One of the oldest cities in India, Varanasi or Banaras is situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges. The city, which occupies an important place in Hindu epics, also has a lot of religious and cultural importance attached to it. It is one of the main pilgrimages for people belonging to the Hindu community and has been a centre of education, religion, art and culture for ages. The devotee-packed ghats filled with fragrance of incence are a scene to experience when Arti is performed in the evening. The temples, ashrams and the serene enviorns of the place, all provide a unique atmosphere to tourists and travellers.
Location and Climate :
Varanasi is situated on the banks of river Ganges in the state of Uttar Pradesh in North India. The Tropic of Cancer passes through the city, affecting its weather. The climate of Varanasi is hot and humid during the winters when the temperatures can touch a high of 45 degrees. Winters are pleasant and sunny with temperatures dipping to as low as 5 degrees occasionally. The monsoon season which arrives in late June or early July is accompanied by high humidity and torrent rainfall. The best time to visit Varanasi is from October to April
Tourist Attractions :
An ageless city, Varanasi does not boast of huge palaces, forts or exquisitely carved architectural wonders, still it has a unique charm to it that forces the visitors to come back here time and again.
The Ghats of Varanasi
People in large numbers come from all over the country to bathe at the holy ghats of Varanasi. After bathing, prayers are offered in the temples situated near the ghats. Centuries old traditions are still maintained here.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, also known as the golden temple, has a 15.5 metre high gold plated steeple. One tonne of gold used to make the steeple was donated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The temple was harmed many times during various invasions in the past.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple - VaranasiBharat Kala Museum
The Kashi Hindu University houses the Bharat Kala Museum which gives an insight into the history of the city. It has a wide collection of rare historical artifacts, statues, pictures, paintings and manuscripts.
The Jantar Mantar which was built by Raja Jaisingh in the year 1600 is an architectural wonder. It is an observatory that provides information on the movement and position of the sun and other planets. The instruments give precise measurements that can match upto the standards of any modern instruments.Other tourist attractions in and around the city of Varanasi are Bharat Mata Temple, Nepali Temple, Ram Nagar Durg, Benaras Hindu University, Sarnath, Kaushambi, Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary.
How to Reach
- The Babatpur airport is situated at a distance of 22 km. from Varansi. Indian airlines provides regular services to and from Agra,. Khajuraho, Calcutta, Mumbai, Lucknow and Bhuvaneshwar. There is a daily flight connection from Delhi to Varanasi.
- Varanasi is a major railway station which has trains connecting it to other major cities of the country. Another major railway station is situated at Mughal Sarai which is about 16 km. from Varanasi.
- Varanasi is situated on the National Highway No. 2 which connects it to the rest of the country. Taxis, rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and tempos are available to move around the city.
Accommodation in Varanasi
Some of the best star-rated hotels in Varanasi include Hotel Clarks, Clarks Tower, Taj Ganges, Hindustan International, Varanasi Ashok and Best Western Kanishka.