varanasi for couples, friends, and family.

Location:  27, Durgakund Rd, Durgakund, Anandbagh, Bhelupur, Varanasi, UP 221005 Timings:  5 a.m. – 11 p.m. 

Also Read : Best Places to Visit in the USA

14: Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple-Well-known Since The 1900s

Hanuman Temple Places to visit in Varanasi

Built on the banks of the Assi River, this temple is also one of the most famous places to visit in Varanasi . Not only is this temple famous for its religion, but it is also famous for its historicity throughout the region.

Established in the 1900s by famed freedom fighter Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, this temple is visited by both Hanuman worshippers and Lord Rama. 

Location:  Bhogabeer Colony, Sankat Mochan Mandir, Varanasi, UP 221005 Timings:  8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.  

Also Read : Famous Temples in India

15: Nepali Temple – Sense Lord Shiva’s Spirit

Nepali Temple Places to visit in Varanasi

This temple is one of the oldest in Varanasi Holy City and is also devoted to the mighty Lord Shiva, this temple is one of the 19th century’s best wonders in the region.

It was built by the King of Nepal, reflecting the Temple of Pashupatinath in Kathmandu City. Moreover, aside from the religious aspects, this temple’s architecture attracts visitors in large numbers, making it one of the best places to visit in Varanasi .

Location: C lose Lalita Ghat, Lahori Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001 Timings:   Open 24 Hours Popular For: One of Shiva’s oldest temples

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FAQ’s About Places To Visit In Varanasi

[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h3″ question-0=”What are the places to visit in Varanasi?” answer-0=” 1. Assi Ghat 2. Dashashwamedh Ghat 3. Manikarnika Ghat 4. Shivala Ghat 5. Ahilyabai Ghat 6. Rana Mahal Ghat 7. Panchganga Ghat 8. Chousatti Ghat Sanskrit Scholar 9. Kedar Ghat 10. Manmandir Ghat 11. Temple of Kashi Vishwanath 12. Temple of Tulsi Manas 13. Durga Temple 14. Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple 15. Nepali Temple” image-0=”” headline-1=”h3″ question-1=”Which are the best outdoor activities in Varanasi?” answer-1=” 1. Sachan Walking Tours 2. Varanasi Ganga Tour – Day Tours 3. Groovy Tours 4. Visit Ganga river 5. Varanasi Behind Day Tours” image-1=”” headline-2=”h3″ question-2=”What are the best day trips from Varanasi?” answer-2=” 1. Benaras Hindu University or BHU. 2. Sarnath. 3. Ramnagar Fort 4. River Excursions 5. Chandraprabha Wildlife Sanctuary 6. Kaushambi” image-2=”” headline-3=”h3″ question-3=” What is famous in Varanasi?” answer-3=”Varanasi is India’s oldest city and its streets and there’s something to explore in every place. There are different kinds of food and other specialities making this town unique. And alongside that there are some ancient ghats that still carry the history of the oldest heritage in the nation” image-3=”” headline-4=”h3″ question-4=” What can I buy in Varanasi?” answer-4=”Below things are very good in Varanasi 1. The Holy Water of Ganga. 2. Banarasi Silk Saris. 3. Crystal and Stone Shivalinga. 4. Gulabi Minakari. 5. Glass Beads. 6. Rudraksha Mala. 7. Wooden Toys. 8. Flutes.” image-4=”” headline-5=”h3″ question-5=” How many days visit Varanasi?” answer-5=”You need 2 full days, so when you reach in Varanasi, if you arrive on the overnight train and arrive about 6 am, it will be enough for 2 nights, the same if you leave on a train overnight.” image-5=”” count=”6″ html=”true” css_class=””]

Which location on the list of the top attractions in Varanasi is your personal favorite? Let us know in the comments.

Also, don’t forget to book your personalized holiday package with  Fiery Trippers . Let us make your vacation a romantic as well as a dreamy getaway.

 

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Explore the Spiritual Essence: Top 30 Places to Visit in Varanasi

The spiritual capital of india | varanasi tourism.

Photo of Sanjay Jangid

Varanasi, the Spiritual Capital of India, is a city that exudes Mystique, Ancient Charm, and a Rich Cultural Heritage.

As you embark on a journey to this sacred city, EaseMyTrip will be your ideal travel companion, ensuring a seamless and memorable experience. Here’s a curated list of the top 30 places to visit in Varanasi that will take you on a spiritual and cultural odyssey with Trip Adventurer .

Explore the Spiritual Essence: Top 30 Places to Visit in Varanasi, Trip Adventurer

  • Kashi Vishwanath Temple: Begin your spiritual journey at this iconic temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • Sarnath: Explore the historic site where Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment.
  • Dashashwamedh Ghat: Witness the Ganga Aarti, a mesmerizing ritual every evening.
  • Assi Ghat: Embrace the tranquillity of this southernmost ghat and enjoy boat rides along the Ganges.
  • Manikarnika Ghat: Gain insights into Hindu cremation rituals at one of the oldest and most significant cremation ghats.
  • Tulsi Manas Temple Admire the beautiful white marble structure that houses the Ramcharitmanas, a text written by Tulsidas.
  • Banaras Hindu University (BHU): Visit the sprawling campus, home to the Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum and the New Vishwanath Temple.
  • Durga Temple (Durga Kund Mandir): Marvel at the unique architecture of this vibrant temple dedicated to Goddess Durga.
  • Ramnagar Fort: Step back in time at this medieval fort, showcasing a mix of Mughal and Indian architectural styles.
  • Bharat Mata Temple: Pay homage to Mother India at this unique temple featuring a relief map of the country.
  • New Vishwanath Temple: Experience the grandeur of the white marble temple within the BHU campus.
  • Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple: Seek blessings at the temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, known for its religious significance.
  • Kedar Ghat: Explore this serene ghat and witness the lively activities along the riverbanks.
  • Tulsi Ghat: Immerse yourself in the spiritual ambience of this ghat, named after the famous saint Tulsidas.
  • Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum: Discover a vast collection of art and artefacts, showcasing the cultural history of Varanasi.
  • Gyan Kup (Well of Knowledge): Visit this ancient well near the Vishwanath Temple, which is believed to possess mystical powers.
  • Chunar Fort: Take a day trip to this historic fort, perched atop a hill and offering panoramic views.
  • Bhimsen Temple: Admire the architecture of this temple dedicated to Lord Bhimsen, a symbol of strength.
  • Tomb of Lal Khan: Explore the Mughal-era tomb and learn about its historical significance.
  • Dhamek Stupa: Visit this impressive stupa in Sarnath, marking the spot where Buddha gave his first sermon.
  • Rana Mahal Ghat: Enjoy the peaceful ambience of this lesser-known ghat, away from the bustling crowds.
  • Jantar Mantar: Marvel at the astronomical instruments at this observatory, reflecting ancient Indian wisdom.
  • Kaal Bhairav Temple: Witness the intense devotion at this temple dedicated to Lord Kaal Bhairav.
  • Nandeshwar Ghat: Experience the vibrant energy of this ghat, known for its scenic beauty.
  • Chet Singh Ghat: Learn about the historical events associated with this ghat, named after a local ruler.
  • Nepali Temple: Admire the unique architecture of this temple gifted by the King of Nepal to Varanasi.
  • Rani Laxmi Bai Park: Relax in this well-maintained park dedicated to the memory of Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi.
  • Jateshwar Mahadev Temple: Visit this ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, surrounded by lush greenery.
  • Kabir Math: Pay homage to the great saint Kabir at this sacred site.
  • Ahilyabai Ghat: End your journey at this picturesque ghat, which offers breathtaking views of the Ganges.

Nestled along the banks of the sacred Ganges River, Varanasi, also known as Kashi, is a city that pulsates with spirituality and ancient traditions. As one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Varanasi attracts pilgrims, seekers, and curious travellers alike. In this guide, we’ll delve into the vibrant tapestry of Varanasi, exploring the must-visit places and offering insights into the unique experiences that await.

Things to Do in Varanasi:

  • Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat: Witnessing the Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat is a mesmerizing experience. The rhythmic chants, the flickering lamps, and the devout atmosphere create a spiritual ambience that is truly enchanting. Join the throngs of locals and visitors as they pay homage to the sacred river.
  • Boat Ride on the Ganges: Take a boat ride along the Ganges during sunrise or sunset to witness Varanasi’s ghats come alive with activity. The boat journey provides a unique perspective of the city, allowing you to witness the daily rituals, ceremonies, and architectural beauty of the ghats.
  • Explore the Ghats: Wander along the ghats of Varanasi, each with its own story and significance. Visit Manikarnika Ghat, where funeral pyres burn ceaselessly or stroll through Assi Ghat for a more serene experience. The ghats offer a glimpse into the spiritual and cultural fabric of Varanasi.
  • Visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple: The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism. The temple’s architecture is awe-inspiring, and the religious fervour surrounding it is palpable. Ensure respect for the temple’s dress code and capture the essence of spirituality within its walls.

The Cultural Kaleidoscope of Varanasi:

  • Spiritual Sanctuaries: Varanasi is renowned for its ghats, the series of steps leading down to the Ganges, each with its unique charm. Dashashwamedh Ghat, Assi Ghat, and Manikarnika Ghat are among the most revered. Experience the daily Ganga Aarti at sunset, a mesmerizing spectacle of lights, chants, and the rhythmic ringing of bells.
  • Temples that Tell Tales: The city is dotted with ancient temples that narrate tales of devotion and architecture. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is a spiritual epicentre, while the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple is a haven for peace-seekers.
  • Artistic Alleyways: Varanasi is a hub for traditional Indian arts and crafts. Explore the narrow lanes of the old city to discover silk weaving, brassware, and exquisite handcrafted items. The Banarasi sarees, renowned for their intricate designs, are a testament to the city’s artistic prowess.
  • Culinary Delights: Dive into the culinary delights of Varanasi with its street food and local dishes. From the famed Banarasi Paan to the mouth-watering Chaat, the city’s food scene is as diverse as its cultural heritage.

Tips for Visitors:

  • Respect Local Customs: The city of Varanasi is steeped in tradition. Be conscious of religious customs, dress modestly, and show respect for local norms. If you are unclear about appropriate behaviour, get advice.
  • Explore on Foot: The essence of Varanasi is best experienced on foot. Wander through the labyrinthine alleys, soak in the spiritual energy, and stumble upon hidden gems that might not be found on a planned itinerary.
  • Timing Matters: Plan your visit to Varanasi to coincide with festivals like Diwali or Dev Deepawali for an immersive cultural experience. Be aware of the weather conditions, as summers can be scorching.
  • Embrace the Chaos: Varanasi is a city of contrasts – serene ghats, bustling markets, and chaotic streets. Embrace the chaos with an open heart, and you’ll find beauty in the juxtaposition.

FAQ About Varanasi:

Why should i visit varanasi.

Varanasi is a unique blend of spirituality, history, and culture. It’s one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with the Ganges River playing a central role in Hinduism. Witnessing the Ganga Aarti, exploring ancient temples, and experiencing the vibrant street life are just a few reasons to visit.

Which season is ideal for travelling to Varanasi?

The ideal time to visit Varanasi is during the winter months (October to March). The weather is pleasant, and it’s easier to explore the city without the scorching heat of summer. However, if you wish to experience the vibrant festivals, visiting during Diwali or Holi can be a magical experience.

How can I reach Varanasi?

Road, rail, and aviation connections to Varanasi are excellent. Domestic flights are operated out of the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, serving the city. Major train station Varanasi Junction is located near the city, which is reachable by well-kept highways. You can use EaseMyTrip to locate the most affordable flights, rails, and bus tickets to Varanasi.

Where should I stay in Varanasi?

Varanasi offers a range of accommodation options, from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels. Consider staying near the ghats for a more immersive experience. EaseMyTrip provides a user-friendly platform to book hotels in Varanasi, ensuring a comfortable stay tailored to your preferences.

What are the must-visit attractions in Varanasi?

Varanasi is adorned with historical and spiritual landmarks. Don’t miss the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Sarnath, Dashashwamedh Ghat, and Manikarnika Ghat. Take a boat ride along the Ganges to witness the city’s grandeur from a unique perspective.

Is it safe to explore Varanasi at night?

Varanasi is generally safe, even at night. The ghats come alive with the Ganga Aarti, and the bustling markets create a lively atmosphere. Exercise the usual precautions and avoid poorly lit or secluded areas.

Can I experience the Ganga Aarti?

Absolutely! The Ganga Aarti is a mesmerizing ritual held at the Dashashwamedh Ghat. Join the crowds as priests offer prayers to the Ganges, accompanied by chants and the rhythmic beating of drums. It’s a spiritual spectacle that shouldn’t be missed.

What local dishes should I try in Varanasi?

Indulge in the local cuisine with dishes like Benarasi chaat, kachori-sabzi, and malaiyyo. Don’t forget to try the famous Banarasi paan for a flavorful end to your culinary exploration.

EaseMyTrip: Simplifying Your Journey:

EaseMyTrip offers a seamless travel experience, from booking your flight to finding the perfect accommodation in Varanasi. With a user-friendly interface and a range of options, planning your trip becomes effortless, allowing you to focus on the magic of Varanasi.

In conclusion, Varanasi beckons travellers with its cultural symphony and spiritual resonance. Embrace the heritage, savour the local flavours, and let EaseMyTrip simplify your journey as you embark on a soul-stirring exploration of this ancient city on the banks of the Ganges.

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THE 10 BEST Varanasi Sights & Landmarks

Varanasi landmarks.

  • Sacred & Religious Sites
  • Points of Interest & Landmarks
  • Historic Sites
  • Monuments & Statues
  • Churches & Cathedrals
  • Historic Walking Areas
  • Universities & Schools
  • Government Buildings
  • Mysterious Sites
  • Architectural Buildings
  • Scenic Walking Areas
  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Good for Kids
  • Good for Couples
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Hidden Gems
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Adventurous
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

varanasi tourist places top 10

2. Dasaswamedh Ghat

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Recommended Sightseeing Experiences (377)

varanasi tourist places top 10

3. Assi Ghat

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4. Manikarnika Ghat

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5. Banaras Ghats

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6. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple (Golden Temple)

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7. Ganga Aarti

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8. New Vishwanath Temple

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9. Sankat Mochan Temple

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10. Monkey Temple (Durga Temple)

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11. Vishalakshi Temple

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12. Tulsi Manas Temple

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13. Nepali Temple (Kathwala Temple)

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14. Banaras Hindu University

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15. Tibetan Temple

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16. Batuk Bhairav Mandir

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17. Dhamek Stupa

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18. Kashi Vishwanath Temple

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19. Kedar Ghat

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20. Shiva Manikarnika Walk

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21. Annapurna Devi Mandir

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22. Man Mandir Ghat

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23. Harishchandra Ghat

varanasi tourist places top 10

24. Sri Bindu Madhava Perumal Temple

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25. Statue of Standing Buddha

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26. Thai Temple

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27. Chaumsathi Ghat

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28. Scindia Ghat

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29. Darbhanga Ghat

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30. Shivala Ghat

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What travellers are saying

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Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Varanasi | Varanasi Tourist Places

Varanasi (Banaras or Kashi) is one of the oldest and most sacred cities in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Located on the banks of the holy Ganges River , Varanasi attracts millions of pilgrims, tourists and seekers every year who come to experience its spiritual and cultural richness. Also called the city of Shiva , Varanasi is a place of worship and a centre of learning art, music and history. Whether looking for a divine blessing, a glimpse of ancient India or a taste of the local cuisine, Varanasi has got you covered. Here are the top 10 places to visit in Varanasi that you should not miss.

Ahilya Ghat Varanasi Tourist Places

Table of Contents

1 River Ganga (गंगा नदी बनारस)

People boating in varanasi ganga river

Ganga River is the lifeline of Varanasi and the most sacred river in Hinduism . It is believed that bathing in the Ganga River can wash away your sins and liberate you from the cycle of birth and death. The river ghats also host many rituals and ceremonies, such as the daily Ganga aarti, cremations, boat rides and festivals. The best time to visit the Ganges is at sunrise or sunset when you can witness the stunning views of the river and the ghats with the sounds of bells, chants and prayers.

It is believed that there are 84 ghats on the bank of River Ganga in Varanasi. If you want to see Ganga Aarti , Dasaswamedh Ghat is the place to be. It is one of the oldest and holiest ghats in Varanasi.

ganga aarti dashashwamedh ghat Varanasi

Manikarnika Ghat is one of the most sacred ghats of Varanasi. As per Hindus, if you are burned and cremated here, you are liberated from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Manikarnika Mahashamshan Ghat Varanasi

Assi Ghat is the place where the River Ganges meets the Assi River. It is situated in the southern part of Varanasi. The area around this ghat is also famous for some boutiques and cafes.

There are many other ghats like Ahilya Ghat, Tulsi Ghat, Lalita Ghat and Ganga Mahal Ghat in Varanasi that you can visit on foot or via boat ride in the Ganges.

2 Kashi Vishwanath Temple Varanasi (काशी विश्वनाथ मंदिर)

kashi vishwanath temple varanasi

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple a sacred temple dedicated to Lord Shiva , also known as Vishwanath (the lord of the universe). It is one of the most famous and sacred temples in Varanasi.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the 12 jyotirlingas of Shiva and attracts thousands of devotees every day. The Dome of the main temple is covered with gold.

kashi vishwanath corridor varanasi

Recently the area surrounding the temple has been renovated to create the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor . The temple is located near the Dashashwamedh Ghat and can be accessed through a lane full of shops selling flowers, sweets and souvenirs. There is a Jnana Vapi or wisdom well inside the temple premises.

Cameras, Cell Phones and Electronic Devices are not allowed inside the temple premises.

3 Sarnath Varanasi – Buddhist Pilgrimage Site (सारनाथ)

sarnath best place to visit in Varanasi

Located in the northern part of Varanasi, Sarnath is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site . After attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya, Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon in Sarnath.

Sarnath is a sacred site for Buddhists. It has many monuments that showcase the Buddhist heritage in India. Some of the main attractions in Sarnath are:

  • The Dhamek Stupa : It is a huge circular structure of bricks and stones, with intricate carvings of flowers and shapes. It is believed to be the place where Buddha delivered his first teachings.
  • The Ashoka Pillar is a stone column erected by Emperor Ashoka to mark his visit to Sarnath. It has four lions on the top, which is also the emblem of India. The pillar also has Buddha’s teachings inscribed on it.
  • The Mulagandha Kuti Vihar is a modern temple built by the Mahabodhi Society . It has stunning paintings depicting the life of Buddha, painted by a Japanese artist. It also has a golden statue of Buddha and a relic of his bone.
  • The Sarnath Museum displays a rich collection of artefacts and sculptures related to Buddhism. The most famous among them is the Dharmachakra Pravartana Mudra, which shows Buddha turning the wheel of law.

Sarnath is a place of peace and spirituality, where you can learn about the history of Buddhism.

4 Banaras Hindu University, BHU ( काशी हिन्दू विश्वविद्यालय  )

BHU Banaras Hindu University Varanasi

Founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya in 1916, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) is one of the oldest, largest and most prestigious universities in India. The university is spread across an area of about 1,300 acres and has more than 30 faculties and departments.

The university also has a museum called Bharat Kala Bhavan , which showcases a collection of paintings, sculptures, textiles and manuscripts from different periods of Indian history.

5 Ramnagar Fort Varanasi (रामनगर का किला)

Ramnagar Fort Varanasi Tourist Places

Ramnagar Fort is a 17th-century fort located on the opposite bank of the Ganga River. It was built by Raja Balwant Singh of Kashi and served as the residence of the Kashi Naresh. The fort is made of red sandstone and has a blend of Indian and Mughal architecture. The fort also houses a museum that displays a royal collection of weapons, vintage cars, palanquins, costumes and other artefacts.

Ramnagar Fort is famous for hosting a month-long Ramleela (a theatrical performance of the epic Ramayana) every year from September to October. It is one of the oldest and most famous Ramleela in India.

6 Durga Kund Mandir

Durga Temple is one of the most sacred and colourful temples in Varanasi dedicated to Goddess Durga , who is also known as Shakti. The temple also has a large pond called Durga Kund, which is connected to the Ganges and is believed to have healing powers. The temple is very crowded during the Navratri festival when devotees offer prayers and sacrifices to the goddess.

Durga temple was constructed by Rani Bhabani of Natore in the 18th century.

7 Bharath Mata Mandir (भारत माता मंदिर)

Bharat Mata Mandir Varanasi

Bharat Mata Temple in Varanasi is dedicated to Mother India. It was built by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta and was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936.

Bharat Mata Temple does not have any idols of gods or goddesses but instead has a huge map of undivided India. The map shows details of mountains, rivers, plains and oceans. The temple is a symbol of patriotism and nationalism and celebrates the diversity and unity of India.

8 New Kashi Vishwanath Temple (BHU Birla Mandir)

New Kashi Vishwanath Temple BHU Birla Temple

The New Kashi Vishwanath Temple , also known as the Birla Mandir , is located on the campus of Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Built by the Birla family from 1931-1966, it is a replica of the original Kashi Vishwanath Temple and is also dedicated primarily to Lord Shiva.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple BHU consists of nine shrines and is one of the tallest in India with a total height of approximately 77 meters. It is made up of marble and has Hindu scriptures inscribed on the walls.

9 Sankat Mochan Temple

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple in Varanasi

Sankat Mochan Temple Varanasi is dedicated to Lord Hanuman . It is situated on the banks of River Assi and was established by poet Goswami Tulsidas. Every Tuesday and Saturday, a large number of people gather to worship Lord Hanuman and offer “besan ke ladoo” as a prasad offering.

According to some beliefs, Goswami Tulsidas has written many verses of Ramacharitramanas in this temple.

10 Tulsi Manas Temple

Tulsi Manas Temple is an important temple situated near the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple. At this place, in the 16th century, Goswami Tulsidas wrote the epic Ramayan in the Awadhi dialect called Ramcharitmanas .

Varanasi is called as the cultural capital of India and is one of the oldest cities in the world. These are the top 10 places to visit in Varanasi which you must visit.

More Places to Visit in Uttar Pradesh:

  • Agra – The City of Taj Mahal
  • Lucknow- The Capital of Uttar Pradesh

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Where to go & what to do in varanasi — 15+ places to visit & best things to do in varanasi.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Varanasi is a city in Uttar Pradesh located in the central Ganga valley in the southeastern part of the state. Varanasi is one of the most oldest cities in the world and is also known as the spiritual capital of India. Home to over 2,000 temples, this place has a lot to offer. So whether it’s for spiritual enlightenment or historical knowledge, this culturally rich city is the right place to visit.

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varanasi tourist places top 10

So, where to go in Varanasi, where to visit in Varanasi? Let’s check out our top rated 13+ famous places to visit in Varanasi, must see places in Varanasi, must visit places in Varanasi including best places to see in Varanasi, best places to visit in Varanasi, top places to visit in Varanasi and best places to visit near Varanasi as follows!

varanasi tourist places top 10

Discover the most mysterious and sacred holy city of Varanasi in India with countless unique experiences when traveling to this interesting country. What exciting things await you ahead? Let us reveal the most worth-visiting places, best things to do in Varanasi through the following article.

Brief introduction about the holy city of Varanasi (#best things to do in varanasi)

varanasi tourist places top 10

Varanasi is a sacred and ancient city of Hindus. Since ancient times, this city has been known by different names such as Benares, Banaras, Kashi or Gasi meaning the place where the divine light shines. It is believed that Varanasi was founded by Lord Shiva himself – the god of destruction and rebirth 6,000 years ago. Varanasi is the cultural and religious center of India from ancient times to the present. This is one of the oldest cities in the world and is known as the spiritual capital of India.

varanasi tourist places top 10

The best way to explain Varanasi in one word would be ‘sacred’. The city is one of the most colorful and ceremonial destinations on the earth. It is one of the oldest inhabited cities still in use. Hindus believe that the city was built and inhabited by the gods themselves and the river that flows through Varanasi is called the Ganges. This is the holiest river for Hindus. Therefore, many Ghats in Varanasi were established on both sides of the river for specific purposes. Incense burning rituals, divine rituals and the fragrance of incense are symbols of Varanasi.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Along with Haridwar, Varanasi is one of the holiest cities for Hindus. A place where every Hindu wants to bathe in the sacred Ganges river at least once. And when he dies, his wish in life is to be cremated and scatter his ashes into the Ganges River from here. If you are not a Hindu, Varanasi is also worth a visit because this is the oldest city that has been inhabited by humans for more than 6,000 years. And Varanasi is also a sacred land for Buddhists, one of the Four Holy Lands of Buddhism with the Sarnath Deer Park where Buddha Shakyamuni preached his first sermon after attaining enlightenment.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Explore the ancient temple of Kashi Vishwanath (#best things to do in varanasi)

  • Address: Lahori Tola, Varanasi, Domari, Uttar Pradesh 221001, India
  • Hours: 3 AM–11 PM

varanasi tourist places top 10

Kashi Vishwanath, located on the western bank of the Ganges River and about 5.3km from Varanasi, is one of the most ancient and sacred temples in India. The temple was built in 1780 by the Holkar Queen of the Maratha Malwa kingdom, India and shines brightly with its domes and minaret of pure gold. Entering the main gate, you will feel the sacred and solemn atmosphere of this place. Inside the temple there are many small shrines dedicated to different Hindu gods. The highlight of the temple is the stone statue of Lord Shiva placed on a silver pedestal, soaring and extremely impressive. This is where millions of people come to pray and worship Lord Shiva.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Kashi Vishwanath temple is one of the holiest and oldest temples in the country. This splendid temple attracts devotees of the Hindu god, Lord Shiva. The temple has a dome and spire elegantly made of pure gold. As visitors slowly enter the main hall of the temple, they will be greeted by small shrines of Hindu gods. In the center of the hall, a magnificent stone sculpture of Lord Shiva stands tall on a silver pedestal, making it the main central point of attraction.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Assi Ghat (#where to visit in near varanasi)

  • Address: Nagwa Rd, Assi ghat, Shivala, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221005, India
  • Hours: Open 24 hours

This is another famous spiritual tourist attraction in the list of best places to visit in Varanasi. Assi Ghat, one of Varanasi’s most famous ghats, is located in the southern region of the holy city. This is one of the most visited tourist places near Varanasi.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Ghat is the steps that leading down to a body of water or wharf, the ghat is a place that offers you a peaceful experience if you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Relaxing under the peepal trees (bodhi trees) or taking a relaxing boat ride to see the panoramic sunset is a must-do when visiting Assi Ghat. Many Hindu texts, including Kurma Purana and Matsya Purana, refer to this ghat. It is a great destination for recreational activities and to immerse yourself in the spiritual atmosphere that Varanasi has to offer.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Tourists will witness a wonderful cultural spectacle because this is one of the places in India with the greatest religious influence. Locals as well as visitors participate in the sacred Ganga aarti every evening. Assi Ghat is an ideal place to view the confluence of two rivers – Ganga and Assi.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Alamgir Mosque (#where to go in varanasi)

When it comes to mosques, Varanasi has a lot of temples, but it also has a lot of other interesting places and temples for everyone. One such sophisticated temple is the Alamgir Mosque. Located 5.6 km from Varanasi, it is located near Panchganga Ghat and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in India.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Varanasi is not only famous for its Hindu temples but also many unique and beautiful Muslim architectural works. One of them is Alamgir Mosque located near Panchganga Ghat about 5.6km from the city center. This is a historical mosque built in the 17th century by Emperor Aurangzeb. The church has an architectural style that blends India and Islam with three high domes and two elongated towers. However, the two towers were damaged and collapsed in the past, leaving only the base remaining. Coming here in the afternoon, you will witness a romantic and impressive sunset scene.

This 17th century mosque is also known as Aurangzeb Mosque and Beni Madha Ka Darera because Emperor Aurangzeb founded it. The beautiful mosque has three domes and two minarets, giving it a majestic appearance. Come here to watch the sunset and hear the sound of water flowing from the garden’s fountain.

Dashashwamedh Ghat

  • Address: Dashashwamedh Ghat Rd, Godowlia, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001, India

varanasi tourist places top 10

If you are taking a trip to Varanasi to experience divine bliss, then a visit to Dashashwamedh Ghat must be on your itinerary. Here, you can witness spectacular Ganga Aarti ritual is performed along the ghat. Experience the magic at sunset when the entire ghat is illuminated with earthen lamps to usher in the sacred rituals. Here, tourists can participate in spiritual rituals when priests and crowds gather to pay homage to deities.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Chunar Fort (#best places to visit in varanasi)

  • Address: 4VFG+87X, Tammanpatti, Uttar Pradesh 231304, India
  • Hours: 8 AM–5 PM

This is a popular point of interest for history buffs. Located about 32 km from Varanasi, Chunar Fort has played a vital role in shaping the nation’s history. Located on the banks of river Ganga, the fort is also known as the Magic Fort or Tilismi Quila as it is mentioned in the popular novel ‘Chandrakanta’ by Devaki Nandan Khatri. It also appeared in the movie “Gangs of Wasseypur”, making it a must-see landmark for many visitors.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Chunar Fort is an ideal place for those who love exploring history. Located 32km from Varanasi, this fort is a symbol of Indian history as it has witnessed many wars and changes in power. This fort is located on a small hill beside the Ganga river creating a majestic and beautiful scene. In addition, this fort is also better known to people in the movie Gangs of Wasseypur by Anurag Kashyap.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Man Singh Observatory

  • Hours: 9 AM–5 PM

In the 15th century, Sawai Man Singh of Amber built a magnificent palace called Man Singh Palace. In the 19th century, a Hindu observatory was built by Sawai Jai Singh. He was very proficient in mathematics and astronomy. He developed many tools to calculate the positions of celestial objects.

varanasi tourist places top 10

On the palace roof, Sawai Jai Singh II built a Hindu observatory in the 19th century. He was a talented mathematician and scientist who developed many tools to measure the positions and movements of the celestial objects. This observatory is one of five stone observatories known as Jantar Mantar, meaning astronomical calculator. When you come here, you will admire the giant equipment used to study the sun, moon, stars and planets. You can also participate in educational and fun activities such as watching movies about astronomy and trying science quizzes.

Visit this extraordinary wonder to observe the site of the planets, celestial bodies, sun and stars. Here, you can walk around and observe the different devices used to observe and record the movements and speeds of different celestial objects.

Durga Temple

  • Address: Durga Mandir Rd, Chandoli, Nathupur, Uttar Pradesh 221008, India
  • Hours: 5:30 AM–7:30 PM

varanasi tourist places top 10

This is one of the very famous sacred temples in Varanasi, known for the striking red color of its religious symbols. Coming to this temple, you will be able to join the group of pilgrims and watch them make offerings at the temple, experience vibrant Hindu festivals and ancient rituals. This temple worships Goddess Durga, the embodiment of female personality. However, local people often call this place the Monkey Temple because there are always monkeys running around in and around the temple grounds.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Behind the Durga temple is the Durga Kund water tank, where you can admire the unique beauty with a new perspective towards the red painted facade. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple complex, but you can stand outside and watch devotees ring the bell, pray and make offerings to the god statues. You can also observe mischievous monkeys running around and be careful with your belongings because they can steal things when you are not careful.

Bharath Mata Mandir

Bharath Mata Mandir Temple is located in the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith campus campus in Varanasi. This is the only temple dedicated to Mother India, built in 1936 by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta. At the temple there is a statue of Bharat Mata built of marble symbolizing undivided India.

varanasi tourist places top 10

The temple currently has 8 floors, each floor has a different theme showing respect to the gods, warriors and leaders who played an important role in the formation and development of the country. What’s special about the temple is the relief map of India carved in marble depicting mountains, plains and oceans in extremely accurate proportions. The temple is open to welcome all domestic and foreign tourists regardless of religion or belief to admire a unique and unique work in the world.

Manikarnika Ghat

varanasi tourist places top 10

This is a place that you should not miss when you want to explore unique customs in India. Manikarnika Ghat is one of the oldest and holiest ghats in Varanasi city. Most of the cremation rituals in Varanasi are conducted at this ghat.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Visitors can watch cremation ceremonies with guides or take a boat to watch from afar. However, they will not be allowed to use cameras and must show respect for the ceremony.

Ramnagar Fort

This is one of the royal-style masterpieces built in the 17th century located in the southeast of Varanasi. Coming here, you will admire the majestic beauty of the fortress, explore antique collections and watch the breathtaking sunset over the Ganges River. This fortress is a harmonious combination of Indian and Islamic architectural styles, creating a monumental building chosen by many royal families as their residence.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Once inside, you will see a large courtyard surrounded by walls and extremely unique domes, balconies, canopies and towers. Moreover, there is also a museum here with a huge collection of many historical artifacts such as weapons, antique cars, musical instruments, jewelry, etc. In particular, you can come to this fortress on October to experience the festival of Dussehra, which represents good overcoming evil.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum

  • Address: Semi Circle Road No. 3 Opp Institute of Mgmt Studies, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221005, India
  • Hours: 10 AM–4:30 PM/Sunday: Closed

This is an art and archeology museum located on the campus of Banaras Hindu University. Bharat Kala Bhavan is the oldest museum in India and attracts many visitors every year. This place preserves many artistic sculptures, statues and historical artifacts through the ages.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Bharat Kala Bhavan museum currently owns more than 100,000 artifacts in many different fields. When you come to this museum, you will admire jewelry from primitive times or extremely attractive ceramics and textiles of indigenous tribes. Don’t forget to visit the painting gallery with miniature paintings of the Mughal period, religious sculptures,…

varanasi tourist places top 10

Vindham Falls

  • Address: 2JJ6+529, Windom Fall Rd, Gortutwa, Barkachhakalan, Uttar Pradesh 231001, India
  • Hours: 6 AM–6 PM

varanasi tourist places top 10

Vindham Waterfall is a tourist destination with wild beauty that attracts many tourists to visit and picnic with family and friends when coming to the ancient city of Varanasi. From this waterfall you can admire the majestic natural landscape, the vast surrounding forest, and wild animals roaming everywhere. In addition, you can also visit the Tanda fountain, caves, and temples in the surrounding area. In particular, you should come to this waterfall in the fall when the trees change leaves and the cool weather is suitable for exciting outdoor picnics.

Shopping at Godowlia market

varanasi tourist places top 10

Godowlia Market is a shopping paradise for those who want to explore the culture and traditions of Varanasi. This market is located near Kashi Vishwanath temple – one of the holiest Hindu temples in India. The market is about 3km long through bustling and crowded small streets. You can see shops selling all kinds of goods from household appliances and food to beautiful fabrics and silks. You can buy Zari products which is a silk fabric embroidered with gold or silver thread, wooden carvings, Bhadohi rugs and many other products at reasonable prices.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Take a trip to the beloved Godowlia market, a popular stop for shopaholics. Located in the Kashi Vishwanath temple area. Stroll down the narrow street lined with stalls and vendors’ shops selling all kinds of goods.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Right from home appliances, groceries and silk embroidery, you can find almost everything here. You can buy Zari products, wooden carvings, Bhadohi carpets and even high-quality products at affordable prices at Godowlia market. Visitors can also find exquisite handicrafts, home decorations, shoes, jewelry, scarves, beads and bracelets to bring back as souvenirs for family and friends at this Varanasi tourist place.

Dhamek Stupa

  • Address: Dhamekh Stupa, Dharmapala Rd, Singhpur, Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221007, India
  • Hours: 6 AM–5 PM

varanasi tourist places top 10

Varanasi is a multi-religious city. One of the symbols of Buddhism here is the Dhamek stupa located in Sarnath village about 12km from the city center. This stupa is a massive and outstanding architectural work with a cylindrical shape of 28m in diameter and 43.6m in height. This work was built in 249 BC by Emperor Ashoka – the man who spread Buddhism throughout India. This stupa is considered the place where Buddha gave his first sermon to his five disciples after attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. The architecture here stands out with beautiful carvings on red brick and stone in the style of the Gupta Dynasty.

varanasi tourist places top 10

The stupa is cylindrical in shape made of red brick and stone. Domestic and international travel enthusiasts flock to see Buddhist culture at this important Buddhist center. The exquisite floral decorations reveal the high standard of stone vessel craftsmanship of the Gupta Dynasty.

Admire the sacred Ganges River

varanasi tourist places top 10

The Ganges River, also known as Ganga, is a sacred river for Hindus and Jains. This place is considered a place that brings blessings to those living and pilgrims on both banks of the river. The Ganges River also has the ability to purify all impurities and sins of people, making them liberated. This is shown in the Puranas – ancient Hindu scriptures. Therefore, the Ganges River has long become a famous sacred site and is often the venue for important events of the people here.

varanasi tourist places top 10

And this is also what I encourage you to do. Because the panoramic view of the river ghats here with the view below the boat is full of vividness and gives a panoramic view. As well as detailed and certain views, if we just walk on the shore we will not fully feel them.

varanasi tourist places top 10

The Ganges River is a place of spiritual and sacred activity for Hindus. From dawn, many people come here to pray and immerse themselves in the sacred river. There are also many open-air crematoriums here. Every day, the cremation ground near Dasaswamedh Ghat alone has more than 300 bodies cremated from early morning until late at night. Each cremation usually lasts 4 hours. These bodies are not only those of people in the area, but they are rich families, gathered from many different regions to this place to be cremated with the hope of soon being saved in the sacred river.

Ganga aarti

varanasi tourist places top 10

Varanasi is also famous for the Holy River Ganga Ceremony that takes place at sunrise and sunset every day on the Ghats. In Varanasia, there are dozens of Ghats – places that kings and wealthy people of many centuries ago built for themselves as a way to access and easily pray every day on the sacred river. There are many Holy River Ganga Ceremonies that take place every day in the Ghats, but the most famous and sacred and crowded with Hindu devotees is Dasaswamedh Ghat. I also spent my two evenings in Varanasi to watch the ceremony at Dasaswamedh Ghat, partly perhaps because here I could most easily learn and observe the atmosphere of the ceremony, the spirit of the Hindus, and perhaps there was also a in no small part because the 7 priests are so handsome, more outstanding than the priests in the remaining Ghats with shaggy beards and big bellies typical of Indians.

varanasi tourist places top 10

The Banaras Silk Emporium

  • Address: 8XQH+248, Cantonment Rd, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221010, India
  • Hours: 10 AM–8:30 PM

Varanasi is known throughout the country for creating Banarasi saris and premium silks. Visit Banaras Silk Emporium and bring home unusual silk sarees and fabrics elegantly woven to perfection. Located about 4.4 km from Varanasi, at this Varanasi tourist destination, you can shop for beautiful silk sarees for yourself or your family.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Banaras Silk Emporium caters to many customers across the globe every year. Skilled artisans use traditional techniques to sew the finest, high-quality silk and fabric items for customers. If you are a fan of sarees and silk fabrics, then you must visit Banarasi Silk Shop.

varanasi tourist places top 10

Some notes before you go

To have a safe and enjoyable trip to Varanasi, you need to keep in mind a few things:

  • If you want to participate in religious rituals, you should wear modest clothing that does not expose your shoulders, legs or chest. You should also bring a scarf to cover your head when entering sacred places.
  • Please respect the rules and customs of the indigenous people, do not take photos or videos without permission.
  • To discover delicious local cuisine, you should choose clean and reputable restaurants and eateries. In particular, you should avoid enjoying street food, drinking tap water or ice because it can affect your health.
  • Don’t forget to bring digestive medicine, antibiotics and mouthwash to prevent disease.
  • When shopping, don’t be afraid to negotiate prices with sellers because they often offer higher prices than the actual price. You should buy typical products of Varanasi such as silk, handicrafts, jewelry, decorations…
  • If you want to explore, you should sign up for tours organized by reputable companies. You will be led by a professional tour guide and explain the places, history, and culture of Varanasi. Don’t forget to plan your trip in advance so you don’t miss out on great places to visit.

Intimate rituals of life and death take place in public, and the sights, sounds and smells of the maze-like old town can be intense. However, the City of Lights is one of the most colorful and fascinating places on earth. Strolling the ghats or watching the sunrise from a boat on the Ganges is a highlight, and facing the reality and ritual of death can be a powerful experience in Varanasi.

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Varanasi you can refer to

  • Varanasi Private Day Tour
  • Varanasi Heritage City Tour
  • Varanasi Village Tour
  • Street Food Crawl in Varanasi
  • 2D1N Varanasi Private Sightseeing Tour

varanasi tourist places top 10

Read more Varanasi guide here and India guide here .

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VARANASI TOURISM | TEMPLES, PLACES TO VISIT & TRAVEL GUIDE TO VARANASI

varanasi tourist places top 10

  • Varanasi Overview
  • Top 30 Places to Visit in Varanasi
  • 9 Best Varanasi Tour Packages
  • Top Resorts in Varanasi
  • Best Time to Visit Varanasi

How to Reach Varanasi

  • Varanasi Tour Plans
  • Driving Directions to Varanasi

About Varanasi

Country: india | state: uttar pradesh, #2 of 15 places to visit in uttar pradesh | #4 of 100 places to visit in india, ideal trip duration: 2 full days, base station: varanasi, nearest city to varanasi: varanasi, best time to visit varanasi: october to march, peak season: november to february, varanasi weather: summer: maximum - 45°c and minimum - 23°c winter: maximum - 28°c and minimum - 9°c.

At a distance of 125 km from Allahabad, 163 km from Aurangabad, 208 km from Gorakhpur, 239 km from Rewa, 250 km from Patna, 258 km from Gaya, 321 km from Lucknow, and 327 km from Kanpur, Varanasi is an ancient city located on the banks of river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is one among the most revered places of Pilgrimage in India and also one of the best places to visit in Uttar Pradesh . Also known as Kashi and Banaras, the city gets its name from two rivers Varuna and Assi. Nicknamed as the cultural capital of India, Varanasi was the seat of learning in the past. Legend has it that Lord Shiva himself established this holy city as his abode. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga sites in India and also one of the Shakti Peethas. Varanasi is an important destination among Hindus as they believe those who die in Varanasi will attain salvation. Varanasi is also a preferred site for immersing ashes of the dead in river Ganga. Performing funeral rites and cremation in the pyres are the common sights here. The holy city of Varanasi is more than 3000 years old and is one of the oldest living cities of the world. The early settlements around Varanasi began in the 18th century BC according to archaeological evidence. During the time of Gautama Buddha, the city of Varanasi was the capital of the Kashi Kingdom. Lord Buddha is believed to have founded Buddhism here around 528 BCE when he gave his first sermon at nearby Sarnath. Varanasi subsequently declined during three centuries of Muslim occupation, beginning in 1194 AD. Varanasi became an independent kingdom in the 18th century and in 1910 the British made Varanasi a new Indian state. Varanasi became a part of Uttar Pradesh after India got independence in 1947 CE. Often referred to as the city of temples, Varanasi is a great city in India which attracts millions of tourists every year because of its amazing temples, rituals, and spiritual beliefs. Dashaswamedh Ghat, Assi Ghat, Sarnath, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Annapurna Temple, Kashi Vishalakshi Temple, Manikarnika Ghat, Ramnagar Fort and Banaras Hindu University are some of the popular places to visit in Varanasi. Synonymous with the majestic river Ganga, the Ganga Aarti held every evening at Dasaswamedh Ghat is a sight to behold. Varanasi is also famous for its production of silks and brocades with gold and silver threadwork. Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Babatpur is the nearest airport which is about 23 km from Varanasi Junction. Also known Varanasi Airport, it is well connected with flights from New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Gaya. Varanasi Junction railway station is well connected by trains with Chhapra, Kanpur, Amritsar, Muzzafarpur, Jammu, Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Indore, Tatanagar, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Patna, Kochi, Jaisalmer, Mumbai, Bangalore, Dehradun, Haridwar, Pune and Chennai. Varanasi is well connected with buses from Agra, Delhi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Gorakhpur and Lucknow. Varanasi is the center for celebration of many Hindu fairs and festivals. The major festivals celebrated in Varanasi are Dev Deepavali, Hanuman Jayanti, Mahashivaratri, Holi, Bharat Milap, Drupad Mela, Panch Koshi Parikrama, Buddha Mahotsava, and Nakkatayya. The best time to visit Varanasi is from November to March. Although it gets fairly cold during the winters, this is the best time when you can explore the holy city without getting tired. The summers are dry, sunny and humid and better to avoid traveling to Varanasi around this time.

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Nearest Airport: Varanasi - Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport (23 Kms)

Direct flights to varanasi, nearest train station: varanasi junction (0 kms), direct trains to varanasi, nearest bus station: varanasi bus stand (1 kms), direct buses to varanasi, distance chart, distance chart & driving directions to varanasi, top 10 places to visit in varanasi, kashi vishwanath temple / golden temple.

varanasi tourist places top 10

#1 of 30 Places to Visit in Varanasi

At a distance of 5 km from Varanasi Junction, Kashi Vishwanath Temple is an ancient Hindu temple situated on the banks of River Ganga in Varanasi city of Uttar Pradesh. Popularly known as Golden Temple, it is one of the twelve jyotirlinga temples and also one of the popular places of Pilgrimage in India. Kashi Vishwanath Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishwanath, one of the incarnations of Lord Shiva and he is regarded as the patron deity of Varanasi. The Vishwanath Jyotirlinga Temple at Varanasi has high religious significance and is the center of faith for millions of Hindus. The temple was visited by many great saints including Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda, Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, Goswami Tulsidas, Adi Shankaracharya and Gurunanak Dev. Lord Vishwanath is considered to the supreme origin of the spiritual truth and strengthens the bonds of universal brotherhood. It is believed that a single darshan of Vishweshwara Jyotirlinga is considered to auspicious more than .....

Dasashwamedh Ghat

Dasashwamedh Ghat

#2 of 30 Places to Visit in Varanasi

At a distance of 6 km from Varanasi Junction, Dasashwamedh Ghat is a ghat on the banks of River Ganga in the holy town of Varanasi. Located close to Vishwanath Temple, Dasashwamedh Ghat is one of the oldest ghats in Varanasi and also one of the popular places to visit in Varanasi. The Dasaswamedh Ghat is one of the most important religious sites in Varanasi and is considered as the main ghat. It is believed that Lord Brahma performed his victorious Dasa_Ashwamedha (ten - horses) sacrifice in this spot, hence the name Dasashwamedh Ghat. Locals also believe that this ghat was built by Bajirao Peshwa I in 1740 AD. However, Ahilyabahi Holkar, the Queen of Indore rebuilt the ghat in the year 1774. Dotted with numerous temples and religious sites, the ghat possesses well laid steps and platforms for performing various rituals and religious activities. Dasashwamedh Ghat is famous for Ganga Aarti at each evening which attracts many devotees and is certainly once in a lifetime experience. .....

New Vishwanath Temple / Birla Temple

New Vishwanath Temple / Birla Temple

#3 of 30 Places to Visit in Varanasi

At a distance of 12 km from Varanasi Junction, New Vishwanath Mandir is a Hindu temple situated in the premises of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is one of the popular temples in Banaras and also one of the biggest tourist attractions in the holy city of Varanasi. Popularly called as Birla Temple, the temple was constructed by the famed Birla family. According to history, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya planned to replicate Sri Kashi Vishwanath Mandir in the campus of Banaras Hindu University and the Birla family undertook the construction. The foundation was laid in 1931and was finally completed in 1966. New Vishwanath Temple is having the similar structure of Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Built with marbles, the temple is designed by the founder of BHU, Sri Madan Mohan Malaviya. With a height of 253 feet, the temple has the tallest tower in the world. In fact, it is a temple complex which consists of 7 temples. The Shiva temple is situated .....

Durgakund Temple/ Durga Temple

Durgakund Temple/ Durga Temple

#4 of 30 Places to Visit in Varanasi

At a distance of 7 km from Varanasi Junction, Durga Mandir or Durgakund Temple is a prominent Hindu temple situated near Tulsi Manas Temple in Varanasi. It is one of the popular places of pilgrimage in Banaras and also one of the must visit Varanasi Tourist Places. Dedicated to Goddess Durga, Durga Mandir was built in the 18th century by a Bengali Maharani. According to the legend, the idol in the temple is not made by man but appeared on its own. It is believed that Goddess Durga has protected Varanasi for many centuries from the South. The temple is known with the name of monkey temple as tourists can spot number of monkeys in the temple vicinity. The temple was built in Nagara style of architecture. The temple is painted red with ochre to match the colours of the central icon of Durga, the goddess of strength and power. The temple is made up of many small sikharas adjoined together. The temple is located on the banks of a rectangular tank, which is often called as the Durga .....

Tulsi Manas Mandir

Tulsi Manas Mandir

#5 of 30 Places to Visit in Varanasi

At a distance of 7 km from Varanasi Junction, Tulsi Manas Mandir is a Hindu temple situated next to the famed Durgakund Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the most famous temples of Varanasi and also an important tourist attraction of the holy city. Tulsi Manas Mandir was built in the year 1964 by Seth Ratan Lal Sureka of Bandhaghat (Howrah). Named after saint Tulsidas, the temple has been precisely devoted to Lord Rama. This temple has great historical and cultural importance in Hinduism since the ancient Hindu epic Ramcharitmanas was originally written at this place by Hindu poet-saint, reformer and philosopher Goswami Tulsidas in the 16th century CE. The temple was constructed in white marble with beautiful landscaping all around. The walls of the temple are engraved with scenes from Ramcharitmanas, the Hindi version of Ramayana. The temple has beautiful images of the Ram, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman. There is an attractive Tulsi Garden which has very calm .....

Manikarnika Ghat

Manikarnika Ghat

#6 of 30 Places to Visit in Varanasi

At a distance of 1 km from Dasashwamedh Ghat and 6 km from Varanasi Junction, Manikarnika Ghat is one of the holiest ghats in Varanasi along the banks of River Ganga. Situated just beside Dasashwamedh Ghat, it is the main cremation ghat and also one of the oldest ghats in Varanasi. Popularly called as Mahasmasana, Manikarnika Ghat is one of two burning Ghats in Varanasi while the other one is Harishchandra Ghat. According to Hindu mythology, Manikarnika Ghat is believed to be the place where the ear ornament worn by Sati fell down when Lord Shiva was carrying her to the Himalayas. Manikarnika Ghat is among the pivotal places of interest in Varanasi. According to the religious beliefs, burning the dead bodies at this ghat is a way to attain Moksha, the salvation. The ghat also houses a Shiva Durga Temple, which was constructed by Maharaja of Awadh in 1850. Apart from this, a sacred pond named Cakra-Pushkarini is also adorning this holy place. It is believed that this pond .....

Lalita Ghat & Nepali Temple

Lalita Ghat & Nepali Temple

#7 of 30 Places to Visit in Varanasi

At a distance of 1 km from Dasashwamedh Ghat and 5 km from Varanasi Junction, Lalita Ghat is one of the main ghats on the Ganges River in Varanasi. This ghat is one of the most venerated ghats of Kashi for the devotees and is also identified among the seven most prominent ghats of Varanasi by Varanasi Tourism Department. The ghat was built by King of Nepal, Rana Bahadur Shah in the early 19th century CE. The ghat is dedicated to Lalita Devi who is reckoned to be the personification of Goddess Durga. Devotees who come to this ghat believe that bathing at this ghat will earn the blessings of the Goddess. Lalita Ghat is dotted with several Hindu temples. The well-known 'lingam' of Ganga Keshav and shrines of Gangatitya, Kashi Devi, Lalita Devi and Bhagirath Tirtha are affiliated to Lalita Ghat. Also known as Nepali Mandir, the Keshava temple was built by King of Nepal in typical Nepalese architecture. Also known as Kothwala Temple, thi is the replica of the famous Pashupatinath .....

Assi Ghat

#8 of 30 Places to Visit in Varanasi

At a distance of 3 km from Dasashwamedh Ghat and 8 km from Varanasi Junction, Assi Ghat is one of the famous ghats on the banks of River Ganga in Varanasi. Situated at the confluence of Ganga and Assi Rivers, it is the southernmost ghat in Kashi and also one of the important Places to visit in Varanasi. Assi Ghat has numerous references in the early literature of the Hindus including Agni Purana, Matsya Purana, Padma Purana, Kurma Purana and Kashi Khand. According to the mythology, Goddess Durga had thrown her sword in Assi River after killing the demons Shumbha & Nishumbha. Assi Ghat is called as Assi Saimbeda Tirtha in Kashi Khand and is one of the five special ghats visited by pilgrims during the Panchtirtha Yatra. Also known as Asi Ghat, the Ghat is renowned for a large Shiva Lingam placed under a Peepal Tree. This place also boasts one more ancient temple enshrining a Shiva Lingam famously known as Asisangameshwar Lingam. This was also the place where the renowned saint .....

Ramnagar Fort

Ramnagar Fort

#9 of 30 Places to Visit in Varanasi

At a distance of 14 km from Varanasi Junction, Ramnagar fort is a medieval fort located on the banks of River Ganges in Ramnagar area of Varanasi. Ramnagar Fort is one of the popular forts in Uttar Pradesh and among the best places to visit in Varanasi. Ramnagar Fort was constructed by Maharaja Balwant Singh in 18th century CE. This was the royal residence of Raja of Banaras, also known as Kashi Naresh. The fort represents typical Mughal style of architecture with carved balconies, open courtyards, and picturesque pavilions. Built with creamy-coloured Chunar sandstone, the fort houses a temple, a museum and the king's residential complex. The temple is dedicated to Ved Vyasa, the author of the Indian epic the Mahabharata. As per the legends, it is believed that Ved Vyasa resided within the fort for a short period. The fort still retains its charm and attracts tourists in large numbers. One can still witness the ornamented swords, photographs of tiger shoots and visits by the .....

Darbhanga Ghat

varanasi tourist places top 10

#10 of 30 Places to Visit in Varanasi

At a distance of 6 km from Varanasi Junction, Darbhanga Ghat is located to the south of Dasashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi. This ghat is one of the famous ghats in Varanasi and also one of the places to visit in Banaras. Situated between Dasashwamedh Ghat and Rana Mahal Ghat, Darbhanga Ghat was named after Darbhanga royal family. Darbhanga Ghat is used to perform the religious rites related to the demise of a loved one. The ghat is placed near a huge building, which offers view of religious ceremonies being performed in the ghat. Moreover, there is a beautiful temple along with huge Shiva Linga at this ghat. The premises of the ghat offer all kinds of facilities for performing religious rituals. One can also visit Chausatti Ghat which is located next to Darbhanga Ghat. There is a Chausath Yogini Temple, dedicated to Goddess Kali. Many Hindus come to this temple during the new moon day of the month of Chaitra.

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  • Top 10 Places To Visit In Varanasi In 2 Days For Divine Delight

30 Aug 2023

Varanasi, also known as Kashi or Banaras, is one of the great tourist destinations where you can experience the spirituality of India at its most vibrant. From auspicious ghats to a plethora of temples, there is no shortage of places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days . Considered one of the oldest and holiest cities in India, the place is full of culture and is famous for its variety of handicrafts, including gold and silver threadwork, wooden toys, carpet weaving, and glass bangles. The city is replete with tourist attractions, welcoming travellers from all over the world to learn about the rich and mystical culture of the place as well as embark on a blissful journey. So, here are the best places to add to your itinerary while travelling to Varanasi.

10 Places To Visit In Varanasi In 2 Days

The land of Ghats, Varanasi, has so much to offer to devotees, as well as to travellers. If you are planning a trip here and looking for the best places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days, refer to the below-mentioned places:

1. Dashashwamedh Ghat

Dashashwamedh Ghat is one of the best places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days

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Dashashwamedh Ghat, named after the legend of Lord Brahma sacrificing 10 horses, or Das Ashwamedh, is one of the divine places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days where the liveliest aartis along the holy river Ganga are conducted. To witness the calming experience of Ganga Aarti as well as a celestial manifestation in the city of lights, also known as Dev Deepavali, Kartik Purnima is the best time to visit this spiritual transcendence place. The prime attractions of the Dashashwamedh Ghat are a swirling groups of flower sellers, boat operators hawking rides, and Sadhus conducting holy pujas every night starting at around 7 pm. If you are thinking what to do in Varanasi in 2 days then travellers can relax and unwind here for hours and can witness the various spiritual ceremonies performed throughout the day.

Address: Dashashwamedh Ghat Rd, Ghats of Kashi, Godowlia, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001 Timings: Anytime Main Attractions: Culture, Heritage, Temples Time Required: 3 to 4 hours

Must Read: 9 Best Resorts In Varanasi One Must Definitely Visit When They Are Planning A Vacation

2. Assi Ghat

Assi Ghat is one of the best places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days

Perched at the confluence of the River Assi and Ganga, Assi Ghat is one of the best places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days. This place has great religious significance and holds a special place in the heart of Varanasi and the locals. It is believed to be the place where the great poet Tulsidas passed away. The main attraction of Assi Ghat is the large Shiva Lingam, situated under a peepal tree, where pilgrims pay homage and worship Lord Shiva. The astonishing view of sunset and sunrise at the Ganges is worth experiencing here. Hundreds of pilgrims visit this place daily for a blissful Ganga Arti performance, which typically starts around 6:30 in the evening.

Address: Assi Ghat, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh Timings: Anytime Main Attractions: Recreation and festivals Time Required: 1 to 2 hours

3. Manikaranika Ghat

A scene of cremation at Manikaranika Ghat

Being the main cremation ghat in Varanasi, Manikaranika Ghat is the oldest riverfront and one of the most auspicious tourist places in Varanasi for 2 days. It is believed that completing the cremation ceremonies and spending the final days of life at the Ghat ensures a painless death as well as a way of achieving Moksha from the never-ending cycle of birth and death. Manikarnika Ghat becomes a mesmerising sight with the setting sun, glowing pyres, and candle-lit flower bowls gracefully floating down the holy river Ganga. This fascinating ghat offers travellers the opportunity to experience ritualistic cremations closely, and they can also take a boat tour along the Ganges River.

Address: Near Rajendra Prasad Ghat, Garawasi, Jugul Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001 Timings: Open 24 hours Main Attractions: Sacred riverfronts, Cremation grounds Time Required: 2 to 3 hours

Suggested Read: 6 Hotels In Varanasi To Spend A Few Days In The ‘Land Of Gods’

4. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most blissful places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days with family

Being one of the 12 Jyotirlingas or temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most blissful places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days with family. The temple is located on the western bank of the holy river Ganga and has an impressive structure, plated in some 800 kilograms of pure gold. It is one of the oldest, richest and holiest shrines in India, where thousands of devotees travel from all over the world to experience its peaceful spiritual ambience and seek blessings from Lord Shiva. The temple’s exterior is decorated with beautiful sculptures that give the facade a divine appearance. The temple additionally houses a number of other smaller temples, including Kaalbhairav, Vishnu, Virupaksh Gauri, Vinayaka, and Avimukteshwara.

Address: Lahori Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001 Timings: 3 am – 11 am, 12:30 pm – 08 pm, & 09 pm – 11 pm Main Attractions: Shivratri and Rangabhari Ekadashi Time Required: 2 to 3 hours

5. Banaras Hindu University

Banaras Hindu University is one of the great places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days.

Founded by Madan Mohan Malviya in the year 1916, Banaras Hindu University is one of the largest residential universities in Asia, making it one of the great places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days. Spread over 1300 acres of land, the university welcomes students from all over the world to gain education with world-class infrastructure best educational facilities and renowned professors. More than thirty-two departments, 14 streams, and 6 institutions make up its organizational structure. The university administers an entrance exam each year, and those who pass are eligible to apply for admission.

If you are looking for a place far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Banaras Hindu University is located in a tranquil location shaded by hundreds of tall trees offering a breath of fresh air from the busy atmosphere at the Banaras Ghats. The prime attractions of the university are its on-campus museum, a spectacular collection of miniature paintings and over 100,000 other important works of art and archaeological things.

Address: Ajagara, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221005 Timings: 9 am – 7 pm Main Attractions: Architecture and Museum Time Required: 3 to 4 hours

Suggested Read: 14 Blissful Homestays In Varanasi That Offer More Than What You Seek

6. New Vishwanath Temple

New Vishwanath Temple must be your next destination as things to do in Varanasi in 2 days

Constructed by The Birla family, a group of entrepreneurs, New Vishwanath Temple must be your next destination as things to do in Varanasi in 2 days after visiting the Banaras Hindu University. The big religious complex houses seven separate temples and its design is directly inspired by the legendary old Vishwanath temple. Also known as the Birla Temple, Its entire interior is covered in the words spoken by Lord Krishna when he recited the Bhagwad Gita, making it one of the must-visit places to add in your Varanasi 2 days itinerary for an enthralling experience.

Address: Banaras Hindu University Campus, Varanasi 221005 India Timings: 4 am – 11 am, 12 pm – 7 pm Main Attractions: Temples and interior Time Required: 1-2 hours

7. Ruchika Art Gallery

Ruchika Art Gallery is one of the amazing places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days

If you love to take a piece of memory from every place you travel, Ruchika Art Gallery is one of the amazing places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days. Owned by Ruchika Malhotra, this artistic place is full of a vibrant collection of paintings capturing the essence of Varanasi and its significant places. From small to large, you can explore a wide variety of artistic works as well as postcards in this art gallery and have a delightful shopping experience. For a little artist inside you, they also invite tourists to pick up a paintbrush and take part in artistic workshops. After a hustling day at Varanasi’s Ghats, this place surely is a great place to unwind.

Address: 1 Ground floor, Shwetabh Building, near Sankat Mochan Mandir and Lanka Post Office, Lanka Road, Varanasi Timings: 11 am- 8 pm Main Attractions: Artistic work and paintings Time Required: 2 to 3 hours

Suggested Read: 5 Airports In Varanasi That Offer Some Amazing Services To Its Guests

8. Sri Durga Temple

Sri Durga Temple, one of the most beautiful historical buildings in Varanasi

Sri Durga Temple, which is painted red with ochre, is one of the mythical places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days, nestled near the Durga Ghat and a five-minute walk west of Assi Ghat. known as the “Monkey Temple”, as you can see many monkeys around the temple guarding it, this blissful temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga and was built by the Queen of Bengal as a centre of devotion in the 18th century. Thousands of devotees visit this place every year to seek the blessings of Goddess Durga and experience its spiritual aura filled with prayers and bhajans. The main attraction of the temple is a kund that is connected to the Ganga River and is believed to have healing properties.

Address: 27, Durgakund Rd, Durgakund, Anandbagh, Bhelupur, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221005 Timings: 5 am – 11 pm & 4 pm – 9 pm Main Attractions: Durga Puja, Prayers and Bhajans Time Required: 2 to 3 hours

9. Ramnagar Fort

A beautiful view of Ramnagar Fort front entrance.

Built by Raja Balwant Singh in 1750, Ramnagar Fort is a marvellous historical monument with the Mughal style of architecture. The sandstone fort and palace from the 18th century is no longer used for defence; instead, it now serves as home to a bizarre museum filled with antique weapons, ornate hookahs, sedan chairs adorned with jewels, and a unique astronomical clock that is more than 150 years old. Here, travellers can enjoy the vivid sunset that can be seen from within the fort as well as visit the fort’s temple which honours Veda Vyasa. When looking for the best places to sightseeing, Ramnagar Fort is one of the stunning places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days.

Address: Mirzapur – Varanasi Road, Purana, Ramnagar Timings: 10 am to 5 pm Main Attractions: Temples, museums and sightseeing Time Required: 2 to 3 hours

Suggested Read: 10 Wedding Venues In Varanasi To Have A Blessed Union In The Holy City

10. Alamgir Mosque

Alamgir Mosque is one of the must visit tourist places in Varanasi for 2 days.

Among a list brimming with temples, Alamgir Mosque stands proudly as a representation of the Muslim community that has resided here for centuries. This magnificent mosque is renowned for its incredible Islamic architecture and holds a unique distinction as it is situated on the banks of the Ganga. According to historical accounts, the Mughal Sultan Aurangzeb, who was the great-grandchild of Akbar, oversaw its construction. The mosque derived its name from another title of Emperor Aurangzeb, Alamgir. While it is acknowledged that a temple was demolished during its construction, the mosque still exhibits many Hindu influences evident in its unique architecture and art. It is must visit tourist places in Varanasi for 2 days.

Address: Panchganga Ghat, Ghasi Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001 Timings: 7 am – 7 pm Main Attractions: Religious purpose, architecture Time Required: NA

Further Read: Shopping In Varanasi: A Guide To Shop At The Holiest Indian City

These places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days are definitely worth exploring if you are seeking some new experiences in life. Varanasi is known for its auspicious ghats, which tell historical tales, and blissful temples, full of enchanting prayers and bhajans, providing a divine and unforgettable experience to all travellers. If these places amaze you, then it’s time to book your trip to Varanasi and pack your luggage for a blissful journey.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Places to Visit in Varanasi in 2 Days

What is Varanasi famous for?

Kashi, also known as Varanasi or Banaras, is a city in India famous for its spiritual significance and cultural heritage. It is renowned for its sacred ghats along the River Ganges, vibrant Ganga Aarti ceremonies, and numerous temples dedicated to Hindu deities. The city's rich history, traditional handicrafts, and academic institutions, such as Banaras Hindu University, add to its allure as a top tourist destination.

How many days are enough to visit Varanasi?

The ideal duration to visit Varanasi depends on the traveller's interests and the depth of exploration desired. To cover the major attractions, experience the spiritual ambience, and witness the mesmerizing Ganga Aarti, a 2 to 3-day trip is sufficient. However, for a more immersive experience, exploring the city's rich culture, heritage, and nearby places, a 4 to 5-day visit would be recommended.

What is unique in Varanasi?

Varanasi, also known as Kashi or Banaras, is unique for its spiritual essence and historical significance. It is considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with a rich cultural heritage that dates back several millennia. The city's sacred ghats along the River Ganges, where vibrant Ganga Aarti ceremonies are held, add to its distinctiveness, providing a mesmerizing experience unlike any other place in India.

What is the best time to places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days?

The best time to visit Varanasi is during the winter months, from November to February. The weather during this period is pleasant and comfortable, making it ideal for exploring the city's attractions and experiencing its spiritual ambience.

How do I plan a Varanasi Trip?

You can take a Varanasi trip tour package from the TravelTriangle and plan your trip.

Which ghat is famous in places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days?

Among the numerous ghats in Varanasi, the Dashashwamedh Ghat is the most famous and iconic. This ghat holds significant spiritual importance and is known for hosting the spectacular Ganga Aarti ceremony every evening, which attracts thousands of devotees and tourists.

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10 Best Places to Visit in Varanasi – Popular Tourist Attractions

1. ganges river.

It is the mother river of India and a holy place for Hindus. Indians believe Ganges River can cleanse away their sins. You can see flocks of locals and foreigners gathering here every day. It is recommended to walk along the river or rent a boat floating on the river at sunrise or dusk. People can watch the grand puja in the evening.

It is one of the most important Buddhist ruins and a holy place in India. Many architectures were damaged by Islamists and Today’s remaining ruins include Dhamekh Stupa, Chaukhandi Mound, Archaelongical Museum, etc. It is a worth-visiting tourist place in Varanasi.

The Ganges puja is an iconic activity of the Varanasi, attracting pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. Held every night at the River Altar, Dasawamadh Ghat is the largest sacrifice terrace. The priests, were appointed to the Brahma’s descendant. The young and handsome priests chant loudly, dressed in gorgeous silk clothes, and bring people into the divine atmosphere. It is one of the best tour activities in Varanasi.

4. Dasashwamedh Ghat

The Dassaswame Ghat is one of the busiest river altars in Ganges River, which has a very sacred religious status in Varanasi and India. There are two groups of night sacrifice activities, with seven priests on the upstream and five priests downstream.

5. Manikarnika Ghat

It is one of the holiest river altars in the Ganges, the most famous river burial site, and the ultimate destination for pilgrims. People are not allowed to take pictures.

6. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple

It is one of the holiest Hindu temples in India. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god of Shiva.

7. Banaras Hindu University

At the beginning of the 20th century, Indian national consciousness awaked. And in 1905, Indian National Assembly proposal was adopted to raise funds for the study of the traditional culture of India. People, rich or poor alike, have equal access to education. It is a meaning tourist place in Varanasi.

8. Durga Mandir

The temple wall is red and is dedicated to the goddess Durga. There are often monkeys around the temple, so it is also known as the Monkey Temple.

9. Assi Ghat

It is a famous religious place where believers pay homage to Lord Shiva. People can appreciate the beautiful arti in the evening.

10. Sarnath Archaeological Museum

Built in 1910, this museum collects cultural relics of Sarnath, including many treasures of Indian Buddhist art. This area has also unearthed many different times of the stone statues. It is also a popular attraction in Varanasi.

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Meander Wander

The Ultimate Varanasi Travel Guide for Planning a Trip in 2024

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Varanasi, an ancient city in India, is one of the most fascinating places that I have ever visited. This vibrant and lively city receives pilgrims and tourists throughout the year who are looking for different things over here. Some come here to celebrate life while others come to celebrate an important milestone in their life.

Whatever may be the case, you will always find the streets of Varanasi bustling with tourists. There are lots of people taking bath in the sacred River Ganga along the Ghats. This is one vibrant and lively city that anyone who wishes to experience India should visit.

Planning a trip to Varanasi soon? Well, then this Varanasi Travel Guide will help you in doing so! I have shared all the details in this article including where to stay in Varanasi, how to travel within Varanasi, what to eat, shopping guide, and lots more.

Varanasi Travel Guide

About Varanasi

Varanasi is a sacred city in India which could easily be the oldest inhabited city in the world and has a very old history associated with it. According to the texts in Rig Veda, Varanasi was originally called Kashi and was officially renamed to Varanasi in 1956. Kashi translated to ‘to shine’ in English so, Varanasi was known as the City of Lights.

According to Hindu mythology, Varanasi was established by Lord Shiva who was the god of creation and destruction. Since it was the second home to Lord Shiva, there is a Kashi Vishwanath Temple dedicated to him. It is believed that anyone who dies in Varanasi is lucky as he will be liberation from the cycle or reincarnation. That’s not all, a bath in the sacred river Ganga is also said to wash away all your sins.

This is why thousands of elderly come to Varanasi to spend their last days here and priests conduct the final rites for those who died in the city.

Apart from being a prominent site in Hinduism, Varanasi also happens to be a sacred place for Buddhism. Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon about Buddhism around 528 BC and the town of Sarnath, located in Varanasi, is home to temples, stupas, and sites related to Buddhism.

When to Visit Varanasi?

Varanasi is accessible throughout the year but different months are suited for different activities. However, if you wish to just explore the sights in Varanasi, then you can visit Varanasi during the winter season . The weather is cool and pleasant so, sightseeing turns out to be a lot of fun.

Getting There

Located in Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi is around 300 km from Lucknow which is the state capital and 800 km from Delhi which is the national capital. The city is well-connected to the rest of India through roads, railways, and flights.

So, if you are travelling to Varanasi from Delhi or any other city in India, you will have a lot of options available.

How to Travel Within Varanasi

Boats in Varanasi

Once you have reached Varanasi, I am sure you must be wondering how can you travel within Varanasi. Well, since Varanasi is so populated and full of attractions to visit, it is good to know about the main mode of transportation that you will find here.

Here is a brief breakdown of how you can travel in Varanasi.

Personally, I found the best way to explore Varanasi was on foot. If you are covering the streets and Ghats of Varanasi, then this is a great way to do that. It will take you around 1 hour to travel from the northernmost Ghat in Varanasi to the Assi Ghat. Apart from that, the streets are filled with wonderful doors and alleys for photography, so walking is a great way to uncover that as well.

Moreover, you can stop at the food vendors to enjoy the local street food in Varanasi if you are walking and exploring the city.

Rickshaws and Shared E-rickshaws

While walking is a great way to explore Varanasi, you cannot travel to the temples or other places if your hotel is situated a little away from these attractions. In such a case, a rickshaw or an E-rickshaw could be useful. Usually, a rickshaw will cost you around 50 INR for a 3km radius but be prepared to bargain.

There are many shared E-rickshaws that will take you to the ghats and cost you just 10-20 INR for the journey.

Auto-rickshaws

If you are travelling from the railway station or the airport, then auto-rickshaws are the best way to reach your hotel/hostel. You will find lots of auto-rickshaws but you will have to haggle a little for the right price. An auto from Varanasi Junction will cost you around 150-200 INR to Dasaswamedha Ghat.

Ola or Private Taxis

Finally, you also have the option of ordering an Ola cab but remember, the streets of Varanasi are quite narrow so you might not be able to take you car deep inside the city. But it is a great option if you are travelling from the Airport and don’t want to waste your time or energy on haggling the prices with the auto owners or private taxi owners.

Finally, when you are travelling around the Ghats, then one of the best ways to travel from one Ghat to another Ghat is by taking a boat. You can also enjoy a boat ride to cross the river and explore the ashrams and temples that are located on the other side. Usually, a boat ride of one hour will cost you around 50-100 INR per person.

Tips for Traveling in Varanasi

Local lady sitting on Ghat

When you are travelling in Varanasi, you might feel a bit out of place. So, here are a few tips that I have compiled to help you blend in Varanasi and have an enjoyable trip here.

Dress Conservatively in Varanasi

Well, Varanasi is the spiritual capital of India so it is imperative that you wear modest clothing to avoid unwanted attention. You don’t have to wear a suit or saree but you can wear tops and long skirts to keep your shoulders and legs covered at all times.

Beware of the Scams

There are a lot of scams happening daily with tourists in Varanasi so, I would recommend you to be careful here. A few common ones are where locals try to take you to special restaurants or hotels or shops and then take commission for that.

Boat tour guides ask for ridiculous amount at times so you will need to be prepared for haggling. But most importantly, if anyone asks you to buy wood for cremation services, then either say no or be ready to spend a lot because the wood is usually sold to the tourists at a high price to earn profits.

Follow the Rules and Customs

One of the major things to remember when travelling in Varanasi is that the locals have their own customs and rituals here. So, instead of questioning them, respect them and follow them. Sometimes you would be asked to not enter an area with your footwear so, be respectful and remove it before entering.

Be Careful When Taking Photographs

Make sure that you don’t take photos of anyone without permission in Varanasi as it can lead to a lot of trouble. Whether it be a saddhu, a baba, or a local, always be mindful of taking their permission before clicking their snap.

Also, photographs of the cremation area are strictly prohibited so, don’t even attempt it.

Keep Your Belongings Safe

There are a lot of pickpockets in Varanasi so, always keep your bags locked and pay careful attention to them. Leave your valuables in the hotel room and always be aware of your surroundings when exploring the ghats or attending the Ganga Arti.

Stay Safe When Drinking Bhaang

Bhaang is basically edible cannibas which is legal at a few government shops in Varanasi. When you try it out, make sure you are in a safe zone as it can be trippy and can make you hallucinate. Always buy it from a government-authorized shop and always keep trustworthy people around you. If you are travelling solo or unsure about it, then don’t try.

Bargain a Lot

An important thing to remember when travelling in Varanasi is that you will have to haggle almost everywhere. From shopping to transportation, everyone will quote higher price to you in the beginning so, you need to bargain a lot to bring it to the actual price of the product or service.

Watch Out for Bulls

The streets of Varanasi are full of bulls and cows which makes it slightly difficult to navigate the alleyways at times. So, always be careful when you are exploring the streets and don’t end up walking in bull or cow crap as it would be very difficult to get it off.

Where to Stay in Varanasi

Ganga Aarti at Dasaswamedha Ghat

Of course, a Varanasi Travel Guide without information on where to stay in Varanasi is slightly incomplete. Since Varanasi is a popular pilgrim destination, there are lots of accommodations available here in varying price ranges.

Depending on your budget and the purpose of your visit, you can choose the best stay in Varanasi for you.

Best Places to Stay in Varanasi

There are many amazing places to visit in Varanasi, especially the ghats. This is why it is important that you choose a place to stay in Varanasi to make it easier to explore the sights. Here are a few of the best places to stay in Varanasi to make the most of your trip:

Dasaswamedha Ghat – One of the top places to stay in Varanasi is Dasaswamedha Ghat as it is the main location for Ganga Aarti in Varanasi. It is said that this ghat was brought into existence by Lord Brahma to welcome Lord Shiva. There are a lot of activities going on here which makes it a popular attraction for tourists. Offering beautiful views of the city, there are many good hotels here for you to reserve your stay in Varanasi.

Darbhanga Ghat – Known for its amazing sandstone structure, Darbhanga Ghat is a great place to stay in Varanasi. There are many good heritage hotels here and since it is next to Dasaswamedha Ghat, you can easily witness the evening Ganga Arti here as well.

Shivala Ghat – Overlooking river Ganga, this is another busy ghat that offers several affordable and luxury accommodation options to the travellers. This is a good place to stay as the Ghat lies in the middle and offers you access to both the Assi Ghat side and the Dasaswamedha Ghat.

Hanuman Ghat – Another beautiful Ghat to consider for your stay in Varanasi is Hanuman Ghat a.k.a Rameshwaram Ghat. This gorgeous destination is believed to be built by Lord Rama for his disciple Hanuman. You will find a Hanuman temple here and one dedicated to Tulsi Das as well. There are several good hotels and restaurants here to explore during your stay.

Assi Ghat – Assi Ghat is located at southermost end of Varanasi ghats and offers several accommodation and restaurant options. It is also a quieter area for staying in Varanasi and happens to be the largest Ghats in Varanasi. One can visit here to enjoy boat rides to cross the River Ganges or reach Dasaswamedha Ghat that is located in the north side.

Budget-Friendly Stay Option: Hostels and Guest Houses

If you are a backpacker or a budget-traveler like me, then I am sure you are looking for an affordable stay in Varanasi. Thankfully, there are many hostels and guest houses to choose from in the city. Moreover, these accommodations are scattered all over the city, so you would be able to find a suitable accommodation near your choice of Ghat.

I have mentioned a few of the best options for the top locations in Varanasi to help you make a choice.

Price : These hostels and guest houses cost between 300 and 1100 INR per night for two guests.

Assi Ghat – Live Free Hostel, Hotel Picasso, Moustache Hostel Varanasi, Old City PG Hostel, Om Guest House, Kedar Guest House, Bliss Hostel, Banaras Paying Guest House.

Dasaswamedha Ghat – Mad Squad Hotel, Family Guest House, Alka Hotel, Wander Station Varanasi, Shiva Lodge.

Darbhanga Ghat – Vibe n Joy Guest House, Vishnu Rest House, Family Guest House, Ganga Guest House, Wander Station Varanasi, Liberty Guest House, Chatter Box Hostel.

Shivala Ghat and Hanuman Ghat – HosteLaVie Varanasi, Dynasty Guest House, Hotel Heritage Inn.

Mid-Range Stay Options: Hotels

For those who are looking for a little more comfort during their stay in Varanasi, there are many good 2-star and 3-star hotels available here. These hotels are reasonably priced and many of them are located on the ghats to offer easy access to their guests.

Here I have mentioned a few best options in Varanasi for mid-range stay options.

Price : These hotels and guest houses will cost you anywhere between 1500 and 4000 INR per night for two guests.

Assi Ghat – Via Varanasi, Hotel Ganga Garden, Palace on Ganges, Hotel Banaras Haveli, The Art Hotel, Banaras Hostel, Hotel Haifa.

Dasaswamedha Ghat – Ganpati Guest House, Shiva Inn Paying Guest House, Safarnama Varanasi.

Darbhanga Ghat – Hotel Sita, Sri Omkar Palace, Shiva Guest House, Palace on Steps.

Shivala Ghat and Hanuman Ghat – New Hotel Broadway, Rivera Palace, Rose Heritage Home, Ratanakar Palace Guesthouse, Hotel Balaji Palace, The Century Plaza,

Luxury Stay Options: Hotels and Resorts

Looking to relax and pamper yourself during the weekend trip to Varanasi? Then, you should check out the resorts and havelis in Varanasi for a luxurious stay here. These hotels and resorts will be a tad bit expensive but you would get the best facilities and services here.

Check out these few best accommodation options in Varanasi for a luxury experience.

Price : A stay at these luxury properties will cost you anywhere between 4,000 and 20,000 INR per night for two guests.

Dasaswamedha Ghat and Darbhanga Ghat – BrijRama Palace

Shivala Ghat and Hanuman Ghat – Amritara Suryauday Haveli, Shiva Ganges View.

Other Parts of Varanasi – Guleria Kothi, Taj Ganges, The Clarks, Ramada Plaza.

Where and What to Eat in Varanasi

Street Food in Varanasi

Although Varanasi is not known for partying or fine dining, but one of the best things to do in Varanasi is to try the street food here. You will find lots of simple restaurants and street food vendors around the Ghats in Varanasi that you simply cannot miss out on.

Since there is religious significance, restaurants near the river Ganga offer vegetarian food with non-alcoholic drinks. However, hotels and restaurants that are located away from the Ghats do offer non-vegetarian food and alcoholic drinks.

Where to Eat in Varanasi

Bhokal Chat

Here are a few best restaurants and food vendors that you should try in Varanasi.

Bhokal Chat – One of the most famous Chat vendors in Varanasi, you cannot miss the Pav Bhaji and the chat at Bhokal Chat in Assi Ghat. The chat is just too good for words and it costs barely 50-100 INR for a meal here.

Kashi Chat Center – If you are craving some delicious chaat or street food, then Kashi Chat Center near Dasaswamedha is a good place to check out. The food is delicious and cheap and this place has become quite famous among the tourists.

Brown Bread Bakery – A great place for breakfast, Brown Break Bakery offers everything from pizzas to cakes and offer great ambiance at the rooftop restaurant. You can also catch a live classical performance here at night around 7:30 p.m.

Shiva Cafe – This is yet another great choice for anyone who is looking for lots of options in food. This cafe serves not only Indian cuisine but Nepalese, Thai, and Western cuisine as well.

Dada Ki Chai – Another great place near Assi Ghat, Dada Ki Chai is a must-visit for all the tea lovers out there. You get the typical kulhad chai here which is delicious and affordable and you have a wide range of teas to choose from.

Pizzeria Vatika Cafe – If you are tired of the Indian food, then you can try Pizzeria Vatika Cafe where they serve delicious crispy pizzas and amazing apple pies. You can also enjoy the view of the river Ganges from here.

Aum Cafe – This is a Ayurvedic family run vegetarian cafe near Assi Ghat. Here, you can find good variety of herbal teas, juices, and so on. You can also get piercings or body massages get done here.

Hotel Kalika – If you are craving some non-vegetarian food, then Hotel Kalika near Assi Ghat is the best place to check out. From chicken to mutton, you get everything here at an extremely affordable price and the food it absolutely delicious too.

Dolphin Restaurant – Located on the banks of Dasaswamedha Ghat, Dolphin Restaurant is a great place for vegetarian food in Varanasi. You will get both North Indian and Continental cuisine here and can enjoy the river views with your food.

Varanasi Street Food to Try

Malaiyyo

Varanasi is known for its amazing street food so, it would be a shame if you didn’t try it on your visit. Here are a few street foods that you should definitely try on your Varanasi trip:

Kachori Sabzi – One of the most popular breakfast options in Varanasi, Kachori Sabzi is a must-try delicacy. In this dish, you have badi kachori filled with dal masala and choti kachori stuffed with a spicy potato mixture. Then, aloo ki sabzi is added to it to make this wholesome dish ready. You can get this at most street food stalls in Varanasi.

Malaiyyo – Malaiyyo is a popular winter street dessert in Varanasi that will simply melt in your mouth. Made from milk froth, saffron, cardamoms, and garnished with almonds and pistachio, this dish is served in kulhad and is a must-try in Varanasi.

Lassi and Bhaang – Two drinks that you will find commonly in Varanasi are lassi and bhaang. Made from curd, lassis are great to keep your stomach relaxed during the summers and can be found almost everywhere. But for bhaang, you have to be a little careful as it can cause you to lose your senses a little bit. Made from tulsi and milk, bhaang is a little potent drink that you should only drink in a safe environment but it is also a must-try in this city.

Baati Chokha – Although a Bihar speciality, baati chokha is famous in Varanasi too. Baati is basically wheat ball with sattu filling chokha is simply mashed potatoes and brinjal with spices. It makes a tasty snack and you should definitely try it when you are visiting Varanasi.

Tamatar Chaat – The Varanasi version of Tamatar Chaat should definitely be tried out as you will find it just here. In this, the tomatoes are mixed with boiled potatoes, spices, hing, green chillies, and pounded ginger. It is served along with chaat masala and tastes yummy!

Samosa – Of course, when we are talking about street food, how can we miss the samosas and the pakodas that are the staple snacks in Varanasi. You can get these snacks from any street vendor for 5 INR and can enjoy a budget-friendly trip here.

Shopping in Varanasi

If you are travelling to Varanasi for the first time or even for the umpteenth time, you cannot miss out on buying souvenirs from here. The city is particularly famous for the Benarasi Silk Sarees and it would be a shame if you didn’t get them for yourself or your loved ones. Apart from that, you can also buy Ganga Jal, Rudraksha Mala, Wooden Toys, Shivalinga, Glass Beads, Flutes, Stone Carved Curios, and Indic Literature Books at home.

For shopping in Varanasi, there are many good street shops that offer good prices and variety of products. Most of the small souvenirs such as Rudraksh Malas, Wooden Toys, etc. you can easily buy from kiosks on the Ghats. Be sure to haggle for the price as the owners usually quote a high price for the tourists.

There are many amazing local streets for shopping in Varanasi where you can buy clothes, accessories, and a lot of others things at reasonable price. For silk and woollen products, you can head to the Thatheri Bazaar while Vishwanath Galli offers not only shops for buying clothes but houses several food shops as well. Apart from that, there are a few malls in Varanasi as well such as PDR Mall, Vinayak Plaza, etc. so, you can check them out as well.

Varanasi Shopping Street

Network Availability in Varanasi

Airtel and Jio works best in Varanasi with Vodafone offering decent network service too. If you are planning to attend calls or use Internet data for working, then I would recommend you to carry either an Airtel or a Jio SIM with you.

ATMs in Varanasi

There are several ATMs scattered throughout the city of Varanasi. So, you will easily be able to find your bank’s ATM to withdraw the cash.

For foreigners, there are several Currency Exchange shops available in the city as well. You will be able to exchange your USD, EUR, Pound, and other currency notes quite easily here.

Also Read: The Must-Visit Places in Varanasi

Safety Tips for Traveling in Varanasi

Although Varanasi is safe for solo female travellers, it is important to be prepared for any unexpected experiences. Try to plan your Varanasi trip so that you don’t face any such incidents. Make sure that you don’t roam around in secluded areas at night alone. Don’t be quick to believe anyone when they try to take you to some nice location for shopping or eating. Avoid accepting drinks from strangers, especially since bhang is widely distributed in Varanasi.

Most importantly, be prepared for any situation and inform your family and friends on your whereabouts at all times. Keep handy the local emergency numbers and the number of your hotel/hostel in case you get into any trouble.

Cost of Traveling in Varanasi

Now, coming to the total cost of travelling in a place like Varanasi, it depends on the kind of traveller you are. You can get a stay in Varanasi for as low as 150 INR per night or you can spend around 500 – 800 INR for a decent one.

Meals in Varanasi will cost you around 50 – 100 INR. You can get a Thali or Pav Bhaji for this amount which would be filling for a meal. For transportation to nearby places, you can expect to shell around 50 – 100 INR in a day if you are staying close to the Ghats.

So, if you are planning a 3 to 4 days trip in Varanasi, you can expect to spend around 4000 – 5000 INR, depending on your travelling style. Personally, when I travelled in Varanasi, I spent around 2800 INR for a 5-day trip excluding my travel cost to and from Varanasi.

Well, Varanasi is an amazing place to visit in India, there is definitely no doubt about it. And with a little bit of planning, you can execute a wonderful trip here. Make sure that you keep aside enough days to explore everything that this city has to offer and look for local experiences to enjoy your trip more here.

I hope this Varanasi travel guide helps you plan an epic trip to this wonderful city. Let me know if you would like me to add anything else.

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this is a reasonable and fine guide to travel around the world.

Really Awesome post! I agree, Varanasi is probably the best example of Indian culture and traditions. An awesome spiritual place for travel. Well done. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful blog.

Very informative content. Varanasi has all the flavors of old times and new age. You can find ancient way of people worshipping and traditional way of dealing things specially around ganga. And new age things like Cruze on river, new NAMO ghat, new convection center Rudrach etc. Varanasi is a magical feeling which one can only feel when he or she is in varanasi. Thanks for posting very detailed information on Varanasi.

Nice blog thanks for sharing the information. it’s very helpful and useful. We are provide Online Cake Delivery in Varanasi

Thats great!

It would have been better if the article talked about where to visit also apart from ghats.

Hopefully next time, I was occupied visiting the numerous ghats found here that did not get time to visit the forts and waterfalls nearby. 🙂

Thanks for Valuable Information Keep it up.

VisitTheGlobe

Top 10 Best Places To Visit In Varanasi

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All Top 10 best places to visit in Varanasi are situated near the banks of the sacred Ganga River in the state of Uttar Pradesh, province of India. This City also popularly known as Kashi, is one of the oldest and holiest cities in India. These best places to visit in Varanasi finding is like plucked pearls from the deep ocean. It’s also known as the capital city of spirituality. Varanasi is a center for Hindu pilgrimage and a cultural hub. The city has numerous Ghats (The bank of river), Temples, Ancient Monuments etc. Each with its unique aura, where pilgrims engage in ritualistic bathing, prayers & visiting. World-famous, The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, and the Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat are iconic landmarks of the city. Varanasi is also renowned for its winding pathways, vibrant markets, and the timeless tradition of silk weaving. The city, with its rich history and cultural heritage, remains a super exiting destination for seekers of spiritual enlightenment and cultural enthusiasts alike.

1. Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Kashi Vishwanath temple

Kashi Vishwanath temple holds a pride to be one of the most popular & ancient temple of India. The present temple structure was built in 1780 by the Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore. It’s considered that the old structure was built in 11th century. This temple has seen many phases of destruction and reconstruction. The most damage to this temple was caused by Mughal ruler Aurangzeb. But It’s 15.5 meter high & 300 kilograms adorable three domes was donated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab in the 19th century.

This adorable temple is located near the world famous the Dashashwamedh Ghat and the homeland of Hindu Gods, Varanasi (Banaras). The Temple Kashi Vishwanath is considered one of the 12 Jyotirlingas and dedicated to Lord Shiva. Jyotirlingas are considered to be the eternal form of Lord Shiva in Hinduism. This adorable temple is an unique example of incredible architecture capability of India. And now to avoid inconvenience to the numerous devotees, Kashi Vishwanath Corridor Development Program has been started.

  • Location : Lahori Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Distance From Railway Station : Around 4.5 Kilometre
  • Distance From Airport : Around 22 Kilometre
  • Time to Visit : 2:30 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Main Attraction : Shivaratri and Rangabhari Ekadashi
  • Required to Visit : 2 to 3 hours

2. Dashashwamedh Ghat

Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi

Dashashwamedh Ghat holds pride in being one of the most popular & ancient ghats in India. According to mythological beliefs, seeing the glory of this ghat, Lord Brahma himself had performed Dashashwamedh yajna and donated 10 horses, hence this ghat was named Dashashwamedh Ghat. It is said that once Mughal Emperor Akbar came here to visit, he was so fascinated by this place that he ordered for beautification of this ghat. And he also ordered to make a beautiful balcony and that balcony is preserved even today.

All around this ghat, you will find ancient traditions, beautiful culture and divine power. The world-famous Ganga Aarti is the pride of this ghat which has been happening every evening for a long time.

Devotees and visitors participate in the ancient bathing rituals in the holy river Ganga. This is an age-old tradition which must be followed by every person who comes here. It’s a strong belief that bathing in the holy river to purify the body and soul. You can feel the cultural beauty of this place in the crowd of countless people while pilgrims seek the divine blessings of the Ganga’s.

  • Location : Dashashwamedh Ghat Rd, Ghats of Kashi, Godowlia, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001
  • Time to Visit : Anytime
  • Arti Time : 7:00 PM to 7:45 PM (Summers) & During Winters, 6:00 PM to 6:45 PM
  • Main Attractions : Culture, Heritage monuments & Temples
  • Time Required to Visit : 3 to 4 hours

Sarnath in Varanasi

Sarnath is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites of Buddhism . This wonderful place is located at a distance of just 8 miles from the main city of Varanasi and provides you with countless joys to visit and experience. It is the site where Gautama Buddha delivered his first sermon, Emperor Ashoka built the Ashoka Pillar and countless monasteries taught the lessons of love, peace & prosperity.

Due to the beautiful architectural construction here, UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage. If you are a lover of architecture, interested in Buddhism and someone who feels close to the ancient heritage, then this place is like heaven for you. You can be amazed to see Dhamek Stupa, Chaukhandi Stupa, Mulagandha Kuti Vihara, Japanese Temple, Thai Monastery & Ashoka’s Pillar etc. Overall you are going to have a great experience by reaching here.

  • Location : Around 13 kilometres northeast of the city of Varanasi, Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221007, India
  • Ticket Price : Rs200
  • Opening Time : All day
  • Transportation : By auto rickshaw or cab
  • Time required to visit : 3-4hours

4. Manikaranika Ghat

Manikarnika ghat in Varanasi

Manikaranika Ghat on the banks of the holy river Ganga in Varanasi stands as an iconic symbol of life, death, and spiritual assumptions. This Ghat has witnessed the passing of time and the rise and fall of several empires. The sacred well, Manikarnika Kund, is believed to have been created by Lord Vishnu during his cosmic dance when his earring (Manikarnika) of the goddess fell into it, hence lending the ghat its name.

Cremation actives 24 hours continuously at Manikarnika Ghat, It’s symbolizing the unending cycle of life and death. The belief in the power of Moksha (liberation from the cycle of rebirth) achieved at Manikarnika Ghat attracts people from all over India to perform the last rites of their loved ones here.

There are a lot of things to explore like Amazing views of Ghat & the wave of Holy river Ganga, Sunset Views, Dattatreya Temple, Manikarnika Kund and a spiritual aura, intensified by the continuous chanting of mantras, the ringing of bells, and the fragrance of incense etc.

  • Location: Near Rajendra Prasad Ghat, Garawasi, Jugul Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India 221001
  • Timings: Open 24 hours
  • Time Required to Visit: 2 to 3 hours

5. Assi Ghat

assi ghat in varanasi

Assi Ghat, one of the other sacred and popular ghats located to the south of Varanasi city, is a great holy place with panoramic views. According to Hindu mythology, Tis ghat is named on the Assi River, an ancient river that is believed to have once flowed into the Ganges. The relevancy of this ghat is mention in several ancient scriptures, adding to its mythological importance.

Assi Ghat is known as a hub of cultural activities, hosting music and dance performances, art exhibitions and religious events. It’s also a popular destination for meditation and yoga practitioners. Spiritual Aura of this ghat along with Morning Aarti, Ancient temples, Ritual bathing etc. attracts the visitors most.

  • Location: Assi Ghat, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
  • Time to Visit: Anytime
  • Required Time to Visit: 1 to 2 hours
  • Transportation: By auto rickshaw or cab

6. Sri Durga Temple (Monkey Temple)

sri durga temple (monkey temple) in varanasi

Located in the heart of Kashi (Varanasi) Sri Durga Temple is One of the most visited site among all temples in Varanasi. The temple is situated just near of Assi ghat and It was built by the Queen of Bengal as a centre of spirit & devotion during the 18th century. The temple’s architecture is a great example of North Indian and Nagara styles, adorned by intense carvings, great design and an awesome view. Mainly this temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga, The goddess of power in Hinduism. You can easily find the presence of numerous sculptures and statues dedicated to various gods & goddess, including Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu inside the temple. The Bhagwati Yatra, an annual ritual of a short journey is a grand celebration that starts from the Sri Durga Temple. Due to presence of numerous monkeys around the temple, people also called it Monkey Temple.

  • Location : Durgakund Road, Anandbagh, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India 221005
  • Time to Visit : 5 am – 11 pm & 4 pm – 9 pm
  • Time Required : 2 to 3 hours

7. Ramnagar Fort

ramnagar fort in varanasi

Ramnagar Fort, located on the eastern bank of the Ganges in Varanasi, is an ancient historical place. It was Built in the 18th century by Maharaja Balwant Singh, it serves as the ancestral house of the Maharaja of Varanasi. The fort showcases incredible mixture of Mughal and Rajput architecture, housing a museum with vintage cars, royal antiques and an amazing collection of manuscripts. Beside the Ganga’s, Ramnagar Fort provides a glimpse into the rich history of Varanasi and stands as a witness to the rich cultural heritage of the region. Adorable carvings can be seen on the walls of the entire palace.

Visitors can enjoy the amazing sunset view that can be seen from within the fort as well as visit the fort’s temple.

  • Location: Mirzapur – Varanasi Road, Purana Ramnagar, Varanasi, India
  • Time to Visit: 10 am to 5 pm
  • Main Attractions: Temples, museums and sightseeing
  • Required to Visit: 2 to 3 hours

8. Banaras Hindu University

Banaras Hindu University in varanasi

One of the oldest & great University of India. Banaras Hindu University (BHU) founded in Varanasi is a renowned educational institution founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya in 1916. Spread across 1300 acres of a large campus, BHU is celebrated for its feature of traditional and modern education. The campus is home of the iconic New Vishwanath Temple, showcasing amazing architecture. The university offers a vast range of courses and has numerous departments, colleges, and research centres. Bharat Kala Bhavan, the intense museum within BHU campus, preserves a rich collection of art and antiques. The university’s cultural events, academic excellence and its commitment to nurturing holistic development make it a hub of learning, attracting students and scholars from across the country even the world.

  • Location: Ajagara, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India 221005
  • Time of Visit: 9 am to 7 pm
  • Main Attractions: Architecture and Museum
  • Required Time to Visit: 3 to 4 hours

9. Bharat Mata Temple

Bharat Mata Temple varanasi

The Bharat Mata Temple in Varanasi famous as a unique patriotic symbol, dedicated to Mother India. The temple is located in the campus of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith campus. This patriotic temple Constructed before the freedom of India by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936.  The temple is a symbol of the unity in diversity of the nation. The central statue is a marble made map of undivided India, showcasing its mountains, plains and oceans. Each corner is adorned with symbolic representations of various religious statues, emphasizing the harmonious coexistence of diverse faiths in the country. This patriotic temple serves as a reminder of India’s cultural and spiritual diversity richness, nurturing a sense of national pride and unity among its visitors. Who come to pay homage to the sacred concept of Bharat Mata, the Motherland.

  • Location: Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth Campus, Sigra, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India 221005.
  • Time of Visiting: 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Required Time to Visit: 1 to 1:30 hrs
  • Transportation: You can easily reach here by Auto Rikshaw or cab from Railway station or Airport.

10. Tulsi Manas Temple

Tulsi Manas Temple in varanasi

The Tulsi Manas Temple is located in the centre of spirituality city of India Varanasi, is dedicated to a cultural and spiritual gem & Hindu god Lord Rama. It was built in 1964, the temple constructed on the spot where the renowned Hindu poet-saint Tulsidas is believed to have written the world-famous epic Ramcharitmanas. The temple’s white marble structure, adorned with intense cravings describing scenes of the epic Ramayana, gives an amazing experience of spirituality.

Devotees gather to pay homage & seek bless to Lord Rama and gains inspiration from the teachings of Tulsidas. You will be amazed by the beautiful sculptures of the Gods in the central prayer hall of the temple and the beautiful carvings of episodes from the holy scripture Ramcharitmanas all around the temple premises. This temple is a glorious symbol of Indian tradition, rich culture & vibrant spiritual beliefs. 

  • Location: Tulsi Manas Mandir Road, Naria, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India 221006.
  • Time of Visiting: As common as other temples
  • Required Time to Visit: 1:00 to 1:30 hrs
  • Transportation: You can easily reach here by Auto Rikshaw or cab facility from Railway station or Airport.

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Rishikesh vs Varanasi: which of these two riverside Indian cities should you visit?

Margot Bigg

May 27, 2024 • 7 min read

Varanasi-vs-Rishikesh

We asked two travel writers to go head-to-head over which is better, Rishikesh or Varanasi © Getty Images; iStock

Two Indian cities along the Ganges each have claims to fame. 

Dubbed the “yoga capital of the world” for its numerous ashrams and yoga teacher training courses, Rishikesh  is particularly popular among spiritual seekers (as well as those who are just in need of a good stretch). Follow the Ganges south and you'll find  Varanasi , one of the holiest cities in Hinduism and a place that has drawn pilgrims for thousands of years.

In case you're not able to visit both, we asked two travel writers to go head-to-head, giving the case for the city closest to their hearts.

An ashram building surrounded by thick trees

Rishikesh welcomes all to its ashrams and temples

During her six-year stint living in India, travel journalist Margot Bigg visited Rishikesh countless times, and once spent an entire month studying yoga in the city. Rishikesh remains one of her favorite weekend destinations from Delhi to this day.

The holy city of Rishikesh on the banks of the Ganges River — and its proximity to Uttarakhand’s four famous pilgrimage temples, collectively known as the Char Dham — has drawn in a steady flow of Indian travelers for many generations, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that Western visitors began coming here in great numbers.

Although the hippie trail has come and gone, one relic of the flower-power era remains: the ruins of the  Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram , nicknamed the “Beatles Ashram” in honor of the time that the Fab Four spent here studying Transcendental Meditation under the tutelage of the Maharishi himself. While you used to be able to slip a few rupees to a watchperson and explore the once-ramshackle grounds on your own, the ashram has since been taken over by the Rajaji Tiger Reserve. Today it operates as a proper tourist attraction, complete with signage, well-maintained passageways, a photo gallery and a small cafe.

People sit on steps that lead down to the riverside

The Beatles Ashram aside, most of Rishikesh’s historic ashrams and temples are active, thriving, and welcoming to all — including foreigners — unlike Varanasi, where temples either charge hefty fees for overseas visitors or simply ban them from entry altogether. Rishikesh is a friendly, welcoming place for seekers (and the spiritually curious), irrespective of their origin. Foreign visitors can hike up to the  Neelkanth Mahadev Temple , study the teachings of Swami Sivananda — who wrote all his tomes in English — at the Divine Life Society or join the masses at the evening aarti ceremony (the auspicious lighting of lamps or candles) on the banks of the Ganges in front of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, all without having to worry about being treated as unwelcome or inferior.

People cross a suspension bridge leading over a wide river towards a temple building surrounded by woodland

If you’re super into yoga, there’s no better place to be in India than Rishikesh. Here you’ll find all sorts of places to practice your asanas, from small schools teaching beginner-friendly classes in Hatha, Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga to challenging teacher training courses certified by the Yoga Alliance. And while some of the yoga courses in Rishikesh are undoubtedly hardcore, what’s not too intense — at least when you compare Rishikesh to more hectic spots such as Varanasi — is the experience of taking a stroll down the road. Sure, Rishikesh gets some big crowds, especially during particularly auspicious times of the year, but most stick to the main drags, meaning it’s easy to slip away and find a quiet spot to be alone with your thoughts. Plus, even in the main commercial parts of town, many of Rishikesh’s lanes and thoroughfares are only wide enough to accommodate motorbikes and pedestrians. Goodbye, incessant din of honking horns.

People smiling as they face the challenge of white water rapids in a small boat

Rishikesh is only a couple of hundred kilometres from the Gangotri Glacier, the source of the sacred Ganges River. While there are some settlements between Rishikesh and the mouth of the river, most of the major industrial polluters are further downstream, meaning Rishikesh is considerably cleaner. In fact, the section of the river that runs through Rishikesh is clean enough to safely bathe or swim in — which definitely isn’t the case in Varanasi. It’s also a great place for whitewater rafting, and countless operators offer trips of varying lengths on the river, most of which are beginner-friendly. And while rafting is undoubtedly Rishikesh’s biggest draw for outdoorsy travelers, its location in the forest-fringed foothills of the Himalayas means that you’re never far from an opportunity for adventure, be it an invigorating forest hike or an adrenaline-filled bungee jumping experience. You certainly won’t find any of that in Varanasi.

Varanasi is a deeply spiritual sacred city

Traveling India to research Lonely Planet’s latest India guidebook, Monique Choy  saw many amazing places. But there’s no place on earth that can match Varanasi’s concentrated connection with life’s mysteries.

Varanasi at dawn: in the milky light pilgrims make their way down the steps of the ghats. They weave between chai-wallas (tea vendors), yogis, sadhus and flower sellers, and quietly enter the sacred waters to perform puja (prayers), heads bowed in private communion with Mother Ganga. This is no spray-on spirituality, and Varanasi is no tourist town designed to cater to curious Westerners. Entering the sacred river in Hinduism’s most scared city is a deeply personal and spiritual moment, and one that’s drawn pilgrims here for thousands of years. People travel to Varanasi (aka Banares) from across India to wash away their sins, cremate their loved ones, deepen their spiritual knowledge, and also to die here, hoping for moksha, or liberation from the cycle of rebirth.

 Hindu Priests performing evening prayers with many lit candles

According to Mark Twain, "Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together." While almost everyone who visits Varanasi falls in love with the city, most agree it is not for the faint-hearted. Intimate rituals of life and death take place in public, and the sights, sounds and smells of the mazelike old town can be intense.

Most of Varanasi’s 84 ghats are used for bathing, but there are also several "burning ghats" where bodies are cremated.  Manikarnika Ghat , the main burning ghat, is the most auspicious place for a Hindu to be cremated. The open pyres on the ghat burn day and night, cremating up to 200 people each day. Dead bodies are handled by a caste-based community of cremation workers called doms , and are carried through the tangled alleyways of the old town to the holy Ganges on a bamboo stretcher, swathed in cloth. The corpse is doused in the river prior to cremation and the ashes are scattered in the water afterwards.

Confronting the reality and ritual of death and cremation is a powerfully moving experience, as is strolling the ghats with pilgrims at a high point on their spiritual quest, or watching the nightly  ganga aarti , the moving river-worship ceremony performed by priests.

A red-orange walled temple with a white tower on top

Spend a little time in Varanasi and you may take home more intangible benefits. The city is a center of education, as one local put it, it’s all about "burning and learning". The shaded campus of the  Benares Hindu University is here, and the city is a great place to learn a new skill, you can take courses in Hindu mythology, Indian astrology and photography. You can learn how to speak Hindi, how to play the sitar, or how to make a three-course Indian feast. There are also many yoga schools, including some like DarkLotus, that take yoga out of the studio and onto the ghats.

A person walks towards the entrance of a monastery and temple building

From Varanasi, you can visit the nearby city of Sarnath on a day trip – another sacred center, this one hallowed by Buddhists. It was in Sarnath that Buddha gave his first sermon in a deer park after gaining enlightenment, known as the First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma. Once a bustling monastic center, it was sacked by Muslim invaders in the 12th century and fell through the cracks of history. The amazing  Dhamekh Stupa & Monastery Ruins were uncovered again by British archaeologists in 1835 and now Sarnath is a pilgrimage destination for Buddhists from across the world.

Varanasi is the India of your imagination. While you won’t find exclusive wellness retreats, bungee-jumping or Beatlemania here, you may connect with something far more precious – few people leave Varanasi feeling unaffected by the experience.

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varanasi tourist places top 10

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varanasi tourist places top 10

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  2. 14 Best Places to Visit in Varanasi

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  3. The Top Tourist Places in India that you should consider visiting on your next trip

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  4. Top 10 Must See Attractions In Varanasi and Nearby

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    varanasi tourist places top 10

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  1. THE 30 BEST Places to Visit in Varanasi (UPDATED 2024)

    See full details. See ways to experience (47) 8. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple (Golden Temple) 1,754. Architectural Buildings. Standing on the western bank of India's holiest river Ganges, Varanasi is the oldest surviving city of the world and the cultural capital of India.

  2. 14 Best Places to Visit in Varanasi

    13. Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple. 14. Vishnu Tea Emporium. Map of Places to Visit in Varanasi. 1. Ganges River. Sunset view of Varanasi from the Ganges River. Named after the Hindu goddess Ganga, the Ganges River is one of the most revered natural sites in India.

  3. 42 Best Places to visit in Varanasi

    Waterfront (6) Fairs & Festivals (3) 1. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Top Attraction 4.4 /5. 4 km. from city center 1 out of 42. Places To Visit in Varanasi. Situated on the western bank of holy river Ganga in Varanasi, Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas or temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.

  4. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Varanasi

    See ways to experience (46) 8. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple (Golden Temple) 1,755. Architectural Buildings. Standing on the western bank of India's holiest river Ganges, Varanasi is the oldest surviving city of the world and the cultural capital of India. It is in the heart of this city that there stands…. See ways to experience (50) 2023.

  5. 15 Best Places To Visit In Varanasi [2024]

    FAQ's About Places To Visit In Varanasi [sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0="h3″ question-0="What are the places to visit in Varanasi?" answer-0=" 1. Assi Ghat 2. Dashashwamedh Ghat 3. Manikarnika Ghat 4. Shivala Ghat 5. Ahilyabai Ghat 6. Rana Mahal Ghat 7. Panchganga Ghat 8. Chousatti Ghat Sanskrit Scholar 9. Kedar Ghat 10. Manmandir Ghat 11.

  6. 39 Places To Visit In Varanasi In 2023, The Holiest Indian City

    Popular sightseeing places in Sarnath include the Dhamekh Stupa & Monastery Ruins, the Archaeological Museum, the Chaukhandi Stupa, the Ashoka Pillar, the Mulagandha Kuti Vihar, and the Chinese & Thai Temple and Monastery. Address: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221007. Timings: Always open.

  7. 15 Best Places to Visit in Varanasi for First-Timers

    Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most famous temples in Varanasi. The city is full of temples, but the beauty and ancient history draws visitors and devotees. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the three major deities in Hinduism. The Jyotirlinga, a sacred representation of Lord Shiva, is inside the temple.

  8. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Varanasi (UPDATED 2024)

    7. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple (Golden Temple) 1,751. Architectural Buildings. Standing on the western bank of India's holiest river Ganges, Varanasi is the oldest surviving city of the world and the cultural capital of India. It is in the heart of this city that there stands in its fullest majesty the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in which is ...

  9. Explore the Spiritual Essence: Top 30 Places to Visit in Varanasi

    What are the must-visit attractions in Varanasi? Varanasi is adorned with historical and spiritual landmarks. Don't miss the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Sarnath, Dashashwamedh Ghat, and Manikarnika Ghat. Take a boat ride along the Ganges to witness the city's grandeur from a unique perspective. ... 10 Best Places to Visit in Kochi; Last ...

  10. Varanasi travel

    Varanasi. Varanasi is the India of your imagination. This is one of the world's oldest continually inhabited cities, and one of the holiest in Hinduism. Pilgrims come to the Ganges here to wash away sins in the sacred waters, to cremate their loved ones, or simply to die here, hoping for liberation from the cycle of rebirth.

  11. 29 Best Places to Visit in Varanasi for Culture and History

    Chunar Fort. Chunar Fort is one of the top haunted places in Varanasi that is located in the Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh. This fort was built in the 11 th century and is famous for its history and architecture. The tombs of the soldiers are still venerated here and the fort is said to have been divinely blessed.

  12. THE 10 BEST Varanasi Sights & Landmarks (Updated 2024)

    THE 10 BEST Varanasi Sights & Landmarks. 1. Sarnath. The Bodhi tree there is grown from a sapling two generations from the original Bodhi tree in Bodhigaya whre Buddha at... 2. Dasaswamedh Ghat. The main ghat, where at night the joint worship of the river and gods occurs — a spectacle to behold.

  13. Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Varanasi

    Entrance Gate of BHU (Banaras Hindu University), Lanka, Varanasi | #4 of Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Varanasi | Photo by Kuber Patel & Rosehub, CC BY-SA 4.0 Founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya in 1916, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) is one of the oldest, largest and most prestigious universities in India.

  14. The Ultimate Varanasi Travel Guide (2023)

    Location: BHU, Varanasi; Best Time: Morning to early evening; 10. Savor the Sunset from Ahilyabai Ghat. After exploring the above tourist attractions, end your day on a mesmerizing note by witnessing the sunset from Ahilyabai Ghat. As the sun sets over the Ganges, the sky transforms into a magnificent canvas of colors.

  15. Where to go & what to do in Varanasi?

    Varanasi is a city in Uttar Pradesh located in the central Ganga valley in the southeastern part of the state. Varanasi is one of the most oldest cities in the world and is also known as the spiritual capital of India. Home to over 2,000 temples, this place has a lot to offer. So whether […]

  16. Top 10 Places to Visit in Varanasi

    Here are the top 10 best places to visit in Varanasi: #1 Assi Ghat. #2 Manikarnika Ghat - Holiest Cremation Ghat. #3 Shivala Ghat. #4 Kashi Vishwanath Temple. #5 Tulsi Manas Temple - Where Ramcharitmanas Was Written. #6 Durga Temple - Famous Old World Legend. #7 Chowk and Vishwanath Gali.

  17. 10 Best Places To Visit in Varanasi or Banaras or Kashi (2024)

    We have curated some of the top places that one must visit when in Varanasi (Banaras or Kashi): 1. Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Meaning "The Lord Of The World ", Kashi Viswanath Temple is one of the most prominent Shiva temples of India. Kashi Viswanath Temple at Varanasi is one of 12 Jyotirlingas. it is on banks of holy Ganges on the western side.

  18. Varanasi Tourism

    Top 10 Places to Visit in Varanasi. Kashi Vishwanath Temple / Golden Temple. Pilgrimage #1 of 30 Places to Visit in Varanasi. At a distance of 5 km from Varanasi Junction, Kashi Vishwanath Temple is an ancient Hindu temple situated on the banks of River Ganga in Varanasi city of Uttar Pradesh. Popularly known as Golden Temple, it is one of the ...

  19. 10 Places To Visit In Varanasi In 2 Days

    When looking for the best places to sightseeing, Ramnagar Fort is one of the stunning places to visit in Varanasi in 2 days. Address: Mirzapur - Varanasi Road, Purana, Ramnagar. Timings: 10 am to 5 pm. Main Attractions: Temples, museums and sightseeing. Time Required: 2 to 3 hours.

  20. 10 Best Places to Visit in Varanasi

    It is also a popular attraction in Varanasi. Ticket Price: Rs5; free for children under 15 years old Opening Time: 9:00-17:00 (closed on Friday) Transportation: By train or tutu. Time Reference: 1-2 hours You May Like: 10 Best Tourist Places to Visit in India. How to Visit Varanasi - 7 Varanasi Travel Tips for First-time Travelers. Varanasi Weather

  21. The Ultimate Varanasi Travel Guide for Planning a Trip in 2024

    Cost of Traveling in Varanasi. Now, coming to the total cost of travelling in a place like Varanasi, it depends on the kind of traveller you are. You can get a stay in Varanasi for as low as 150 INR per night or you can spend around 500 - 800 INR for a decent one. Meals in Varanasi will cost you around 50 - 100 INR.

  22. List of tourist attractions in Varanasi

    The city attracts millions of domestic and international tourists. [1] The temples across the city attract pilgrims. The ghats and the Buddhist site Sarnath attract tourists from abroad. Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world, which makes it rich with cultural heritage. [2] The city is home to ghats, temples, museums, and many ...

  23. Top 10 Best Places To Visit In Varanasi

    All Top 10 best places to visit in Varanasi are situated near the banks of the sacred Ganga River in the state of Uttar Pradesh, province of India. This City also popularly known as Kashi, is one of the oldest and holiest cities in India. These best places to visit in Varanasi finding is like plucked pearls from the deep ocean.

  24. Rishikesh vs Varanasi: which Indian city should you visit ...

    Varanasi is a deeply spiritual sacred city. Traveling India to research Lonely Planet's latest India guidebook, Monique Choy saw many amazing places. But there's no place on earth that can match Varanasi's concentrated connection with life's mysteries. Varanasi at dawn: in the milky light pilgrims make their way down the steps of the ghats.