Varanasi is known all across India for being a the city of traditions, culture and the seat of Hindu religion. Blessed by various saints and valued by people of all religion, Varanasi has for eternity lured a huge numeral of pilgrims and people attending worship from the times immemorial. Varanasi is in fact one of the most sacred pilgrim place for the followers of Hindu religion. Located on the left bank of the much worshiped river Ganges, this city attracts crowd all through the year. With its large number of shrines, holy temples, and architectural marvels which rise out of river Ganges, Varanasi is one of such places which can enchant one and all. Numerous fairs and festivals are celebrated here all through the year. Approximately four hundred festivals are celebrated here. Varanasi has been a seat of learning as well and the Benaras Hindu University founded in 1916 has been the forerunner in this field. Numerous Ghats of Varanasi are one of the most crowd pulling destinations of Varanasi. There are numerous Ghats on the bank of the holy river Ganges and each of them house a Lingam of lord Shiva and each of them has some religious significance attached to themselves. One can find these Ghats crowded very early in the morning with people taking dip into the holy water of river Ganges, priests offering prayers, and lots of people meditating and doing yoga on the bank of the river. The city of Varanasi is also known as the City of Lord Shiva.
The holy city of Varanasi is situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh which is a part of northern India. This city is located on latitude 25°20' N and longitude 83°00' E. The river Ganges runs though the city adding glory to its charm. The other two rivers that encompass this city are Varuna and Ashi. Set along the west bank of the river Ganges, this city is a place where one can discover his or her divine and spiritual self. The total area covered by this city is around 112.26 square kilometers and is around 80.71 meters above the sea level. One interesting fact about the location of Varanasi is that, its present location does not tally with the description of its location as given in old testaments of Hindu religion.
Being the seat of Indian culture and heritage, majority of the places of tourist attraction in Varanasi are also somehow or the other liked to Hindu religion or Indian culture. Some of the most visited places are:
Kashi Vishwanath: This is a holy shrine for the Hindus. It is one of the twelve Jotirlingas of lord Shiva. This temple is also widely famous as the 'Golden Temple' because of the gold plating done on its 15.5 meter high spire. Encircled by numerous subsidiary shrines, this temple houses â€œGyan Vapiâ€ which is a well within the premises of the temple.
Benaras Ghat: The numerous ghats on the bank of the river Ganges is the holy shrines for the Hindus. They have myths attached to themselves.
Saranath: Situated at around 10 kilometers from Varanasi, Saranath is an important shrine for the Buddhists. It was here where Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon "Maha Dharma-Ckara Pravatan". The pillar of Dharmarajika stupa built by Ashoka at around 12 century AD here was chosen as the national emblem of our country.
Manikarnika Ghat: According to the Hindu mythology, lord Shivaâ€™s Mani means chest jewel and Parvatiâ€™s kanika meaning ear-ring fell in a nearby well while they were bathing. From this the name Manikarnika has derived. It is in fact a cremation place and it is said that the fire never dies in Manikarnika. Cremation continues here one after another.
Bharat Kala Bhavan : This museum is famous for its huge compilation of clay statues, bronze statuette, paintings, silk and embroidered textiles.
Some of the other destinations of tourist significance temples at Varanasi are Durga temple, Sankat Mochan temple, Tulsi Manas temple and the Bharat Mata temple. Other attractions of Varanasi are the Benaras Hindu University (BHU), the Archaeological Museum and the yoga training centre.
There are hosts of other place which are of great significance. If you want to explore your spiritual side, you must visit Varanasi once as this will be an experience which you will treasure for sure.
By Air: The city of Varanasi is very well linked by air with almost all the major cities of India. This city is a part of the very popular every day vacationer service route of Delhi-Agra-Khajuraho-Varanasi.
By Rail: Varanasi is connected to the rest of India by the two railway stations, Kashi and Varanasi Junction. All major trains touch one or the other station of this city. Apart from this, special train services are available for Varanasi because of its importance as a pilgrim place for the Hindus and influx of thousands of tourists every year.
By Road: Thought road transport is not very well developed in the whole of Uttar Pradesh, but one can find economical stage carriers frequently plying across the city. Once can also hire taxis for a luxurious journey to the nearby sites.
While in the holy land of Varanasi one can involve in many such activities which will surely be an experience of lifetime. Few of the activities are:
Watching Aarti at the Ghats: Every evening the goddess Ganges is offered prayers and Aarti on the various Ghats of Varanasi and as a part of the Aarti thousands of oil-lamps are floated on the rever which turns the environment totally serine.
Boat-ride on the Ganges: A boat ride on the river Ganges at night near around the Manikarnika Ghat will give you an experience which will be totally spiritual and will help you explore the saintlu part of yours.
Yoga Practice: One can go to the school of Yoga here. Over there one can practice Yoga and also know in detail about the various forms of Yoga and how each of the steps can be beneficial for our mind and body.
Local cuisines: One can enjoy the mouth watering local delicacies. The foods served here are mostly vegetarian, but they are cooked with outmost care and sure to win your heart through your tounge.
Morning and evening walk: One can always opt for a walk along the river Ganges in the morning as well as in the evening. The morning walk will make you see the priests offering prayers and people taking dip in the holy water of the Ganges and the evening walk will make you see the beautiful aarti of the goddess Ganga. Both these experiences will remain in your memory for years and years.
The best time to visit Varanasi is in the months of September till February when the weather remains mostly pleasant with a comfortable mercury level. This is the perfect time to plan a trip of this holy city of lord Shiva.
The city of Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world. Located on the Indo Gangetic plains and slopes of the Himalayan foothills, this city is five centuries elder then lord Christ himself. This holy city of Varanasi has found its place even in the epics such as Mahabharata and Ramayana. This pilgrim place for the Hindus was full of life when the classic civilization of Rome was just discovered. This was the period when Lord Buddha visited Saranath situated just 10 kilometers away to give the world his first sermon way back in 500BC. The age of this city is roughly around 2500 years and has been attracting pilgrims since the time immoral. Recognized as the cosmic centre of India, the city of Varanasi has been the seat of Hindu religion. Famous writer from the USA once wrote that, Perhaps history itself is younger then Varanasi. He added, the age of the traditions, customs legends put together will not be able to equate the age of this holy city.
For a long time now, Varanasi has been the testimony of the rebirth of the Hinduism. For long, Varanasi has been the seat of Hindu religion, custom, traditions and Hindu philosophy
As a result of its nearness to the Tropic of Cancer, the city of Varanasi is blessed with a enjoyable winter with a daytime mercury level moving of around 20°C. The temperature can get reduced to around 10°C towards the end of December till January with dense fog jacketing the city in the mornings due to its proximity to the water bodies. October till November and February till March are normally pleasant, bright and sunny. The summer like the rest of northern India is relentless in Varanasi because of the heat. Starting in April and lasting till the end of June, the weather of the city becomes very dry and daytime mercury level often go up to as high as 45Â°C however nights are comparatively cooler.The monsoon in Varanasi arrives somewhere around the last week of June of early July. It rains incessantly here which makes the humidity level go very high. Towards the end of September, the weather starts becoming comfortable and pleasant.