Mornings begin with the melodious chime of temple bells as dawn settles into day; evenings fade into nights at the banks of Ganga, with spectacular aartis as the priests chant in unison. A day in Varanasi, and you wouldn't wonder why it is considered to be India's most spiritual city
To the unaccustomed, this city is a riot of vibrant colors and blaring sounds, swarming with an unrelenting mass of people all around. But as you stroll along the enormous ghats or find your way around the tiny back alleys, the chaos will slowly settle in and this ancient city will charm you. Brimming with color and etched in tradition, Varanasi has a lively spirit that is in equal parts overwhelming and captivating. Said to be one of the oldest cities in the world, Varanasi or Banaras as it was formerly known, is a brilliant mesh of history, culture, and religion. From Kabir Das' soulful poetry to the mellifluous rhythms of Pandit Ravi Shankar's sitar, all find a home in Varanasi. Hidden among its narrow galis and numerous temples is the beautiful soul of this endearing city. With all its noise and bustle, Varanasi can get a bit tiring for travelers. You can take in the city in at your own pace as you row down the deep waters of Ganga, away from the crowds gathered at the banks. On the other hand, the soulful and rhythmic aartis in temples thronged by thousands, and cleansing rituals at the Ganga ghats are not to be missed either. Often called the 'City of Gods', Varanasi is the ideal spiritual getaway. Considered one of the holiest cities in the world according to Hindu tradition, Varanasi is alive with light and color during the celebrations of major festivals such as Diwali and Holi. The city provides a delightful experience during these festive periods. While you're at it, give your taste buds a treat with the mouth-watering yogurt drink lassi, or the delicious sweet malaiyo. At the corner of almost every street in Varanasi, you will find stalls of the popular paan, which is a mix of marvelous condiments wrapped in betel leaves. Fine muslins and silks are a specialty of the city and the famous ‘Banarsi Saree’ makes for a great souvenir or keepsake of your visit. Apart from the ghats and temples, Varanasi also offers a slice of history with the majestic Ramanagar Fort. Simply put, Varanasi is an adventure ride with a hoard of experiences unfolding with every step you take. With the seemingly unending maze of its narrow streets and tiny alleys, getting around in Varanasi can get perplexing. But the city has the perfect solution to this problem in the form of cycle-drawn rickshaws. Driven by locals familiar with every nook and cranny, a ride in a cycle-rickshaw is the best way to drive through Varanasi's galis. Buses and auto-rickshaws are convenient travel options for longer distances.With thousands of pilgrims swarming the city to offer their prayers, major destinations such as the ghats near the Ganges and the popular temples tend to get crowded. Be careful of pick pockets on crowded ghats and outside temples. Dress conservatively at religious spots and leave your footwear outside.
Varanasi is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular flights.
Airports: Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport
You can easily get regular trains to Varanasi from other major cities of the country..