"Varanasi - The City of Light" Top 5 Page for this destination Varanasi by Donna_in_India
Varanasi Travel Guide: 654 reviews and 1,524 photos
“Benares [ Varanasi ] was famous before Rome was known, and for many centuries has claimed and gained the homage of every devout Hindu. It is the Oxford and Mecca of Hinduism. Its river, its temples, its banks, are known and revered throughout India. Its very air and soil are counted holy. Residence in the city ensures salvation, death there makes salvation doubly sure”. Reverend Charles Phillips Cape described Varanasi in his book “Benares, the stronghold of Hinduism” published in January 1909.
Varanasi is considered the world's oldest city. The original name was 'Kashi,' derived from 'Kasha,' meaning brightness.It is also known as Banaras or Benaras. It sits bank of the holy river Ganga (Ganges), and is one of the seven sacred spots for Hindus. Every devout Hindu hopes to visit Varanasi at least once in his lifetime. A bath/dip in the Ganga washes away all sins and to die in Varanasi is a release from the cycle of reincarnation.
It is said that there are over 80 ghats - long flights of steps leading to the banks of the Ganges - in Varanasi. Most of the ghats are bathing ghats although there are a few "burning" or cremation ghats. Early morning is the best time to visit the ghats. Take a sunrise boat ride and you'll see the river come to life with devotees taking a ritual bath, shaving, brushing their teeth, soaping themselves up, and washing their clothes. On the river ghats you'll see people doing pujas or practicing yoga.
You can walk the whole length of the ghats - a great people-watching experience! Along with the sunrise boat ride, a dusk boat ride leading to the evening aarti is another must see. The aarti is performed at the Dasaswamedh Ghat by five young pandits/priests. The smell of the incense and the sounds of the chanting are almost hypnotic.
Other things to do in Varanasi...visit temples, head to Sarnath, visit, the fort, etc. but most of your time will be spent around the ghats. Varanasi offers a different experience to each person. Looking back now I think it deserves a second visit. The first one can be overwhelming and for me, did not live up to my expectations. Taking what I know now, I think I would enjoy it more the second time around.
- In a nutshell:It deserves a second visit.
This was a really nice 5 star in Varanasi. The hotel is beautiful. Our room was really nice and clean, bed was very... more travel advice
Small diyas with a candle and flower are given as offerings to Maa Ganga, goddess of the most holy river in India, at... more travel advice
Donna_in_India's Related Pages
Varanasi Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Kashi Banaras Benares Varanasi"
- "Varanasi - the Land of Ghats and temples"
- "Varanasi: Hindusthan's City of Light."
- "Varanasi - The City of Light"
- "Keeweechic's Varanasi"
- "Varanasi - Testament to Faith"
- "Wellcome to the holy city of Varanasi"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Varanasi
- Hotels in Varanasi
- Transportation in Varanasi
- Nightlife in Varanasi
- Restaurants in Varanasi
- Shopping in Varanasi
- Warnings and Dangers in Varanasi
- See All...
Badges & Stats in Varanasi
- 34 Reviews
- 85 Photos
- 11 Forum posts
- 9 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (101)
Have you been to Varanasi?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Varanasi
- Posted in Travel India Forum "Re: Taking A trip to Hampta pass..."
- Commented on one of Donna_in_India's Varanasi travel pages
- updated a Varanasi Travel Page "Varanasi - The City of Light"
- Uploaded a Photo to "Early Morning on the Ganges 2"
- Wrote a Review Clean & Calm in the Middle of Chaos in Varanasi Hotels
Photos in VaranasiSee All Photos (85)
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Goa Intro, 60 reviews, 165 photos, 10 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Mumbai Intro, 77 reviews, 123 photos, 10 travelogues
- Istanbul Intro, 37 reviews, 129 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Aurangabad Intro, 24 reviews, 133 photos, 10 travelogues
- Delhi Intro, 20 reviews, 130 photos, 12 travelogues
- Paris Intro, 19 reviews, 119 photos, 10 travelogues
- Ephesus Intro, 136 photos, 17 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Hollywood Intro, 11 reviews, 122 photos, 10 travelogues
- New York City Intro, 48 reviews, 84 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Kochi Intro, 33 reviews, 99 photos