What to see in Varanasi, India
Varanasi, also known as Kashi or Banaras, is an Indian city situated on the banks of the holy river Ganga. From the spiritual and religious minded, to hippies and new age yoga enthusiasts, from ancient history connoisseurs to nirvana seekers, this holy city exerts a mystical pull on its visitors. Why do so many people come to this small city every year? What is there to see in Varanasi? What is there to do? OneHowTo.com will give you answers to all these questions and more.
Ghats of Varanasi
Ghats on the Ganga river banks are the soul of the city. You will see them as a virtual kaleidoscope of Indian customs, traditions and beliefs. The city has 84 ghats in total, some of which were built as old as in the 12th century.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Built in 1770s, Kashi Viswanath is a historical temple with towers plated with gold. King Ranjit Singh donated 1000 kgs of gold to the temple in 1830s. The shivalinga situated in the temple is 60cms tall and 90cms in circumference, and is housed in a silver altar. Visit this temple to see how Hindu temples are built in India, and how devotees worship here.
Bharat Kala Bhavan
This is an archaeological museum situated in the campus of Banaras Hindu University. You will see a huge collection of paintings, costumes, textiles, decorative arts, and other artifacts here. The Kala Bhavan houses an Archaeological Gallery, Numismatic Gallery, Decorative Art Gallery, Textiles Gallery, etc. to watch out for.
This is a fort-palace, built with red sandstone in the 18th century. It is home to the Kashi king, housing a museum in which royal collection of palkis, vintage cars, swords, old guns, antique clocks and ivory work is displayed. You will also get to see a display of gold plated howdahs, weapons and ornate palanquins.
Lakhania Dari Caves and Waterfall
Located around 45kms from the city, these are small hills as part of the Vindhyanchal mountain range. Enjoy the spectacular views of a mesmerizing waterfall that falls into the small lake of clear water below, which is Lakhania Dari. You can see the ancient rock caves surrounding the region. This place is a visual treat for adventure lovers and nature enthusiasts and a must see in Varanasi.
Only 12kms from the Varanasi Rail Junction, Saranath is an important heritage and pilgrimage site for Buddhists. It is known to be the first place where Lord Buddha gave his sermon. The town houses excavated remains of ancient Buddhist monasteries, an archaeological museum, several stupas, Buddhist temples, and the Lion Capital.
Varanasi is one of the oldest living cities of India. If you happen to visit this pilgrimage site, do not miss to check out at least some of these must-see places.
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