Varanasi pilgrimage Tour packages
 

Attractions in Varanasi

The Ghats - There are about hundred ghats in the city and each of them is marked by a lingam, occupying its own special place in the religious geography of the city. The ghats, though some of them have crumbled over the years, continue to thrive with early-morning bathers, Brahmin priests offering puja and people practicing meditation and yoga. Though most of the ghats are used for bathing, there are several 'burning ghats' were bodies are cremated. The pilgrims here are supposed to bathe at five special ghats in a sequence during a ritual called the Panchatirthi Yatra.

Ghats in Varanasi

The Kashi Vishvanath Temple
- Located in the premises of the Banaras Hindu University this temple is about thirty minutes walk from the gates of the university. The temple, built by the Birlas, was planned by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. Unlike many other temples in Varanasi, this temple is open to all irrespective of caste or creed.

Durga Temple, Varanasi

Durga Temple - Located 2 kilometres south of the old city, this eighteenth century Durga Temple is also known as the Monkey Temple due to numerous aggressive monkeys that reside here. The temple was built in a common north Indian style with an ornate shikhara, consisting of five segments symbolizing the elements and supported by finely carved columns. Here Durga is represented as the embodiment of shakti or female power, clad in red and riding a tiger and fully armed with Shiva's trident, Vishnu's discus and a sword.

Alamgir Mosque - Also known as Beni Madhav Ka Darera, the Alamgir Mosque is a blend of the Hindu and Mughal styles of the architecture. The mosque, built by Aurangzeb on the site of the Vishnu Temple, overlooks the Panchganga Ghat.

Banaras Hindu University - One of the oldest educational centres in India, the Benaras Hindu University was built in 1917. The university was founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, as a centre for the study of Indian art, culture, music and Sanskrit. The campus is spread over five square kilometres and is home to the Bharat Kala Bhavan. The Bhavan has a fine collection of miniature paintings, sculptures from first to fifteenth centuries, old photographs of Varanasi and brocade textiles. The campus also houses the New Vishwanatha Temple. 


Tulsi Manas Temple -
Built in 1964, the Tulsi Manas Temple stands about 150 m south of Durga Temple. The temple, dedicated to Lord Rama is situated at the place where Tulsidas, the great medieval seer, is believed to have lived and written the great epic "Shri Ramcharitmanas". The two tier walls of the temple are engraved with the verses and scenes from this great epic.

Bharat Mata Temple - This temple of Bharat Mata (Mother India), inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, lies about 3 kilometres west of Godaulia, outside the old city. Here, instead of gods and goddesses, one finds a huge relief map in marble of the whole of Indian subcontinent and Tibetan plateau. The map is said to be perfectly to scale both vertically and horizontally with mountains, rivers and the holy tirthas (pilgrimage centres).

Annnapurna Temple - The 18th century temple has an idol of the Goddess Annapurna and also has shrines dedicated various Hindu gods and Goddesses.

Quick Getaways near Varanasi

Sarnath near Varanasi

Sarnath - A major Buddhist centre, Sarnath lies 10 kilometres north east of Varanasi. It was here that Buddha delivered his first sermon on attaining enlightenment at Bodhgaya. In around 234 BC, Emperor Ashoka, a great follower of Buddhism, erected a stupa here. Between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, several Buddhist structures were built here in Sarnath. Most of the Sarnath's monuments are set in large gardens making it quite pleasant for a visitor to spend some time here. The Buddha Purnima festival is held here in May to celebrate the birth of Lord Buddha.

Allahabad - One of the holiest cities of India, Allahabad is situated at a distance of about 135 km west of Varanasi and 238 km from the state capital Lucknow. This ancient city finds reference in the Vedas, Puranas, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, as Prayag. Allahabad stands at the confluence of two of India's holiest rivers, the Ganga and the Yamuna. The confluence called the Sangam, is the venue of many sacred fairs and rituals and attracts thousands of pilgrims throughout the year.

Kushinagar
- About 51 kilometres from Gorakhpur lies Kushinagar, a place famous for the Mahaparinirvana (death) of Lord Buddha. The town, once a celebrated center of the Malla kingdom, has many of the stupas and viharas that date back to 230 BC-413 AD. One of the important sites to see here is the Mahaparinirvana Temple, where you can find the famous reclining statue of Buddha, a 20-feet-long statue is seated on a brick platform. Around the temple, you can find the ruins of as many as eight monasteries.

Ramnagar - This 17th-century fort is the home of the former Maharaja of Banaras. The fort lies at a little distance to the south of the Asi Ghat. During the monsoon, the area is accessible by a ferry. The museum inside the fort houses a collection that includes horse-drawn carriages, old motor cars, gilded and ornate silver howdahs (elephant seats), hookahs, costumes, a collection of minute ivory carvings, an astronomical clock, hunting trophies, vintage silver and brocade palanquins, a replica of the royal bed and an armoury of swords and guns.
                           
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