Varanasi, or Benaras, (also known as Kashi) , is known as one of the oldest living cities in the world. According to the ‘Vamana Purana’, one of the eighteen Mahapuranas, the Varuna and the Assi rivers originated from the body of the primordial Person at the beginning of time itself. The tract of land lying between them is believed to be ‘Varanasi’, the holiest of all pilgrimages.
This place has always been a centre of gravity for the tourists searching to experience pure bliss & to self discover an eternal oneness of the body & soul.
Best time to visit Varanasi: October till March
Plan: After Breakfast at Hotel, you can proceed to explore Kashi, visiting Major Places of Interest.
Major Places of Interest
River Ganga & Ghats: Its not only a river, but its Mother Ganges for Indians. Prime Attractions at this place includes a A boat tour in the morning, watching the aarti from the Ganges. A walk along the ghat especially in early morning or evening will make you amazingly fresh., the ghats Marikarnika, Assi & Dasaswamedh are must to see. The Ganga Ghats at Varanasi are full of pilgrims who flock to the place to take a dip in the holy Ganges, which is believed to absolve one from all sins.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple: This temple does not need much of description. It is situated at Western Bank of Holy River & is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, belonging to Lord Shiva.
Durga Temple/ Monkey Temple
Sarnath: 20kms from Varanasi lies this small town of Sarnath, where Lord Buddha gave the first sermon to his 5 disciples. This is the place from where Buddhism actually started moving to all the four directions of UniverseDhamek Stupa (height of 43.6 meters and having a diameter of 28 meters) & the Sarnath Archaeological Museum are other places of Tourist Interest even to a non Buddhist. Lion Capital of Ashoka , the National emblem of India is also preserved in the Sarnath Museum in India.
- You can plan 2 day trip to Bodhgaya (255kms/4-5 Hrs), place where Gautam Buddha achieved enlightment. One can further extend the Tour (450kms/ 8hrs) to primeval Calcutta, better known as Kolkatta, bustling Metro City of India.
- Towards the North of Varanasi, one can plan trip to Lumbini (Nepal), the birth place of Gautam Buddha.
- Boat ride along the Ganges- reason why you are here!
- Be here during a festival. Huge celebrations at Dushehra, Bharat Milap in September, followed by Diwali in October and Ganga Festival in November.
- Stroll around the Ghats. Every ghat has a different story to speak! Assi is popular for bathing, others for worshipping. Its believed that by bathing near Tulsi Ghat, one get rid of leprosy. So , yes go and experience the story behind the scenes.
- Be a part of evening Aarti and experience teh devotion that each heart carries for the Almighty
“Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together” – Mark Twain