Varanasi can be rightly called the cradle of Hinduism. The city is regarded as the oldest inhabited cities in the whole world where wisdom and religion was formed when mankind in rest of the world was roaming in skin hides hunting wildlife. Varanasi has a long list of epithets like the “Religious capital of India”, “Holiest City in India”, “City of Shiva”, etc. Tourist should be aware that Hotels in Varanasi serve only vegetarian food. The city has sufficient boarding and lodging facilities suitable for all types of travelers. The must visit places in Varanasi include the following:
- Vishwanath Mandir
The Vishwanath Mandir is the pulse of Varanasi. It is considered to be the most auspicious place in the city where religious rituals and festivals rule most part of the day. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is regarded as one among the twelve holy temples of India. Even today the age of the temple is not estimated accurately as it has been subject to continuous Mughal invasion and subsequent war assaults. The present temple complex has been resurrected due to the efforts of the denizens who rebuilt each time it was destroyed.
- Bharat Kala Bhavan
The Bharat Kala Bhavan is one of the oldest educational centers in India. It is located inside the Banaras Hindu University and is divided into various sections like the Mahamana Malviya Gallery (in honor of the founder), Archaeological Gallery, Nicholas Roerich Gallery, Nidhi Gallery, each of which houses various artifacts and relics related to Indian history. Mughal paintings, miniatures and Buddhist sculptures are also exhibited inside the museum. Located close to the BHU are a good number of hotel in Varanasi with immediate access to most landmarks.
- Assi Ghat
Located on the confluence of the Asi Rivers and the Holy Ganga, the Assi Ghat is one of the most renowned locations in Varanasi. It is located on the far south of the city and is the place where pilgrims conduct ablutions before submitting prayers to their deities. The Ghat is an important landmark that is used to portray the city in almost all documentaries, photographs and other depictions. The Ghat is found to be mentioned in various ancient Hindu Vedic texts like Agni Purana, Kurma Purana, Matsya Purana, pasha Khanda, etc.
- Ramnagar Fort
Built by Maharaja Balwant Singh in the eighteen century, the Ramagar Fort now houses a museum where the royal artifacts are placed for public display. The noted attraction of the Fort is the “Durbar Hall” or meeting place which was a common feature of all Indian palaces. The Hall was used for conducting public meetings where major governing decisions and public policies were formed. The Fort has within its vicinity a temple dedicated to the Hindu sage Veda Vyas the author of the epic – Ramayana.