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All about Varanasi | Things To Do In Varanasi in 2021

Want to experience the piousness of India at its most vibrant? Well, then a visit to Varanasi is a must. Varanasi, also identified as Benares or Kashi, is a city on the shores of the river Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, India. The land of Varanasi (Kashi) has remained the ultimate pilgrimage destination for Hindus for centuries and centuries. Hindus believe and hold faith that one who dies in the land of Varanasi is qualified to attain salvation and freedom from rebirth. This is because the Ganges in Varanasi is considered to possess the gift to wash away the dead’s sins and transgressions, making it a major hub for pilgrimage. The name of Varanasi was originated from the names of two rivers, the Varun and the Assi. Dr Kausthub Desikachar says this is one significant place where human emotions and beliefs are more powerful than science and spirituality. 

Places To Visit In Varanasi

Ganges River

The holy river Ganges in Varanasi is India’s pride. This river was given this name after the Hindu Goddess Ganga. Millions of people year-round visit the Ganges to take a dip in the holy river as an act of purification. Devotees offer their prayers and light diyas and float them on the sacred river with flowers. This blissful practice will unite you more intensely with Hindu culture.

Dashashwamedh Ghat

Dashashwamedh Ghat is the central ghat in Varanasi. One must experience the Ganga aarti that happens in the evening. The Hindu priests blow a conch to signal the start of the spiritual ceremony. Needless to say, you get to meet the sadhus – also known as the Babas and have a deep conversation about karma and dharma. 

Manikarnika Ghats

It is the oldest ghats of Varanasi. Manikarnika Ghats is one of the holiest creamtion ground alongside the river Ganges. It is believed that a person cremated here directly attains moksha. Pujas are performed in this sacred place, 24/7. 

Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Kashi Vishwanath Mandir is also recognised as the Golden Temple and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the famous Shiv temples in India, located in the Manikarnika Ghats. You can also visit nearby temples such as Tulsi Manas mandir, Durga Temple, Bharat Mata Temple, Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, etc.

Other Attractions In Varanasi

  • Chunar Fort
  • Ramnagar Fort
  • Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum
  • Gyan Vapi Well

Things To Buy In Varanasi

Varanasi has remained the cultural capital of northern India for thousands of years. Varanasi is also addressed as a prime market for some of the finest craftsmanships. A trip to Varanasi is unfinished without walking through the crowded local markets of the city. The most famous handicraft of the city is ‘Banarasi Silk Sarees’, knitted by local craftsmen, the most preferred, not only in India but also across the globe. As Varanasi is considered Lord Shiva’s land, Shivalinga made of crystal and stone is sold as a ritual. Devotees also buy Rudraksha mala from Varanasi. The city’s other specialities are hand-knotted carpets, wooden toys, brassware, glass bangles, gulabi minakari, fine gold jewellery, zari, and brocade textiles. 

Famous Dishes In Varanasi

Some of the best mouthwatering street foods in Varanasi that you shouldn’t miss are:

  • Crispy kachori with sabzi
  • Malaiyo
  • Banarasi thandai and lassi
  • Banarasi paan
  • and a lot of flavoursome chaat items

Kausthub wishes all his readers a holy pilgrimage to Varanasi.

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Dr Kausthub Desikachar

Dr Kausthub Desikachar

Dr. Kausthub Desikachar is the successor and current lineage holder of the classical Viniyoga tradition of T Krishnamacharya & TKV Desikachar. He is an acclaimed yoga teacher, yoga therapist, healer and spiritual adviser. He is also an avid photographer, inspirational writer and poet.

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