Varanasi, Banaras, and Kashi are three names of one single city. Spiritual nation ‘India’ has treasured spiritual capital too. Varanasi is also known as the “Spiritual Capital of India,” which is the oldest inhabited city in the world. Varanasi is one of the “treasures of Incredible India.”
As the spirit of India lies in the city in the form of holy river Ganges, the lively Ghats, epic Temples, the age-old Culture and Traditions, etc. are some of the most delicate things to do in Varanasi.
This city availed its “Spiritual Capital of India” title because of the supernatural fact that Lord Shiva (Lord of moksha or liberation) himself built the town. That is why; it carries the importance of after-death rituals in Hindus to attain the ultimate moksha.
From spirits to death, this city lives all the charms of the journey of life. A trip to this artistic combination of physical and spiritual worlds is a must to discover more untold offbeat and supernatural stories recited by this holy city in a promising way. To find all magical surprises you will encounter on your soulful journey to “Spiritual Capital of India.” So here is the list of things to do in Varanasi while you visit here:-
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Best Things To Do in Varanasi:-
1. Tour to Sarnath:-
Sarnath Situated 10 km away from the spiritual city of India i.e., Varanasi. This site is top-rated because in the deer park of Sarnath after achieving enlightenment in Bodhgaya lord buddha gives his first Sermon Dhamma here in which he taught about the four noble truths. Sarnath is where the Buddhist sangha through the enlightenment of kondanna has finally come into existence.
Singhpur village situated a few kilometres away from Sarnath, this place is where the eleventh Tirthankara of Jainism has been born. The spiritual city of India Varanasi is known for the Hindu religion centre, while singhpur’s Sarnath is known for its Buddhist religious centre where lots of Buddhist monuments are situated.
There are many tourist attractions in Sarnath that you should pay a visit. The main attraction of Sarnath is Chaukhandi stupa built by Ashoka after he changed his religion to Buddhism. Some other attractions are Dhammek Stupa about this stupa the historians say of another country that it indirectly refers to UFOs and aliens, and the other is Mulagandha Kuti Vihar.
The national emblem of India i.e., lion, also showcased in Sarnath. If you want to know more about the Buddhist religion, then this place is on the top list of things to do at Varanasi. Visiting this holy place, Sarnath is one of the best things to do near Varanasi.
- Timing:- 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Entry fees:- INR 5 for Indian
INR 100 for Foreigners
2. Early Morning Boat ride in Ganges River:-
Make your Varanasi trip more special with the peaceful boat rides in the holy waters of Ganges. For the sake of extra serenity, try early morning boat ride with the shiny rising sun and its magical reflections in the water, creating one of the brilliant sunrise moments of your life. Morning time is an ideal time to hear the peaceful tales of this holy city, the musical chirping of birds, the morning prayers, the hymns of sadhus (sages) on ghats, and the sound of the musical waters of river Ganges made with the reflection of intensifying Sun.
The best and suitable time to enjoy a boat ride in the river Ganges is 5:30 to 8:00 am. The boat ride in the Ganges river is one of the Peaceful and Fun things to do in Varanasi that you will cherish for a lifetime. The boatman rides you to different places situated near to the Ganges River and to the various ghats that give you a panoramic view of this region and the river Ganges.
Tourists can book their boats from the Manmandir area. The boat ride will take you from Dasaswamedh Ghat to Harischandra Ghat and then back. On the Dasaswamedh ghat, you can also go for the Aarti of the Ganges river.
- Charges:- INR 2000 for 2 persons
INR 1500 for 3-4 persons
INR 1000 for 5-6 persons
3. Explore Historic Ramnagar Fort:-
On the eastern bank of the Ganges opposite to tulsi ghat, this holy city treasured the colossal fortress of Ramnagar. The fort also houses a Ramnagar fort museum showcasing vintage American cars, jewel-encrusted sedan chairs, an armoury of swords and old guns, ivory work, and antique clocks. The crème formal structure of the fort has got a big clock, which not only displays year, month, week, and day but also astronomical facts about the sun, moon, and gathering of stars.
The more you go deep, the more you’ll find the reasons to discover this fortress (the then home of Maharaja of the city) in Banaras and is among the list of top things to do in Varanasi India. This palace has open courtyards, balconies, pavilions, and the fort also used for filming the various outdoor scenes. This fort is made up of cream-coloured chunar sandstone, which gives it a beautiful, durable, and sophisticated look.
- Timing:- 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM
- Charges:- INR 15 for adults
INR 10 for children
4. Visit Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum:-
Bharat Kala Bhavan situated in Banaras Hindu University, built by Madan Mohan Malviya. Bharat Kala Bhavan showcases more than 1,00,000 various artefacts collections such as- Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, manuscript, painting, brocade textiles, Mughal miniatures, pictures, a contemporary art form, bronze statues, terracotta beads, pottery, craft, ivory goods, jewellery and rare collection of Rajasthani, Gujrati and Pahari miniature paintings they all are part of the museum’s collection.
Mahatma Gandhi has visited here thrice, but on his last trip, he stated that the collection of Bharat Kala Bhavan is outstanding. Bharat Kala Museum is among the top places to see in Varanasi.
- Timing:- 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
- Charges:- 5 per head for domestic visitors
5 per head for Nidhi Gallery
2 per head for staff and students of other academic institutions of India
40 per head or foreign tourists
5. Visit temples of Varanasi:-
Varanasi is home to around 20,000 big and small temples. You can visit some of them, which are considered necessary in Hindu religion such as Kashi Vishwanath Temple of Lord Shiva and others which your soul tells you to visit. Visiting the temples of the spiritual city of India is one of the crucial things to do in Varanasi India. The reason to explore temples of this city is the brilliant architecture from bygone times these temples carry, all we can do is to adore and praise those beautiful artists. Here are some of the famous temples in Varanasi that you must Visit:-
- Kashi Vishwanath temple:-
The Kashi Vishwanath temple of the city is the most devoted Shiva temple of India, also known as “Golden Temple” it is one of the most famous temples because Sikh maharaja Ranjit Singh has donated a massive amount of gold to this temple and with this gold two domes of temples have been constructed. This temple is one and significant among Twelve Jyotirlinga (the holiest of Lord Shiva temples) of the country. Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore builds this temple in 1780.
– Timing:- 9:00 am to 10:00 pm.
– Location:- Lahori Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001
- Tulsi Manas Temple:-
This temple is dedicated to Lord Rama and is built-in 1964. Tulsi Manas temple is the place where Tulsidas wrote Ramayana, which is a Hindu epic in an Awadhi dialect of the Hindu language. The temple made of white marble and the walls of the temple embellished with the story of Ramayana and verses and scenes from Ramayana.
– Timing:- 5:30 AM – 12:00 PM and 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
– Location:- Sankat Mochan Rd, Durgakund Rd, Near Jalan, Varanasi, 221005
- Durga Temple:-
Durga temple is one of the famous temples in Varanasi, built during the 18th century by Bengali maharani. This temple is a perfect example of Nagara style of art and architecture and is colored red with ochre. The temple is dedicated to goddess Durga. According to some legends, it believed that the idol of the goddess Durga within the temple was made by the goddess Durga herself. Visiting this temple is among the best things to do in Varanasi, this one place you can’t miss.
– Timing:- 5:00 AM – 12:00 pM and 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
– Location:- 27, Durgakund Rd, Durgakund, Anandbagh, Bhelupur, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221005
6. Shopping in old bazaars:-
Shopping is among the fun thing to do in Varanasi during the evening or in the afternoon. Varanasi is famous for its Banaras silk sarees and its jewellery. Visit the local markets of Varanasi to purchase the items of your choice. Old Bazaars of Banaras are as high as your shopping spirits; you will discover tons of colourful knick-knacks holding the cultural charms. There are many things to buy from the local markets other than the banarsi silk saree is shining bangles, funky jewel pieces, shawls, carpets, stone sculptures, accessories, and a long list to locate. Shopping and Banaras are pretty excellent companions; that’s what you’re going to feel while shopping in Banaras. Some of the popular markets are:-
- Thatheri Bazaar:-
Thatheri bazaar is famous for its copper and metalwork. The locality filled with the large no. of the brass smith; that’s why this market is known as Thateri bazaar. A large no. Images of god and goddess made here and a technique of metal work to make household objects also perfected here. It is also highly famous for brocades, silk and here you can also search for different antiques designed with stone trim work.
- Vishwanath lane and Chowk:-
Another buzzing market in the city of Varanasi is Vishwanath lane and Chowk famous for its silk items, jewelry, colorful bangles, printed textured dupattas and banarsi sarees, these shopping markets has a lot to offer to the tourist of Varanasi.
- Godowlia Market:-
This market has a variety of things to offer from daily routine stuff to wedding outfits, ornaments, brocade textures, equipment, exquisite quality silk shawls, Zari work, and readymade clothing. The smell of Kapur or camphor spread out of every second shop in this famous market in Varanasi that surely will get you drunk on the divine.
- The Banaras silk emporium:-
Situated on the cantonment road, this emporium is a manufacturer, exporter, and wholesaler of traditional silk sarees, bed covers, stoles offering reasonable prices and exceptional quality. This area is a must-visit place in Varanasi.
- Shri Gandhi ashram khadi bhandar:-
Shri Gandhi ashram khadi bhandar sells kurta pajama, sarees, headscarves, and shirts. The fans of natural and organic products should visit here.
Things To Do in Varanasi at night:-
1. Attend evening aarti ceremony at Ganges river:-
When we talk about things to do in Varanasi at night, the evening Aarti is on top of the list when you are thinking of planning a trip to Varanasi. Witness the beautiful rituals performed during the Aarti ceremony leaves you spellbound.
Brass lamps of big sizes weighing 4.5 kgs used during the Aarti ceremony lift only when you can handle it. This event accompanied by a large crowd and devotees of Ganges river, aromas of flowers, the fragrance of incense sticks, and chants creates a beautiful sight and a heavenly blessing.
During the Aarti ceremony, all the priests wear similar clothes. If you want to click the pictures, then you should arrive at the ghats with evening boats, as this will allow you to capture the beautiful image of this ceremony. The Aarti ceremony is started every evening at 6:45 am, and the