Top 10 tourist attractions in Varanasi
Looking for a guide to ancient culture and traditions? Regarded as the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi is one of India's most vibrant and fascinating destinations.
Varanasi (also known as Benaras) is one of the oldest living cities in the world, its prominence in Hindu mythology is virtually unparalleled. Mark Twain, the famous English author, who was enthralled by the legend and sanctity of Benaras, once wrote:
“Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together”.
Buddhism has also found its roots in Varanasi when Gautam Buddha introduced it here in 528 BC. Philosophy, literature, arts, and culture have always thrived here. A visit to this spiritual capital will immerse you in an enriching experience.
Akasa Air has compiled a list of best tourist places to visit in Varanasi to feed to your curiosity! Book your flight right here with Akasa Air.
1. Assi Ghat
In the Kashi Khand, Assi ghat is described as “Saimbeda tirtha” implying, the one who is fortunate to get a dip here once in their entire lifetime will get punya of all the tirthas (attain salvation).
According to an ancient legend, Goddess Durga threw her sword into the river after killing the demon Shumbha-Nishumbha. For this reason, the place was called Assi Ghat because it is located at the confluence of the Ganges and Assi river.
Some grand Hindu festivals such as Mahashivaratri, Ganga Dashahara, and Ganga Mahotsav attract many devotees to visit this ghat in Varanasi. It is a place where you can spend hours without hesitation.
To take part in these festivities, add this place in your list of one of the best places to visit in Varanasi.
2. Dashashwamedh Ghat
Located on the banks of river the Ganges near the historical Vishwanath Temple, lies one of the oldest and most significant Dashashwamedh ghat.
Dashashwamedh precisely means a ghat of ten sacrificed horses. Agni puja performed every evening by a group of sadhus dedicated to lord Shiva is a tourist favourite here. Tourists can enjoy the wonderful and colorful scenery of the riverbanks. Another striking feature of the ghat is witnessing the ganga aarti performed here in the evening.
Historically, Dashashwamedh ghat is considered the most significant ghat among Hindus. There are many religious temples, and tourist sites near the ghat as well.
To witness the captivating ganga aarti, put this ghat at the top of your best tourist places in Varanasi bucket list.
3. Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Famously known as the golden temple of Lord Shiva, Kashi Vishwanath Temple is among the most renowned temples in India.
In 1780, the Maratha Queen of Indore, Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar built it. The domes of the temple which are covered in gold, were donated by the Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Later, in 1983, the temple became the property of the Uttar Pradesh government.
Great Hindu saints like Adi Shankaracharya, Goswami Tulsidas, Ramakrishna Paramhamsa, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, took a dip in the holy Ganges and visited here making it a temple of great religious importance.
When visiting Varanasi, do not forget to visit this auspicious temple.
4. Manikarnika Ghat
Accorded the highest rank among the many ghats present by the Hindu holy scriptures, Manikarnika Ghat is one of the oldest ghats in Varanasi.
Famously known as “Maha Smashaan”, it is believed that those who are cremated here attain salvation. Manikarnika ghat, like all the renowned ghats in Varanasi is surrounded by its own fascinating mythological tales.
5. Ramnagar Fort & Museum
Built in the 18th century by the King of Varanasi near the riverbank, stands tall the sandstone fortified structure, Ramnagar Fort. Anant Narayan Singh, the present King, resides here.
The Veda Vyasa temple, Dakshin Mukhi Hanuman temple, a museum, a large astronomical clock, carved balconies, pavilions, open courtyards, Durbar halls, and many drawing rooms, are all housed within the fort. The King's private residence area is not open to tourists.
The museum situated inside the fort is known as Sarawati Bhawan. In the past, the Bhawan used to be an audience hall. Today, the museum hosts priceless collection of ivory works, vintage American cars, medieval costumes, gold jewelry, silver work, palanquins, ancient weapons, elephant saddles, etc.
Visit this historical place to travel back in time. Book a flight
6. Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple
Located in the southern part of Varanasi, the Sankat Mochan temple is dedicated to Lord hanuman due to the presence of many monkeys in its premises.
The idol of Lord Hanuman standing in front of lord Rama is one of the distinctive features of the temple. Vermilion and prasad, which are sold in the premise of the temple, are offered here to the idol.
Sangkat Mochan Sangeet Samaro, first celebrated 88 years ago, every April here, invites musicians and artists all over India to take part in this vibrant celebration.
To witness this unique statue of Lord Hanuman and to be a part of the annual celebration, add this temple to your list of best places to visit in Varanasi.
7. Garden of Spiritual Wisdom
Located 8 km away from Varanasi, the Garden of Spiritual Wisdom is a state-of-the-art attraction for tourists visiting Sarnath.
The gardens are beautifully decorated with manicured gardens and a peaceful atmosphere. It hosts a fine collection of sculptures, and exhibits depicting Buddhism. The exhibits use graphics to convey the essence of Indian spirituality.
Add this place to your bucket list, for the perfect trip to Varanasi to relax your mind, body, and soul book here through Akasa Holidays.
8. Tulsi manas Temple
Another famous holy site in Varanasi that completes the city's pilgrimage route is the Tulsi Manas Temple. About 1.5 km from Banaras Hindu University, Tulsi Manas Temple holds great historic importance.
This temple is dedicated to Lord Rama and was built by the Surekha family of Banaras. The entire structure of the temple is made of white marble and is a beautiful piece of architecture. Charming gardens add a unique charm to the architecture of this famous Hindu temple in Varanasi. Inside the temple are idols of Lord Rama, his brother Lakshman and his wife Sita. A statue of Lord Hanuman can also be seen inside the temple.
9. Chowk & Vishwanath Gali
Chowk and Vishwanath Gali are two of Varanasi's most famous street markets. These markets are famous for goods such as Banarasi silk sarees, and silk brocades. A wide range of jewelry is also on display and sold in these markets.
Add this place to your list of best tourist places in Varanasi, to take a stroll in this market seasoned with silk sarees!
10. The Chinese Temple
Built according to Chinese architecture, the Chinese Temple is a colorful shrine dedicated to Buddha. The temple has a spacious meditation hall where visitors can meditate quietly and absorb in the peaceful atmosphere.
A key feature of this temple is the depiction of the life of Buddha through photographs and texts written in Hindi, English and Chinese on giant tablets.
When in Varanasi, do not forget to visit this place!
The city of the Ganges, ghats, and ganga aarti awaits you! Book your flights