Varanasi is the most important pilgrimage destination. It is situated in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The city is regarded as the “spiritual capital of India” and usually draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganga river’s pious water and perform funeral rites. It is the most sacred city in Hinduism and Jainism and is also important in the history of Buddhism. Many Hindus believe that dying in Varanasi brings salvation or nirvana and so they visit the city when they realize that they are close to death.

Best time to visit Varanasi

The peak time to visit Varanasi is during winter months i.e. from November to February. The winters are a fairly cold but is the best time to explore without getting tired. The average low temperature is around 5°C.

How to reach Varanasi

  • By Air: Varanasi airports are well linked to major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, etc.
  • By Bus: The Holy City is connected to major cities of Uttar Pradesh and neighboring states.
  • By Train: The City is connected to major other cities via railway network.

Now coming to top attractions, here are the must-see places in Varanasi…

1. Kashi Vishwanath Temple

The Kashi Vishwanath temple is one of the most famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located on the western bank of holy river Ganga and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. Vishwanath which means  Ruler of the Universe” is the main deity. The temple was built in 1780 by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar. This makes Varanasi a tourist place because of the great religious importance to the Hindus.

Opening time: open every day

Ideal for: history buffs, photo fanatics, god lovers

Entry fee: N/A

Distance from the Varanasi station: 6 km

2. Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple

The sankat mochan temple is dedicated to the Hindu Lord Hanuman. It was established by the famous Hindu preacher and poet saint Sri Goswami Tulsidas in the early 1500s situated on the bank of assi river. Sankat mochan means “reliever from troubles”. A unique feature about the temple is the idol of Lord Hanuman facing that of Lord Rama.

Opening time: open every day, 5:00 am to 10:00 pm

Ideal for: god lovers, photo fanatics, history buffs.

Entry fee: N/A

Distance from the Varanasi station: 5.9km

3. Assi Ghat

Assi Ghat is the southernmost Ghat in Varanasi.  There are a lot of activities for tourists to engage in at the ghat. Visitors can go for boat rides, go up in a hot-air balloon for an aerial view of Assi ghat, enjoy the daily talent show in the evening or eat at one of the many restaurants and cafes in the area. According to a belief goddess, Durga after slaining demon Shumbha- Nishumbha had thrown her sword. The place, where sword (Khadga) had fallen resulted inflowing of the big stream known as a river. The on conference place of river Ganga and Asi was known as Asi or Assi Ghat.

Opening time: open every day, 24×7

Entry fee: N/A

Ideal for: photo fanatics, nature lover

Distance from Varanasi station: 5.8 km

4. Manikarnika Ghat

Manikarnika Ghat is one of the holiest among the sacred ghats, alongside the river Ganga, in the city of Varanasi. It is believed that a dead human’s soul finds salvation when cremated here. There is a myth about the ghat: the ear jewel from Lord Shiva fell down while he was dancing angrily, which fell on the earth and thus Manikarnika Ghat formed. It is one of the oldest ghats present in this city. In fact, the Manikarnika Ghat is also stated in a Gupta inscription of the 5th century. It is respected in Hindu religion too.

Opening timing: open every day, 8:00amto 7:00 pm

Entry fee: N/A

Ideal for: nirvana seekers and experience seekers

Distance from the station: 4.4 km

5. Ramnagar Fort

The Ramnagar fort and museum is located opposite Varanasi’s Tulsi Ghat. This crumbling 17th-century fort and palace on the eastern banks of the Ganga is a beautiful place to watch the sunset over the river. Carved balconies, open courtyards, and intricate pavilions highlight its Mughal style of architecture and the most important construction inside the fort is the famous ‘Durbar Hall’ which is a hall dedicated to the public audience. Ramnagar Fort is a fortified building made with cream-colored sandstone built in Mughal style architecture. The fort includes Veda Vyasa temple, Dakshin Mukhi Hanuman temple, museum, big astronomical clock, carved balconies, pavilions, open courtyards, Durbar hall and reception room.

Opening time: open every day, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Entry fee: Rs 15 per adult and Rs 10 per child

Ideal for: history buffs, photo fanatics

Distance from the station: 9.1km

6. Vishwanath Gali

For street shopping in Varanasi, Vishwanath Gali is the place. It is the best place for shopping for all travelers. The street is always stacked with shopaholics who are enjoying their shopping. The place is very cost effective and has a variety of choice for every type of taste. One can easily find modern or traditional apparel, household items, home decor items, brass idols of deities, etc. The Gali is also well known for local snacks and sweets.

Opening time: open every day, 9:30 am to 10:00 pm

Entry fee: N/A

Ideal for: Shopaholics

Distance from the station: 3.9 km

7. St. Mary’s Church

Opening time: open every day, 7:00 am to 8:00 pm

Entry fee: N/A

Ideal for: god lovers, photo fanatics

Distance from the station: 1.8 km

8. Nepali Temple

The Nepali temple is one of the oldest and most famous temples in the holy city of Varanasi. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is very important for all the Hindu religion. Constructed in the 19th century the King of Nepal, the temple is made of terracotta, stone, and wood and is a replica of the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu. Set in this tranquil backdrop, is a widows’ ashram that is supported by the temple. Visitors should note that photography is only allowed outside the temple.

Opening time: open everyday, 4:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Entry fee: N/A

Ideal for: God lovers

Distance from the station: 4.4 km

9. Dhamek Stupa

This massive stupa is located about 13 km from Varanasi in Sarnath. The stupa dates back to 500 CE, and it was constructed to replace an earlier stupa commissioned by Emperor Ashoka in 249 BCE along with several other monuments. The stupa is composed of a cylindrical tower that rises around 43m and the diameter of the monument is a formidable 28m. The arched niches halfway on the monument may have once held statues of the Buddha. There are lovely elaborate carvings halfway on the monument on some sides.

Opening time: open every day except Friday, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

Entry fee: Indians Rs.5, Foreigners Rs. 100

Ideal for: god lovers, photo fanatics

Distance from the station: 9.1 km

10. Dashashwamedu Ghat

Dashashwamedh Ghat is the main ghat in Varanasi on the Gangs River. It is located close to Vishwanath Temple and is probably the most spectacular Ghar. Two Hindu mythologies surround the ghat, one being that Lord Brahma created it to welcome Lord Shiva and another where he sacrificed ten horses during the yajna performed here. Around dusk, the Dashashwamedh Ghat comes to life with the evening Ganga Aarti. Close to the ghat, overlooking the Ganga, lies the Jantar Mantar—an observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur.

Opening time: open every day

Entry fee: N/A

Ideal for: god lovers, experience seekers, photo fanatics

Distance from the station: 4 km

Visit these amazing places and share your experience with us!