One of the holiest cities in India, Varanasi has so much of religion, devotion, and history throughout its streets, ghats, and temples. If you are planning a trip to this beautiful city in the central part of India, here are our suggestions on top things to do that would give you the best of everything that the city has to offer. 

Visit the Historical Ramnagar Fort 

Located on the banks of the Holy Ganges, this magnificent fort was built by Kashi Naresh. Although a major portion of the fort is now in a dilapidated state, the structure still stands tall and is imposing as ever, a testament to the fact that it would have been a splendour once upon a time.  

You can get the most magical view of the fort by taking a boat ride from the Dasawamedh Ghat. As you ride over the calm waters of the Ganges in the evening, the sun paints the sky gold and the reflection of the light off the waters on the fort is a sight to behold! 

Seek blessings of the Lord at Kashi Vishwanath Temple 

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the most important places of worship for the Hindu community in India. Located on the western bank of the Ganges, the temple has one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, and it gets many worshippers and followers of Lord Shiva throughout the year.  

The constantly praying tourists around the temple complex, the priests chanting the mantras, there is an undeniable divine aura around the temple, making it a great spiritual awakening in India.

Take a dip in the Holy Ganges 

Whether you are spiritually inclined or not when you are in Varanasi, you ought to take a dip in the Holy Ganga. It is one of the best things to do in Banaras (another name for Varanasi). In India, Ganges is considered as the most sacred river and people believe that taking a dip in the river will wash away all their sins and wrongdoings. 

Watch the evening aarti on the banks of Ganges 

Talk about things to do in Varanasi, watching the evening arti must be at the top of your list. The evening aarti is a spectacular sight that you will cherish for a long time. Dedicated to the Holy Ganges, the arti or the prayer celebrates the River Goddess, and you can witness the surreal ceremony from the Dasawamedh Ghat. As the sun goes down, the Ghat comes alive every day as the priests light up huge brass lamps that weigh about 4.5 kgs, incense sticks, and chant prayers. 

Aarti Timings - 6.45 PM  

Go on a sightseeing tour of Sarnath 

Sarnath is a great example why Varanasi is the cultural capital of India. Like the rest of India, which is known for its cultural diversity, this holy city houses many places of worship for different religions. Located just about 12kms from Varanasi, this is a popular holy site for the Buddhists. It is the place where Lord Gautam Buddha first taught the principles of Buddhism to people after he achieved enlightenment.  

One of the major attractions here is the Dharmekh Stupa, a 128-feet high pillar dating back to 200 BC. Also, there is an Ashoka pillar that has some intricate and interesting carvings that depict Buddhist culture. If you love archaeology or history, you must visit the Archaeological museum nearby that houses some of the most amazing treasures that you won’t find anywhere in India. 

Visit the weavers village 

You may have heard about Benaras silk garments, it is famous globally, and the weavers in this beautiful city are known for creating masterpieces. The Sarai Mohana village, also known as weavers’ village is popular for its many silk weaving looms.  

The Banaras silk saree made by the weavers here are the finest in India. These saris feature work of gold and silver embroidery and they are most worn for special occasions and they are also a favourite bridal wear. While in the village, you can see the master craftsman at work creating their masterpieces. This is one of the things to do in Benaras that would give you a close-up look at one of the city’s hidden gems.

Indulge in some shopping 

Shopping in Varanasi is a great way to take home some amazing memories from the holy city. The city is known for its awesome silk garments, and ornate jewels. You can visit the local market to explore the plethora of colours, elaborate designs and intricate patterns.  

Apart from Saris, you can buy shawls, carpets, idols of Buddhist and Hindu deities and bangles. And the best places to shop for a few souvenirs in the city include Thatheri Bazaar, Godowilia, and Vishwanath Lane.  

Gorge on the Local delicacies 

Varanasi sightseeing experience would be incomplete without getting a taste of the local food. The city is a haven for all food lovers. From the lip-smacking gol gappe, to tikis, chaat and jalebi rabri there is so much that you can try while exploring the Varanasi streets. From street food vendors to cozy cafes there are many places that you can visit. 

So, here you have a list of amazing things to do in Varanasi. So, get your bags ready and head off to the holy city for an awesome tourist experience. 

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Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.

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