essential travel tips for Varanasi

Varanasi is one of the holiest pilgrimage cities in India. you can either love it or hate it. because mother Ganga is running through it, it’s got a powerful Shiva-positive vibe and energy level is high over here. It is believe that Hindu pilgrims come to cleanse themselves of sins, prepare themselves for death or bring their dearly departed. Varanasi symbolizes the end of the cycle of life and reincarnation.

Hindus take dip in the Ganges to wash away sins. Families also bring departed loved ones to be cremated at one of the two burning grounds. The ashes are thrown into the river after cremation.

Things to Do in Varanasi

1. Sunrise Boat Cruise on the Ganges River

we recommend you to take a sunrise boat cruise down in the Ganges River, where you’ll see life and death together. and come across with many important Ghats of Varanasi and will learn its history .main Ghats are

Manikarnika Ghat (the old burning ghat) where families bring their departed to be cremated.

Dasaswamedh Ghat (main ghat with lots of activity)

Scindhia ghat (it has a sunken Shiva temple)

Assi ghat (a peaceful but popular ghat; a 30-40 minute walk from Dasaswadmedh ghat)

Man Mandir is an old palace with Rajput architecture.

2. Visit across the river Ganges

If you want the flexibility to visit different parts of the river Ganges you could see many people’s are performing the rituals for their family called Pind daan and if you wish you perform this rituals for departed soul in family member you could take a boat it’s best to hire your own private boat.  

Boat information: Many boat cruises start around 7am or before sunrise. Rates for boat are flexible and depend upon person to person if you want we can arrange the boat ride in Varanasi for your convenient.

3 walk along the Ghat

After your sunrise boat cruise, we recommend you to take a stroll through the Ghats and you’ll get a feeling of what Varanasi means to Hindus. From pundits guiding Hindu pilgrims through devotional rituals to devotees getting their heads shaven, women drying saris, beggars, cows and Hindu tourists, the Ghats are a fabulous place for people’s activities watching.

walking along the mother river Ganges is the best Varanasi walking tour

4. walking in Narrow lanes of Varanasi 

After boat ride a small walk in to the oldest part of Varanasi is recommended where you will come across a place thousands of burring bodies every day and please don’t take photographs and continue to Vishwanath Gali one of the oldest lanes in Varanasi .

5. Shopping

Varanasi is the home of Shopping, since history people are travelling to this holy city for the shopping .Silk weaving of Varanasi is world famous in every Hindu occasion you women wear the sari made in Varanasi .Here you could buy silk sari , pooja materials , wooden toys , spices and many more we have specially designed special shopping tour in Varanasi .

6. watchinng Evening Aarti at Dashashwanath Ghat

Every evening in Varanasi, aarti is performed at the ghats.  Dashashwamedh ghat is the main ghat where the biggest arti is performed in worship for the mother divine Ganges Here is the link of evening Arti ceremony boat ride for Arti in Varanasi .

7. Visiting temples

Varanasi is the city of temples and Ghats .visiting a temples could explain about the understanding of Hindus’ culture and way of worshiping in side the temples . please follow the temples rule so that you may not offend some one .there are few important temples in Varanasi that you must do as temples tour of Varanasi .here are the few recommendation for visiting temples in Varanasi !!

Durga Temple, otherwise known as the Monkey Temple due to its abundance of monkeys is located in Durga Kund. It’s recognizable by its red dome and is nearby another famous Varanasi temple, Tulsi Manas Mandir.  This temple is dedicated to the goddess Durga.

Shoes: You must leave them outside. There is a shoe collector that watches it for a few rupees.

Note: You can walk here (takes about 30-45 minutes from the main ghat), but it’s easier to take a rickshaw. You can take Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Mandir, BHU’s Vishwanath Temple and Sankat mochen in one day via rickshaw. They’re further away from the main ghat but spread along a row. Walking is not advised after Tulsi Manas Mandir.

Tulsi Manas Mandir

Located a stone’s throw from the red domed Durga Temple, is Tulsi Manas Mandir, a popular cultural and historical temple in Varanasi. Dedicated to the Lord Rama, the temple was constructed in 1964 in the location where poet, Tulsides wote the epic Ramcharitmanas (“Lake of deeds of Rama”). The temple is a beautifully carved marble with the Ramcharitmanas covering the wall. Upstairs are reenactment scenes set with mechanical puppets.

Hours:  5:30a-12 noon, 3:30p -9pm.  Shoes: You must leave them outside. There is a shoe collector that watches it for a few rupees.  Admission: Free, Upstairs Museum Hall costs a few rupees, but highly recommended (watch my video)

New Kashi Vishwanath temple

Located on the Banares Hindu University (aka BHU), the New Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the cleanest, newest and most peaceful. Surrounded by a large garden the temple is large enough to roam for several hours.

Sankatmochen Temple

Sankat Mochen temple (also known as the Monkey Temple due to its wealth of resident monkeys) is dedicated to the Lord Hanuman (the monkey-god). The temple is significant to Hindus as it is said to offer relief to problems. Hanuman  According to Vedic astrologers, Hanuman offers relief from the problems of Saturn (a planetary ruler of karmic lessons) .

 Hours: 5a-10p, Aarti hours: 4am and 9pm. Shoes: There are lockers inside which you can store them for a few rupees.

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