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Varanasi the spiritual capital of India, a travel guide


It sounds quite intimidating to write a travel guide for the spiritual capital of India but nonetheless here it is. But before i start let me put some perspective, India is for experience, pictures, texts and videos don’t do justice to it. And Varanasi is the epitome of that.  As i always say it is the people that make a place and imagine the energy of a city where people come for salvation, meditation and enlightenment. 

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How to reach Varanasi
There are direct trains taking about 10 hours from the capital, Delhi. Both overnight and day options available. Flights take about 1.5 hours from Delhi. Car will take about 10 hours.

Where to stay
We had a comfortable stay in Taj Varanasi. Some family members also stayed in Hotel Clark and they found it great too. 

Places to visit in Varanasi 
  1. There are more than one temple in almost every lane in old Varanasi. Hence also sometimes called the ‘City of Temple’ must visit are Kashi Vishwanath and Sankatmochan.
  2. The ghats - you can rent a boat and hop on and off on any of the 84 ghats, favourite for photos are Raja ghat, Munshi ghat and Tulsi ghat.
  3. Ganga arti on Dhaneshwar ghat. Be early to get the best seat or try for reservation through your hotel or someone. You can also see the Aarti from a seat on the boats. Timing 6.30 pm.
  4. Take a car ride in the sprawling campus of Benares Hindu University.
  5. Visit Tulsi ghat and the adjoining areas. 1. The spot where Tulsidas wrote Ramayan, now a temple 2. A 400 year old wrestling place 3. Warrior princes Laxmi Bai’s birthplace. Most movies shot in Varanasi are shot in this area.
  6. Visit Sarnath, 10 kms away from Varanasi famous for its stupas. 
Where and what to eat in Varanasi- THE MUST EAT
  1. Pehalwan lassi
  2. Chachi puri behind Pehalwan Lassi
  3. Chaat in the old city.
  4. Chai at Pappu 
all the 4 are extremely popular and most people will be able to guide. or just put in google map. 

Some facts about Varanasi 
  1. Varanasi is one of the oldest crematoriums in the world. 
  2. Situated on the banks of the holy river Ganga it is the most sacred city in Hinduism, Jainism and one of the most sacred in Buddhism.
  3. It is also a seat of learning and culture. The benares hindu university spread over a sprawling 4000 acres is one of oldest universities of India and the largest university in Asia. It gives education from kindergarten level to doctorate. 
  4. Ramayan was written by Tulsidas in Benares. 
  5. It is one of the oldest living cities in the world.
  6. Varanasi has 88 ghats ( as set of steps leading to the river) . Making it the city with the most ghats in the world.
  7. In the Hindu religion it is believed that the person who breathes his last breath in this city attains salvation.
  8. The city is the birthplace of many celebrated artists, musicians and dancers like Ravi Shankar and Ustad Bismillah Khan.
  9. Homeland of Benarsi silk an extremely rich traditional indian hand made fabric.
  10. It is India personified. Colourful, chaotic, overwhelming, inspiring, magical and truly incredible.
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I was at my most overwhelmed state during my trip to Varanasi. Extremely calm but inspired, full of thoughts and energy. That is what great places do to you.

Thank you for stopping by, see you with my next.

                 - Kerala travel facts

Love

Chichi

13 comments

  1. Such a beautiful post. Really want to visit now. Taking notes for future hehe.

    xx Faiyaz
    http://www.fixatedf.com

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  2. I had no idea that Varanasi had one of the oldest crematoriums in the world or that it is one of the oldest cities either. It is little wonder therefore that it is widely regarded as a cultural centre of learning but also as a spiritual area where the veil between the living and dead is thinly concealed. Oh and of course you know I love my chai so I would love to sample real Asian Chai and Lassi. And of course chaat too.

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  3. I am visiting India later this year so I have been collecting blog posts on the country. Yours is by far the best I have come across thus far! You did a great job showing us a sneak peak of what it is like to visit and provided such beautiful photographs. Your post made me 10x more excited than I already was. Thanks so much xx

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  4. These are great photos and everything looks so colorful. I love how you added the food guide. It's such a great way to experience a culture through local food.

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  5. Wow, this place is amazing and interesting. It looks historic and religious too. I have never been to India, and I hope to visit one of your remarkable place this year. Thanks for sharing this post.

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  6. What an amazing place to visit - India is full of such beauty!! I love your imagery as well!

    x
    Shloka
    http://www.thesilksneaker.com

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  7. You have an amazing album there. I am sure pehelwan lassi must have been outstanding..even the name is so inspiring :)

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  8. These pictures are so rich with color and personality. With all of the moments you've captured, I can really see myself there. Thanks for including a food guide! It all looks like hot, delicious comfort food ❤️

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  9. India has so much old world charm and mystique. The photos are amazing! I'm not sure I would ever visit, just because it all looks so crowded and overwhelming. I'm a country girl, born and raised in New Hampshire and now living in Maine, USA. I've never been a fan of cities and crowds, yet the culture is fascinating.

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  10. Heard a lot about the Indian culture and I can see a lot from it here through the beautiful photos. Would be nice to visit one day.

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  11. I can see what you mean by overwhelmed. All of the pictures you have taken are absolutely incredible. I am inspired by all of the beauty and culture you have shown here. I will have to see if I can make it out there some day.

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  12. I think India is a wonderful place and looks like we can learn anything about their wonderful history.

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  13. Its a really calm and spiritual place to be, want to visit there once.

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