26 Jun Things to Do in Varanasi
Varanasi is an exciting mixture of art, craft, spirituality and beauty and offers the experience of soaking in the aura of India in its truest sense. There are many activities which will make your Varanasi trip extra special. Learn more about all that you should indulge in while you are on your vacation in Varanasi.
Ride on a Boat on the River Ganges
The holy Ganga supplies Varanasi with abundant water and accentuates its spiritual charm. Going on a boat ride on the Ganga in the early hours of the morning is one of the best experiences to have in Varanasi. The boat ride will take you through several Ghats and these places are all close to the banks of the Ganga River….a panoramic view of the river and the whole region is presented and this is a wonderful opportunity for photography. The perfect time to enjoy boat rides in the Ganges are the dawn hours as well as dusk hours. However dawn is still preferable because of its mystic qualities and the beneficial aura of the rising sun.
Bathing in the Ganges
When you are in Varanasi…dipping into the waters of the holy Ganges is a must do-activity. A soak in the holy river waters is said to absolve the body and the soul of all its sins. Your travel in Varanasi is incomplete without the traditional bath in the Ganges.
The temples of Varanasi are well known all over India for their spiritual wealth. There is Hindu temple in every corner of Varanasi and all of them are filled with interesting legends and stories. The architecture of the temples are marvellous and you can visit some of the most important ones like the Kashi Vishwanath temple, Durga Temple, Ankatha temple, Mahadev Mrityunjay temple, Annapurna temple, Tulsi Manas temple, Bharat Mata temple and Sankat Mochan. Even if you are not overtly religious by nature…the temples in Varanasi will fill your heart with peace and hope
Watch the Evening Aarti in Varanasi
When one thinks of the top experiences in Varanasi….naturally the evening aarti springs up in the mind. This is sort of a surreal experience as chants, fragrant flowers and lots of incense create an atmosphere of mystique and charm. The aarti happens every night at 6.45 p.m. and lasts for 45 minutes. Giant brass lamps that weigh almost 5 kgs are used in the process. You must try and watch the ceremony from the Daawamedh Ghat and let the spirituality of Varanasi introduce you to the true spirit of Hinduism.
Banarasi Saree Shopping
If you are in Varanasi and haven’t interacted with the weavers there then you have missed out on a large part of the essence of this town. The Varanasi weavers are known for creating some of the most beautiful weaves in the world. They craft masterpieces in gold/ silver and jewel toned zari brocades along with intricate opulent embroidery. The village of Sarai Mohona is known for its weaver community and this is where you should definitely go to experience the essence of Benares. Shop for sarees, brocade garments, dupattas and a variety of other benarasi weaves here.
Street Food in Varanasi
Food in Benaras is truly a soul experience. You can munch on the delectable snow cones, jalebi and steaming hot milk (this combination is famous here) and snack on mouth-watering chat items like aloo tikka, pani puri, kachori, tamatar chaat etc. another mouth-watering delicacy of Benaras is their paan….is tender, succulent and filled with a delicious variety of stuffing’s. You should also feast on Rabri, kalakand, amrita and other delicious sweets while you are on your holiday in Benaras.
Day Trips in Varanasi
You should definitely go on a day trip while you are in Varanasi and one of the chosen destinations should be Sarnath that’s just 12 km away. The Dharmekh Stupa dates around 200 BC and is 128 feet high and 93 feet in diameter…this is one of the important relics in the area. Large numbers of visitors to Sarnath are drawn to the impressive historical significance of these relics. The ashoka pillar at sarnath has lovely carvings and is a must see spot over here while the Mulagandhakuti Vihara is the spot where many rainy seasons were spent by the Buddha in meditation…this is also an important destination. Also watch out for the 6 national temples that have been built by different Asian communities…there is a Sri Lankan temple and a Tibetan Temple in the list.