Varanasi is a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh that is known for its rich history, culture, and spiritual significance. Some of the must-visit places in Varanasi include the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Dashashwamedh Ghat, Sarnath, Manikarnika Ghat, Ramnagar Fort, Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum, Assi Ghat, Tulsi Manas Temple, Banaras Hindu University, and Chunar Fort. These places offer a glimpse into the city’s ancient and modern history, its rich culture and heritage, and its spiritual significance. Visitors to Varanasi can explore these places to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s rich and diverse culture and experience its unique charm and beauty.
Some popular places to visit in Varanasi include:
#1. Kashi Vishwanath Temple –
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is a prominent Hindu temple located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is one of the most sacred and revered temples in India. The temple is believed to have been built in the 11th century, although the current structure dates back to the 18th century. It is famous for its intricate architecture and religious significance, and is visited by millions of devotees every year. The temple is also known for its spiritual and cultural significance, and is an important center of learning for Hindu philosophy and theology.
#2. Dashashwamedh Ghat –
Dashashwamedh Ghat is one of the oldest and most popular ghats (a series of steps leading down to the river) in Varanasi, located on the banks of the Ganges River. It is known for its beautiful architecture, vibrant atmosphere, and the famous evening aarti ceremony that takes place here every day. The aarti is a Hindu ritual of worship that involves offering of fire to the deity, accompanied by chants and music. It is a major attraction for tourists and pilgrims, who gather on the ghat to witness the spectacle and offer their prayers. The ghat is also a popular spot for boat rides and taking a dip in the holy Ganges river.
#3. Sarnath –
Sarnath is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, just a few kilometers away from the city of Varanasi. It is known as the place where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon, known as the “Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta,” to his five disciples after attaining enlightenment. The site contains several ancient structures, including stupas, monasteries, and temples, that were built by various rulers over the centuries. The most famous attraction at Sarnath is the Dhamek Stupa, which is believed to mark the spot where Buddha delivered his sermon. Sarnath is a popular destination for Buddhist pilgrims and tourists interested in the history and culture of Buddhism.
#4. Manikarnika Ghat –
Manikarnika Ghat is a prominent ghat, or series of steps leading down to the Ganges River, located in the ancient city of Varanasi, India. It is one of the oldest and most sacred ghats in the city, and is known for being the main ghat where Hindu cremations take place. It is believed that those who are cremated here attain moksha, or liberation from the cycle of birth and death. The ghat is considered a powerful site of spiritual energy, and is frequented by both pilgrims and tourists seeking to experience the unique cultural and religious practices of Varanasi. The ghat is also home to several temples and shrines, including the Manikarnika Kund, a sacred pool that is believed to have been dug by Lord Vishnu himself.
#5. Ramnagar Fort –
Ramnagar Fort is an ancient fortification located on the eastern bank of the Ganges River, opposite the city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India. It was built in the 18th century by the Kashi Naresh Raja Balwant Singh, and served as the residence of the Maharaja of Varanasi. The fort is known for its stunning architecture, which blends elements of Indian and Islamic styles, and its impressive collection of antique cars, vintage weaponry, and rare manuscripts. The fort is also famous for its annual Ramnagar Ramlila, a month-long festival that reenacts the story of Lord Rama and attracts thousands of visitors from all over India. The festival features colorful processions, music, dance, and drama, and is a major attraction for tourists interested in experiencing the rich culture and traditions of Varanasi.
#6. Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum –
Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum is a renowned museum located within the premises of the Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. The museum houses a vast collection of art and artifacts related to India’s history and culture, including paintings, sculptures, textiles, and archaeological finds. The museum’s collection includes over 100,000 items, spanning several millennia of Indian history, from ancient times to the present day. Some of the highlights of the museum’s collection include the famous Bharhut and Sanchi Stupa artifacts, which date back to the Maurya and Sunga periods, as well as a rare collection of miniature paintings from various schools of art. The museum also has a large collection of coins, bronzes, and arms and armor, providing a comprehensive overview of India’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.
#7. Assi Ghat –
Assi Ghat is a popular ghat, or series of steps leading down to the Ganges River, located at the confluence of the Ganges and Assi rivers in the city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. The ghat is known for its vibrant and colorful atmosphere, and is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike to take a dip in the holy Ganges River, or to go on a boat ride along the river. The ghat is also known for its association with Hindu mythology, as it is believed to be the spot where Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, and his consort Parvati, took a dip in the Ganges River after leaving their home on Mount Kailash. The ghat is home to several temples and ashrams, and is a popular spot for meditation and yoga practitioners seeking a peaceful and serene environment.
#8. Tulsi Manas Temple –
Tulsi Manas Temple is a famous Hindu temple located in the city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama, one of the most revered deities in the Hindu pantheon, and is known for its stunning architecture and its association with the poet Tulsidas. The temple was built in the 1960s, and is constructed entirely of white marble. The walls of the temple are inscribed with verses from the Ramcharitmanas, a famous epic poem written by Tulsidas that tells the story of Lord Rama’s life. The temple is a popular destination for pilgrims and tourists, who come to offer their prayers and witness the intricate carvings and murals that adorn the temple walls. The temple is also known for its peaceful and serene atmosphere, and is a popular spot for meditation and contemplation.
#9. Banaras Hindu University –
Banaras Hindu University (BHU) is a prestigious public central university located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was founded in 1916 by the prominent freedom fighter and social reformer, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, with the aim of promoting the study and practice of Indian culture and knowledge. The university has a sprawling campus, spread over more than 1,300 acres, and is known for its stunning architecture, lush gardens, and world-class facilities. The university offers a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral programs in various disciplines, including arts, science, engineering, medicine, and agriculture. The university is also known for its rich cultural and intellectual heritage, and is home to several renowned institutions, including the Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum, the Institute of Technology, and the Institute of Medical Sciences.
#10. Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple –
Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple is a Hindu temple located in the city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman, a popular deity in the Hindu pantheon known for his devotion, strength, and loyalty. The temple was founded by the famous Hindu saint and poet Tulsidas, and is one of the most popular and revered temples in Varanasi. The temple is located in a peaceful and serene setting, surrounded by gardens and greenery, and is known for its beautiful architecture, intricate carvings, and stunning murals. The temple is a popular destination for pilgrims and tourists, who come to offer their prayers, seek blessings, and witness the spiritual and cultural significance of this sacred site. The temple is also known for its vibrant and colorful atmosphere, especially during the festivals of Hanuman Jayanti and Diwali, when the temple is adorned with lights and decorations, and visitors come to witness the grand celebrations and participate in the rituals and festivities.