The beauty of Banaras!
“The city illuminates truth and reveals reality. It does not bring new wonders into scope of vision, but enables one to see what is already there. When this eternal light intersects the earth, it is known as Kashi”. – Diana L. Eck
Varanasi, also known as Banaras and Kashi is not just a city but an emotion which every person can relate to. It houses inhabitants from all over the country and even foreigners who come here to explore but end up falling in love with this place. It is basically a mini India where Gujaratis, Marathis, Punjabis, Rajasthanis, Tamilians, Telugus and the typical Banarasi people are living since ages. A trip to Varanasi is a complete package because of its winding alleys, mystic spirituality, gorgeous ghats and divine aura. Lying on the banks of river Ganga, the city of Varanasi is full of colors, festivals and travelers throughout the year.
History of Varanasi
The holy land of Varanasi has been an ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus since ages. It is the oldest living city of the world. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on this land would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. Also known as the abode of Lord Shiva, the origins of Varanasi are unknown. This city has also been a splendid centre for learning. The beautiful land of Varanasi is associated with the promotion of spiritualism, mysticism, yoga and Hindi language. River Ganges in Varanasi is believed to wash away all the sins of human beings, hence visited by thousands of tourists every year.
Things to do…
Varanasi is one such place which is full of both peace and energy. There are various things which one can do on a Varanasi tour. Start from boat ride in Ganges which is one experience that you will cherish for a lifetime. The boat ride takes one to different ghats and former palaces situated close to the banks of Ganges. There is a spiritual charm in Ganges which is why taking a dip into it is another thing which is performed by many visitors. People even chant prayers to appease river Goddess while taking a dip. The sounds of chanting and crowd watching is a serene experience on its own. The next thing one can do is visit the ancient and pious temples of Varanasi. There is a feeling of peace which you will feel while visiting them which cannot be described in words. There are people who really want to do nothing and just be happy in the moment. As the ghats along Ganges are the most charming sight in the holy city, one can simply take a sunset stroll along these ghats. One of the most interesting and exciting thing to do while being on a Varanasi tour is attending the evening aarti ceremony at River Ganges. It is a surreal ceremony through which one can view all the rituals being unfolded right in front of them. Tourists can also visit the magnificent Ramnagar Fort which is constructed with red sandstone. A fine example of Mughal architecture, this fort dates back to 17th century. This fort is a work of art as it exhibits a striking aura making it one of the popular tourist destinations of Varanasi. No vacation is complete without shopping. The city is famous for its silk saris and ornate jewels along with shawls, carpets, bangles and idols of Hindu and Buddhist deities. One can buy these and cherish them as memories of the visit to this alluring city.
Temples of Varanasi are highly revered across India. These temples were constructed over many centuries by kings, saints and monks. They are connected to Hindu mythology and spirituality. Varanasi houses numerous temples. Some of the most famous and ancient temples include Vishwanath Temple which is dedicated to lord Shiva and holds a significant place in Indian history as the name of this temple is mentioned in Puranas. It was built in the year 1780 by Maratha monarch and is one of the most important temples of the country. Next is the oldest temple of Varanasi – Kaal Bhairav Mandir. Dedicated to the most aggressive and destructive form of Lord Shiva, the temple is believed to be built in 17th century AD and solves all problems of its devotees. While being on a Varanasi tour one cannot miss visiting Sarnath Buddhist temple. The temple is situated 8kms away from Varanasi and is a renowned temple as Buddha delivered his first sermon there. Apart from these there are many other famous temples too such as Durga mandir, Tridev temple and Sankat Mochan temple. A visit to these temples is undoubtedly a tranquil experience!
Mouth watering cuisine
Something that depicts the true essence of a city’s culture and cuisine is its local street food. Varanasi has a wide variety of delicious street foods that it boasts about. We can say that the city’s street food is as elaborate as its history! The cuisine of Varanasi is majorly influenced by West Bengal and Bihar which has added a unique flavor to the cuisine. It is a spin off between the new and old world and will tickle your taste buds. Some of the most popular dishes include kachori sabji, choora matar, baati chokha, thandai and Chena dahi vada. Not to miss the Banarasi paan made with beetle nut leaves, lime and a mixture of condiments.
A city where you begin your day by embracing the shining sun and its warmth along the river Ganga and end it by witnessing the holy and peaceful aarti is a must visit in your lifetime. Peaceful! Rejuvenating! Relaxing! A Varanasi tour is all!
We at Cloud Itineraries understand the expectations of our clients. We create customized tours with expert help according to our client’s budget, requirements and pace of travel. We let you ‘live your journey’ which is why you can consider us as your perfect travel buddy. You can also check our pre-set itineraries to various destinations of India here.