A place of temples, ghats, and timeless appeal, the hallowed city of Varanasi is rightly tagged as the ‘stairways to salvation’. Nestled on the banks of the Ganges, a trip to this spiritual heart of India is all it takes to uncover the real Varanasi. Dotted with ghats, temples, ashrams and pilgrim centers, a jaunt down the labyrinthine lanes of Varanasi is the perfect way to get up, close and personal with the age-old customs and archaic traditions of the country. Serving as one of the seven holiest pilgrimages in India, Varanasi receives a steady stream of devotees all throughout the year, who flock to this place to purge their sins and attain Nirvana. As per the Hindu mythology, taking a dip in the sacred waters of Ganges completely liberates one from the cycle of births and re-birth. But that is not all to the city Of Varanasi. Apart from witnessing the divine aarti at Dasashwamedh Ghat and cruising down the string of temples, one can also tour the city streets and shop for famous Banarasi silk saris and hog on piping hot kachoris and jalebis from the roadside pushcarts. Explore the tourist’s attractions in Varanasi and make the most of your trip on your visit to this sanctified city.
Tourist Attractions In Varanasi
Banaras Hindu University
Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya founded the internationally acclaimed university, Banaras Hindu University, in the year 1916. Spread across a sprawling area of 1350 acres, this age-old university consists of 124 departments in various fields and offers courses in various subjects such as fine arts, music, social science, medicine, science, technology etc. Visit this longstanding center of learning to witness its magnificent architecture and mesmerizing greenery.
Jai Singh, the Maharaja of Jaipur, built Jantar Mantar, the famous astronomical observatory in the year 1737. Jai Singh who was highly intrigued by the world of science and technology was particularly passionate about astronomy. In order to build an observatory, he sent scholars to study astronomy and on their return, he erected the Jantar Mantar. The instruments in the building can be used to calculate local time, motion of stars and planets and for many other purposes. Some of the other noted instruments in Jantar Mantar are Digansha Yantra, Krantivritta Yantra, Prakash Yantra, Dhruva Yantra, Samrat Yantra and Ram Yantra.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the major attractions in Varanasi. The history of Vishwanath temple is a fascinating one. From ancient times, several invaders namely Afghans, Turks and Marathas have ransacked the temple. During the time line, Vishwanath temple was destroyed and raised several times. The present temple was built by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore in the year1776. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the original lingam of Lord Shiva lies hidden in a ‘well of knowledge’ adjacent to the temple.
Durga Temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga, is located at Durga Kund, which is located just 2 km away from BHU. The temple is renowned for its magnificent architecture and heavenly power and was built by a Bengali Maharani in the 18th century. Although the temple purely reflects a Bengal influence, the extensive structure of temple architecture is clearly inspired by North Indian architectural pattern called the Nagara. Today, because of the menace created by monkeys living near the place, the temple is popularly known as Monkey Temple.
Sankat Mochan Temple
Sankat Mochan Temple, located in Sankat Mochan Gali near BHU, is dedicated to Hindu god Hanuman. Founded by Tulsidas, the famous Indian poet, this temple draws tons of devotees who queue up in front of this temple to offer their prayers. Established in the year 1950, a visit to this temple is believed to deliver one of all troubles. Every Tuesday and Saturday hundreds of devotees visits this temple to seek blessings of Lord Hanuman.
Tulsi Manas Temple
Tulsi Manas Temple, another major attraction of the city, is located near the famous Durga temple. This beautiful white marble temple is dedicated to Lord Ram and was established in the year 1964. It is believed that it is the same site where Tulsidas wrote his epic Ramcharitamanasa and hence the temple was named after him. As a mark of remembrance, the walls of the temple have been engraved with verses and scenes depicting the story of Ramcharitamanasa. If you want to explore the true splendor of Indian architecture, then Tulsi Manas Temple is the place for you.
New Vishwanath Temple
New Vishwanath Temple, also known as name Golden temple, was built by the Birla industrial family. The temple, which is similar to Kashi Vishwanath temple, is admired for its white marble architecture. The wide open door of the shrine welcomes people of all religion and acts as a major tourist hub of the city.
When you hear the name Varanasi, the first that comes to your mind is temples crowded by Hindu devotees. However, when you explore the city you will be delighted to witness the glory of several mosques spread across Varanasi. Among the mosques, Alamgir mosque is noted for its impressive architectural skill, which is the amalgam of Hindu and Muslim style. On your trip to Varanasi, make sure you pay a visit to Alamgir Mosque.