Things to do in Varanasi
1Explore the site of Buddha’s first sermon at Dhamekh Stupa.
2Experience India through the Hindu lens at Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
3Delight in its modest beauty of the Tibetan Temple.
4Get into the swing of it at the Monkey Temple.
5Feel the history in the halls of Alamgir Mosque.
Tours that include Varanasi
When you think of India, a tide of conflicting emotions threatens to sweep your senses away; the anticipation of such a textured culture and diverse landscape, the confrontational images of poverty and every day desperation pulling on your heart strings, the colour and crowds fluttering around marketplaces bursting at the seams. People, a lot of people. And Varanasi does nothing to dispel these micro-coasters of imagination; the northern city relies on its contradictions and persistent buzz to maintain the highly spiritual undercurrent of everyday life, as pilgrims gather by their thousands, offering the sun their morning devotion by the sacred Ganges. Sure, it can be challenging, but if you want an easy holiday, go past the adventure pages and head straight to an island resort paradise.
- Hire a boat and cruise the Ganges
- View the hues of sun rise at the Banaras Ghats
- Dasaswamedh Ghat
- The stupa at Sarnath
Although nobody likes an early morning after a long, international commute, this sunrise idea will set the tone for your holiday and reveal the true magic of Varanasi. Hire a boat (and crew) and prepare to motor, as the prow cuts through the sacred, steely water; the Ganges wake with the height of the sun, as an early morning river ride illuminates the spectacular colour of the Banaras Ghats, where life takes root and anything from the daily washing to sober cremations are staged.
Perhaps a little less crowded is the Dasaswamedh Ghat, the perfect spot on the Ganges to take a moment on shore and feel the sun on your skin, the breeze in your hair and lose yourself in the music of Varanasi. You may be wondering, besides the key role the Ganges plays in the day to day, what makes Varanasi THE perfect pilgrimage destination; the stupa at Sarnath celebrates and marks the place where the enlightened Budhha first realised and passed on his message.
Temples, ruins, statues and motifs, the flourishes of an ancient presence are everywhere and the calming euphoria takes hold in those who don’t consider themselves particularly meditative.
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