Varanasi also known as Banaras or Kashi, is a city that has captivated the hearts of pilgrims, travellers, and seekers of spiritual enlightenment for centuries. Steeped in history and tradition, Varanasi offers many experiences that allow you to immerse yourself in its unique cultural tapestry. Here, we delve into a detailed exploration of the things to do in this enchanting city.
Ghats of Varanasi
The ghats of Varanasi are the city’s beating heart. These steps leading down to the Ganges River will give you a very spiritual experience. Begin your journey with a sunrise boat ride to witness the ethereal beauty of the ghats. Each ghat has its own story and significance. Other ghats, like Manikarnika Ghat and Harishchandra Ghat, are known for their cremation ceremonies, offering a profound glimpse into the circle of life and death.
The Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat is a sensory spectacle that words can hardly describe. Join the crowds of devotees and tourists as priests offer prayers to the Ganges River, accompanied by the rhythmic chanting of mantras, the ringing of bells, and the waving of incense sticks. The evening Aarti, with the flickering flames and the sounds of devotion, is a deeply moving experience.
Explore the city’s rich history by visiting landmarks like the Ramnagar Fort. It is situated on the eastern bank of the Ganges, this majestic fort showcases Mughal architecture and houses a museum with vintage cars, royal artefacts, and an intriguing astrological clock.
A short drive from Varanasi, Sarnath is where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon. Explore the Dhamek Stupa, a magnificent structure marking the spot of this historic event. The Sarnath Archaeological Museum is a treasure trove of ancient relics and sculptures.
Wander through the streets of the old city. Discover hidden temples, vibrant markets, and the daily life of the locals. Varanasi’s narrow alleys are a sensory journey filled with the aroma of street food, the colours of textiles, and the constant hum of activity.
Sunrise Boat Ride
A boat ride on the Ganges during sunrise is a serene and surreal experience. As the first rays of the sun illuminate the ghats and temples, the city awakens in a golden glow. It’s a moment of tranquillity and contemplation. You cannot miss this so it’s time to book your Mumbai to Varanasi flight today.
Meditation and Yoga
Varanasi has a thriving yoga and meditation scene. Many ashrams and yoga centres offer classes and retreats for those seeking inner peace and self-discovery. Practice yoga by the riverbanks or meditate in the tranquil ashram settings.
Art and Craft
Explore the artistic side of Varanasi by visiting silk weaving workshops. Banarasi silk is renowned worldwide for its craftsmanship. You can witness skilled artisans weaving intricate patterns on looms which will excite you to purchase their creations.
Varanasi’s culinary scene is a delightful journey for food enthusiasts. Sample street food like chaat, kachori sabzi, and jalebi at bustling markets. Try the famous Banarasi paan, a unique blend of betel leaf, areca nut, and assorted flavourings.
Amidst the bustling streets and vibrant rituals, Varanasi also offers moments of quiet contemplation. Sit by the river, watch the boats go by, and reflect on the timeless flow of life. There is something really peaceful about this city so don’t miss out on your chance of booking cheap flights in advance.
In Varanasi, every corner reveals a new facet of India’s rich cultural and spiritual heritage. The city’s ancient charm, the devotion of its people, and the mystical aura of the Ganges make it a destination unlike any other. Varanasi is not just a place; it’s an experience that resonates with the soul, leaving an indelible mark on all who visit.