Varanasi, located in India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh, is one of the most spiritual sites in the world. For an early morning sunrise, there could be no better spot than the banks of the Ganges river, surrounded by hundreds of saffron-robed priests. Dubbed the ‘city of temples’, Varanasi boasts a wealth of incredible religious sites and a deep-rooted religious history that will stay with you long after you leave. From a vibrant bustling city to some of the most sacred places in India, experiencing Varanasi is sure to be an unforgettable journey. Exploring the streets and temples as well as taking part in Bhagavad Gita Puja (a ceremony of worship) on the bank of the river will give you a firsthand glimpse into the soul-stirring culture and ancient traditions of India. In the end, Varanasi is a hidden gem in India that is worth discovering.
Before you go
When planning your visit to Varanasi, remember to dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees, especially when visiting temples and other religious sites. Be prepared for the city's bustling and chaotic streets, so navigating through the narrow lanes may be easier on foot or by cycle rickshaw. As Varanasi is a city of spirituality, it's essential to respect local customs and practices. Witnessing the mesmerizing Ganga Aarti ceremony at the ghats is a must-do experience, but arrive early to secure a good spot. While exploring the city, be cautious of touts and scams; it's advisable to negotiate prices beforehand when taking rickshaws or boat rides. Try the local cuisine but ensure it's from reputable establishments to avoid any stomach discomfort. Embrace the city's unique culture, spirituality, and rich history for an unforgettable journey in Varanasi. A boat ride along the Ganges is a must-do experience in Varanasi. You can hire a rowboat or join a guided tour to witness life along the river, observe rituals, and enjoy panoramic views of the city.