Varanasi, a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, is one of the oldest cities in the world. Also known as the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi radiates an air of sanctity that attracts thousands of tourists every year.
Here, you get to see groups of Hindu pilgrims take a dip in one of the holiest rivers in the world. The image of funeral pyres burning on a holy cremation ground is another sight that cannot be erased from the mind of a tourist that visits this city.
Wonder what these tourist attractions in Varanasi are?
Let’s not waste time and quickly find out through our list of top places to visit in Varanasi!
Top 10 Places To Visit In Varanasi that Can Leave You Awestruck
Also known as Kashi, Varanasi is one religious tourist destination in India that can leave you confused about the places to visit.
Here is our list of top destinations in Varanasi that you can visit to help you kick-start your journey right away.
1. Ganges River
River Ganga is a significant part of Indian mythology, which makes it one of the most important places to visit in Varanasi. This iconic riverfront is the epitome of the spiritual energy of Kashi, hence making it to the top of our list of tourist attractions in Varanasi.
Bathing in this holy river is said to wash away the sins of mortals and to get salvation from the cycle of birth and rebirth.
You can connect more with the divinity of Varanasi by releasing floating offerings with flowers into the river.
While the serene sight of the Ganga in the morning is a visual treat for visitors of Varanasi, do not forget to watch it in the evening when priests perform the Ganga aarti.
- Things to do in or near the Ganges River: Enjoy a morning boat ride, take a dip in the divine waters of the Ganga, get a view of the river from Brijrama palace, and go on the Ganges Voyager.
- How to reach the Ganges River from Varanasi: Varanasi junction trains can take you to the Ganges within 30 to 50 minutes. You can also travel by car for more than one hour to reach this destination.
- Best time to visit the Ganges: The month of February offers the most ideal weather conditions to visit this holy river.
- Distance of the Ganges from Varanasi: 40.3 km
2. Kashi Vishwanath Temple
The Kashi Vishwanath temple is one of the most commonly visited religious tourist places in Varanasi. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple sits on the bank of the Ganga River and is mentioned in several Hindu holy scriptures.
The carvings and designs on the temple that add to its divinity are reasons why it is one of the most beautiful Varanasi tourist places.
You also get to see the tower of the temple which is adorned by 800 kilograms of gold. All of these intricate features make it one of the places to visit in Varanasi.
Keep in mind that no electronic devices like cameras and mobile phones are allowed inside the temple.
- Things to Do in Kashi Vishwanath temple: Enjoy the beautiful carvings of the temple, visit the Ghats, go on a boat ride
- How to reach Kashi Vishwanath temple from Varanasi: Hire a cab or a taxi. You can also find rickshaws that can take you to this temple.
- Best time to visit Kashi Vishwanath temple: October to March.
- Distance of Kashi Vishwanath temple from Varanasi: 25km from the Lal Bahadur Shastri airport.
Also Read- Top Famous Tourist Places to Visit in Ayodhya Ram Mandir
3. Durga Mandir
Built in the 18th century, the Durga mandir is one of the places to visit in Varanasi, especially during Navratri. This beautiful temple is built in the traditional north Indian style and is popular for a pond nearby named Durga Kund.
Did you know that this famous temple in Varanasi is also called the monkey temple?
The playful environment of the temple with a large number of monkeys, and the serene environment make it one among the places to visit in Varanasi for families.
- Things to do in Durga Mandir: Enjoy the street food in the shops nearby, and celebrate Navratri festival with family.
- How to reach Durga Mandir from Varanasi: You can take an auto or cab from Banaras railway station.
- Best time to visit Durga Mandir: Visit this temple during the Dussehra festival in October.
- Distance of Durga Mandir from Varanasi: 5.2 Km from Banaras railway station
4. Alamgir Mosque
The religious tourist attractions in Varanasi are not just temples making it a popular choice for Hindu pilgrims. You can also visit the Alamgir mosque which is a significant element of the Mughal culture as well as that of Varanasi.
It is one of the most scenic Varanasi tourist places that cannot be missed out on any trip. Built-in the classic Mughal style, this mosque in Varanasi has three huge domes and lets up to 3000 people offer prayer at a single time.
One can visit this mosque from 7 in the morning to 7 at night on all days with zero entry fee.
- Things to do in Alamgir mosque: Enjoy the beautiful architecture of the mosque, have delicious food from the nearby restaurants, and walk through the Panchganga ghats.
- How to reach Alamgir mosque from Varanasi: Travel by car, rickshaw, or auto
- Best time to visit Alamgir mosque: October
- Distance of Alamgir mosque from Varanasi: 5.6 km
5. Dhamek Stupa
Dhamek Stupa, a popular Buddhist temple is one place of archaeological significance that you must include in your list of places to visit in Varanasi.
Built by Ashoka the Great in 249 BC, the Dhamek Stupa is a place in Varanasi that you must visit if you are an archaeology enthusiast.
It is said that Lord Buddha gave his first sermon in this stupa after having attained enlightenment. This is where he revealed his eightfold path to his disciples which is an important event in Buddhism.
People who are enticed by Buddhist beliefs should definitely include this religious place on their list of places to visit in Benaras.
- Things to do in Dhamek stupa: Visit the deer park, Sarnath museum, and Chaukhandi stupa nearby. Also, enjoy the beautiful sunsets and sunrises.
- How to reach Dhamek stupa from Varanasi: Available travel options include auto rickshaw and taxi.
- Best time to visit Dhamek Stupa: Winter season
- Distance of Dhamek stupa from Varanasi: 13 km from the main city
6. Assi Ghat
Do you know why the Assi Ghat is one of the most popular places to visit in Banaras?
As one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in Varanasi, tourists get to experience the buzzing human life and beautiful sunsets and sunrises in this serene place.
You get to enjoy religious classical music and yoga and take a boat ride to other ghats while visiting this magical site in Varanasi. One can either get a full-day guided city tour or a walking tour to experience the beauty of Assi Ghat in the best possible way.
The scenic beauty of the place and the students and tourists gathering there make it one of the best places to visit in Varanasi. You can also get access to several restaurants that are conveniently located for you to avail of scrumptious meals in Varanasi.
- Things to do in Assi Ghat: Enjoy a boat ride to different ghats and explore street foods, watch hawkers and entertainers, take a dip in the water of the Ganges, visit Sarnath
- How to reach Assi Ghat from Varanasi: Take an auto rickshaw or taxi from Varanasi railway station
- Best time to visit Assi Ghat: The winter season is an ideal time to visit.
- Distance of Assi Ghat from Varanasi: 5-6 km
7. Ramnagar Fort
Ramnagar Fort is on our list of Banaras tourist places due to several reasons. It is a place of historical significance in Varanasi as it is the ancestral home of the Maharaja of Banaras.
You get to see its majestic decorations in their best form as this fort in Varanasi lights up during the Dussehra festival.
Are you an Indian mythology fanatic? Then, you should definitely visit this fort in Varanasi as it is dedicated to the writer of Mahabharata, Ved Vyasa.
- Things to do in and near Ramnagar Fort: Explore the Veda Vyasa temple, visit the Durbar hall, see the astronomical clock, take a look at the manuscripts in the fort
- How to Reach Ramnagar Fort from Varanasi: By taxi, rickshaw, and boat.
- Best time to visit Ramnagar Fort: In the month of October
- Distance of Ramnagar Fort from Varanasi: 14 km
8. Banaras Hindu University
A list of Banaras tourist places is incomplete without including Banaras Hindu University, one of the most prestigious universities in India. Founded in 1916, this Varanasi university has more than 30,000 students with over half of them residing on the campus.
It is thus the largest residential university in Asia and is a central element of Varanasi culture. This campus in Varanasi is fresh and clean and allows you some calming greenery and cool air. You can do some people-watching and relax after being at different tourist places in Varanasi.
Do not miss out on the museum inside the campus named Bharat Kala Bhavan which features works of historical and artistic significance.
The contribution of this institution to the educational background of Varanasi makes it one of the places to visit in Varanasi.
- Things to do in Banaras Hindu University: Visit the nearby Vishwanath temple and Bharat Kala Bhavan, spend time in Madhuban (a small garden on the campus)
- How to reach Banaras Hindu University from Varanasi: Autos and taxis are available at Varanasi Junction railway station
- Best time to visit Banaras Hindu University: October-March
- Distance of Banaras Hindu University from Varanasi: 10 Km from Varanasi junction railway station
9. Manikarnika Ghat
Remember the cremation ground that we mentioned earlier when we introduced you to Varanasi? Manikarnika Ghat is that holy cremation ground as well as a popular spot for pilgrims due to its significance in Hindu mythology.
It is said that Lord Shiva’s earring(mani) fell onto the earth while dancing, which led to the formation of the holy Manikarnika Ghat. How fascinating is that! It is also interesting that the sacred place in Varanasi is also called as the gateway to heaven.
Death is celebrated here with songs and chants as getting cremated here is said to ensure eternal peace. This makes it one of the most visited tourist places in Varanasi.
We are sure that you have already included the Manikarnika Ghat in your list of places to visit in Banaras after reading this amusing piece of information.
- Things to do in Manikarnika Ghat: Explore the beauty of the Ghat, hire boats to watch rituals
- How to reach Manikarnika Ghat from Varanasi: Travel to Godolia Chowk in an auto-rickshaw or taxi. You can then walk to the Manikarnika Ghat from there.
- Best time to visit Manikarnika Ghat: Winters (October to March)
- Distance of Manikarnika Ghat from Varanasi: 6 km
10. Tulsi Manas Temple
The last entry to our list of Varanasi tourist places is the famous Tulsi Manas mandir. If you are planning to visit the Durga Mandir, make sure to visit this beautiful temple made of white marble as well, as they are located next to each other.
This temple is a place of worship for Lord Rama and was built in 1964 by the family of Banaras. The walls of the temple have beautiful carvings and images of Lord Rama and Sita making it one of the most elegant temples in Varanasi.
You also get to see images of Lakshman and Hanuman along with scenes from the epic Ramacharithamanasa.
- Things to do in Tulsi Manas temple: Explore the different ghats, enjoy the beauty of the temple with its scenic statues, and have a peaceful time with your family in the adjoining Tulsi garden.
- How to reach Tulsi Manas temple from Varanasi: You can reach this temple by car, taxi, or auto rickshaw.
- Best time to visit Tulsi Manas temple: Monsoon season (June to August)
- Distance of Tulsi Manas temple from Varanasi: 6.7 km
How Can I Reach Varanasi?
Varanasi airport is connected to major cities like Delhi and Mumbai, making it a well-accessible place. Similarly, you can also reach all places to visit in Varanasi via the railways.
If you are based in Uttar Pradesh itself, you can make use of the network of buses that connect different cities.
After reaching Varanasi, you can travel between different Banaras tourist places in taxis and auto rickshaws.
How Many Days Are Enough To Visit Varanasi?
The number of days that you wish to spend in Varanasi depends upon the places you want to visit and the time you have.
You will need a week or two to experience the Varanasi tourist places that we have mentioned.
There are site-seeing packages available online that customize traveling solutions for you within a specific period of time and budget.
We hope that you have got valuable information about Varanasi through this blog post.
Let us know which tourist destination we should cover next so that you can mark the date on your calendar and get set to enjoy your next trip!