The spiritual and holy city of Varanasi also popularly known as ‘Benares’ and has a very significant importance in the Indian culture and pilgrimage. Located on the banks of holy river Ganga, in the earlier times this place was also called ‘Kashi’ and is said to be one of the very ancient inhabited cities in the world. Today, the place is famous for many things and is one of the most visited tourist places of the country. For the Hinduism and Buddhism, Varanasi is a must visit destination for devotees and pilgrims. Even now the beautiful city of Benares has the old city charm and a heart which is filled with spiritually. Below are the famous tourist destinations of the city.
- Kashi Vishwanath Temple
The Kashi Vishwanath temple is the soul of the Varanasi and is one of the most popular Hindu pilgrimage centers. Vishvanath is the name of Hindu god ‘Lord Shiva’ and the temple here is dedicated to him. The Kashi Vishwanath temple is also counted amongst one of the twelve holiest jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Situated on the banks of river Ganga, the temple was destroyed and re-built many times over the centuries. The current temple structure around the jyotirlinga was constructed in 18th century by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar. Kashi Vishwanath temple is one of the most pious holy places in Varanasi.
- Ganga Ghats
The Ghats in Varanasi on the bank of river Ganga are completely splendid. In all there are 87 Ghats in the city but the most popular ones are the Dashashwamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Scindia Ghat and Tulsi Ghat. The Ganges aarti in Dashashwamedh Ghat is one of the most spectacular sights you will get to witness here. The grand aarti of river Ganga can be viewed either from the Ghats or from a boat on the river Ganga from where the sight of aarti is totally mesmerizing. Apart from this, spending early morning and evenings in the Ghats amidst the cool breeze of Ganga will not only make you feel amazing but it is also soothing.
Just 13 kilometers away from the city, Sarnath is another major pilgrimage and architecture that is very famous. It is said that Lord Buddha taught dharma here for the first time and the place is also home to the well-known ‘Dhamek Stupa’. Earlier there used to many Buddhist monasteries around the place but today there are only ruins visible. The place is also a famous archaeological site and one of the holy pilgrimage destinations of Buddhism.
- Ramnagar Fort
On the eastern banks of river Ganges, the Ramnagar fort stands tall magnificently. The entire palace is made of sandstone and was built in the 1750 by Raja Balwant Singh. Though it was built by a Hindu king, the fort is known for its splendid Mughal architecture. The place has one of the perfect views of the river Ganga and a very famous Rambagh garden inside the fortification. Today, it is more of a museum where display of vintage cars, royal palanquins, ivory work and many more royal and ancient things captures the admiration of the tourists.