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Popular India Cities

Varanasi Travel

Varanasi Ghat, IndiaVaranasi, the cultural capital of India, is situated on the banks of the river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh in India. Death and life comes together in this city which is older than history itself. Regarded  holy by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists alike, Varanasi finds a significant mention in the Indian mythology. Not only this, it also enjoys the distinction of being one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. For centuries now, the city has served as a seat of culture and religion in North India.

Varanasi or Banaras, as it is otherwise known, is aptly described as the city of ghats because of its closeness to several of them. Varanasi is also known as the religious capital of India by virtue of the several temples it is home to. It is one of the seven sacred cities of Hindu religious map.

When to go
Varanasi summers can be a torture for the tourists, especially if you are traveling from regions where the climate is mild and pleasant. Temperatures touch levels as high as 45 degree Celsius. The winters, therefore, are a better bet. October-April is a good time for touring Varanasi as the weather is pleasant during this time of the year.

How to go
Varanasi is well connected with the rest of India by air, the nearest airport being around 30 kilometers from the city centre. Several domestic flights operate to Delhi, Mumbai, etc. Train is the best way to get to Varanasi, from Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata,etc. Buses run by the State Government connect Varanasi to other points in North India. Buses are available once in an hour in the mornings as well as the evenings.

Where to stay
Be it luxury hotels or budget hotels, Varanasi has it all. The high-segment options include Ramada Plaza Hotel, Hotel Varanasi and the Taj Ganges. If you are looking for an affordable deal, choose budget hotels like Sita Guest House, Maruti Guest House or Shanti Guest House.

What to eat
Both speciality and multi-cuisine are served in the restaurants at Varanasi. The special North Indian thalis are delicious. While in Varanasi, make sure you include Middle-Eastern food in your diet by visiting the Haifa Café on Assi ghat and the Hayats.

What to Shop
Varanasi was once an industrial and commercial center for ivory, perfumes, silks and muslin and sculpture. Items in silk are spilled over throughout the bustling markets of Varanasi. Make sure that you pick at least one Varanasi silk saree, a specialty. Extensive embroidery work and rich borders have made these sarees popular across the world.

Festivities to indulge
The Dhrupad Mela of Varanasi is the most popular of all the fairs. It is basically a music festival performed by renowned artists on the Tulsi Ghat. The Ramlila festival that showcases the ancient rituals of Rama’s time is yet another hit with the international tourists. Diwali that celebrates the return of Ram to Ayodhya is a great time to be around Varanasi, with the festival falling in the month of October-November.

Varanasi has infinite contributions. It has given the world classical Hindustani music and produced many prominent Indian philosophers, poets, writers and musicians. Varanasi also made its substantial contribution to the traditional medicinal form -  Ayurveda. Several exponents of music and dance and honoured authors have spent a major part of their lives in the blessed city of Varanasi.

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