Top 9 Things Varanasi Is Famous For - Updated 2024

varanasi is famous for
| 4 min read
Nupur Agarwal
Endorsed by a Varanasi Local Expert
Nupur Agarwal

Varanasi, also known as Benares, is a famous Indian city that is located on the banks of Ganga. This city is known as the spiritual capital of India because thousands of Hindu pilgrims come to take a dip in the holy waters of Ganga. Varanasi is also known as the religious city where many devotees perform the funeral rites of their family members. The city has a whopping number of temples - over 2000! In fact, it is believed that Buddha founded the concept of Buddhism in Varanasi and this is where he delivered his first sermon. Varanasi or Benares is also known for the widely popular Banarasi silk. Here is a detailed list of some of the things Varanasi is famous for!

1. Hinduism

Source: Pixabay

Varanasi is the spiritual capital of India, especially for Hindus. It is the pilgrimage center for Hindus who stop by for a dip in the holy waters of Ganga that flows through the city. In fact, Varanasi is where many Hindus perform the funeral rites of their deceased family members. It is said that Varanasi is one of the seven holiest cities in Hinduism; it is considered as the giver of salvation by Hindus. The city is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Hindus believe that a dip in the holy waters of Ganga purifies them and wash their sins away.

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2. Temples (from USD 55.0)

Varanasi has over 2000 Hindu temples! One of the best ways to explore Varanasi and its temples is by opting for a temple tour. This tour lasts for around three hours and allows you to see most of the beautiful picture-worthy spots of Varanasi. The first stop should be none other than Dashashwamedh Ghat where you will learn about Hinduism and death. The second stop should be at Munshi Ghat that also provides a gorgeous view of Ganga. The third stop should be the huge Shiva Temple where you chant your mantra’s for purification and betterment!

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Varanasi Temple Tour

Duration: 3 hours

48 reviews

3. Ganga Aarti

Ganga Aarti
Source: Pixabay

Ganga Aarti is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Aarti is basically a Hindu ritual that involves praying to the river Ganga. This ritual takes place at the banks of river Ganga at Dashashwamedh Ghat. This prayer ceremony lasts for around 45 minutes and is held daily at dusk and dawn. You’ll see ancient brass oil lamps, priests chanting prayers and mantras, and the whole place lights up creating a charged atmosphere. Your trip to Varanasi will remain incomplete if you are unable to witness the incredible phenomena every dawn or dusk.

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4. Banarasi silk saree

Banarasi silk sari
Source: Pexels

Varanasi is known for its Banarasi silk saree! This is one of the finest and most exquisite saris made in India. A Banarasi silk saree is known for its fine silk, intricate gold design, silver or zari work, and its gorgeous embroidery. You will never get find a saree as gorgeous as a Banarasi silk saree anywhere in the world because these are inimitable. While the price can range from thousands to lakhs of Indian rupees, you should definitely consider buying one, depending on what your budget allows!

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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'

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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.

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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.

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5. Gulabi Minakari

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sr3207 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Gulabi Minakari is a rare craft that is only found in Varanasi. It is basically a Persian art form that seeped into the culture of Varanasi during the Mughal era. It involves colouring the surface of metals by fusing various colours. You will find Gulabi Minakari on small ornaments, showpieces, home decor, sculptures, key chains and so much more. In fact, Gulabi Minakari is also practised on jewellery. If you get the chance, do watch an artist at work.

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6. Glass beads

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pschemp used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Glass beads are another common art form that is found only in Varanasi. Local artists use glass beads to create necklaces, bangles, earrings and so much more. In fact, these beads are so exclusive that they are often referred to as ‘kaanch ke moti’ which means pearls of glass. The process of creating these beads is so intricate that it takes one artist around ten to fifteen minutes to make a single piece! The end result is a piece of beautiful jewellery accessible only at Varanasi!

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7. Wooden toys

Wooden toys
Source: Pexels

Varanasi is quite famous for adorable wooden toys that are widely available on the streets. Making wooden toys is a very old craft that requires expert craftsmanship and intricate detailing. From actual toys for children to sculptures of Gods and Goddesses and even showpieces like elephants and horses, these skilled artists create some beautiful wooden pieces. You should buy these wooden toys and souvenirs; plus, they’re great for gifting!

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8. Handwoven carpets

Handwoven carpets
Source: Pexels

Varanasi is famous around the world for its handwoven carpets. In fact, handwoven carpets from Varanasi has become so popular that a number of export houses have opened up in Varanasi to exclusively manufacture and export carpets. You can choose from various designs, a variety of colours, multiple patterns, different thread counts and so much more. While these carpets might be a little expensive, they are long-lasting and very high in quality. It makes them worth every cent.

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9. Muslin fabrics

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Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Unknown author used under CC BY 4.0

Muslin fabrics are soft and light fabrics that are just perfect for summer. Light, breathable and airy, you won’t want to wear anything else after you’ve discovered the joy of Muslin. Of course, these fabrics are manufactured in Varanasi so you can either buy rolls of this fabric and get something made or you can pick up ready-to-wear outfits from any clothing store! In fact, you’ll probably see Muslin fabrics t-shirts, kurtas, kurtis, skirts and even Muslin scarves at every street corner. Do check out the Varanasi fabric market for the same.

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Enjoy everything that Varanasi has to offer

There is so much to see and do in Varanasi. From experiencing the Ganga Aarti to visiting Hindu temples, you get to take in the spiritual capital of India. And of course, Banarasi silk saris, wooden toys, glass beads and Gulabi Minakari works are some of the things that Varanasi is famous for. They are definitely worth buying and collecting!

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Indic Literature

Contributed by Trip101 Local Expert, Nupur Agarwal

Other than glass beads and glass bangles, wooden toys and woven carpets, Varanasi is also known for its wide collection of Indic literature. You can find ancient literature written by Indian writers here. Topics such as Hinduism and spirituality are discussed in detail in Indic literature. If you are a literature enthusiast, you can find plenty of rare books at old bookstores in Varanasi.

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This article has been endorsed by Varanasi local expert Nupur Agarwal

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A freelance content writer by profession, Anaanya is an avid traveller whose main goal in life is to visit as many new places as possible. Anaanya enjoys travelling, not just because of her love...Read more

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