The famous Tourist Places in Varanasi (Kashi) includes Sarnath, Ganga Ghat, Shree Kashi Vishvanath Temple and Other Important Places.
About Varanasi (Kashi), Uttar Pradesh
How to Reach
The national highway connecting Varanasi, a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is the National Highway 31 (NH 31).
“Kashi Vishwanath Express” runs between Varanasi Junction (BSB) and New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS).
The nearest airport to Varanasi is Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport (VNS), also known as Varanasi Airport. It is located approximately 26 kilometers northwest of Varanasi city center.
Tourist Places in Varanasi (Kashi), Uttar Pradesh
- Geographical Location: Sarnath is situated 10 kilometers north-east of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.
- Rivers Confluence: It is positioned near the confluence of the Ganges and Varuna rivers, adding to its natural and serene setting.
- Historical Significance: Sarnath holds immense historical significance as it is the place where Gautama Buddha first delivered his teachings, known as the Dhamma.
- Deer Park: The teachings were imparted in the deer park located in Sarnath, creating a profound connection between the site and the origins of Buddhist philosophy.
- Formation of Buddhist Sangha: Sarnath is notably recognized as the place where the Buddhist Sangha, the community of Buddhist monks, came into existence. This occurred through the enlightenment of Kondanna, one of the first five disciples of Buddha.
- Enlightenment of Kondanna: Kondanna’s enlightenment marked a crucial moment in the establishment of the Buddhist community, known as the Sangha, symbolizing the transmission of Buddha’s teachings.
- Cultural and Spiritual Hub: Sarnath serves as a significant cultural and spiritual hub for Buddhists worldwide, attracting pilgrims and tourists interested in the history and teachings of Buddhism.
- Archaeological Remains: The site houses various archaeological remains, including stupas, monasteries, and the Ashoka Pillar, providing a glimpse into the ancient Buddhist architecture and art.
- Pilgrimage Destination: Sarnath is a revered pilgrimage destination for Buddhists and visitors seeking to explore the roots of Buddhism.
- Tourist Attractions: Apart from the historical and religious aspects, Sarnath offers visitors the chance to explore its surroundings, including the Mulagandha Kuti Vihar, the Chaukhandi Stupa, and the Dhamek Stupa.
- Global Recognition: Due to its association with the life and teachings of Buddha, Sarnath has gained global recognition and is considered one of the four key pilgrimage sites for Buddhists.
- Riverfront Steps: Ghats in Varanasi refer to the riverfront steps that lead to the banks of the River Ganges, forming a distinctive feature of the city’s landscape.
- Quantity: Varanasi boasts a total of 88 ghats along the Ganges, each with its unique significance and purpose.
- Bathing and Puja Ceremony Ghats: The majority of the ghats serve as locations for bathing rituals and puja ceremonies, where devotees engage in spiritual activities and seek blessings from the sacred river.
- Cremation Sites: Two ghats in Varanasi are exclusively designated as cremation sites, where the last rites and cremation ceremonies take place.
- Reconstruction After 1700 AD: Many Varanasi ghats underwent reconstruction after the year 1700 AD, a period during which the city was part of the Maratha Empire. The rebuilding efforts have contributed to the diverse architectural styles seen in the ghats today.
- Patrons of Ghats: The patrons responsible for the construction and maintenance of the current ghats include influential families such as the Marathas, Shindes (Scindias), Holkars, Bhonsles, and Peshwes (Peshwas).
- Association with Legends: Several ghats are associated with legends and mythologies, adding a layer of cultural and religious significance to these riverfront steps.
- Private Ownership: While some ghats are public and open to all, others are privately owned, further diversifying the character and use of each ghat.
- Morning Boat Ride Attraction: One of the popular attractions in Varanasi is the morning boat ride on the Ganges, allowing visitors to experience the city’s ghats from the river. This activity provides a unique perspective and is favored by tourists.
- Cultural Heritage: The ghats of Varanasi represent not only religious and spiritual spaces but also contribute to the cultural heritage of the city, showcasing the confluence of history, architecture, and tradition.
Shree Kashi Vishvanath Temple
- Significance: Kashi Vishvanath Temple is a renowned Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the most revered deities in Hinduism.
- Location: Situated in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India, the temple is strategically positioned on the western bank of the sacred Ganges River.
- Jyotirlinga: The temple holds immense significance as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, considered the holiest shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. Jyotirlingas are believed to be manifestations of the divine formless reality.
- Main Deity: The primary deity worshipped in the temple is known as Vishvanatha or Vishveshvara, translating to “Ruler of The Universe.” Lord Shiva is venerated in this temple in a form that signifies his cosmic role.
- City’s Name Connection: Varanasi is often referred to as Kashi, and consequently, the temple is popularly known as Kashi Vishvanath Temple, emphasizing its connection to the city’s ancient name.
- Spiritual Hub: Kashi Vishvanath Temple is a significant spiritual and pilgrimage destination, attracting devotees and visitors from various parts of India and beyond.
- Architectural Importance: The temple is not only a religious center but also an architectural marvel, reflecting the cultural and historical richness of Varanasi.
- Religious Practices: Devotees engage in various religious practices, rituals, and prayers at the temple to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.
- Varanasi’s Cultural Identity: The temple contributes to the cultural identity of Varanasi, playing a central role in the city’s religious and historical narrative.
- Pilgrimage Destination: Many Hindu pilgrims consider a visit to Kashi Vishvanath Temple as a crucial aspect of their spiritual journey, adding to the temple’s status as a pilgrimage destination.
- Ganga’s Holy Aura: The temple’s location on the banks of the Ganges River enhances its spiritual aura, and the river is considered sacred by Hindus.
- Traditional Practices: Traditional practices, such as the Ganga Aarti performed at the ghats of Varanasi, are often associated with the spiritual ambiance surrounding Kashi Vishvanath Temple.
Other Important Places
- City of Lights – Kashi: Varanasi is commonly known as the “City of Lights” or “Kashi,” highlighting its spiritual and cultural significance.
- Geographical Location: Situated on the west bank of the River Ganga, Varanasi holds a strategic position as a holy town with a rich history.
- Land of Shiva: Varanasi is often referred to as the “Land of Shiva,” emphasizing its association with Lord Shiva, a central deity in Hinduism.
- Spiritual Legacy: The city’s spiritual legacy spans over 3000 years, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
- Pilgrimage Centre: Varanasi has maintained its status as a crucial pilgrimage center in India, drawing devotees and seekers from various parts of the country and the world.
- Authentic India: For visitors from outside the country, Varanasi serves as a reflection of authentic India, with its blend of spirituality, traditions, and cultural richness.
- Busy Hub: Today, Varanasi is a bustling hub characterized by winding roads, crowded ghats along the Ganges, and an atmosphere permeated with the fragrances of incense and the scent of burning firewood.
- Aartis and Floating Lamps: Evening aartis (ceremonial offerings) and the floating of earthen lamps on the Ganges are integral elements of Varanasi’s identity, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.
- Architectural Diversity: The city reflects diverse architectural influences, ranging from the Kings of Bengal to the Maharajas of Rajasthan, contributing to Varanasi’s status as an epitome of rich Indian culture.
- Cultural and Faith Contributions: Various rulers and leaders throughout history have left their mark on Varanasi, turning it into a cultural and spiritual melting pot that continues to resonate with faith.
- Symbol of Indian Culture: Varanasi is symbolic of India’s cultural heritage, offering a glimpse into the tapestry of traditions, rituals, and religious practices that have evolved over centuries.