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Varanasi - Varanasi, a journey to the divine - one of the best religious destinations of India

Varanasi

One of India's oldest and holiest cities is Varanasi, sometimes referred to as Kashi or Benaras. Located on the banks of the sacred Ganges River, it is a spiritual and cultural hub. Varanasi is renowned for its ancient temples, vibrant ghats (steps leading to the river), and rich spiritual traditions. The city is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva and holds great significance for Hindus. Pilgrims flock to Varanasi to take part in rituals, witness mesmerizing Ganga Aarti ceremonies, and seek spiritual enlightenment. The narrow winding lanes, bustling bazaars, and the pervasive spiritual aura make Varanasi a truly unique and captivating destination.

Best time to visit: Nov-To-Mar
Things to do: Boat Ride on the Ganges, Explore the Ghats, Witness the Aarti at Sarnath, Attend a Classical Music

HOW TO REACH VARANASI

  • Flight - Varanasi has its own airport, Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport (VNS), which is well-connected to major cities in India. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or use other local transportation to reach your desired destination in Varanasi.
  • Rail - Varanasi Junction, also known as Varanasi Cantt Railway Station, is a major railway hub and is well-connected to various cities across India. Several trains, including express and superfast trains, connect Varanasi with major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. The station is located in the heart of the city, and you can easily find local transportation options such as auto-rickshaws or taxis to reach your destination.
  • Road - Varanasi has a well-developed road network, and it is connected to various cities through national highways. You can reach Varanasi by private car, bus, or taxi. The city is well-connected to nearby cities like Allahabad (Prayagraj), Lucknow, Kanpur, and Patna through roadways.

HOW TO GET AROUND

  • Auto-rickshaws - Auto-rickshaws are three-wheeled vehicles that can accommodate a few passengers. Negotiate the fare before starting the ride or ask the driver to go by the meter if available.
  • Cycle-rickshaws - Cycle-rickshaws are a unique and eco-friendly way to explore the narrow lanes and bustling streets of Varanasi. These manually-pulled rickshaws are suitable for short distances and can navigate through congested areas.
  • Taxis - Prepaid and app-based taxis are available in Varanasi, offering a convenient and comfortable mode of transport. You can hire a taxi for point-to-point transfers or for exploring the city at your own pace.
  • Electric Vehicles - Battery-operated electric vehicles are another eco-friendly option for getting around in Varanasi. These vehicles are used for short-distance travel and can be found near popular tourist spots.
  • On foot - Varanasi is a city best explored on foot, especially in the older parts where the narrow lanes (galis) are inaccessible to vehicles. Walking allows you to soak in the vibrant atmosphere, discover hidden gems, and experience the local culture up close.
  • Boats - Since Varanasi is situated on the banks of the Ganges River, boat rides are a common means of transportation, especially for reaching the various ghats. You can hire a boat or join a group boat tour to explore the riverside attractions and witness the famous Ganga Aarti ceremony.
  • Bicycles - Renting a bicycle is a great option if you prefer to explore Varanasi at your own pace. Some guesthouses and bike rental services offer bicycles for hire, allowing you to navigate through the city and enjoy the sights at your leisure.

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