To witness anything extraordinary, bizarre, peculiar, interesting and anything that floats around the stereotypical understanding of the Indian society as seen by the western countries, head on to Varanasi. This city will give you the experience of a lifetime and make you long to revisit soon!
One of the most intriguing cities to visit in India is the beautiful ancient city of Varanasi. Set in the state of Uttar Pradesh, this place is the most visited and popular of all the pilgrimage sites in India. The city is usually approached by trains from all parts of India however the fastest way to reach the city is obviously by flights. Flights from Delhi to Varanasi fly on a regular basis and you will definitely have to book it in advance if you plan on visiting during one of its festivals. Mentioned below are some of the top things to do and places to see in Varanasi.
Visit the Ganga Ghats
This is one of the most essential visits of Varanasi. You ask any locals passing by for suggestions of places to see, and the first thing they will utter is this word ‘Ganga Ghats’. It is believed that the water from the Ganges has healing powers, hence, when one takes a dip in the river in this very spot, all their diseases are washed away. Do not miss to see the Ganga Aarti while you are hear. The crowd gathers in thousands to witness the aarti and the priests relentlessly perform it in the most stunning and graceful manner each night.
Take a boat ride
After you have left luggage and backpack at the hotel, head on to the river and enjoy a nice boat ride. The cost for taking a boat ride depends on the length of time of your boat ride. You can take a short ride and pass by the Manikarnika Ghat, the place where the cremation takes place in Varanasi. Many people come and live their last moments in Varanasi as it is believed that offering your prayers and dying here helps you attain salvation.
Take a walk along the queer streets
Mornings and evenings are the best time to explore Varanasi by its queer streets. The weather is not as hot and humid as it would be during mid-day and afternoon, helping you walk miles longer. Apart from old ruins of ancient temples and buildings, you will also find the weirdest individuals and rituals being being performed by the pavements of streets.
Enjoy some classical music
Indian Classical music was made popular to the world by Pt. Ravi Shankar, before which, the world never heard of Indian music. Indian classical music is believed to have originated from Varanasi. Stop by for a session of live classical music being performed by various artists.
Gorge on the street food
From the aloo chaats, pani puris and the juice jalebis, street food is yummy and cheap in Varanasi. On a hot summer’s day, you can also enjoy a nice clay tumbler of thick lassi combined with rabri served cool. And last but not the least, don’t forget to try the famous Banarasi paan!