5 Reasons To Visit Varanasi, India

5 Reasons To Visit Varanasi, India
Lizzie
Lizzie 
Published
| 2 min read
Nupur Agarwal
Endorsed by a Varanasi Local Expert
|
Nupur Agarwal

Do you want to expand your travel destinations? Visit somewhere out of the norm? And really excite that inner travel bug? Then look no further than India. In the state of Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi should be on the top of every traveller’s bucket list. Full of colour, life and culture, Varanasi is the spiritual city of India, and one of the most sacred cities in the world.

Here are my top 5 recommendations of things to explore on your trip.

1.Take a sunrise boat trip

Sunrise On the Ganges River
Source: Lizzie Robinson

Start your travels with a 5 am sunrise boat trip up the river Ganges. Immerse yourself in the culture as you watch the locals bathe in the river, wash their clothes and carry rice bags along the Ghats. Most likely having to negotiate a price, travellers hostel ‘Stops’, offer guests a trip for a price of 100 INR – bargain! (Approx 1.50 USD). Do not be tempted to join the bathers in the river as you may come across some unsightly things and become quite ill.

Visited this place?

2. Walk along the Ghats

Bather At The Dashaswamedh Ghat
Source: Lizzie Robinson

Spend hours strolling along the Ghats learning what each ones means and represents. Dashaswamedh and Asi are Varanasi’s most popular bathing Ghats. Here you can enchant yourself by catching a glimpse of Worshippers and bathers and maybe even bump into a cow or two! The Ghats can be visited at any time unless it’s monsoon season when the water level is too high.

Visited this place?

3. Explore the back alleys

Banana Lassie From The Famous Blue Lassie Store
Source: Lizzie Robinson

The older part of Varanasi is filled with small alleyways that you can guarantee getting lost in. Full of beautiful stores, jewellery makers and street food, the Galis, (which I prefer to call the maze) are sure to get you excited about embracing India. It can become quite claustrophobic so here’s hoping you do get lost and stumble across the famous ‘Blue Lassie’ for an indulgent treat.

Tip from tour guide

Nibedita

Nibedita
Varanasi

Kachori and Jalebi at Varanasi

Try gol kachori near Manikarnika gate, poori kachori at any sweet shop, and lassi at the shop run by a student of the legendary Dara Singh Ji.

Visited this place?

4. View cremations on the Ghats

Cremation Photographed From The River
Source: Lizzie Robinson

An unusual choice of activity, Indian cremations are an incredibly surreal experience that are hard to avoid in Varanasi. You will experience the most precious rituals of death so do be aware though that taking photos whilst on the Ghat are not permitted at any time and women must remain covered. Boat trips do run regularly for tourists to view cremations from a distance, (photos are acceptable if you are on the river), but of course It is important to remain respectful and be sensitive to local traditions.

Apprehensive about the smell? I can assure you it resembles more of a bonfire smell than anything else. It is a truly incredible part of Indian culture and definitely an insightful look into their beliefs that shouldn’t be missed.

Visited this place?

Varanasi Tour Guide

Nibedita Sen

Nibedita Sen

A hearty WELCOME to our page Happiness Activist. We are here to solve the problems of foreigners who come to explore India. Firstly, we suggest them to stop visiting the wonders and mundanes of social media advertisements about overrated traveling. We provide them the basic needs and guidelines that the audience requires when they first step into an unknown land which we have already explored. Secondly, we are not like any other travel guides. If you are here to explore the museum, zoo, or places that you can easily google about Kolkata then Sorry, we are not the right one to help you. Our USP is to guide those travellers who are offbeat and craze for the undiscovered and less travelled places in India, Egypt and Israel. Through our eyes, 'WE WILL MAKE YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF'

Tours by Nibedita

Varanasi Tour Guide

Narender Kumar

Narender Kumar

I have been a tour guide/ escort for more than 10 years and have guided tourists pan India to historical and cultural heritage sites, national parks & bird sancturies, monuments places like- Delhi , Agra, Jaipur, Khajuraho Exotic Temples, Ranthambore National Park, Mumbai, Nashik , Aurangabad ( Ajanta Rockcut Caves & Ellora Rockcut Temples ), Goa etc. I am proficient in English, Russian, Hindi and Urdu. I became a tour guide due to my passion for travelling and I love meeting new people and share incredible experiences and learn more about a culture and place. I have a good sense of humor and love cracking jokes which will make your trip fun and lively. I love taking care of people and your safety is my top priority. You will have the best holiday memories with me as your tour guide/escort.

Tours by Narender

Varanasi Tour Guide

farman guia turstico

Farman Guia Turstico

Hello Travellers people calle me Farman a experienced freelance tour guide. I work with several Free Tours company and we would love to show you around and give you the best tips and recomendations. If you travel in India you will discover a new aspect of this wonderful city. If it is your first visit i warn you one thing: you will fall in love in love with India and you will end up coming back.

Tours by Farman guia turstico

5. Go in search of Sadhus

Sadhu In The Galis
Source: Lizzie Robinson

Sadhus are India’s Holy men and can often be found along the Ghats. Completely mesmerising to look at, you can be sure to see them meditating and bathing along the river. Taking photos of them is an obvious go to, but you must ask their permission first. It is also common to pop a bit of money down by their side as a thank you!

Visited this place?

Varanasi Is Not To Be Missed

These 5 recommendations will surround you with culture and true Indian life. But rest assured Varanasi does not stray from the commotion that is India so I would definitely recommend this destination to ‘confident’ travellers. Embracing this unique country with a combination of boat trips and exploring on foot, Varanasi will bring out the true traveller in you in no time.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

History


This article has been endorsed by Varanasi local expert Nupur Agarwal

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Meet Lizzie. A self-confessed lover of her camera, backpack and bike. With a degree in fashion photography, she is now a photographer and writer based in Surrey, (UK). Her dedication to...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Varanasi
x
Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top
Visited any of these places? Click this button to activate our "Add a Tip" feature to share your experience.