Varanasi - the place next to heaven

Feeling an air of spirituality is customary for pilgrims in Varanasi – Find out more 

Varanasi is truly described as one of the most spiritual cities in India. If you’re among the well-trodden travelers, you’re bound to be captivated by the sheer magic of its crowded alleys and lightened Ghats.


All of the spiritual development caused by pilgrimages is truly experienced by those that are seeking historical knowledge and personal renewal within the religious sites of India. India proves to be the confluence of all eminent religions in the world and several inexpensive pilgrimage tour options are there for you to explore.


What to expect once you arrive


Apart from being among the oldest inhabited cities, Varanasi is truly both chaotic and auspicious at the same time. Hindus believe that the sanctity of this place enables them to achieve Moksha after death. The auspicious gateway to heaven, this city is believed to liberate pilgrims from the much talked about rebirth circle. Much of the cremation practices and rituals may be witnessed on the bank of river Ganges during the daytime.


The old city of Varanasi continues to a wide network of populated alleys right from the bank of the Ganges River. This portion of the city seems to be of great interest to visitors, although it might prove to be a bit claustrophobic at times. The busiest point turns out to be the Dasaswamedh Ghat that makes its glorious presence felt among other 100 ghats. Varanasi Junction is the biggest railway station located on the western side of the old city.


Things to check out in Varanasi


You’ll find a number of options to spend your time in Varanasi, from enjoying the vibrant atmosphere to visiting temples:


Spending time in the river water: You’re bound to achieve a unique glimpse of the temples and ghats while enjoying a boat ride during the magical dawn. If you’re truly lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Dolphin at a secluded spot on the river. The Manikarnika Ghat will let you witness the cremations and the bathing rituals in the morning. You must bargain till you achieve a decent rate and even confirm the duration of the ride before boarding.


Feeling lost in the narrow alleys: Amid much noise, you may get disoriented while moving through the alleys. In your attempt to avoid an odd holy cow, your eyes will catch glimpses of secluded shrines, food items, craftworks, silk retailers and candlelit idols. Your senses are bound to be awakened by the smell of rotten fruits, incense, urine, and cow dung as you make your way from one alley to another.


Visiting temples: The Monkey Temple dedicated to goddess Durga owes its name to the presence of Monkeys around it. The goddess is believed to be protecting this city from all adversities since ages. Another important temple is that of Lord Shiva, which is considered to be amongst the holiest in India and stands amid tight security. Pilgrims at the Dasawamedh Ghat witness ceremonies concerning offerings and pujas amid music, chants, incense, and prayers. Besides casting tea lights on the river, devotees are known to beat drums, ring bells and help cymbals crash.


Stroll along river banks: Apart from boats being fixed, you may watch bathers taking a morning dip in the sublime waters, boys indulging in cricket, and girls doing laundry. While the Manikarnika Ghat is specifically used for cremation and for placing the ashes in the mighty Ganges, the Kader Ghat remains full of morning bathers, and the Dasaswamedh Ghat is crowded with tourists that frequently hire masseurs.


A sacred escapade to Sarnath:

You may choose to opt for a rickshaw and experience an exhilarating ride amid the hot and crowded streets of Varanasi. The route to Sarnath is about 8 miles long and is filled with fresh air. It fulfills your long cherished wish of visiting the holy Deer Park wherein Lord Buddha delivered his speeches. You’ll come across a Stupa marking this holy spot.


How to Go about Booking a Tour


Indian tourists have largely contributed towards the popularity of pilgrimage tours that have turned immensely popular with even foreign tourists. Much of our religious heritage is experienced by those that travel to various parts of India. Foreign and local visitors now have the option of arranging tours with store-front travel agencies. Although some negotiation is necessary, the best of deals may be achieved with these agencies.


You may even choose to book your stay with any popular travel network providing quality offers like that of your Zoomcar discount coupons online. Depending on your point-of-departure, you may consider paying more for your airfare. Even while planning your visit to Varanasi, you might consider using these benefits for achieving extra savings. Keeping your calm is certainly a great way of coping with the chaos of this city besides enjoying its religious ambiance.


Also see pictures of

1. Kashi or the City of Light

2. Varanasi in black and white 

3. Dev Deepavali Festival ie held on Kartik Purnima every year 

4. Temples of Kashi 

5. Sarnath 

6. Ramgarh Fort ie close to Kashi 

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