Banaras, also known as Varanasi, is a city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and holds immense religious and cultural significance. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and spiritual atmosphere, Banaras attracts tourists from all over the globe. In this blog post, we will explore some of the must-visit places in Banaras, as well as provide information on where to stay and how to reach this enchanting city.
Places to Visit in Banaras
1. Varanasi Ghats: The ghats of Banaras are perhaps the most iconic and mesmerizing aspect of the city. These steps leading down to the holy River Ganges are where pilgrims come to perform their rituals and ceremonies. The Dashashwamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, and Assi Ghat are some of the most popular ones. Witnessing the evening Ganga Aarti ceremony at the ghats is a truly spiritual experience.
2. Kashi Vishwanath Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most revered Hindu temples in India. It is believed that a visit to this temple and a dip in the Ganges can wash away all sins. The temple’s stunning architecture and intricate carvings will leave you in awe.
3. Sarnath: Located just a few kilometers away from Banaras, Sarnath is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. It is where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. The Dhamek Stupa, Chaukhandi Stupa, and Mulagandha Kuti Vihar are some of the notable attractions in Sarnath.
4. Banaras Hindu University (BHU): Founded in 1916, BHU is one of the most prestigious educational institutions in India. The sprawling campus is home to several temples, museums, and architectural marvels. The Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum and the New Vishwanath Temple are worth exploring.
5. Ramnagar Fort: Situated on the eastern bank of the Ganges, the Ramnagar Fort is a magnificent structure that showcases the grandeur of the bygone era. The fort houses a museum that exhibits vintage cars, weapons, and artifacts.
Where to Stay in Banaras
When it comes to accommodation options in Banaras, you’ll find a range of choices to suit every budget and preference. From luxury hotels to budget guesthouses, the city has something for everyone.
If you’re looking for a luxurious stay, some of the top-rated hotels in Banaras include the Taj Nadesar Palace, BrijRama Palace, and the Gateway Hotel Ganges. These hotels offer world-class amenities, stunning views, and impeccable hospitality.
For travelers on a budget, there are numerous guesthouses and budget hotels available near the ghats and the city center. These options provide comfortable rooms and basic amenities at affordable prices.
How to Reach Banaras
By Air: The nearest airport to Banaras is Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, located approximately 26 kilometers away. It is well-connected to major cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a pre-paid cab to reach Banaras.
By Train: Banaras Junction is the main railway station in the city and is well-connected to all major cities in India. There are regular trains from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Jaipur. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take an auto-rickshaw to reach your destination.
By Road: Banaras has good road connectivity with nearby cities and states. National Highway 2 passes through the city, making it easily accessible by road. You can opt for state-run buses or hire a private taxi to reach Banaras.
Banaras, with its ancient charm and spiritual aura, is a city that captivates the hearts of all who visit. From the enchanting ghats to the sacred temples and historical landmarks, there is so much to explore in this vibrant city. Whether you’re seeking spiritual solace, cultural immersion, or architectural marvels, Banaras has it all. Plan your visit, choose your accommodation wisely, and embark on a journey to discover the magic of Banaras.
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