Varanasi is considered as one of the holiest cities and pilgrimage destinations of India, it is also known as Kashi and Banara. The city is situated on the bank of river Ganges.
Varanasi has many Ghats and temples and is also known for the Benares Gharana form of Indian classical music. Several renowned philosophers and poets of India like Premchand,Kabir and Bismillah Khan have been closely related with this city. Sarnath is the place where Gautama Buddha first gave his religious lecture is located near vicinity of Varanasi. EvenRamacharitamanas by tulisdas was written in Varanasi. Significant ghats that you can visit are Manikarnika Ghat,Lalita Ghat,Dashashwamedh Ghat, and Scindia Ghat among others. Many famous temple in town include Durga Temple,Kashi Vishwanath Temple,SankatMochan Temple and the TulsiManas Temple where Tulsidas wrote legendary Ramacharitamanas.
Buddhist pilgrims from every part of the world, visit India to explore thedivinity and spirituality of the enlightened one. It is located at a distance of 10Kmfrom the sacred city, Varanasi (Banaras).Lord Buddha delivered his very first sermon, ‘Dhammachakkapavattana’ or ‘setting in motions the Wheel of Law in Buddhism’, at Sarnath temple. Lord Buddha included Sarnath in the list of sacred places for his devotees and followers, a day before his death. Sarnath Temple if not only linked with Buddhism, it also had some relation with Jainism. It is considered as the sacred Buddhist place.
Dashashwamedha Ghat along the banks of river Ganga is one of the popular spot in the sacred city of Varanasi. It is one of the oldest and the holiest Ghats in the country, with two main mythologies associated with it. It is believed that Lord Brahma sacrificed ten horses at this site in order to enable Lord Shiva to return from his period of Banishment.
Dashashwamedha Ghats most visited because of its closeness to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and for the elaborate and colourful activities that takes place through the day.
However, evenings are the most exciting time to visit as you get to witness a line of Pandits offering service (Aarti) with elaborate rituals. The riverbank remains it up with thousands of lamps and torches, the spirit of the place brings positivity ,enthusiasm and a feeling of devotion among the onlookers.
Manikarnika Ghat is a cremation Ghat where the maximum numbers of dead bodies in the city are set on pyre. It is believed in Hindu Mythology instant liberation is attained from the cycle of life and death if the body is burned here. This site is religiously and historically significant.
There are two mythologies that can be linked:
1. It is believed that Lord Vishnu have dug a well where Lord Shiva's earring fell, hence the name Manikarnika (earring).
2. It was said Mata sati’s ear was dropped here, making it a Shakti Peeth site.
Construction and Destruction both symbolizes to Manikarnika Ghat, which is located in the central region of Varanasi. Lord shiva and Mata Durga famous temples are found here in this ghat. It is one of the important place for the pilgrims to visit.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is known as the golden temple of Lord Shiva, and it is one of the most popular temples in the city. Kashi Vishwanath Templeis one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and the most important one. Varanasi was earlier k own as kasha and Lord Shiva Is also known here by name Vishwanatha; Combination of both made the temple Kashi Vishwanath. It is considered to be a very holy temple and even a glimpse of it can put you forward in attainment of liberation.The temple holds great cultural and spiritual values of the Hindus; they perform many rituals and offerings with great enthusiasm and spirit. The temple is situated on the west side bank of the holy river Ganga.
Chaukhandi Stupa is one of the Buddhist pilgrimage center. It is a ruined stupa built in the 5th century Ad, and it marks Lord Buddha's first sermon to his disciples, outside Bodh Gaya. This structure has addition from being a mound to a stupa of great religious significance.
Chaukhandi Stupa was originally built as a terrace temple, but during the medieval period Mughal emperor Akbar ordered to add a tower to it. Archeological Survey of India, are maintain it now, it stands upright in the lush green surroundings, reflecting its historical charm. It is also a gateway to the Buddhist city of Sarnath.
Ramnagar Fort is located on the eastern Bank of the Ganga River, opposite to the Tulsi Ghat. It is about 14km away from Varanasi. Ramnagar Fort was built by Maharaja Balwant Singh in the 18th century, it was an ancestral home of the Banaras Maharaja,
The fort is constructed in typical Mughal architecture, The material used was red sand stone, with detailed balconies, airy courtyards and more.
The palace is now converted in a museum, which displays the ancient arms and art galleries, cars, costumes, furniture, ornaments and many more. During the Dussehra time, the fort comes to life and the preparations are done with great zeal and celebrated elaborately.