Do you want to have the best experience in Varanasi? How to make most and have best experience in Varanasi, Ganga river & Kashi Vishwanath temple
In this blog, I will make sure you understand Varanasi and how to make the most when you visit Varanasi. Fasten your seat belt and let’s explore Varanasi.
It is quite difficult to say how old a city is Kashi or Benaras, now known as Varanasi.
“Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend…and looks twice as old as all of these put together”
— Mark Twain
The temples and ghats situated on the banks of river Ganges are the main reason for thousands of devotees all around the world to visit Varanasi. The rituals are very specific to this place as they cannot be performed anywhere else.
Every budget traveller can spend a few days without spending much, it is suitable for all types of travellers, you don’t have to spend much on travelling around.
Ganga which is personified as goddess Ganga is worshipped by Hindus who believe that bathing in the river helps in remission of sins and attain “Moksha”.
The main reason you should visit is it is said that river Ganga is going to dry up at the end of “Kali Yuga”.
How to Reach Varanasi
Varanasi is in Uttar Pradesh, holiest place and most popular tourist destination in the world. Varanasi is easily accessible by air, road, and rail.
BOM – VNS 2h :30m INR 8000 approx
MAA – VNS 2h :40m INR 4000 approx
HYD – VNS 2h :00m INR 4000 approx
DEL – VNS 1h :30m INR 2000 approx
Above flight details are approx and can change in future
Train from Mumbai to VNS
There are around 5 trains runs from Mumbai to Varanasi on a daily basis. The following trains start from Mumbai to Varanasi. DARBHANGA EXP (11061), KAMAYANI EXPRESS (11071), MAHANAGARI EXP (11093), LTT MUV EXPRESS (12167), GORAKHPUR EXP (15017), etc.
It takes almost 26 hrs to reach from Mumbai to Varanasi and costs around INR 300 to 2000.
Bus from Mumbai to Varanasi
Bus costs INR 1000 to 1600 and it takes 45hrs to reach
Bus services are uncomfortable and it is recommended you should avoid bus travel.
Where to stay
Once you reach Varanasi from any part of the world, you might have a question about where to stay in Varanasi? how to find cheap places/budget hotels?
It is recommended you look for guest houses, hotels, and hostels near the river Ganga. There are chances you might not get a place to stay during season.
When I visited I faced the same problem, find a rickshaw puller they can help you find a place to stay. Our rickshaw puller was such a good man he arranged everything for us and gave his pro-tips about Varanasi free of cost.
He helped us with food, took us around tourist places.
Try and find a place near river Ganga.
What to eat
Varanasi is not only famous for its Ganga aarti, it is also famous for some amazing foods such as Thandai, Chaat, Kachori, Banarasi paan, Jalebis, and the list goes on.
It is recommended you try all of this when you are in Varanasi. Unlike other cities in india, this specialities should be tried only in Varanasi.
Things to do in Varanasi
Scenic Ghats – Varanasi has a total of 87 ghats, each ghat has its own story and importance. Amongst all the ghats, we recommend visiting popular ghats, where you will have a unique experience.
I highly recommend taking a boat ride both in the morning and evening, the view that you get in the morning is completely different and in the night the view is completely different.
In the morning you will see sadhus, pilgrims all taking a dip in sacred river Ganga and in the night you will see all lights, diyas, hymns a completely different perspective of the ghats.
Assi Ghat – Morning in Varanasi starts with Vedic chanting, shlokas, meditation, music, and yoga. This is truly an amazing experience which one should not miss, it is known as Subah-e-Banaras. If you are visiting Varanasi, visit assi ghat at 5 am for this mesmerizing experience. You can also experience evening aarti on assi ghat.
Dashaswamedh Ghat – Dashaswamedh Ghat is the main ghat in Varanasi according to some, where an Aarti takes place every evening, and you can also take the boat ride (personal or sharing) from the ghat. It is recommended that you sit on the stairs and experience this aarti, which is a whole new experience and it feels peaceful from inside.
Manikarnika Ghat – There are many mythological stories associated with this ghat. But now when you visit this ghat all you will see is dead bodies burning. A place where Hindus are burned after their death. Most Hindus believe it as a stairway to heaven. You may find scammers here asking for money for wood which is used for burning. Avoid getting scammed.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple – It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the most famous Hindu Temple. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple also known as Golden Temple has been referred to in Hindu scriptures and has been mentioned in the Puranas including the Kashi khanda of Skanda Purana. It is widely recognized as one of the important holy places in the Hindu religion. So, it is a must-visit place if you are in Varanasi
Banarasi Paan and Banarasi Saree – These are must amongst the must things to do in Varanasi.
Banarasi Paan – You will immediately remember the famous song Khai k Paan Banaraswala, there is a reason for it. The expert panwallas add a variety of flavors and different things in paan, making it world-famous banarasi paan.
Banarasi saree – Buy an authentic Banarasi saree for your favorite person who loves wearing saree. If you can bargain, visit the shops in Vishwanath Gali. For fixed rates, shop at the UP Handloom and UPICA, the state-run shopper stops. You will find these shops near Kashi Vishwanath temple.
To make the most out of your travel in Varanasi and have some memories with you when you get back home try having meaningful conversations with sadhus, locals and try exploring places on a rickshaw, buy things from street vendors.
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