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VaranasiIndia

Situated on the banks of the Ganges River is one of the oldest cities in the world, a sacred place for Hindus, filled with temples and holy sites.

For thousands of years, people have worshipped on the shores of the River Ganges at Varanasi. The ancient city is of great spiritual importance to Hindus because, according to legend, Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati stood here at the beginning of time. It is an exciting place of temples, shrines and rituals on the western banks of the river.

A good way to understand the importance of the river to Hindus is to take a boat ride along the waterfront to see the ghats. These are the long stone steps that lead from the city's alleys down to the river. At any time you may see people praying, bathing and washing their clothes. Weddings, funerals and cremations are also conducted on the banks of the river.

In the evening, go to Dasaswamedh Ghat to see the nightly ritual where thousands of lamps float across the water. The ghat is close to the 18th-century Kasha Vishwanath Temple and to the Jantar Mantar Observatory. Tour the 18th-century science base and see instruments that once recorded the motion of stars. The observatory is on the roof of the palace of Man Mahal.

Varanasi has temples at just about every turn. As a general rule, non-Hindus are not permitted inside Hindu temples, but do visit some of the sanctuaries to appreciate their architecture. The white marble Tulsi Manas Temple is open to everyone. Step inside to see walls decorated with images from Hindu legends.

While Hinduism is the main religion in India, Varanasi is also sacred to Buddhists. Visit the small village of Sarnath, just outside the city, where Buddha first preached his message of peace. See ancient holy structures, such as the Dhamekh Stupa, which dates back to the 5th century.

Being a place of religious significance to many Indians, Varanasi is well connected to many parts of the country by road, rail and air. Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport is the nearest international airport, just 11 miles (18 kilometers) away.

When you see the temples and rituals along the waterfront, you'll understand why Varanasi is so special to many Indians.

Where to stay in Varanasi

Sigra, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Sigra

If you're looking for some top things to see and do in Sigra and surrounding area, you can visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Dasaswamedh ghat.

Sigra
Varanasi Nagar Nigam, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Varanasi Nagar Nigam

While Varanasi Nagar Nigam may not have many sights to explore, venturing just a little farther will lead you to top things to see and do like Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Dasaswamedh ghat.

Varanasi Nagar Nigam

Top hotels in Varanasi

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
BrijRama Palace - A Heritage Hotel
BrijRama Palace - A Heritage Hotel
4 out of 5
Munshi Ghat, Near Dashaswamedh, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
The price is Rs12,350 per night

Situated on the riverwalk, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Dasaswamedh ghat and Hanuman Ghat. Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Asi Ghat are also within ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (97 reviews)

"Historical hotel, beautifully appointed. Superb facilities and staff. Great free evening boat ride. Excellent free transfers."…"

Reviewed on 8 Mar 2020

BrijRama Palace - A Heritage Hotel
Ramada Plaza by Wyndham JHV Varanasi
Ramada Plaza by Wyndham JHV Varanasi
5 out of 5
The Mall, Cantonment, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
The price is Rs4,999 per night

Situated in the historical district, this luxury hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from JVH Mall and 2.2 mi (3.5 km) from Bharat Mata. Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Dasaswamedh ...

3.8/5Good! (201 reviews)

"Generally comfortable, modern room though the bathroom showed evidence of prior life. It was a little shabby but perfectly functioning - nice hot showers, etc. and useful clothesline in tub. Breakfast options very good and room service menu and delivery were fine."…"

Reviewed on 8 Feb 2020

Ramada Plaza by Wyndham JHV Varanasi
Taj Ganges, Varanasi
Taj Ganges, Varanasi
5 out of 5
Nadesar Palace Grounds, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
The price is Rs5,120 per night

Located in the heart of Varanasi, this luxury hotel is 1 mi (1.6 km) from JVH Mall and 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Bharat Mata and Vishwanatha ...

4.2/5Very Good! (222 reviews)

"Nitesh at Bar Ajay and Navneet at restaurant Candana at front desk Sahmim Shakear Mamata at travell Assistence Shambhu as Guide finely Bharat at Security had done excellent job. All so floor manger and staff had done extra ordinary job. Love stay at Taj"…"

Reviewed on 1 Mar 2020

Taj Ganges, Varanasi

Popular places to visit in Varanasi

Banaras Hindu University
Image for Banaras Hindu University

Banaras Hindu University

Enjoy the student vibe around Banaras Hindu University, a top university in Varanasi. Stroll along the riverfront or visit the temples in the area.

Dasaswamedh ghat
Image for Dasaswamedh ghat

Dasaswamedh ghat

Observe sadhus conducting rituals, pilgrims bathing in holy water and priests performing the enthralling Ganga aarti ceremony on the banks of the Ganges River.

Ramnagar Fort
Image for Ramnagar Fort

Ramnagar Fort

Admire the architecture of this 17th-century fort, discover exhibits of armor, jewelry and vintage cars and watch stunning sunsets over the Ganges River.

Durga Temple
Image for Durga Temple

Durga Temple

Discover an immaculate image of a revered Hindu god and watch mischievous troops of monkeys at this attractive centuries-old temple.

Tulsi Ghat
Image for Tulsi Ghat

Tulsi Ghat

Watch pilgrims bathe in sacred water, see holy men perform ancient rituals and visit the former home of a great Indian poet.

Dharmarajika Stupa
Image for Dharmarajika Stupa

Dharmarajika Stupa

Founded to enshrine the remains of Lord Buddha, this ancient monument forms part of a Buddhist pilgrimage site home to monasteries, shrines and temples.

Reviews of Varanasi

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
15
5 - Excellent 50%
4 - Good
10
4 - Good 33.333333333333336%
3 - Okay
3
3 - Okay 10%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 3.3333333333333335%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 3.3333333333333335%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

20 Feb 2020

Kashi is an ancient Hindu city with great history. Experience the spiritual fervour with with the awesome ghats ans great food like jalebis,chats,kachoris,and puri sabzi. Be also ready for crowded places and honking of vehicles.

5/5 - Excellent

ISABELLE

5 Jan 2020

An amazing experience with so much culture, and above all lovely people. Safe place to go to. December weather is dull, but all the colours people wear make this place shiny and beautiful.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

26 Aug 2019

Familiar nature Interactive Helpful & Simplicity of the people of Varanasi

5/5 - Excellent

Abhiraj

13 Aug 2019

City of temple... lots of fun... very interesting sight seen..

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

30 May 2019

City is wonderful. Got a real feel of holiness

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

29 Mar 2019

This hotel gives you feel of Dharmasthala initially. Small galis and less transport gives you bad feeling But if you visit Varanasi the you must have to visit near by area of this hotel. So it's good to stay here.

Cities near Varanasi

Mulagandha Kuti Vihara Monastery featuring a temple or place of worship, religious elements and street scenes

Sarnath

Dasaswamedh ghat which includes markets as well as a large group of people

Chandauli