Top 8 places to visit in Varanasi

India is known as the hub of drastic cultures, religious beliefs and spirituality. Wherever you go you will find yourself transcending to list out 10 places you can visit in one of the most beautiful vibrant cities of the world, Varanasi. This city emerged somewhere 2800 years ago. This ancient city is considered to be one of the many holiest places for the Hindu religion and its devotees.  The belief of this city is connected with the unity of the human soul with the divine power after death. The intensity of this belief among the devotees can be seen across the city, through all day and all night. The city is adorned with various Hindu temples and ghats, which are considered to be the milestone for the pilgrims and the ones who want to attain “Moksha”. The city is said to be a labyrinth, with uncountable and twisting alleys and streets. There is a legend that no accurate map has been ever drawn of this mystic yet a majestic city. 

1- Ganges River

About- Originating from the Himalayas in the north and extending southeast towards the Bay of Bengal, this holy river is considered to be the most renowned and revered natural site. The river was named after the goddess Ganga, this incarnation of the goddess provides water to nearly 600 million people for various activities. The never ending rituals of divinity that are performed at numerous ghats attract people from all over the globe to purify themselves at the banks of the Ganges. The tourists find it easy to navigate throughout the city as it gives a fixed point of orientation on the ground like the north star in the sky.  Sightseeing, boat rides are one of the major activities that are performed here. If you visit the ghats along the Ganges river just buy a bunch of floating flowers and release them into the river to show your gratitude to the Gods and the Hindu culture.

Location- Spread across the Varanasi City
Timing- Open 24 Hours
Entry Fee- No Entry Fee

2- Ramnagar Fort

About- About 14 kilometers from the city resides one of the major attractions of Varanasi. Ramnagar Fort is an 18th century old fort built out of sandstone situated at the river bank. The fort has been converted into a museum that hosts various archaeological items such as weapons, jewelry, gilded sedan chairs, vintage automobiles which once belonged to the royal families. The museum is known for one artifact which is a one-of-a-kind astronomical clock that is considered to be almost 150 years old. The fort has many temples built inside. One of the temples is devoted to Veda Vyasa, who wrote the Mahabharat epic.

Location- Mirzapur, Varanasi road, Purana Ramnagar
Timing- 10:00 AM To 5:00 PM
Entry Fee- No Entry Fee

3- Darbhanga Ghat

About- Well if you have a camera in hand and you want to show off your photography skills, then Darbhanga Ghat is the right place for you. The ghat is situated at the river bank which can be accessed by a staircase leading straight from the BrijRama Palace. This was an old fort that has now been converted to a luxurious heritage hotel. This place gives you a regal feeling the moment you put your first step there. Evenings and dawn are the best time to test your photography skills to capture the captivating views of the ghat, the people, temples, the river and the sun which is gazing at you from the horizon.

Location- Near Ahilyabad Ghat, Bangali Tola, Varanasi
Timing- Open 24 Hours
Entry Fee- No Entry Fee

4- Ruchika Art Gallery

About- Art and Varanasi go hand in hand. As artists such as photographers, filmmakers and painters try to capture the beauty of Varanasi through various methods. If you visit Varanasi and are thinking about getting a souvenir to remind you of this beautiful city, then you must visit Ruchika Art Gallery. This gallery is owned by Ruchika Mehrotra and houses various pieces of artwork that radiate the beauty of this city in vibrant colors. The gallery consists of various artworks such as paintings and photographs which can be purchased at the gallery itself. 

Location- 1 Ground Floor, Shwetabh Building, Lanka Road, Varanasi.
Timing- 11 AM To 8:00 PM
Entry Fee- No Entry Fee

5- Dhamek Stupa

About- Apart from Hinduism, Buddhism also has a grasp and stronghold on Varanasi. Located less than 12 kilometers away in a village called Sarnath lies the Dhamek Stupa. This structure is dedicated to Lord Buddha as it is said that Buddha came to this place after achieving enlightenment to give his first sermon, which revealed the Eightfold path. This pillar stands at a height of 43.6 meters and has a diameter of 28 meters. This structure is said to be built at least 1500 years ago.  It is carved with pictures of people, flowers and birds.

Location- Dharmapala Road, Singhpur, Sarnath, Varanasi
Timing- Open 24 Hours
Entry Fee- No Entry Fee

6- Dasaswamedh Ghat-

About- The most exciting and spiritual experience that you can have in Varanasi is the Ganga Arti and Dasaswamedh Ghat is the place for the same. The Ganga Arti starts at about 7 PM, where you can witness the priests in saffron-hued robes spreading out plates of colorful flower petals including the offerings to the Gods, blowing a conch shell announcing the beginning of the spiritual ceremony. The priests chant and wave tiered plates of sandalwood scented incense in intricate patterns for almost 45 minutes. This is nothing but a sight enough to give you goosebumps. In the daytime you can visit the ghat and see numerous flower sellers with vibrant blossoms as their fragrance fills the air, boats hawking rides along the holy river and sadhus with face paint praying to the gods.

Location- Dasaswamedh Ghat Road, Bangali Tola, Varanasi.
Timing- Open 24 Hours
Entry Fee- No Entry Fee

7- Assi  Ghat

About- The level of spirituality is unimaginable and incomparable in Varanasi. This ghat is located at the southernmost part of the city. The main attraction of Assi Ghat is the shivling, a phallic representation of the Destroyer Hindu God “Lord Shiva”. This relic is placed beneath a sacred fig tree. Devotees and pilgrims come here to pray to Lord Shiva after taking a bath in the Ganga river. This place also holds a ceremonial aarti every evening, although it is slightly smaller than the one that is performed at Dasaswamedh Ghat but holds equal importance and holiness. In the morning you can join other people to perform yoga with live music to find internal peace and serenity. 

Location- Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
Timing- Open 24 Hours
Entry Fee- No Entry Fee

8- Manikarnika GhatAbout-

The unity between the departed and the divine can be seen at the Manikarnika Ghat. The Ghat is dedicated to the funeral pyres which burn 24/7. This place is considered to be most auspicious for the departed to reach moksha after death. This not for the ones with a faint heart as once you reach or pass by Manikarnika Ghat, you will witness cremation pyres and the people who are considered to be untouchables carry the bodies of dead wrapped in white shrouds, makeshifts stretchers and plies of firewood stacked up for feeding the pyre. You may be offered to see the burning pyres up close for a price but the suggestion is to not to do so as it is a gut wrenching experience and it is far better to let the ceremony conclude without interruption and pay your respect and move on. This place is like the gateway towards a higher place of divinity where you can see the unseen.

Location- Near Laliyta Ghat, Ghats of Varanasi, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Timing- Open 24 Hours
Entry Fee- No Entry Fee

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Scroll to Top