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Varanasi Tourism And Travel Guide
18.6° C / 65.4° F
October to March
3 to 4 Days
Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport (23.8 kms)
Varanasi Junction Railway Station (1.9 kms)
Varanasi, a religious city in Uttar Pradesh is a place that is as old as human civilization. It is said that the experience that one has in this religious city is beyond words; the ringing of the rhythmic bells of the temple in the distance, the fragrance of fresh flowers being offered to the Gods and Goddesses and the constant chants of priests hovering in the air, making the atmosphere serene and so divine. Since it is visited by many throughout the year, it is fairly easy to reach Varanasi by air, rail and by road. Tourism in Varanasi is most popular during summer due to a lot of religious dates falling in those months. If you are wondering about what places to visit and things to do, don’t fret, below is our travel guide to Varanasi which you can use to plan your trip.
How to Reach
Located at a distance of 23.8 km from the city center, The Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport is the main airport serving the passengers of Varanasi and people visiting from other cities. Major airlines transport people from different parts of India as well as the world to this region.
Varanasi is well connected by road to other cities in Uttar Pradesh, which are connected to other states as well. Well developed highways link cities together, making it convenient to drive all the way up to this destination. You can also take a bus that runs from neighbouring states and cities to reach Varanasi.
The main railhead in Varanasi is the Varanasi Junction Railway Station, located at a distance of 1.9 km from the center of the city. The frequency of trains plying from this station to other cities is great, making it very convenient for passengers. This is one of the best ways to travel due to the railway station’s proximity to the main city.
Finding public conveyance in Varanasi shouldn’t be a problem. Different ways to get around the city include travelling by bus, auto, cabs and boat as well. The best way to move around is to travel by an auto as it is quite affordable, fast and comfortable.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Summers are the peak time to visit Varanasi due to a lot of festivities during that time. The climate is hot and humid with temperatures ranging from 30ᵒC to 45ᵒC, with heat waves blowing often. If you aren’t too fond of the heat, this may not be the best time to visit.
The onset of the rains turns down the heat a bit, making the climate cool. Temperatures during this time range from 24ᵒC to 32ᵒC, accompanied by a good amount of rainfall. Roads and by lanes are wet and slippery, making it a tad dangerous to visit during this time.
The cold finally sets in during the month of October with temperatures ranging from 5ᵒC to 15ᵒC. As opposed to summers, winters are pretty cold and appropriate clothing must be packed. You will also see a lot fog covering the region during this time.
Things to Do
Attend the Aarti:
The evening aarti that takes place on the Ghats of Varanasi is absolutely spectacular. Priests offer their prayers to the almighty in such a fashion that the one watching remains in total awe of it. Watching the Aarti is a highly recommended thing to do in Varanasi.
Attain Blessings at a Temple:
With Varanasi having more than 2,000 places of worship in the region, the city boasts of some of the most divine temples. Each temple has a story to tell about the way it was built and the god it houses, making each temple absolutely unique.
Take a Dip in the Ganges:
From olden times, the Ganges has been deemed holy for Hindus and taking a dip in this river means washing away all your sins. Follow the age old tradition and take a dip in the holy Ganga to feel spiritually cleansed.
Enjoy a Boat Ride:
Boating on the waters of Ganga in Varanasi is one of the most popular things to do in the city. Enjoy a relaxing ride while you hear sounds of temple bells and indistinct chatter of local people on the Ghats and the aroma of incense sticks and flowers strong enough to put you in a daze.
Visit Sarai Mohan Village:
The Weavers’ Village of Varanasi, known by the name of Sarai Mohan Village is a must visit for anyone who is interested in the making of Banarasi Saris. You can visit this village and see weavers making these beautiful saris so very dedicatedly. Don’t forget to get one to take back home as these Saris are unique and only made in Varanasi.
A city’s true essence is found through its food and culture and the food in Varanasi is distinct in its flavor with aromatic preparations. Street food in Varanasi is quite famous and the flavours are an absolute treat to the senses. A famous dish had for breakfast in Varanasi is Kachori Sabzi; the kachoris are filled with Dal ki Pitti which is a spicy mixture and the sabzi is mostly made of potatoes dipped in gravy which is tangy and aromatic. You can find this delectable breakfast plate at various food stalls like Ram Bhandar, Kachori Galli and Thatheri Bazaar.
You can also try the Tamatar Chaat made with a mixture of mashed potatoes, tomatoes, chillies and coriander leaves along with a hint of spices sprinkled on top. You can find chaat at the Dashaswamedh Road or even at Deena Chaat Bhandar. Other mouth watering dishes in Varanasi include Baati Chokha, Chena Dahi Vada and many more. Also, the most famous Banarasiya Paan is something you must try. A mixture of beetle nuts, lime and different condiments on a beetle leaf rolled right into your mouth is something that you will definitely look forward to.
No trip is complete without going shopping and bringing back a few souvenirs and gifts for friends and family. Spend a day in the local crowded markets to witness the local life and culture. The Peelikothi area of Varanasi and shops in Thateri Bazaar sell the most gorgeous Banarasi Saris that you will ever lay your eyes on. The beautiful zari work on the saris is absolutely amazing and worth buying while you’re here. Craftsmen near the by lanes of GaiGhat perform the art of making Gulabi Minakari on metals, especially on silver. You can take back souvenirs of animals decorated with Gulabi Minakari and gift them as house decor to friends and family. Other than these, there are various stalls and stores in Varanasi selling wooden toys, rudraksha mala, Ramnami cloth and many more things.