Varanasi is one of the oldest inhabited regions of Utter Pradesh in India. It is almost 2000 years old, having different ethnicities with undeniable religiosity and love for their beliefs. The place is known for its indigenous and rare shrines, which you will never witness anywhere in the world. Those tourists who love to explore different regions with respect to their culture, religion, and lifestyles would love to be here.
Today we will discover the Varanasi, brace yourself to dive deep into Hinduism and the strange yet bountiful Hindu beliefs regarding life, death, incarnation, and transgression.
Many people who have studied Hinduism or have a Hindu friend in their circle would have known that Hindus believe in the purification of their souls by diving in the holy water of the River Ganges. The Assi ghat is the place where you can witness the devotees doing different activities, including yoga, and Suraya Namaskar, which is a very famous act of welcoming the sun. It is one of the mediating activities which Hindus believe are good for the mind and the body.
The best time to visit Assi ghat is in the morning, particularly early in the morning, when you can focus on your prayers or witness the strictly focused people doing their religious activities. Hindus come here to clean themselves and then pray to the greatest Hindu deity Lord Shiva.
Shri Kashi Vishwanath temple.
This temple is the hub of Hindu culturalism on the events like Shivratri and Durga pooja. Hindus from all across the world come here to prostrate before lord shiva. The name of the temple is because of the name of the place the Varanasi was first known as Kashi, that is why. Nevertheless, the most important thing a tourist will crave when visiting this place is the temple’s architecture.
The importance of this temple was because of its controversy with the Muslim rulers, many Muslim rulers like Aurangzeb Alamgir demolished it and made mosques here, but now the Hindu government, after partition, has a gained regained it as a temple.
The Ganges river is the holy River for Hindus, just like other religions, Hindus also believe in purification, and the most important symbol here is water. It is one of India’s largest rivers; many Hindus perform different religious rituals to connect their souls to the Gods at different ghats made at the River.
Hindus do cremations. This is something uniquely entitled to the Hindu religion; they will not bury the dead like Christians and Muslims; instead, it is thought to be the cremation process to destroy the human body and release the soul. For tourists, this place will be of special importance. They will get to know how the Hindus perform such ceremonies and with pride.
Tourists must cover their mouth while visiting this place. You will see a continuous process of the cremation throughout the day and night. You will have to pay a fee to witness the cremation, but you must observe your limits and do not take it as a tourist spot.
It is also one of the crowded places in Varanasi; if you want to explore this site, leave early before it gets stuffed with devotees. Settle at a place and observe the colorful everyday activities of the day here. You can observe the priests wrapped in yellow and saffron-colored dresses putting candles and flower-filled plates in the Ganges river. This will not only a few seconds view but also a lifetime memory which tourists love to recall even after many years.
Varanasi is not only about Hinduism, but it also has one of the famous Buddhist temples, making it a pluralistic city having colors and cultures of a different religion. It is an under-rated place, but those who want to discover the city to its fullest would love to visit this temple as well. Here the Buddhist priest and people are seen doing their religious activities, the inside of the temple will cause awe as its intricate designs and wallpapers are heavenly.
Bharat Mata temple.
Indian land means a Goddess to the inhabitants. To pay homage to their land, the people have made a Bharat Mata ka temple (A temple of Indian land that is their mother). It has a carved stone idol of India. It was built in 1936 by Mahatma Gandhi.
Ruchika art gallery.
Are you an art lover who wants to do catharsis through art? This is the place to visit. It has some of the fabulous masterpieces which you can buy. Many art workshops are being conducted here on a monthly and weekly basis, so you can have a happy activity day in Varanasi.
If you want to explore archaeological sites, then this is one of those. This sand temple was once the city’s defensive fort, and now it has been converted into a museum. You will get to learn about Mahabharata at this place and several other historical facts about the Indian culture.
It is again a site of Buddhism; it was built by King Ashoka some 1500 years ago. It has some parts of the buddha here; many Buddhists from all across the globe come here to pay homage to the lord buddha.
If you want to feel the vibes of the past, then do visit this fort. It was ruled by different kingdoms, from the afghans, Mughal empire to the British rule. It is one of the most beautifully crafted forts with different artistically designed walls and pillars. Many people who are interested in beautiful architecture are interested in visiting this place to explore more about the fort and Indian architecture.
This is the only ghat in Varanasi with clear water. It is built in remembrance of queen ahilyabi holker. It is one of the most beautiful ghats having clear water and colorful stacks of flowers floating in it.