Varanasi is a city in India one must visit once in their lifetime. Considered as the holiest of Hindu cities, it is as old as civilization and the very town breathes divine bliss. The important seat of learning in India, in fact one of the earliest of the country, the town is located in the North Indian State of Uttar Pradesh. Known as the city where life comes to a full circle, as it is witness to Indian rituals of birth to death. The River Ganges, believed to the holy is worshipped as a Mother Goddess in India flows through Varanasi granting it immortality and the chance to bask in the divine blessings. For a real insight into the mystical mysteries of India, Varanasi tours open up the golden window,
Situated along the holy River Ganges, Varanasi enjoys a picturesque setting. The name of the town was formerly Kashi, then Benaras and the current name Varanasi is said to be a compound of the names of two streams, the Varuna and the Assi, which still flow in the north and south of the city respectively. Varanasi is probably one of the most ancient living cities in India. From time immemorial it has been a great religious center for Hindus and one of their most sacred places of pilgrimage, being visited by millions of people every year.
The places worth visiting in the city of Varanasi are several. The ghats (stepped banks) that dot the riverside, and the hundreds of temples that form part of the old city of Varanasi. Walk through the bylanes of Varanasi and in every nook and corner come across temples, sacred shrines and the reminiscent of the bygone era. The city has a reputation of weaving, creating handlooms, handicrafts, etc. The weaver’s community is interesting to explore as you can witness the beautiful creation in front of your eyes. Or, even better you can purchase some of the finest masterpieces to take back home. A visit to Sarnath is also a must of a visit to Varanasi. 13 km from the city, it is a Buddhist site where Lord Buddha delivered his sermons and till date there are stupas that are marked with his teachings.
The Ganga aarti is the most mesmerizing experience in Varanasi. The daily ritual of worship of the River Goddess is held at dawn and dusk that truly connects you with the divine. The aarti ceremony at dusk is truly spectacular. The taste of the local food, boat ride on the Ganges in the early morning, walking tour of the city make fond memories of a holiday in Varanasi.