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Historical Places to visit in Varanasi

Varanasi can best be described in one word: sacred. The city is one of the most vibrant and ritualistic locations on the planet.


This is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities. Hindus believe that the god himself created and dwelt in the city.


The Ganges is the name of the river that runs through Varanasi.


For Hindus, it is the holiest river. As a result, various ghats on either side of the river in Varanasi were created for specific functions. Varanasi is known for its fiery rituals, divine ceremonies, and the aroma of incense sticks.










1. Dashashwamedh Ghat

This is Varanasi's sacred ghat. This is the site of the most photographed ritual in India, Ganga Aarti. According to legend, Lord Brahma built this ghat by sacrificing ten horses. At twilight, pilgrims throng to this location to watch the arti ceremony.


Some people even hire a boat to view the ceremony from the water. Dine at any of the rooftop eateries near the ghat to have a good view of the ceremony.


The tourist industry supports the ghat. The boat owners will try to entice you to take a Ganges boat ride, while the shopkeepers will try to force you to visit their establishments. In this ghat, you can also find various massage therapists promoting their services.






How to Reach :

  • Taxis and vehicles are available from the airport to take you to Godowlia. It is a market district in Varanasi. Vehicles are not permitted beyond Godowlia. From the bazaar, tourists must walk for 10 minutes to reach Dashashwamedh Ghat.

  • Entrance charge: There is no entry fee.

  • Attractions at Dashashwamedh Ghat include grand rites, Ganga arti, and other ceremonial events.

  • There are various temples near the ghat.

  • Boating from the ghat or toward Dashashwamedh ghat is a popular activity. Try to go boating at sunrise or sunset. If you want to go boating, go to Khidkiya Ghat for a luxurious cruise.

  • Pilgrims and locals take a holy bath in this ghat early in the morning to wash away their earthly sins.

  • Every Tuesday, special ceremonies take place around the ghat.

  • Pouring milk into the river from this ghat is considered a very spiritual act.


2. Assi Ghat

This ghat, located on the river's southern bank, is specifically picked by tourists to worship Lord Shiva.

As a result, it goes without saying that this ghat becomes exceedingly spectacular during any Lord Shiva event.

It is a popular tourist and pilgrim destination. Ganga Arti is also done at this ghat. This is one of the region's largest ghats.





How to Reach :

  • The ghat is 27 kilometres away from the airport. You can take cabs, autos, and other forms of road conveyance to the Cantt bus station and then hire a rickshaw to Assi. 

  • From the bus stop to the ghat, you can also take e-rickshaws, automobiles, and taxis. 

  • The bus station is around five minutes from the airport. You can stroll to the bus stop if you do not have big bags.

  • Entrance fee: There is no entry cost.

  • Attractions at Assi Ghat: It is easy to find boats for hire in this area.

  • This ghat has a lot of music and yoga sessions in the morning.

  • During the evening, this ghat is filled with entertainers and hawkers.

  • Visit the peepul tree beside the ghat. People stroll around the tree to venerate the lingam beneath it.


3. Manikarnika Ghat



Let’s get to the ghat where life and death unfold their stories. Manikarnika Ghat is one of the significant tourist places in Varanasi. But not everyone will consider this a tourist spot. This is the cremation ground for Hindus. It is considered to be a sacred place on earth to be burned to attain eternal salvation.


Surprisingly, it is a cremation ground surrounded by multiple mythological stories. It is believed that any person who is cremated at the ghat immediately attains salvation. You can always spot glowing pyres in this region. Many earthen oil lamps will be left to float on the river as an offering. 




Manikarnika Ghat :


According to tradition, the goddess Sati immolated herself by plunging into fire. When Lord Shiva carried her to the Himalayas, her earring fell here. That is how the ghat got its name: Manikarnika. It is a cremation site as well as one of India's Shaktipeeths.


How to Reach:

  • The ghat is around 28 kilometres from the airport and only 3 kilometres from the train station. From the airport to the ghat, buses and various modes of transportation are available. The ghat is only 35 minutes away from the airport.


  • Entrance Fee: There is no entrance cost.

  • Attractions on Manikarnika Ghat: You may be a traveller taking a well-deserved break. This doesn't erase the fact that the blazing pyre belongs to someone's close kin. Take no photographs or create a tourism atmosphere on the burning ground.

  • The easiest approach to see the celebrations in the ghat is to take a boat from Dashashwamedh Ghat.


4. Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Do not confused it with Varanasi's New Vishwanath Temple. This is one of the holiest Shiva temples in the planet. It is also known as the "golden temple" of Varanasi. Invaders and kings destroyed the temple several times in the past. The current edifice was built in the 16th century.

The precise year the temple was built is uncertain. The location of the temple was specified in sacred documents dating back several centuries. The temple was originally destroyed in the 12th century. Near the temple is also Aurangzeb's mosque. The mosque was constructed after the temple was demolished.




Kashi-Vishwanath-temple :

According to tradition, Lord Shiva had an idea during a disagreement between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma concerning who was the mightiest. He morphed into a massive column of light and stated that whomever found the light's end would be the mightiest. Lord Vishnu admitted that despite his efforts, he had not found the finish. Lord Brahma, on the other hand, lied about discovering the end of the light. He cursed him and declared that he would have no place of worship on land. The light column pierced the earth 12 times. These 12 locations are known as jyotirlingas. The Kashi Vishwanath temple is one of those twelve locations.


How to Reach there :


  • The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is quite close to Manikarnika Ghat. You may easily locate cabs and other road transportation from the airport to go to the temple.

  • Entrance Fee: There is no entry cost.

  • Kashi Vishwanath Temple Attractions: The temple's primary deity stands 60 cm tall and is positioned on a silver altar.

  • The Jnana Vapi well is located inside the temple. It is also known as the Wisdom Well. It is reported that during an attack, the temple's top priest snatched the deity and plunged into the well to protect it, giving his life in the process.

  • Every day, five ceremonies take place. To enjoy exciting events, it is advisable to attend during a ritual.


5. Durga Temple

When visiting Varanasi, you must view the Bengali Maharani Durga temple in north Indian style. This temple was commissioned by the queen of Bengal and was built in the 18th century. Shri Durga Temple has a multi-tiered shikhara. It is one of Varanasi's most important temples and houses a massive idol of the goddess Durga.


Surprisingly, the goddess's idol showed itself, making it a famous pilgrimage site for worshippers.This temple, located near Durga Kund, is famous for its bright red colour. The pond (Durga Kund) is fairly close to the temple.


There is a watchtower on each corner of the pond to provide a fantastic view of the surrounding area.

Because the colour red is associated with Mata Durga, the temple's whole facade is red. The temple is packed with worshippers on Navratri and other auspicious occasions. It is one of the top tourist attractions in Varanasi for offering prayers to the goddess Durga for inner healing.


How to reach there :

  • There are several ways to get to the temple from the airport. It is only 2 kilometers from BHU and 13 kilometres from Cantt Varanasi. You may easily locate automobiles, cabs, and rickshaws to the temple.

  • Entrance Fee: There is no entry cost.

  • Attractions at the Durga Temple: The temple's deity is claimed to have appeared by itself. It was not created by humans.

  • This region has many unique traditions and celebrations during Navaratri.


6. Ram Nagar Fort

Ramnagar Fort, located outside Varanasi, is also known as Ram Nagar Fort. It is situated on Ganga's eastern bank, opposite Tulsi Ghat. This sandstone edifice from the 18th century has succumbed to the passage of time and wear and tear. It used to be the residence of the ruler of Kashi.

The realm of culture beckons you to bring out your inner history buff. Ramnagar Fort is a popular tourist destination in Varanasi. The majestic fort is an outstanding example of Mughal architecture. The fort, made of red sandstone, attracts both tourists and residents. The fort also has a temple and a museum, which will add to your enjoyment.




The museum, also known as the Bhawan, houses a large collection of vintage cars, ornaments, silver work, historical guns, weaponry, and mediaeval costumes. It also contains a remarkable astronomical clock that shows the position of the planets and the sun. As you wander among the carved balconies and vast courtyards, you can definitely appreciate the style and grandeur of the ancients' existence. During festivals, the fort is often decorated with lights and decorations.


How to reach there :

  • Reach Dashashwamedh Ghat from the airport and take a ferry to the museum. It would take an hour to walk from the ghat to the fort. Boats, on the other hand, can be seen near Tulsi Ghat. However, for many people, getting to Dashashwamedh Ghat and locating a ferry is the most usual method.

  • Entrance fee: The cost of entering the fort from Dashashwamedh Ghat is INR 500.

  • There is no entrance fee for the fort.

  • Attractions in Ram Nagar Fort:

  • The greatest location to view the Ram Lila celebration The royal treasures and weapons are displayed to the villagers throughout the celebration.

  • During this festival, the king rides a decked elephant to the fort.

  • Explore the fort to find numerous palaces, halls, reception rooms, towers, and other structures.


7. Sankat Mochan Temple

If you are in Varanasi, remember to offer your prayers to the Lord. Sankat Mochan is a term used to describe someone who solves problems. This temple, known as Sankat Mochan Hanuman, is dedicated to the Hindu deity Hanuman. As a result, it is thought that worshippers are liberated from their difficulties while worshipping at the temple. In this well-known tourist spot in Varanasi, Tulsidas is also supposed to have penned the Ramcharitmanas.

One of Varanasi's most well-known tourist destinations is the Sankat Mochan Temple, which also serves as a haven for a sizable troop of monkeys. In the vicinity of the temple, many monkeys can be seen. Both locals and visitors are invited to pay respect to the architecture.


At the temple, besan laddus are typically offered to Lord Hanuman. Every Tuesday, devotees gather here to perform the Hindi Shri Hanuman Chalisa together.


How to reach there :

  • You can take an auto-rickshaw or ola or private car from anywhere in Varanasi to reach Sankat Mochan Temple. Sankat Mochan Temple has located around 10 km from  Varanasi Cant Station. BHU is 3 KM from Sankat Mochan Temple.

  • Entrance Fees: There is no entry fees.

  • Sankat Mochan Mandir Timing : 5:00 AM - 12:00 PM & 3:00 PM - 12:00 AM

  • Sankat Mochan Mandir Aarti timings:4 AM in the morning (Subah Aaarti) & 9 PM in the night (Sandhya Aarti)


8. New Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Varanasi is Kashi Vishwanath, which is devoted to Lord Shiva. Both tourists and residents of the area have a strong belief in the temple's enchanted energy.

The Vishwanath or Jyotirlinga, who resides in the temple, is one of its inhabitants. Incredible architecture may be found in the Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

Aarti and Sangam darshan are additional opportunities for devotees. As a means of Lord Shiva's blessings, prasad is given out to pilgrims.

The large temple provides an opportunity for renewal while also fostering a spiritual environment. In order to attend aarti and rudrabhishek, you can visit the temple at various times.




How to reach there :

  • You can take buses, cabs, and cars to get to the BHU gate from the airport. You must climb the area on foot from the entrance.

  • Entrance Fees: There is no entry fees.

  • New Vishwanath Temple Attractions

  • There are nine shrines there, including ones dedicated to Ganesh, Hanuman, Saraswati, Laksmi Narayan, Shiva, and others.

  • The complete script of the Bhagavad Gita is etched on the walls, which are composed of marble.


9. Sarnath Temple 

Sarnath temple is one of the important tourist places in Varanasi to understand Buddhism in a deeper sense. Located 10 km away from Varanasi. It is also believed to be the place where Gautam Buddha delivered his very first sermon.

In addition, Sarnath is the birthplace of the 11th Tirthankara. Because of kings and prosperous Varanasi-based merchants, Buddhism has been growing in Sarnath.


Thus, it is of religious importance for Jains too. You can also get a glimpse of archeological remains and the creation of the Ashoka Pillar.

Moreover, there are various statues depicting the practices and values of Buddhism. Tourists from all over the globe flock here to soak in the spiritual vibes of the place. The place also speaks highly about the indoor museum. Multiple shrines can be spotted at the temple. 



How to reach there :

  • From Varanasi to Sarnath, trains run frequently. Train travel from Sarnath to Varanasi takes one hour. The Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport is only a kilometre away from the railway station. Buses and taxis are also available to take you to Sarnath from different areas of the city.

  • There is a cost to enter the museums and the deer park. There is no entry fee to any of the temples or other religious buildings.

  • Attractions in Sarnath: The Sarnath temple in Thailand is renowned for its opulent gardens and distinctive architectural design.

  • Chukhandi Stupa of 5th century is the place where Lord Buddha had his first meeting with his disciples.

  • Mulagandha Kuti Vihar is famous for frescoes, art works and others.

  • Tibetan temple is famous for the architecture, Tibetan styled Buddhist paintings, frescoes and others. It holds the Shakyamuni statue.

  • Visit the Archaeological and excavation area of Sarnath to spot ruins of monasteries and other ancient buildings.

  • Dhammek Stupa is a Maurya Dynasty structure, which is famous among pilgrims

  • Ashoka Pillar, the emblem of India is found in Sarnath.

  • Visit the deer park, if you are visiting with your kids.


10. Bharat Mata Mandir

Bharat Mata Temple is one of the most popular tourist sites in Varanasi. This is the Mother India temple. This is a one-of-a-kind temple dedicated to a specific country. The temple has no deities and no religious significance.


It was built in 1936 and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. The Bharat Mata Mandir is located on the premises of the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth. You've probably seen temples decked with gods and goddesses. Varanasi, on the other hand, offers something a little different. A map of a united India is shown in the centre of the Bharat Mata Mandir.




Pilgrims worship the carved marble depicting India united with her neighbours. The temple is a tribute to everyone who helped shape India. It is a rare manifestation of nationalism, as worshippers show their patriotism and pride at this place of worship.


How to reach there :

  • This temple is part of the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith complex. It is only 2 kilometres from the railway station. You can either take a bus to the railway station and then book an auto to the temple or arrange a direct cab to the temple from the airport.

  • Entrance Fees: There are no entrance costs.

  • Attractions in Bharat Mata Temple: The entire temple is made of stone, and the primary attraction here is a gigantic 3D map of India made of marble.

  • The temple's map depicts undivided India as well as Pakistan.



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