Varanasi Tourism, India: Places, Best Time & Travel Guides 2023

Varanasi, a city that oozes charm and mesmerizing beauty, is amongst the holiest cities in India and arguably in the world. With a massive number of temples, shrines, and ghats, for anyone who seeks the blessings of the almighty, Varanasi, should be at the top of their priority list.

Known as Lord Shiva’s City, this majestic place has a distinct essence in its soothing surroundings, which would certainly leave any visitor spell bounded. Many people from all over India visit the shores of the pious Ganges River and take a holy bath, which is believed to banish all the sins from the body and soul.

If you are visiting Varanasi any time sooner, then boat riding at the holy Ganges river should be at the top of your bucket list. This would be an unforgettable experience of your life as the picturesque views from the rides have a charm of its own.

The stunning panoramic experience of temples and practices of Hindu rituals would harmonize your heart and soul. You should also attend the glorious Aarti sessions at the Ganges River. Spiritual chants and the essence of aromatic surroundings will be an ideal experience if the person wishes for a calm and serene place to cherish.

This divine ceremony is even enhanced in magnitude when witnessed at the Dasaswamedh Ghat. The use of heavy brass lamps for the ceremony makes the experience even more satisfying.

Another important landmark of Varanasi popularly known as Sarnath is renowned as the place where Lord Buddha illustrated Dharma. It is amongst the most prominent Buddhist sites all around the world. You can also witness the humongous pillar of Dharmekh Stupa. Also, the visual brilliance of the Ashoka Pillar would be a treat to your eyes. Varanasi is truly an alluring site that captivates travelers with its holiness and tranquility.

Image description
Bigger Group? Get special offers upto 50% off!
We create unforgettable adventures, customised for your group.
Connect with a group tour expert
Full Name
Phone number
Travel Date
Traveller Count
Showing 1-20 of 16 results
Tour Type

People Also Ask About Varanasi

  1. Travel Advice

    • There are many scammers in Varanasi who will try to fool you by selling fake jewelry, gemstones, performing different poojas and many other things. So, do not speak to strangers.

    • Review the accommodation where you plan to stay.

    • There are a lot of thugs who dress up as sadhus in and try to fool you. Hence, do not offer any money to someone who asks for help.

    • Do not pay for VIP passes inside temples.

    • Do not carry a lot of cash with you as incidences like pick pocketing are very common in Varanasi.

    • Pre-decide the fare if you are taking local public transport services. Book all you travel tickets through authorized travel agencies.

  2. Drinking Laws

    It is not allowed to consume alcohol in the vicinity of the temples, ghats and shrines but you can consume alcohol on the outskirts of Varanasi, where the minimum drinking age is 21 years.

  3. Our Recommendations: What you can’t afford to miss?

    Kashi Vishwanath Temple
    This is the most important place to see in Varanasi. This temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India and the history of this holy place dates back to over 3500 years. The architecture of this temple is worth witnessing as it depicts a unique grandeur. The temple used to have a golden dome and hence, it is also known as Golden Temple.

    Monkey Temple
    This temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga but knwn as Monkey temple because of the monkey population which thrives in the premises of this holy site. It is a fun place to visit as along with paying visit to the Goddess, you will also get to have some adventure, hiding from the monkeys especially when they try to snatch the food bags from your hands.

    Dasaswamedh Ghat
    One of the most important and crowded ghats in Varanasi, Dasaswamedh ghat is where all the tourists flock. It is located near the Vishwanath temple and is famous for its evening aarti. It is crowded with Sadhus, ascetics, devotees and beggars and this place will give you the true essence of Varanasi. In the evening, you will see hundreds of oil lamps lit up for the aarti and later left in the river and the sight of these lamps floating on water is truly enchanting.

    Manikarnika Ghat
    Manikarnika is the largest Hindu cremation ground in India and it has a story of mythological significance too. It is said that those who get cremated here attain Moksha and hence, it is an important place for Hindus.

    Ramnagar Fort
    This fort was built in the 18th century and is an important sightseeing destination in Varanasi. You will get to see some unique ornamented swords, rare photos of tiger hunting and other items of the old era, which still retain its charm.

    Almagir Mosque
    This mosque is famous mainly for its exquisite architecture and location. It is situated on the edge of River Ganga which makes it look more pleasing.

    Assi Ghat
    This is a sacred ghat situated near the spot where River Ganga and Assi meet. Devotees have a holy bath here, in order to pay homage to the huge Shiv Linga located near this ghat. It is situated in the southern part of Varanasi and hence is less crowded.

    Sarnath is at a short distance to Varanasi and is an important pilgrimage site for the Buddhists. This is a place where Gautam Buddha is believed to have visited in 528 BC in order to preach the Wheel of law. It is an important site as mentioned in the Buddhist legends.

  4. What you will like there?

    Vibrant atmosphere
    The feel you get while you are in Varanasi is like nowhere else in the world. You will feel a different energy, enthusiasm, fun, happiness and positivity when you see the local people and culture of Varanasi. Right from the way people talk, interact and live their lives, everything will give you a completely different satisfaction.

    Evening Aarti
    If you do not witness this aarti, you will miss out on a major part of your tour. It takes place on the Dasaswamedh Ghat and the hundreds of flickering oil lamps, adding an ornament to the darkness of the dawn will leave you awestruck with its beauty. The scene is totally worth your entire visit to Varanasi.

    Old Architecture
    Though it is a popular tourist destination, this place has managed to maintain its old charm. This is mainly seen with the houses of locals, which are still constructed in the old architectural style, many of them being the old houses itself. There are very few tall apartments and housing complexes in Varanasi.

    Street Shopping
    Right from God idols, holy books, Rudraksha malas, handicrafts, Indian fabrics and textiles and ofcourse the Banarasi sarees, there is no end to the kind of things you will get to buy in Varanasi. 

  5. Recommended reads for destination

    Website :

    Books :
    Varanasi: A celestial city
    Luminous Kashi to Vibrant Varanasi

  6. When is the best time to visit Varanasi?

    The best time to visit Varanasi is during the winter months (November to February). Although it gets fairly cold during the winters, this is the best time when you can explore the holy city without getting tired. The average low temperature is around 5°C.

  7. How to reach Varanasi?

    Varanasi has a well-developed transport network and is well connected to all the major Indian cities and states by air, road and rail.

    • By air : Varanasi airport is well-linked to some of the major cities in India like Delhi and Mumbai. International tourists can board connecting flights from Delhi airport which is well-connected to all the major cities in the world.
    • By Rail : Since Varanasi lies in the heartland of the North Indian plains, it is well connected to Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and other parts of India. There are two railway stations in Varanasi, the Kashi Junction and the Varanasi Junction (also known as Varanasi Cantonment). Rajdhani Express from Delhi or from Calcutta passes through Varanasi too.
    • By Road : Situated in the flat Ganga plains, Varanasi has a good network of roads. frequent public and private buses and road transport to all the major towns of Uttar Pradesh and nearby areas.
  8. What are the different things/activities to do in Varanasi?

    Things to do in Varanasi are not as numerous as to do lists in other cities, yet a few of them get overlooked by those planning a trip to this town. Here’s a list of things/activities to do in Varanasi:

    • Boat ride in the mighty Ganges : The holy Ganges River supplies Varanasi with a spiritual charm with Rowing boat rides during the dawn which is perhaps one of the best things to do in Varanasi.
    • Take a holy dip in Ganges : Varanasi has more than 84 Ghats with stairs leading to the waters. Bathing can be seen since the crack of dawn. People chant prayers to appease river Goddess.
    • Rendezvous with the Gods in the temples of Kashi : Owing to their religious significance, temples feature high on the list of things to do in Varanasi.
    • A stroll through the majestic Ghats at dawn : The Ghats along the River Ganga in Varanasi is the most charming sight in the holy city. Strolling along the Ghats at sunset hours is an unrivalled experience
    • Evening aarti the Ghats of Ganges : The Evening Aarti Ceremony at Ganges River in Varanasi is undoubtedly a sight you shall cherish for a long time. The surreal ceremony must be viewed from the Dasaswamedh Ghat. Witness the beautiful rituals unfold themselves in front of your eyes and spellbind you. The Arti ceremony is performed every evening 45 minute ritual is held at 6: 45 PM.
    • Shopping one of the finest handmade silks in the world : Known for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and opulent embroidery. These saris are mostly used by Indian bride.
    • Go to sightseeing tour of Sarnath : Sarnath is located just 12 km the holy city of Varanasi. The holy site of Sarnath is popular because this is where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma after his enlightenment. The relics of the area draw visitors in huge numbers.
    • Reminiscing history and culture in Varanasi : History has been written in every era Varanasi has seen. Every little nook and corner has a different story to tell.
    • Hogging on the street food throughout the day: Food stalls serving a variety of mouth watering snacks can be found all around the city.
  9. Which are the best resorts to stay in Varanasi?

    A variety of lavish hotels and resorts are present across Varanasi, apart from the finest hospitality these hotels have a number of tours to offer. Some the best resorts in Varanasi are:

    • Rivatas by Ideal
    • The Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi
    • Ramada Plaza JHV, Varanasi
    • Radisson Hotel, Varanasi
    • Hotel Surya, Kaiser Palace
    • Hotel Madin
  10. What are the best public transport modes to commute around Varanasi?

    There’s a lot to explore in Varanasi and you definitely wouldn't like to miss any of it. Catering to the needs of every traveller there are a number of ways to commute around Varanasi such as :

    • Taxi :Travelling around the city in a hired cab/taxi is generally convenient. Varanasi is the city of temples and ghats, so naturally you would want to visit as many of them as possible. A hired air-conditioned cab/taxi comes in handy during the summers too. There are quite a few car rental agencies in Varanasi and you would have no trouble in hiring a cab.
    • On Foot:The streets of Varanasi are best explored on foot. Most of the ghats and temples are quite near to each other, so taking a walk to the temples is not a bad idea.
    • Boat:Varanasi is situated on the banks of Ganges. Hence, travelling from one ghat to another on a boat is easy and quite an experience. In fact, it is recommended that you should take at least one boat ride during your stay in Varanasi.
  11. Which are the best places for shopping in Varanasi?

    Besides being famous for the ancient temples and River Ganges, Varanasi is also known for its market place. The hand-woven saris are just one aspect of Varanasi shopping.This city has a lot more to offer. Some of the must try places are:

    • The Bed SIlk & Pashmina: Step into Bed Silk and Pashmina shop located at Assi Ghat in Varanasi for buying amazing fabrics of all kinds, including cotton, linen, silk and more.
    • Baba Black Sheep: You can choose from a wide variety of fabrics where silk is the best among them. Here, beautiful silk sarees, scarves, and pashminas are bought by the shopaholics.
    • Harmony Book Shop:The Harmony Book Shop has been a famous destination for book lovers in Varanasi since it opened up in 1996. Located in Assi Ghat, the Harmony Book Shop has become an iconic cultural center in Varanasi.
    • Zindagi Jewelery Shop: The Zindagi Jewelry Shop has dazzling items on display all through the year. You will find everything from traditional to modern designs, gold and silver articles and other kinds of knick-knacks and souvenirs.
    • Vishwanath Gali : For street shopping in Varanasi, Vishwanath Gali is the place. It is the best place for shopping for all the travelers. The street is always stacked with shopaholics who are enjoying their shopping.
    • Aroma Garden: Aroma Garden is like a treasure trove in Varanasi. For a person searching for all the basic amenities at one place, Aroma Garden is the answer to the call. Must-buy items at this place are the natural, handmade incense and fresh, packaged date palms.
  12. Which are the famous pilgrimage destinations in Varanasi?

    There is no end to popular pilgrimage points in Varanasi. Here are some of the popular pilgrimage points in Varanasi:

    • Kashi Vishwanath Temple
    • Ganga Ghats
    • Durga Temple
    • Gyan Vapi Kup
    • Ramnagar Fort
    • Sarnath
  13. Where can one enjoy boating in Varanasi?

    Boating down the Ganges River during sunrise is one of the main attractions in Varanasi. There are different types of boats for hiring such as manually oared, motored boat, personal boat or shared boat. Boats can be rented at many Ghats such as Dashashwamedh Ghat, Assi Ghat, Meer Ghat, Man Mandir Ghat. The boats are rented on hourly basis and may also be rented as per your requirement.

  14. Which are the famous wildlife sanctuaries in Varanasi?

    Known for its diverse flora and fauna Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary is a perfect destination. Amidst the picturesque Chandauli district in southeastern regions of Uttar Pradesh, nearly 70 kilometers from the city of Varanasi, the sanctuary is a thrilling leap into the wild.

    Best Time to Visit:Best time to visit is from July to February but the sanctuary is at its best during and after rainy season.

    Timings: 6am-5pm, opens on all days

    How to Reach:It is accessible by road and you can easily reach by bus/taxi from Varanasi.

  15. Which are the famous sightseeing places to visit?

    Although the city is known for its ghats, temples, and music, there are many other famous places in Varanasi that must be seen and experienced on your Varanasi trip :

    • Assi Ghat – A magnet for those seeking spirituality
    • Dashashwamedh Ghat – The most vibrant Ghat in town
    • Manikarnika Ghat – The prime cremation Ghat in Varanasi
    • Kashi Vishwanath Temple – The only Jyotirlinga in Uttar Pradesh
    • Tulsi Manas Temple – The place where Ramcharitmanas was written
    • Durga Temple – The fabled old world legend
    • Gyan Vapi Well – The well of knowledge
    • Ramnagar Fort & Museum – The Mughal era fortification
    • Chunar Fort – A spooky little rampart
    • Sarnath – The famed historical ruin
  16. Where can one witness the Ganga aarti in Varanasi?

    Ganga aarti, one of the oldest prayer rituals of Banaras, is a spectacular ceremony in which prayers to river Ganga, who is hailed as a Goddess in Hindu mythology, are carried out. Camphor is lit and 7 priests in a unique dress code offer rhythmic prayer to River Ganga every evening at Dashashwamedh Ghat with huge grandeur.

    When: Ganga aarti takes place at 6.45 PM

    Where: Dashashwamedh ghat in the Varanasi.

Newly Added Varanasi Experience

Varanasi Top Attractions

Places To Visit In Varanasi
The entire trip was seamless with no issues. The most enjoyable part of the trip was the variety of places, we were able to experience and all with top quality information.100% recommended
The guide provided by Thrillophilia was brilliant. He took us on an unforgettable journey through the city, giving us a great insight into the amazing, unusual, extraordinary sights that are around every corner. Overall nice trip and systematically arranged

Popular Nearby Places Around Varanasi

Popular Related Destinations

Places to Visit in India

Places to Visit in Delhi Places to Visit in Goa Places to Visit in Pune Places to Visit in Bangalore Places to Visit in Mumbai Places to Visit in Hyderabad Places to Visit in Jaipur Places to Visit in Chennai Places to Visit in Kolkata Places to Visit in Ladakh Places to Visit in Spiti Places to Visit in Andaman Places to Visit in Arunachal Pradesh Places to Visit in North East Places to Visit in Sikkim Places to Visit in Darjeeling Places to Visit in Meghalaya Places to Visit in Gangtok Places to Visit in Rajasthan Places to Visit in Uttarakhand Places to Visit in Kerala Places to Visit in Karnataka Places to Visit in Maharashtra Places To Visit In Himachal Pradesh Places to Visit in Madhya Pradesh Places to Visit in Kashmir Places to Visit in Manali Places to Visit in Dharamshala Places to Visit in Shimla Places to Visit in Mcleodganj Places to Visit in Nainital Places to Visit in Mussoorie Places to Visit in Dehradun Places to Visit in Rishikesh Places To Visit In Jammu Places to Visit in Srinagar Places to Visit in Chikmagalur Places to Visit in Munnar Places to Visit in Kodaikanal Places to Visit in Ooty Places to Visit in Pondicherry Places to Visit in Wayanad Places to Visit in Coorg Places to Visit in Mysore Places to Visit in Lonavala Places to Visit in Alibaug Places To Visit In Mahabaleshwar Places to Visit in Udaipur Places to Visit in Jodhpur Places to Visit in Jaisalmer Places to Visit in Mount Abu Places to Visit in Agra Places To Visit In South Goa Places To Visit In North Goa
Currency Picker
Commonly Used Currencies
Indian Rupee
USD - $
United States Dollar
SGD - $
Singapore Dollar
AUD - $
Australian Dollar
GBP - £
British Pound
AED - د.إ
United Arab Emirates Dirham
All Other Currencies
Albanian Lek
AMD - դր.
Armenian Dram
ARS - $
Argentine Peso
AWG - ƒ
Aruban Florin
BBD - $
Barbadian Dollar
Bangladeshi Taka
BMD - $
Bermudian Dollar
BND - $
Brunei Dollar
BOB - Bs.
Bolivian Boliviano
BSD - $
Bahamian Dollar
Botswana Pula
BZD - $
Belize Dollar
CAD - $
Canadian Dollar
Swiss Franc
CNY - ¥
Chinese Renminbi Yuan
COP - $
Colombian Peso
Costa Rican Colón
Czech Koruna
DKK - kr.
Danish Krone
DOP - $
Dominican Peso
DZD - د.ج
Algerian Dinar
EGP - ج.م
Egyptian Pound
ETB - Br
Ethiopian Birr
FJD - $
Fijian Dollar
Ghanaian Cedi
GIP - £
Gibraltar Pound
Gambian Dalasi
Guatemalan Quetzal
GYD - $
Guyanese Dollar
HKD - $
Hong Kong Dollar
Honduran Lempira
HRK - kn
Croatian Kuna
Haitian Gourde
HUF - Ft
Hungarian Forint
IDR - Rp
Indonesian Rupiah
Israeli New Sheqel
JMD - $
Jamaican Dollar
Kenyan Shilling
KGS - som
Kyrgyzstani Som
Cambodian Riel
KYD - $
Cayman Islands Dollar
Kazakhstani Tenge
Lao Kip
LBP - ل.ل
Lebanese Pound
Sri Lankan Rupee
LRD - $
Liberian Dollar
Lesotho Loti
MAD - د.م.
Moroccan Dirham
Moldovan Leu
MKD - ден
Macedonian Denar
Myanmar Kyat
Mongolian Tögrög
Macanese Pataca
Mauritian Rupee
Maldivian Rufiyaa
Malawian Kwacha
MXN - $
Mexican Peso
Malaysian Ringgit
NAD - $
Namibian Dollar
NIO - C$
Nicaraguan Córdoba
NOK - kr
Norwegian Krone
NPR - Rs.
Nepalese Rupee
NZD - $
New Zealand Dollar
PEN - S/
Peruvian Sol
Papua New Guinean Kina
Philippine Peso
Pakistani Rupee
QAR - ر.ق
Qatari Riyal
Russian Ruble
SAR - ر.س
Saudi Riyal
Seychellois Rupee
SEK - kr
Swedish Krona
SLL - Le
Sierra Leonean Leone
SOS - Sh
Somali Shilling
Salvadoran Colón
Swazi Lilangeni
THB - ฿
Thai Baht
TTD - $
Trinidad and Tobago Dollar
TZS - Sh
Tanzanian Shilling
UYU - $U
Uruguayan Peso
UZS - so'm
Uzbekistan Som
Yemeni Rial
South African Rand
JPY - ¥
Japanese Yen
Vietnamese dong