A temple town situated on the banks of the holy River Ganges, Varanasi is among the oldest cities on the planet. Hindus believe taking a dip in the Ganges release oneself from the endless cycle of life and death. Being one of the Sapta Puris or the seven holy cities of Hinduism, Varanasi sees millions of pilgrims every year. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one among the 12 Siva Jyotirlinga temples in India is the major attraction at Varanasi and one of the major pilgrimage sites in India.
Ganga Aarti - Varanasi
With the Ganges by the side, the temple is of huge spiritual significance for the Hindus. The bathing ghats here are popular all around the world, especially the Dashashwamedh Ghat, where the Ganga Aarti is conducted every day. It is a delightful ceremony, when the priests hold fire bowls and offer prayers to River Ganga. The temple bells along with the mantra chants by the visitors,flocked far and near, creates a spiritual ambiance all around.
Ganga Boating at Varanasi
Now, this is the most famous activity in Varanasi. The best way to explore the Varanasi countryside, its people and their vibrant culture. Get indulged in a 3 hour sunrise boating tour early morning and get entertained as you float along the Ganges. You will get to know in depth on the Hindu way of worship and various customs and ritualistic practices done at Varanasi.
The Sadhus in Varanasi
The sadhus, who are considered as the god men in India are everywhere in Varanasi. They are completely detached from the normal life and do not care about what others think of them. You could see them covered in ashes, and mostly naked. They focus only on their god. It is never a bad idea to share a cup of chai and have a chat with them for some spiritual insights on the Hindu culture.
The Sarnath Museum and the 17th century Ramnagar Fort are 2 other popular sights in Varanasi which are not to be missed.