A Day in Varanasi


Banaras, Kaashi, or Varanasi city has many names, but it is known for its history, people, and culture. Varanasi is in the top ten cities in India to visit. There is something magnetically luring about Banaras that makes you visit this place repeatedly.

The city upon entering, feels a bit cramped for space. The narrow lanes and sharp turns make you feel like one is trying to exit a maze. And you just keep wondering if this was a thing of the past. One can never be certain about the changes that have occurred in the spiritual capital of India since 800 BC. However, a constant loop of bells ringing from the temples along your route in the city always reaches your ears, providing solace from sorrow. There are 30,000+ temples present, and in Banaras, people here have an emotional connection with the religion and the culture. Banaras is also known for brotherhood; all faiths stay in the city and respect each other.

The culture gives an understanding of how connected this place has been to religion ever since the Ganges started flowing, the banks on which the city is located came to be.

Toto Ride

To get around the city I board the e-rickshaws in the local language known as ‘Toto’ which are competing to outgrow the number of temples. The e-vehicles are always available to take you anywhere and their slowness helps you get a better look at what is around you. If you ever take public transportation, you will find that most locals talk like they are your family members and are always ready to discuss politics with chai and namkeen. People here are friendly, and the locals’ friendly nature will help you explore the city. The official languages of Banaras are Hindi and Bhojpuri. I observed that the people here use heavy Hindi words in his conversation that it felt like someone from my Hindi textbook had come alive.

Boat Ride 

The most recommended activity in Varanasi for a tourist is to take a boat ride. This boat ride shows you the ghats of the river Ganga. However, before getting into the boat, don’t forget to buy a cup of lemon tea sold right there. It not only would rejuvenates you but also puts you in a great mood for the ride. Once you get on the boat with an ideal guide, he will explain to you the significance of all the 80+ ghats present there. And each ghat has it’s own unique story.

Ghats of Ganga

These ghats have been built separately over the years, each with its distinct appearance and its own unique story. Some ghats honor mythological figures like Shiva and Raja Harishchandra, while others commemorate famous writers like Tulsi Das and Munshi Premchand, showcasing the passage of time in this ancient city. Varanasi is one of the world’s oldest cities, and it is believed that Lord Shiva spent his life here.

Ghat Visit and Ganga Aarti

At 7 pm, all the boats halt at the Dasawamedh Ghat for the Ganga ‘Aarti’. The Ganga Arti is famous, people from every corner of the world come here to attend the aarti. Priests perform a special ritual offering prayers to the river Ganga. This ritual are conducted every day for centuries. The huge number of people and devotees present gives us a clearer picture of what faith is. What faith means to people in this country. They conduct it every day, whether it’s rain or fog.

Foods & Yum

Varanasi swears off its street delicacies on the banks of the river. It’s been two days since I have been here, and I haven’t had ‘golgappe‘ and ‘paanipuripuri’ in Maharashtra. I went to Gadolia, the city’s heart, I had golgappe and tomato chaat and you will observe the ringing bells from temples that knock into your ears, wherever you go.


For desserts, I would say just find a shop named Pahalwan Lassi selling Rose Lassi. After roaming across the city around 11 pm, I had a very popular Banarasi paan. This paan is totally worth all the mentions in Bollywood movies.

When we talk about ghat, there is also a ghat named Manikarnika, but if you’re faint-hearted, avoid it. Because it is probably the most ancient ‘chitta’ – fire to burn dead bodies.People have said that the fire never settles down here. When they are about to burn one dead body completely, another dead body arrives.

Banaras has a very spiritual image attached to it. If you are a religious person, there is hardly any need to sell this place to you. But if you aren’t I would just say go there to experience what religion in all its glory looks like.

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