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Places To Visit in Varanasi – Varanasi is one of the holiest city in India for Hindus that dates back to the 11th century. Located on the west bank of holy river Ganga, the sacred city famous for its ancient temples and ghats. It is considered to be one of the best pilgrimage centres in India and attracts millions of spiritual travellers every year.
Also known as Kashi or Banaras, the ancient city has great cultural and religious importance. There are many popular tourist places to visit in Varanasi that makes it one of the most sought after destination in Uttar Pradesh. Tourist often visits this place in search of peace and salvation. So here is the list of top tourist places in Varanasi that you must explore here.
Best Time To Visit – The sacred city witnessed by a large number of tourist all around the year. But the ideal time to visit Varanasi is between the months of October to March due to the pleasant climate condition. In addition, most of the fair and festivals held between winter months. So one can get a better experience of its rich culture and legacy.
Top 10 Famous Tourist Attractions & Places To Visit in Varanasi –
1. Assi Ghat –
Located on the confluence of river Ganga and Assi, it is one of the most sacred Ghats in Varanasi. This pilgrimage place famous for a huge Shiva Lingam which is situated under a peepal tree. The place has immense religious importance where pilgrims pay homage to Lord Shiva.
Assi Ghat also mentioned in ancient Puranas like Agni Purana, Matsya Purana, Padma Purana and Kashi Khanda. It is also believed that the great saint Tulsi Das had written the epic Ramcharitmanas on the banks of Assi Ghat. One can also witness the Ganga Aarti which is started here recently. Further, the site is very popular among locals as well as foreigners who flock here to get the amazing views of sunrise and sunset. Overall among all other places to visit in Varanasi, Assi Ghat is a worth visiting spot.
2. Kashi Vishwanath Temple –
Located in the heart of the city alongside the bank of holy river Ganga, Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most popular Hindu temples in Varanasi. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple dates back to around 3500 years ago and visited by millions of devotees every year. Also considered as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country, it has great religious and historical importance.
According to a rough estimate, the temple visited by around 5000 devotees on a daily basis. There are several other small temples within the temple complex such as Kaalbhairav, Vishnu, Virupaksh Gauri and Vinayaka. During the time of Shivaratri festival, devotees gather here in a large amount to seek the holy blessing of Lord Shiva. Being an important religious spot it must be included in the list of tourist places in Varanasi.
3. Dashaswamedh Ghat –
Dashashwamedh Ghat is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Varanasi for all religious travellers. It is also said that at this place Lord Brahma sacrificed 10 horses in a yajna here known as Dasa Ashwamedha. This sacred ghat is an important place to witness various rituals and religious activities like Agni Pooja or Ganga aarti.
During the time of the evening Aarti, tourist flock here in a large amount to get the immense view of holy river Ganga. Besides that, one can also hire a boat to get a clear view of Ganga Aarti. The entire process will give you a soul-calming experience whereas the Dashashwamedh Ghat is one such places to visit in Varanasi.
4. Ramnagar Fort –
Ramnagar Fort has an important significance in the list of all Varanasi tourist places due to it’s historical and astronomical value. The ancient fort built by the Raja Balwant Singh 1750 AD which still stands as a testimony of Mughal architecture. Located on the bank of river Ganga just opposite to Tulsi Ghat, the fort attracts lots of tourist for its lavish appearance.
The fort also has a museum which has a rich collection of vintage cars, ivory works, swords, medieval costumes and silver palanquins. The main key attraction of this museum is a huge astronomical clock that shows the astronomy of the space objects. Being a famous historical monument in Varanasi, Ramnagar Fort is a worth visiting place for all history buffs.
5. Manikarnika Ghat –
Manikarnika Ghat is considered to be one of the oldest ghats in Varanasi and the main cremation ghat for Hindus. It is also known as Burning Ghat as the dead bodies are burnt here regularly. According to the Legend, the dead bodies which are cremated here get Moksha. It is also believed that spending the last few days of life here is a way to attain Salvation or get freedom from the cycle of birth and death. The place is also famous for having much mythological significance related to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
6. Tulsi Manas Temple –
Tulsi Manas Temple is another key attraction in the list of places to visit in Varanasi. Dedicated to Lord Rama, the temple was constructed in 1964 by the Birla family. Named after great saint Tulsi Das, it displays the Shikhara style of architecture. The wall of the temple carved with beautiful inscriptions that depicting the stories of the Ramcharitmanas. In the upper storey of the temple, you can see various structures of warriors used in epic Ramayana. The temple best visited during the months of Saawan when it organises a puppet show related to Ramayana.
7. Durga Temple –
Durga Temple is another famous tourist destination in Varanasi for spiritual travellers. Also known as Monkey temple, it was built around the 18th century by a Bengali Maharani and it displays Nagara style of architecture. The temple houses an imposing idol of Goddess Durga. It is said that the idol was not created but it appeared on its own. Surrounded by a beautiful pond known as Durga Kund, the temple offers a great view of the entire region from the watchtower.
8. Shivala Ghat –
Shivala Ghat has religious and historical significance too hence it is a worth visiting place for every kind of tourist. The ghat is much famed for ancient Shiva Temple which was built around the 19th century by a Nepalese King. There are a number of historical monuments around this Ghat such as Chet Singh Fortress and mansion of king Sanjay Vikram Shah. Tourist often visits this site to take a dip in the holy water of river Ganga and to look upon the history of this beautiful city.
9. Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum –
If you want to take a beautiful insight into rich culture and history of the bygone era then Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum is one of the best places to visit in Varanasi. Located within the complex of Banaras Hindu University, the museum was established in the year 1920.
This archaeological and art museum has an extensive collection of sculptures, artefacts, paintings, jewellery and pottery items that date back to the 1st and 15th century. It also houses a rare collection of miniature paintings and manuscripts that are showcasing here in the different art gallery.
10. Alamgir Mosque –
Built around the 17th century by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, Alamgir Mosque is an architectural masterpiece of Mughal era. Constructed over a Shiva Temple which was demolished by Aurangzeb, it displays excellent Indo-Islamic architecture style. The mosque looks more significant with its beautiful minarets and high domes. Today, it is one of the most important tourist places in Varanasi for Muslims as non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque.
Most Popular Activities & Things To Do in Varanasi –
Exploring all the above mention location considered to be the best things to do in Varanasi in itself. But there are several other activities to do in Varanasi as well which are given below –
- Witness Ganga Aarti to get peace & divinity
- Explore all Varanasi Temples
- Boat ride in river Ganges
- Take a holy bath in river Ganga
- An evening stroll along the Ghats
- Shopping in Varanasi
- Explore the rich legacy & history of Varanasi
- Witness fairs & festivals of Varanasi
So that’s all about famous tourist places to visit in Varanasi which makes it a most sacred site for all spiritual travellers. Every year millions of pilgrim visit this place in search of peace and salvation.