Explore the Top 20 Must-Visit Places in Varanasi

Varanasi, also known as Kashi or Banaras, is one of the oldest and holiest cities in India. Situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges River in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi is a city that encapsulates the essence of Indian spirituality, culture, and history. It’s a place where ancient traditions and modern life coexist harmoniously. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a journey through the top 20 must-visit places in Varanasi, each offering a unique and enriching experience.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Our journey begins at the heart of Varanasi, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. This ancient temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the holiest Hindu shrines in the world. The temple’s golden spire and intricate architecture are awe-inspiring, and the spiritual energy here is palpable.

Ghats of Varanasi

As you wander through the narrow, labyrinthine streets of Varanasi, you’ll inevitably find yourself at the ghats, the iconic steps leading to the Ganges River. Varanasi boasts around 84 ghats, each with its own significance. The Dashashwamedh Ghat is known for its mesmerizing Ganga Aarti, while the Assi Ghat is a tranquil spot for meditation.


Just a short drive from Varanasi lies Sarnath, the place where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Visit the Dhamek Stupa, the Chaukhandi Stupa, and the Sarnath Archaeological Museum to immerse yourself in the history and spirituality of Buddhism.

Assi Ghat

The Assi Ghat is unique in its own right. It is the southernmost ghat in Varanasi and marks the confluence of the Ganges and the Assi rivers. This ghat is a serene place for a morning walk or a boat ride. It’s also associated with the famous Assi Ghat Ganga Aarti.

Durga Temple

Dedicated to the fierce Goddess Durga, the Durga Temple is an architectural marvel. The temple’s red stone construction and intricate carvings make it a stunning example of North Indian temple architecture. It’s a place of both worship and artistic appreciation.

Bharat Mata Temple

The Bharat Mata Temple in Varanasi is unique in its devotion to the nation. Instead of housing deities, it features a large relief map of India made of marble. It’s a symbol of patriotism and unity.

Tulsi Manas Temple

Located near the Durga Temple, the Tulsi Manas Temple is dedicated to Lord Rama. The temple’s walls are adorned with verses from the Ramayana, making it an important pilgrimage site for devotees of Lord Rama.

Banaras Hindu University (BHU)

A visit to BHU provides insight into the educational and cultural aspects of Varanasi. The sprawling campus houses the New Vishwanath Temple, which is a replica of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and is equally revered.

Ramnagar Fort

Cross the Ganges and explore the historic Ramnagar Fort, which dates back to the 18th century. The fort’s museum showcases an impressive collection of vintage cars, royal artifacts, and more.

Gyanvapi Mosque

The Gyanvapi Mosque is a testament to the blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture in Varanasi. It’s a significant place of worship for the local Muslim community and a reflection of the city’s diverse cultural heritage.

Kedar Ghat

Kedar Ghat is known for its spiritual significance and is a popular spot for pilgrims to take a holy dip in the Ganges. The nearby Bindu Madhav Temple adds to the spiritual aura of this area.

Tibetan Temple (Tibetan Monastery)

Varanasi is not just about Hinduism; it’s also a place of multiculturalism. The Tibetan Temple, also known as the Tibetan Monastery, offers a peaceful retreat where you can explore Tibetan culture and spirituality.

Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum

If you’re an art and history enthusiast, Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum is a must-visit. It houses a vast collection of art, sculptures, textiles, and archaeological artifacts that provide a deep insight into India’s rich cultural heritage.

Alamgir Mosque

For a panoramic view of Varanasi, head to the rooftop of the Alamgir Mosque. From here, you can witness the city’s bustling life, the river’s tranquility, and the grandeur of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

Malviya Bridge

Malviya Bridge is an architectural marvel that connects Varanasi with the town of Chunar. Take a leisurely walk or bike ride on this bridge to experience breathtaking views, especially during sunset.

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple

Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, the Sankat Mochan Temple is believed to have the power to alleviate the troubles and difficulties of devotees. It’s also known for the playful antics of the resident monkeys.

Nepali Temple

The Nepali Temple, also known as the Kathwala Temple, is a hidden gem in Varanasi. It boasts exquisite woodwork and is a fine example of Nepalese architecture. This temple was a gift from the King of Nepal to the city of Varanasi.

Tulsi Ghat

Tulsi Ghat is another prominent ghat in Varanasi, known for its picturesque beauty and spirituality. In the evening, it hosts a Ganga Aarti ceremony that enchants visitors with its serene ambiance.

Chunar Fort

If you’re up for a short excursion from Varanasi, a visit to Chunar Fort is recommended. This historic fort, perched on a hill, offers a glimpse into India’s military history and provides a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.

Rani Laxmi Bai Birthplace

Rani Laxmi Bai, the legendary warrior queen of Jhansi, was born in Varanasi. Visit her birthplace to pay homage to this iconic figure in Indian history. The place is of historical significance and a source of inspiration.

Varanasi is a city that leaves an indelible mark on every visitor. Its spiritual aura, ancient traditions, and cultural richness make it a place like no other. As you explore these 20 must-visit places in Varanasi, you’ll not only experience the city’s deep-rooted spirituality but also gain a profound understanding of India’s diverse and vibrant culture. Whether you seek enlightenment, historical insights, or simply want to immerse yourself in the essence of India, Varanasi is a city that will captivate your heart and soul.

So, pack your bags, embark on this spiritual journey, and let the timeless city of Varanasi weave its magic on you.

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