Kashi Vishwanath Darshan: Kashi Vishwanath is one of 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. It is also considered as the source of energy for the entire Human Existence. Kashi Vishwanath Temple is located on the banks of Holy River Ganges and one can reach their passing by Narrow Street called “Vishwanath Gali”. The Vishwanath Gali itself is an experience that one remembers for the life as it’s full of life and energy. One gets everything he can think of in such a short and narrow street.
Ganga Aarti: It is a celebration in honor of Mother Ganga performed every morning and evening on several ghats of Banaras. The most eminent and exuberant being the one at DashaswamedhGhat. Which is not even 2 mins if you walk eastwards from Kashi Vishwanath Temple. It draws audience from around the globe to experience the ecstasy of spirituality in Banaras. Ganga Aarti can be enjoyed by both sitting on the stairs as well by watching it from the boats parked on the Ghats in Ganga.
Street Food: Godowliya is the hub of Street food of Banaras. Something that can’t be missed at any cost. The intriguing and unique flavours of Banarasi Street food is renowned worldwide for its unique flavour and healthy content. Banarasi Street food is has wide range of offerings, but TamatarChaat, GolGappe and ChudaMatar are the must have. BanarasiLassi can be a fine desert to give a pause to your fooding extravaganza in Banaras. It comes with a sweet yogurt and mild Rabri.
Ganga Boat Ride: Though Banaras look equally mesmerizing from wherever you watch it. But looking at 80 Ghats of Banaras from Boat is a lifetime experience in itself. Feeling the cold breeze in the middle of the river and looking at calm yet chaotic ghats gives you Goosebumps. One can look at serene and grand heritage buildings built on ghats that are centuries old and tells us about the rich history of our architectural brilliance. You can watch Bodies being burnt on one Ghat and Life being celebrated on other, it makes you realize the very nature of our life and world.
Thandayi: Thandayi is a drink that has its origin in Banaras. It’s a drink which is made up of Squash of dry fruits and spices mixed with milk. It is also consumed with a blend of Bhaang(Paste of marijuana leaves prepared after boiling them). But it advised having Bhaang only if you know how to fly! Thandayi is a coolant that is healthy and serves equally well in all weathers. The squash of dry fruits and spices can also be purchased from the shops to carry the taste and flavors with you. Just mix it with milk and shake it, Flavour of Banaras will be with you wherever you go.
Sweets: Banaras is globally known for its enormous range of sweets and its freshness. Banaras offers the largest variety of sweets around the globe. Hundreds of Sweets and its different varieties will surely make your day if you are fond of sweets. If you are not, you will certainly leave Banaras after becoming one. Shri Ram Bhandar, KsheerSagarand other shops in the narrow streets of Banaras are the perfect places for experiencing the soul touching sweets of Banaras.
BHU: Banaras Hindu University signifies and manifests the old culture of Banaras being the Capital of Education in Ancient India. It is one of the very few universities across the world which is despite being huge in the area is enclosed by a boundary wall. It offers education in almost every subject being offered by globally renowned Universities. It has been ranked India’s Third best university and also hosts Indian Institue of Technology and Institute of Medical Sciences. Its Alumnus is spread across the world. Sampoornanand Sanskrit University: It is one of the oldest and most vintage educational institutions in India. The architecture and fine carvings on the stones of buildings are so magical that you will be awestruck. Sun Clock near sports ground is also a rare and fantastic specimen of ancient Indian Expertise in Science and Physics in particular.
Sarnath: Sarnath is the spiritual center of Banaras. It is located on the outskirts of the city in lush green and country like environment. Sarnath is the place where Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon to his five disciples. Sarnath has a wide range of Buddhist Monasteriesassociated with Tibetan, Japanese and other streams of Buddhism. It houses several large-scale statues
s of Buddha which are raised at different parks and ashrams. You can also shop for a lot of Tibetan Stuff in Sarnath.
Horse-riding across Ganga: One can go across the river on a boat and get an experience of horse riding over white sands of Ganga. It’s cheap and full of life, a ride you will always remember. A lot of other games like Soccer, volleyball, kite flying etc can also be played.
Visit New Vishwanath Temple: New Vishwanath Temple Built by Birla Family is located on BHU campus. It is a center for the youth of the city to hang out and older ones to get a glimpse of Lord Vishwanath without visiting narrow and crowded streets of Old Vishwanath temple. There are different shops outside the temple that can be visited for some really tasty snacks.
Visit Vishalakshi Manikarnika Temple: Vishalakshi Manikarnika is one of the Shakti Peethas out of 51 Shakti Peethas of Mother Goddess. It is one of the holiest sites according to Sanatan Dharma. It can be visited and a lot of energy can be experienced in and around the sanctum sanctorum.
KaalBhairav: Its one of the most pious site to be visited in Banaras. Its located in the historic street of old Banaras. The temple is dedicated to the fierce form of Lord Shiva called KaalBhairava, meaning Killer of Time. He is called “Kotwal of Kashi” meaning “Protector of Banaras”. It believed that any life-threatening issues of life can be cured if a wish is sought in front of Kaalbhairava with a clean heart and submission.
Mrityunjaya Mahadev: It is a temple located near KaalBhairava Temple. It is dedicated to another form of Lord Shiva, Which needs to be worshipped if someone is struggling with a life-threatening disease or any other issue pertaining to the stability of life. “Mrityunjaya” means one gives victory over death. One can observe hundreds of Brahmins reciting Mahamrityunjaya Mantra on behalf of ailing people across the world. It was also home to famous Liberal Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh for a long time.
Ramnagar Fort: Ramnagar Fort is the home of King of Banaras. It is a huge palace with many unfolded chapters of history. It is open for visitors to see the historic American cars, Ivory Works, Pictures, Cannons and other monuments to be explored. It is located on the banks of River Ganges, which enhances its beauty further. It is a heritage site that has International significance due to its art and fine carvings. Unlike other royalties of India, King of Banaras refused to transform it into a 7-star Hotel and dedicated it to the nation instead. The crimson sunset as viewed from inside this enclosure is a sight you can carry for rest of your life.
Lassi of Ramnagar: Just a few steps away from Ramnagar Fort, you can see shops selling Lassi, which is a shake prepared by mixing yogurt with sugar and slow cooked milk. It’s a tongue trickling experience to have Lassi of Ramnagar. Nowhere else in India you will find such drink that will not only stick to taste buds but also to your heart for rest of your life.
Dhumavati Temple: If you are a religious person, Visiting Dhumavati Temple must be on your list of places to visit in Banaras. Dhumavati is one of Ten Mahavidyas of Goddess Parvati. Her only temple is in Banaras and it is considered a place of Sadhaks. She is the only widow form of a goddess, thus her powers are considered to be endless and without any boundaries.
MarkandeyMahadev: It is a temple in the outskirts of Banaras in a village called Kaithi and it was established by Sage Markandey. He was the one who created Mahamrityunjaya Mantra during his childhood. This temple serves as an epitome of the Intense relationship shared between Lord Shiva and His Disciples. Millions of people from around the world visit this temple every year to get blessings of Lord Shiva.
Birthplace of Rani Laxmi Bai: It is a less known fact that Banaras is the place where Rani of Jhansi, Laxmi Bai was born. Her birthplace is preserved and has been converted into a museum and is open for people to visit. Her legacy is shown through pictures and events of her life is also depicted through various means. Some of the artifacts used by Rani Laxmi Bai can also be observed.
Parshvanath Jain Temple: Banaras is the birthplace of Parshvanath, 23rdTirthankar of Jainism. A beautiful temple dedicated to Parshvanath is built at his birthplace in Banaras. The Idol deified in the temple is of black color. It belongs to Svetambara sect of Jainism and is holy Tirtha or pilgrimage for Jains.
Bharat Kala Bhavan: Bharat Kala Bhawan is an art and archeological museum located at Banaras Hindu University. It has been instrumental in collecting art and is one the important touristic attractions in the Banaras Hindu University and in Varanasi. Bharat Kala Bhavan has a collection of artifacts, Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, pictures, manuscripts, Mughal miniatures, paintings, brocade textiles, contemporary art form and bronze statues from 1st-15th century. Pottery, mental craft, ivory goods, jewelry, terracotta beads & rare collection of Gujarati, Rajasthani& Pahari miniature paintings are also on display in the museum. Total holdings of Bharat Kala Bhawan are 1,04,376.
TulsiManas Temple: It is the place where Ramcharitmanas was written. Among the many sightseeing places in Varanasi is the TulsiManas Temple, the place where Tulsidas wrote the Hindu epic Ramayana in an Awadhi dialect of the Hindi language. The temple was funded by the Birla family and constructed in white marble in 1964. Verses and scenes from Ramcharitmanas are engraved on the temple walls.
Durga Temple: Also called the monkey temple, this mandir is among the mythical places to see in Varanasi. Built in the 18th century by a Bengali Maharani, the temple is painted red with ochre. It is believed that the idol of Goddess Durga in the temple was not constructed, it appeared on its own. It attracts hundreds and thousands of visitors every day due to its high regards amongst the Hindus. It has Pond in its premises which is considered holy by the believers of Goddess Durga and it has been renovated for families to sit around the pond and have a look of this serene beauty.
Man Mandir Observatory: Located on the Man MandirGhat, this masonry observatory is established atop the Man Singh Palace. It was built in 1737 by Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur city. The observatory consists of 4 main astronomical instruments and is among the heritage places to see in Varanasi. The Man Mandir Observatory is now under the Archaeological Survey of India.
Kathwala Temple or Nepali Temple: It is a temple constructed by King of Nepal and is known for its Intricate wood carvings. It is situated on Lalita Ghat and is visited by tourists at a large number. Though not being huge in size, still this temple is a beauty that catches visitor’s eyes because of its fine architecture and different appearance.
Ganga Aarti At DashashwamedhGhat: It is a routine practice performed by Priests at Ganga Ghat where they observe Aarti(A Hindu religious ritual of worship, a part of puja, in which light from wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor is offered to one or more deities. Aartis also refer to the songs sung in praise of the deity, when lamps are being offered) of River Ganges which is considered as a Mother Goddess in Hinduism. This practice takes place on a routine basis every day in the morning during sunrise and during sunset in the evening. It is the way to offer respect to the holy river. Hundreds of visitors and devotees observe & witness Ganga Arti on a daily basis.
Bharat Mata Temple: It’s a unique place and One of the only temples of it’s kind in the world. It was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936. This temple is dedicated to Bharat Mata, meaning Mother India. India is considered as a Mother amongst Majority of Indians, thus the temple is dedicated to her. Worship and Respect are offered to her in the temple by the visitors and it is a temple where there is no restriction whatsoever on the basis of caste, creed, sex, religion or Nationality.
Subah e Banaras: It is a program which takes every morning at iconic AssiGhat near Banaras Hindu University. Several Performances related to arts, culture, and Dance takes place at AssiGhat before sunrise followed by Ganga Aarti. You will get a glimpse of Rich Cultural Heritage of the city by attending this very event. The cold breeze of Early Morning makes it even more soothing and Blissful.
Crafts and Felicitation Centre: It is a recently developed Museum created to showcase the heritage of silkworm, Handicrafts, and woodwork in Banaras. It shows various methodologies used by workers who were renowned worldwide for their fine skills over silk clothes and other arts. It’s a must visit if you want to witness the glory of Banaras at its best.