Varanasi Attractions – In Lord Shiva’s Own City
Varanasi, one of the most ancient cities of the world is popular for being the harbinger of the Hindu religion. Known as the favorite city of Lord Shiva, pilgrims called it Kashi for over 3000 years. The anglicized name is Banaras. Mentioned in almost all the epics and Puranas, Kashi is one of the most visited shrines of the Hindus across the globe. The century-old “City of Lights” by the banks of the Ganges is the perfect destination to experience divinity and above all spirituality.
Despite the religious and spiritual fervor, Varanasi is also famous for enshrining the rich Hindustani classical performing arts. Whether it’s music or dance- some of the finest Ustads and performers are from this enticing place.
Apart from that, Varanasi attracts tourists with the magnanimous temples and forts, Ghats & the burial ghat where the wooden pyre is created to cremate corpses of the Hindu clan and more. Despite the spiritual journey, tourists in Varanasi shouldn’t miss out the exclusive Banaras silk sarees that became popular since the Mogul invasion in India and also before that.
The mouthwatering delicacies that Kashi serves at the food streets or in the popular restaurants are truly amazing. A perfect assimilation of Mughlai cuisine and sudh vegetarian delicacies are appreciated by foodies. This experience helps to bring a lot of memories back home along with the other things they explore in Varanasi.
The top Varanasi attractions are:
Kashi Vishwanath Temple—
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. Here, the Shiva Linga is worshiped as Lord Vishwanath for centuries. The temple has been demolished and reconstructed several times in the past. The 6th Mughal Ruler Aurangzeb destroyed the original temple and constructed the Gyanvapi Mosque in that place. Much later, Rani Ahalya Bai Holker of Indore took the endeavor to build the existing temple of Lord Vishwanath in 1780.
Built in the 16th century by the Martha rulers during their reign, Dashashwamedh Ghat is one of the most significant ghats of the River Ganges in Varanasi. Per legends, Lord Brahma created the ghat of Dhasashwamedh to welcome Lord Shiva to Earth. He then performed the Ashwamedha yajna and sacrificed the ten horses at the banks to purify the ghat to welcome Lord Shiva. The Ganga aarti from the Dhasashwamedh ghat attracts visitors across the world.
There are eighty-seven ghats across Varanasi among which the popular ones are Manikarnika ghat, Munshi ghat, Ravidas ghat, Assi Ghat and so on.
Banaras Hindu University—
Founded in 1916 by Pandit Mohan Malviya, the Banaras Hindu University or popularly abbreviated as BHU is a pride of Banaras. Covering the total area of 1350 acres the university houses three institutions, fourteen faculties, four interdisciplinary centers, one hundred and twenty-four departments, and three schools.
The King of ancient Varanasi Raja Balwant Singh built the grand fort in 1750 on the eastern banks of the Ganges. A perfect blend of Indo-Islamic architecture is observed in the fort. During Duserra, the palace is adorned with beautiful lights which not only drives the attention of the visitors but also the photographers.
Apart from all these wonderful places, travelers to Varanasi can explore Sarnath and Allahabad along their journey. Visit the land of Lord Shiva and experience the incredible history, culture, art, magnificence through the spiritual journey.