Varanasi, also known as Kashi, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with a history dating back thousands of years. It is located in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on the banks of the Ganges River.
Varanasi was a center of learning and culture in ancient India. It was home to great scholars and philosophers, and was a major center of the silk trade. The city was also an important center of Hinduism, with numerous temples and shrines dedicated to various gods and goddesses. In the 12th century CE, Varanasi was conquered by Muslim invaders, and it came under the rule of various Muslim dynasties over the centuries. However, Hinduism remained the dominant religion of the city, and it continued to be an important center of learning and culture.
Today, Varanasi remains an important cultural and religious center in India. It is known for its beautiful temples and ghats (steps leading down to the river), where millions of Hindu pilgrims come to bathe in the sacred waters of the Ganges. The city is also known for its silk weaving and other traditional crafts.
Popular Tourist attractions in Varanasi:
Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Varanasi:
1: Kashi Vishwanath Temple: One of the most important Hindu temples in India, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located in the heart of the city and is visited by millions of pilgrims every year.
2: Sarnath: A famous Buddhist pilgrimage site located just outside of Varanasi, where Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment.
3: Dashashwamedh Ghat: One of the most popular ghats (steps leading down to the river) in Varanasi, known for its daily evening aarti (ritual offering) to the Ganges.
4: Manikarnika Ghat: A sacred ghat where Hindus come to perform cremation rituals for their deceased loved ones. It is considered one of the holiest places in India.
5: Ramnagar Fort: An impressive fort located on the banks of the Ganges, built in the 18th century by the Kashi Naresh (King of Varanasi). It is now a museum that showcases the rich history and culture of Varanasi.
6: Bharat Kala Bhavan: A museum located within the Banaras Hindu University campus, known for its impressive collection of Indian art, sculptures, and manuscripts.
7: Banaras Ghats: There are more than 80 ghats along the Ganges river in Varanasi, each with its own unique history and significance. Exploring these ghats is a must-do for anyone visiting Varanasi.
8: Tulsi Manas Mandir: A modern temple dedicated to Lord Rama, known for its beautiful architecture and intricate carvings depicting the Ramayana.
9: Assi Ghat: A popular ghat located at the confluence of the Ganges and Assi rivers, known for its peaceful and serene atmosphere.
10: Durga Temple: A beautiful temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga, located in the heart of Varanasi. It is known for its intricate carvings and architecture.
Entrance fees to popular attractions in Varanasi:
Here are the approximate entrance fees for some of the popular tourist attractions in Varanasi:
1: Kashi Vishwanath Temple: No entrance fee, but there are certain restrictions on dress code and photography.
2: Sarnath: Indian citizens: INR 30; Foreign nationals: INR 500.
3: Dashashwamedh Ghat: No entrance fee.
4: Manikarnika Ghat: No entrance fee.
5: Ramnagar Fort: Indian citizens: INR 25; Foreign nationals: INR 300.
6: Bharat Kala Bhavan: Indian citizens: INR 10; Foreign nationals: INR 100.
7: Banaras Ghats: No entrance fee.
8: Tulsi Manas Mandir: No entrance fee.
9: Assi Ghat: No entrance fee.
10: Durga Temple: No entrance fee.
How to reach Varanasi:
Varanasi is well-connected to other parts of India and can be easily reached by various modes of transport. Here’s how to reach Varanasi by taxi and other local transport modes:
1: Taxi: Taxis are a convenient and comfortable way to reach Varanasi from nearby cities like Allahabad, Lucknow, and Patna. To avoid car rental scams at airport and train stations in India, It’s always a good idea to book your taxi online in advance to ensure a hassle-free trip.
2: Train: Varanasi is well-connected to major cities in India by rail, with several trains running daily from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. Varanasi Junction is the main railway station in the city, and it is located in the heart of the city.
3: Bus: Varanasi is well-connected to other cities in Uttar Pradesh and nearby states by road. Several state-run and private bus operators offer regular bus services to and from Varanasi.
4: Air: Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport is located in Babatpur, about 25 km from Varanasi city center. Several domestic airlines operate regular flights to and from Varanasi, connecting it to major cities in India.
5: Auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws: These are popular modes of local transport in Varanasi. They are easily available and can be hired for short trips within the city.
6: Local buses: The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) operates several local buses in Varanasi that connect different parts of the city.
Attention: To avoid car rental scams at airport and train stations in India, It’s always a good idea to book your taxi online in advance to ensure a hassle-free trip.
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