8 Things You Have To Check Off Your *To Do List* For A Memorable Day In Varanasi
Varanasi is a beautiful city with lots to see & do, but as with exploring any new city, sometimes you have absolutely no idea where to start! So to make your trip a smooth & seamless one, we’ve created an itinerary of how you should spend your day in Varanasi. Happy exploring!
1. An Early Morning Boat Ride In The Ganges
The Ganga can easily be referred to as the essence of the city! Besides being a sacred river having religious importance, it also serves as a means of livelihood to the various citizens of Varanasi. An early morning boat ride in this river is one of the most peaceful experiences so wake up early for it! The best time for the boat ride is anytime before 8:30 AM.
2. A Stroll Along The Ghats
Varanasi is made up of more than 80 ghats like Assi Ghat, Scindia Ghat, Dashashwamedh Ghat, Lalita Ghat; these are just some of the ghats where you can take a stroll to experience the Ganga and its surroundings in a whole new light. Manikarnika Ghat is the holiest amongst all because it's believed if one is cremated here they can achieve salvation. Do visit it!
3. Shopping In The Local Markets
Varanasi is famous for its Banarsi silk sarees, brocade fabrics, carpets, brass & metal items and jewellery found in the local markets that surround the famous temples of the city. These are mostly small, busy lanes which makes shopping in them even more interesting. Bargaining is a common site and also duplicacy so beware. Vishwanath Gali, Thatheri Bazar, Godwalia and Weavers Village for silk are some of the best local shopping sites.
4. Explore The Beautiful Temples
Varanasi is a city as old as time which makes the presence of temples and other religious places a common site. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Durga Temple, Kathwala Temple, Sankat Mochan Temple, Alamgir Mosque, Buddhist Temple and Tulsidas Temple are hailed as some of the most important religious sites in the city. Head to these temples to learn the stories which make Varanasi the spiritual capital of India.
5. Take A Holy Bath
It's believed by Hindus that a dip in the Ganga will wash a person off all their sins and bad doings of the past. Besides this, it's also believed that each ghat has some or the other mystic power associated with it. If these two things are not reason enough, you can just take a bath in the river to enjoy its cool water and refresh yourself. There are various clean ghats like Assi Ghat, Kedar Ghat, Darbhanga Ghat and many more you can head to.
6. Witness The Evening Aarti
The evening prayer or aarti performed on the ghats in Varanasi is a world famous phenomenon. Thousands of people come to witness this picturesque event which starts daily at around 6:45 PM and lasts for 45 minutes. Various prayers are chanted during this duration. The oil lamps handled by many priests, various flowers and other elements fill the air with otherworldly aromas making the whole experience ethereal! Dashashwamedh Ghat is one of the perfect places to witness the aarti and obtain blessings of the river Ganga.
7. A Visit To Ramnagar Fort
A beautiful fort located on the bank of river Ganga, Ramnagar fort has been the residence for Varanasi kings for many years. The sandstone fort built by Raja Balwant Singh around 1750, is currently not in good shape however there's a mysterious angle adding to its appeal which makes it worth the trip. You must visit this fort since it is also home to a museum with vintage cars, jewels and weapons.
8. Gorge On All The Local Delicacies
Varanasi is home to heavenly food! From gol gappe, tikkis, jalebi, rabri, aloo-kachori, tamatar chaat, to lassi and paan, these are some of the must haves whilst roaming the streets of Varanasi.
Varanasi is also home to some amazing cafes like Aum Cafe, Shiva Cafe, The Mark Cafe and many more which ares hidden jewels for other types of comfort food when you've had enough of all the street food!
So go explore the best of Varanasi, all in a day's time!