Banaras can be described by just using two words and that are spiritual and colorful. This city is rich in history, culture and various tourist’s spots. Banaras is considered as one of the holiest cities around the world. Many travelers and Hindus visit this city throughout the year.
Although visiting every spot and watching every corner of it is impossible in a limited time. However, you can experience this city best by visiting the famous places. Therefore, here are top 7 things to do in Banaras without which the trip to Banaras would be incomplete.
Exploring temples in Banaras
A trip to Banaras is incomplete without visiting the famous temples it hosts. The ghats and temples are the main attraction for which Banaras is known for. You can easily spot temples on almost every corner and road. The large and famous temples are related to the history and mythology of Hindu whereas the smaller ones are for rituals and worshiping on daily basis. These places are crowded with tourists all around the year and it also shows the architectural design used in India. The most popular temple is the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and it was built in the year 1780. Another famous temple is the Durga temple which was built in the 18th century and holds a belief that the statue present in it is made by Goddess Durga herself. On the other hand, Baba Keenaram Sthal has been the center of interest among researcher, writers, and students for a long time.
Holy River Ganges
River Ganges is considered as the holiest river of all by Hindu people. It is believed by just taking a dip in this holy river, you can get rid of your sins and will purify your soul. Many Hindu scripts suggest that taking bath in it releases you from the sin done in current and previous life. Taking a spiritual dip in the holy river Ganga is one of the major things to do and should not be missed. This river got its name from the elder sister of the Lord Shiva’s wife Goddess Parvati. There is a mythology associated with the birth of Goddess Ganga that she was born to provide salvation to 60000 ancestors. But her falling force was so enormous that Lord Shiva himself held her in his hair and later released her in the form of a river. Banaras has a total of 84 ghats and all of them will lead you to the river Ganges. To add an amazing experience to your trip, people can also avail boat ride in the river.
Evening aarti ceremony
If you want a once in a lifetime experience then watching the evening aarti ceremony is must for you. This event is best spotted from Dasawamedh ghat where huge brass lamps are used along with the constant chanting and a huge number of people waiting there to pray. If you want to secure the best spot for viewing this event then you must arrive at the ghat around 1 hour before. Watching the priests in the identical traditional dress of dhotis and kurta for the aarti is also very interesting to see. As soon as the lamps are lit, you can see the sky shining with the radiance of these lamps and smell the scent of incense sticks all around your atmosphere. This aarti ceremony is carried out every night for 45 minutes and starts usually at 6:45 P.M.
Sightseeing in Sarnath
Just a few kilometers away from Banaras, you can have a road trip to Sarnath. This place is the religious center for Buddhist people. Sarnath is also called as Deerpark and this is the place where Gautama Buddha first came and taught people about the true meaning of Dharma. Sarnath is definitely the best place for those people who are interested in knowing about the history of India. In Sarnath, Emperor Ashoka built many stupas to spread Buddhism. These ruins of the stupas are full of inscriptions, manuscripts, and relics that teach us about their history and culture. The lion capital of the pillar, which is also present on our national emblem, is showcased here.
One of the most popular fortifications, the Ramnagar fort is present in Banaras. It is famous for its chunar made up of cream-colored sandstone and is present on the bank of river Ganga. It is similar to every fort present in India but its lavish appearance makes it different. This fort was built by Raja Balwant Singh in 1750 and hosts the architecture inspired by the Mughals. Its open courtyards, carved pavilion, and balconies are converted into resorts. Now, this fort is mainly used for shooting movies and has a museum that covers a vast variety of artifacts including vintage cars from America. There is also an armory hall in which swords and guns from all around the world are displayed.
Local market of Banaras
If you have a free evening or afternoon then you can utilize it best by shopping in Banaras. Banaras is also known for its silk sarees and ornaments. Remember to buy sarees with floral design and thread work or even with elaborated zari while shopping in the market. Apart from sarees you can even buy idols of Hindu deities, bangles, carpets, shawls and many more things. The major shopping area are Godowilia, Thateri Bazar, and Vishwanath lane.
Wandering on the Ghats
The city hosts around hundreds of ghats including every small and large ones. All of these ghats leads to the holy river and strolling along these ghats are the best thing you can do while in Banaras. Every ghat is related to the mythology and there are different ghats for bathing, praying and even cremating. There are some privately owned ghats that are used for boating purposes in the morning. Among every ghat, Dasawamedh ghat is the most popular one because of its closeness to the Vishwanath Temple. Apart from these, Lalita ghat is also worth visiting because of number of festivals are organized here throughout the year and it was built by king of Nepal.
How to Reach Banaras?
There are multiple trains which can help you reach Banaras easily at affordable prices. Also, if you wish to travel through flights, numerous domestic flights can be booked through varied sources in order to get the bookings done. There are many deals such as HDFC Flight offers which can be availed to get up to Rs.2500/- instant discounts.
In a lifetime, it is very important to explore the places to get the best memories for long. Book your way to Banaras and relish the trips to sites that offer great picturesque to all the tourists. Don’t forget to feel the love and affection cast in the aura of this place since always.