Varanasi(Kashi), Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi is one of the most ancient city of India and is also called the ‘City of Temples’ and the ‘City of Lights’ and the ‘City of Learning’. This place is also known with many other names such as ‘Banaras’, ‘Kashi’ and ‘Shiv ki Nagri’. This colourful city is located at the bank of holy river Ganga. Thousands of Hindu religion followers come here to take bath in the sacred water of Ganga and visit the ancient Temples. It is believed that Ganga has divine power to wash away all sins. Varanasi is also very famous for its 12 Jyotirlingas.
Varanasi is considered as a divine Holy City in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Apart from being an important Historical Pilgrimage Centre, Varanasi is also regarded as a grand trade centre, which is the centre for sale and purchase of various exclusive products like delicate ivory works, stunning silk fabrics, fascinating sculptures and mind blowing perfumes.
Location: It is located on the banks of river Ganges, 300 kms South-East of Lucknow
Climate: Summer season is hot and humid and Winters are extremely cold.
Wear light cotton clothes in summers. Wear some heavy woollens in winters.
Best time to visit: October-March
How to reach:
By Air: Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport (23 Kms)
By Train: Varanasi Railway Junction (1.8 Kms) and Varanasi City Railway Station (4.9 kms)
By Road: Volvo coach buses are regularly available
Places of Interest:
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Location: About 5.6 Kms away from Varanasi City
Timings: Open all days from 2.30 a.m.- 11.00 p.m.
Located at the western bank of river Ganges, Kashi Vishwanath Temple is a prominent temple of Lord Shiva and is also known as ‘The golden Temple of Varanasi’. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Varanasi. It is believed in Hinduism that a person who is cremated here, gets instant liberation from the cycle of rebirth. This temple was last rebuilt by the Ruler of Indore, Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar in 1780. This Temple is unique as it has a golden Spire and three domes. The Golden Spire is around 15.5 meters in height and there are total three domes. Two domes were gold plated in 1839 by Punjab Kesari Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. The third dome was covered with gold by the Ministry of Cultures and Religious affairs of Uttar Pradesh.
Location: 5.2 Kms from Varanasi City
Timings: The Ghat is open from 5.30 in the morning to 8.30 in the evening
The word ‘Dash’ means ‘Ten’, the word ‘Ashwa’ means ‘Horses’ and the word ‘Medh’ means ‘Sacrifice’. This one of the oldest Ghat was named as ‘Dashashwamedh’ because according to the Hindu religious books, Lord Brahma had surrendered 10 horses in a Yajna to Lord Shiva.
This Ghat was renovated by Bajirao Persava 1 in 1740 A.D. It was reconstructed later by the Queen of Indore, Ahilyabai Holkar in 1774. The famous ‘Ganga Aarti’ is done by the priests on the Ghat every day in the evening. This ghat is the main and most favourite Ghat among Himdu devotees.
Location- 14 kms from Varanasi
Timings: Open 7 days from 10.00 a.m.- 12.00 p.m., 2.00 p.m.- 4.30 p.m.
Ramnagar Fort was built in 1750, by the Kashi Naresh, Raja Balwant Singh in the style of Mughals by using the creamy chunar sandstone. This fort also has the beautiful Dakshin MukhiTemple of Lord Hanuman, the fascinating museum, the divine Durga Mandir, the excellent Chhinnamastika Temple and a splendid big clock, which not only shows date, time, month and year, but also displays astronomical facts. The outlook of this fort is dazzling at the time of Dussehraand Raj Manjal.
The Fort is also famous for the outdoor shooting of movies because of its unique historical look. A popular Bollywood movie ‘Banaras’ had its shooting in the Fort.
Location: 5.7 kms from Varanasi
Timings: All days open from 4.00 a.m.- 12.00 p.m., 1.00 p.m.- 9.00 p.m.
Nepali Mandir was built in Nepali Styleby the king of Nepal on the Lalita Ghat on river Ganges. This ghat is also named as ‘Mini Khajuraho’ and ‘Kathwala Mandir’. The main attraction of this temple is its magnificent and articulate woodwork. The temple wood was bought from Nepal and has a speciality that termites do not eat this wood. There is a statue of Nandi outside the ‘Garbagriha’ of the temple. There is a ‘Shivlinga’ called ‘Pashupatinath Mahadeva, inside the ‘Garbagriha’
Location: 9 kms to the North of Varanasi
Timings: Open all days except Friday from 10.00 a.m.- 5.00 p.m.
Sarnath is the auspicious place where Lord Buddha gave his First Sermon in 528 BCE. The Museum has an exotic collection of artefacts from the Guptan, Mauryan and Kushana era. The Museum also has the earliest images of Lord Buddha and the images of many Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
The Ashokan pillar is the main attraction of this museum. The National Symbol of India is adopted from here.