- Population – 12 lakh
- Religion – Hinduism (70%); Islam (29%); Jainism (0.12%); Sikhism (0.22%); Buddhism (0.22%)
- Area – 112 sq. km
- Language – Hindi and Bhojpuri (major languages spoken)
- Festivals – Maker Sankranti; Maha Shivratri; Shravan Maas; Diwali; Holi; Ekadashi
- Ghats – Dasaswamedh, Manikarnika, Scindia, Munshi, Narad, Darbhanga, Bhosale, Lalita etc.
- Cuisines – Baati Chokha, Dahi Bhalla, Chaat, Lassi, Kachori etc.
- Best Time to Visit – September – April
- Landmarks – Jantar Mantar, Ramnagar Fort, Sarnath, Shri Guru Ravidas Janam Asthan, Banaras Hindu university etc.
Dating back to the 11th century BC and steeped with deep historical and mythological relevance Varanasi is famed for being the spiritual capital of the world. This oldest living cities is visited by huge throngs of travelers from all over the world. With the holy Ganga River making its way through one of the ancient and sacred towns in India, this place is the hub of all spiritual activities. Apart from the culture here, the winding streets here are also incredibly famous and documented by visitors from all across the globe. Lined by teeming Ghats and a colorful ambience the peace here something unique and cannot be experienced anywhere else. Going on a boat ride during the break of dawn and the deeply devotional Ganga Aarti are a few of the most mesmerizing experiences here which will ensure a memorable time in Varanasi.
Also known as Benaras or Kashi by the locals here if you are looking to explore the spiritual culture by visiting famous temples like – Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Bharat Mata Mandir, Sankat Mochan Temple, Nepali Temple etc. if you have a spiritual bent of mind then Varanasi will be truly a rejuvenating experience for you. From the ancient temples to the new ones there is no dearth of religious times to have here. You can also have a soul stirring time by taking a holy dip in the holy Ganga River or even being a part of the ganga Aarti. The holiness of this city lies in the fact that it has been mentioned in various holy Hindu writings that say Varanasi was created by lord Shiva himself and anyone dying here will be guaranteed moksha.
Exploring the temples, Ghats, lifestyle, culture and traditions here will definitely leave a long lasting mark in your heart and you will want to keep coming back. The heritage of Varanasi alone is enough to witness the true colors of India. Often visited as a part of the pilgrimage tour this city by the Ganga also boasts of an ancient lineages and a rich historical background. The environment here is encapsulated in a deep sense of devotion to the lord and cannot go unmissed to any traveler. Even if you are an atheist Varanasi will strike a chord in you that will be everlasting. Be it exploring the tightly packed streets, devouring on some delicious local cuisines and street food, observing serenity on the Ghats or chanting the name of the lord during the glorious Aarti, no matter what you do, this place will never fail to fascinate you.