PLACES TO VISIT IN VARANASI
A place of religious importance for Hindus, Varanasi is visited by pilgrims all year round. A visit to Varanasi is your ticket to an understanding of Hindu culture and rituals. The Kashi Vishwanath temple is the most famous tourist attraction in Varanasi. There are close to 2000 temples here making Varanasi the spiritual capital of India
As Varanasi lies on the banks of the mighty river Ganga, the two have become synonymous. Varanasi's ghats are extremely popular all around the globe. The Assi Ghat is among the most famous ghats of India. Varanasi is also famous as one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Check out the places to visit in Varanasi.
ALSO SEE Top 6 Ghats of Varanasi you must visit
Kashi Vishwanath temple
Kashi Vishwanath, a manifestation of Lord Shiva, is the patron deity of Varanasi. The idol is a jyotirlinga, one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India. The Kashi Vishwanath temple has been built and re-built several times over the past few centuries. The present temple was built in the 18th century by Rani Ahalyabai Holkar of Indore after Mughal emperor Aurangzeb destroyed the previous temple and built a mosque at the site (now adjacent to it). The temple get its name from Kashi, which is another name for Varanasi.
Bharat Kala Bhavan
Bharat Kala Bhavan is located inside the Banaras Hindu University campus. It displays India’s heritage and preserves the past of the nation. It is divided in several sections in the form of galleries such as Mahamana Malviya Gallary, Nidhi Gallery, Nicholas Roerich Gallery, Archaeological Gallery, Chhavi Gallery, Sculpture Gallery and Decorative Art Gallery.
From archaeological materials to paintings and costumes, the museum has a vast collection of historic treasure. It also houses a number of Mughal miniatures, Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, manuscripts and many more things that will interest those who love historical places. So if you are in Varanasi, you must visit this amazing history center.
Banaras Hindu University is one of the largest universities in the world and a prime attraction in Varanasi. It was founded by Pandit Mohan Malviya in 1916 and is internationally reputed. Spread over an area of 1350 acres, BHU comprises of 3 institutes, 4 interdisciplinary centres, 14 faculties, 124 departments and 3 constituent schools covering all branches of humanities.
The BHU is one of the few institutions of the country which can sense the wind of change in its culture. Excelling in arts and sciences, the university is also known for its role in the Indian independence movement. It is a must-visit to experience the age-old tradition of learning and spirituality. History buffs most certainly shouldn’t give this place a miss!
Assi Ghat is the southern most ghat in Varanasi. It is located at the confluence of Ganga and Assi rivers. In the evenings, there is an aarti at Assi ghat which attracts many tourists. Pilgrims bathe in the waters at the ghat before paying homage to Lord Shiva. It is the best place to witness Hindu culture and traditions as well as a beautiful sunrise.
Located near Ganges river on its eastern bank, Ramnagar fort is a structure in Varanasi built in 1750 by Kashi Naresh Raja Balwant Singh. The architecture of this fort is a blend of Indian and Islamic style. During Dussehra, the fort and its surroundings are decorated magnificently and it’s certainly worth a visit.
The fort is located opposite the Varanasi ghats giving a great view of the Ganga and its banks. It is also home to a museum called Saraswati Bhawan which has a rare collection of American vintage cars.
Dashashwamedh Ghat is one of the oldest and most important ghats in Varanasi. In the early 16th century when the Marathas were ruling over the region, they built several ghat sin Varanasi that lined the holy river Ganga. There are a total of 87 ghats in Varanasi. While some of them like the Tulsi Ghat, Assi Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Ravidas Ghat, Lalita Ghat and the Munshi ghat are the famous ones and are the most visited ghats in the city, there are close to 50 ghats in Varanasi that are primarily visited by locals for everyday religious rituals.
There are various legends associated to how the ghat got its name and came into being. Some believe that the Dashashwamedh Ghat was built by Brahma when he was welcoming Shiva to earth. Another legend has it that Brahma performed the Ashwamedha with ten horses. He sacrificed 10 horses at this ghat, hence giving it the name.
Locals also believe that around the year 1740, Bajirao Peshwa I built the Dashashwamedh Ghat. However, a few decades later, Ahilyabahi Holkar, the Queen of Indore rebuilt the ghat in the year 1774. The best time of the day to visit the Dashashwamedh Ghat is during the Ganga Aarti when the whole ghat comes to life when several priests perform the aarti in the most grand manner!
Sarnath temple is located in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh at a distance of 8 Km from Varanasi. Sarnath temple is the scared place where lord Budha delivered his first sermon to his five disciples. Sarnath is the famous for the finest monuments and legacies of 3rd centuries BC.