Varanasi – often also known as Kashi, Banaras or City of Temples, the important place according to Hindu Mythology. It is said that varanasi is on the point of Trishul of Lord Shiva. Locals refer Kashi as ‘ Bhole Ki Nagari’. The most important places to visit in Kashi are-
THE HOLY RIVER GANGES
Ganga is a sacred river and one should bath in Holy water of Ganga at least once in life time. It is said that it washes way all our sins. It gives us ‘Moksh’.
KASHI VISHWANATH TEMPLE
Kashi Vishvanath Temple is one of the most famous Hindu temples and is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the holiest existing place of Hindus. It comes under one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, of Shiva temples. Rajghat Bridge is also a astonish thing to see.
DASHASHWAMEDH GHAT and other famous Ghats
Dashashwamedh Ghatis the main ghat in Varanasi on the Ganges River. It is located close to Vishwanath Temple and is probably the most spectacular ghat.A group of priests daily in the evening at this ghat perform “Agni Pooja” (Worship to Fire) wherein a dedication is made to Lord Shiva, River Ganga (the Ganges), Surya (Sun), Agni (Fire), and the whole universe. Special aartis are held on Tuesdays and on religious festivals.You can see Rajghat Bridge from the Dashashwamedh Ghat.
Some of the most popular ghats, from north to south:
- Panchganga Ghat – the meeting of the five rivers
- Manikarnika Ghat – the main cremation ghat; a must-see, but remain quiet and never take photographs (note: scams are plentiful here; see the “Staying Safe” section)
- Rana Ghat
- Kedar Ghat – brightly painted in stripes and busy with bathers, very photogenic
- Narad Ghat – the ghat on which bathing with spouse is not advised because the legend of contention
- Harishchandra Ghat – the cremation place where Raja Harishchandra did the last rituals of his son.
- Hanuman Ghat
- Shivala Ghat
- Tulsi Ghat – site of the large water purification plant
- Assi Ghat – a popular place to stay, with many hotels, restaurants, and internet cafes
THE STREETS OF BANARAS
The streets and the ‘Galies’ – narrow ways are often amuse the tourists. The are many famous galies like Vishwanath Gali(Lane), Kachauri Gali, Khova Gali, Nandan Sahu Lane ,Kalika Gali ,Chitraghanta Gali ,Brahamnala Gali ,NepaliKhapadaGali ,Bangali Tola Gali, Kali Mohal Gali ,Garhvasi Tola Gali ,Someshwar Gali ,Gola Gali ,Pathar Gali, Anandmai Lane, Sankata Gali. And ll these galies are famous for some or the other things like food , clothings etc.
RILIGIOUS TEMPLES ACROSS BANARAS
Gauri Matha Temple – The devi at this temple is supposed to be the sister of the lord Kashi Vishwanath. Its a tradition to visit here just before you leave Kashi. You can buy sea shells at this place and offer them to God saying that the virtues of donating the shells goes to her while you keep the virtues of having visited the holy shrines in Kashi and bathing in the ganga. The trip to Kashi is expected to yield results only after completing this custom.
Kaal Bhairav Temple – Dedicated to Kaal Bhairav, a dreaded form of the Lord in Shiva avatar symbolizing death. Its a tradition to buy a black thread (Rs. 15), sanctify it in the shrine, then wear it on the arm, wrist or around the neck as protection against evil.
Sankat Mochan Temple – The famous Hanuman temple, home to thousands of monkeys. Securiy is tight, mobile phones, keys etc. are not allowed inside the temple as a result of moslem terrorist bomb blasts; and as you enter you will be greeted by the sight of hundreds of monkeys on the premises. Beware- they may snatch from you if they see you carrying boxes or packets of food. Inside the temple you will find stacks of hanuman chalisa text for the use of devotees.
Sarnath (10km from Varanasi) – It is believed that in Sarnath Buddha gave his first sermon to his disciples after getting enlightenment. There is also a Museum in Sarnath. The location is also known as Deer Park. Sarnath is 13 Km from Varanasi and is very peaceful. Several Asian countries have built Buddhist temples there following their own ancient architectural traditions.
Nepali Hindu Temple, (near Lalita Ghat) – A small golden temple, built in Nepali architecture.
And other temples too like Tulsi Manas Temple and Durga Temple often known as Durga Kund.
OTHER IMPORTANT SIGHTS
Banaras Hindu University – A very green and peaceful campus. Few actually know that this University was built during the Indian freedom struggle and is known as Oxford of the East. This is the largest residential university of Asia, with 124 departments. You can also visit Bharat Kala Bhavan, a museum of Art and Archeology inside the university. There is also a huge white marbled temple called Vishwanath Temple which was bulit by Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya, the founder of the university.
Ramnagar Fort – One of the good place to visit in Varanasi. The fort is situated in Ramnagar area of Varanasi which is 15 kms away from main city. transportation is easily available. KING of BANARAS still live here.The palace is too good to visit as it has the beauty of the fort by the river.. Shooting of the movie Ranjhna happened here.
Sampurnand University – It is the one of th most important and oldest Sanskrit University In India. One should visit it as it shows the culture of the India.
Chunar Fort – Nearly 2000+ year old fort’
Man Mandir Observatory.
And Your can explore more than all these places. Varanasi is the oldest city so explore more as you can. Explore yourselves.