If India’s Golden Triangle has left you feeling worn-out, Varanasi may just be the place for relaxation. Its Old City offers massages, boat rides and dubious ear cleaning services; all ideal ways to unwind after traveling through its vast reaches.
Life along the Ganges, one of the world’s holiest rivers, centers around Hindu devotion. Witness devout Hindus washing and bathing along riverfront ghats; then witness funeral rites being performed along these same ghats.
Varanasi offers delicious cuisine that will tantalize any visitor. There is something delicious and authentic on offer in its streets and restaurants, and vegetarian and chaat options to try too – making Varanasi an ideal destination for all foodies out there!
Take the tawa roti option stuffed with spiced boiled potatoes and chickpeas; their delicious taste and unique texture will have you coming back for more. Also try their Kachori Sabzi made with potato and other veggies cooked in desi ghee with exotic spices sprinkled throughout it – another popular offering is at Ram Bhandar where tawa rotis and their famous Aloo Sabzi (prepared using potatoes, chickpeas and various other vegetables cooked together with an interesting blend of unusual spices) are served tawa rotis and their signature Aloo Sabzi made with spiced potatoes, chickpeas and various other vegetables cooked together in unique spices to leave diners satisfied and coming back again and again!
Varanasi is home to many hidden gems, and one such is this restaurant. Family-run since three generations ago, it is famed for its distinctively flavored lassi which makes a delicious start to your meal and comes highly recommended from locals.
City Center boasts a selection of eateries catering to every palate imaginable – from Indian/Continental fare, Chinese, Thai and more. Zaika Restaurant is a high-end sit-down dining place offering Mughlai fare in an elegant setting; for chicken fans or those interested in kebabs this restaurant should definitely be visited!
Varanasi, one of India’s oldest cities, is revered for its spiritual presence with hundreds of temples and ghats that serve as reminders to travellers that a visit here can wash away all your sins. Varanasi holds special meaning to Hindus; everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime!
Varanasi’s signature event is witnessing the evening aarti ceremony, when the city is transformed by its warm orange glow. Swimming in Varanasi’s holy Ganges can help cleanse and purify your soul; to do this activity rent a boat from any of its ghats for this activity.
Prinsep Bar is an elegant little bar dedicated to the legendary painter-Prinsep. You will find his breathtaking paintings of shrines and ghats on the walls here; making this bar the perfect blend of class and nostalgia, serving some smooth scotch along with delectable starters.
Varanasi offers another exciting activity in Ramlila, a traditional performance depicting Lord Ram’s journey as detailed by the epic Ramayana. You can witness this show at Ramnagar Fort.
Varanasi’s main streets – Chowk and Vishwanath Gali – offer some of the finest shopping opportunities in India, from silk items to elegant jewelry pieces and beyond. Additionally, don’t forget to sample delicious street food offerings!
Varanasi streets are bustling with shops selling everything from saris and dhotis to ornaments, bangles, and turbans – from silks and copper artifacts to wooden toys – selling items like silk sarees or copper idols/utensils (believed to have an association with Lord Shiva). You’re sure to find what you need here!
Banaras city is also known for being home to one of India’s oldest schools of music – Banaras Gharana – featuring soothing melodies and traditional alaaps which delight the ears. If you have time, look out for signs advertising sitar and tabla lessons available in town.
Sadhus may make for interesting subjects for pictures, but taking their picture without their consent could result in heavy fines and may be illegal. Instead, try getting up early to witness their performances firsthand!
Mangi Ferra Cafe, located within Surya Hotel and featuring platters, pizzas and sharing plates is a luxurious indoor eatery offering delicious platters, pizzas and sharing plates in subtle grandeur. Another top-rated Varanasi cafe that serves a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals as well as desserts can be found at Itihaas Alley Kitchen which also boasts spectacular rooftop views of Varanasi ghats.
India is known for its multitude of temples, but rarely do you come across one dedicated solely to India itself. Varanasi’s Kashi Vidyapith stands as an outstanding testament to this fact – becoming an iconic tourist site as a result.
On evenings, several ghats host an unforgettable Ganga Aarti ceremony – when candles and lamps light up the river creating an incredible sight!
Must-try dishes in Varanasi include the famous makhani lassi, an indulgent treat created from milk and cream left overnight to ferment, then churned to create the cloud-like consistency resembling dessert, finished off with sugar, cardamom and saffron for flavoring. Varanasi offers this treat exclusively.
Banarasis also enjoy speaking in rhyme, so if you ask someone a question they’re likely to respond with an amusing rhyme that adds charm and character to this vibrant city.
If you’re in search of a tranquil and comfortable spot to sip hot chocolate, head to the Lotus Lounge. Situated just above Mansarovar ghat, this comfortable space comes complete with lounge cushions and tatami mats for optimal relaxation and contemplation while sipping away at your hot chocolate! Visit Varanasi tourist spots such as this to experience holy city life first-hand while sipping on hot cocoa.