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Varanasi is a place known for its religious, historic and cultural appeal and it sees a number of tourists from around the world each year. Known predominantly as one of India’s oldest and holiest cities, its location on the banks of River Ganges adds to its sacred appeal. Located in Uttar Pradesh, this city is also known as Banaras (or Benares) and Kashi. Apart from being the center of Hindu Cosmology, Varanasi is also a great place to visit for those who would like to get away from the monotony of daily life. While tourism is rampant here, there are also a number of interesting picnic spots for residents and visitors alike to relax, unwind and be rejuvenated.
Picnic Places in Varanasi
A visit to Varanasi will leave one in no way wanting for picnic spots. Apart from cultural realism that is ready to be discovered, there are numerous places in this city where one can just spend quiet time with family and friends, for as little as a few hours, or even an entire day. For those who love to delve into historical treasures, the Bharat Kala Museum is worth a visit.
Bharat Kala Museum
Varanasi has achieved a great deal of fame and glory because of its past. The Bharat Kala Museum showcases this glorious past with its many artefacts that have been faithfully preserved down to this day. It is a great spot to visit for a picnic and also to get familiar with this city’s glorious past.
What To Look For: For those who wish to go back in time to the glories of the past, this museum provides an ample spread of pictures, paintings, statues, documents and historical past. A birds-eye-view of the entire history of Varanasi is clearly seen in this small but well-maintained museum.
How To Reach: This museum can be reached from any part of
Varanasi by hiring an autorickshaw or a taxi. It lies just six
kilometers from the Cantonment Railway Station, within the premises of
the Banaras Hindu University.
In line with looking back into history, Varanasi also boasts of the presence of other places of interest that allow one to reminisce about the glories of India’s past. Once such place is the Bharat Mata Temple, a spot that certainly beckons interest.
Bharat Mata Temple
Bharat Mata Temple is a unique shrine in the shape of a pentagon, supported by five pillars. Built in 1936 by Gandhian Babu Shiv Prasad Gupt, this temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi himself. It draws numerous visitors each year with its cultural, historical and patriotic appeal.
What To Look For: This shrine dedicated to Mother India is a
classical monument to patriotism and a throwback of by-gone days. Within
this shrine is a marble creation of Mother India, a complete three
dimensional view of what India looked like before it was divided.
Proportionately structured with oceans, hills and land, this unique map
does justice to its past. Located in natural scenic beauty of the holy ghats and overlooking the Ganges River, this shrine is definitely a
great spot to visit.
How To Reach: Located 2 kilometers from Varanasi Cantonment Railway Station, this spot is ten minutes away by autorickshaw.
Added to the list of places one can visit on a picnic at Varanasi are spots that educate the mind as well as provide relaxation. One such spot is Jantar Mantar, a well-known observatory.
This renowned observatory has its origins in 1737 when it was established by Jai Singh, Maharaja of Jaipur. It resembles Jantar Mantar in other parts of India, such as the one in Delhi. Designed to study planetary movements, this observatory has stood the test of time, blending the old with the new.
How To Reach: It is easily accessible by taxi, autorickshaw or bus. It is located at a distance of 7 kilometers from Banaras Hindu University and 6 kilometers from the railway station.
What To Look For: A visit at the right time will give one the privilege of taking a tour of the historical evolution of astronomy in India. There are a number of instruments, old and new, that are used to define and improve Indian Astronomical Studies. Apart from this, Jantar Mantar's architecture is also attractive with its complex and creative architectural styles.
Picnic Spots Near Varanasi
Apart from picnic spots and attractions within Varanasi itself, there are a number of attractions in the surrounding regions of this city that beckon people from far and wide. For nature-lovers, there is, for instance, the Chandraprabha Wildlife Sanctuary that definitely compels a visit.
Chandraprabha Wildlife Sanctuary
Located at a distance of around 70 kilometers from Varanasi, this wildlife sanctuary is an excellent picnic spot. Within the Chandraprabha forest are the Devdari and Rajdari waterfalls that add splendour to this sanctuary that was established way back in 1957. Sprawling over a distance of 9.6 hectares, there are a number of animal species that make this place their home.
What To Look For: This sanctuary is the home
of many species of animals such as the Chital, Leopard, Bear and Lion.
There are also around 150 bird species and a wide variety of flora that
can captivate virtually anyone.
How To Reach: The easiest way to reach the park is by hiring a taxi. The journey there will take approximately two hours.
Spending time with nature is certainly an excellent way to relax and unwind. Rediscovering India’s pride and discovering what laid the foundation stones for modern India is another great way to spend the day. With this in mind, the Chunar Fort can be firmly recommended as another delightful picnic spot near Varanasi.
Located at a distance of around 40 kilometers from Varanasi, Chunar is a conglomeration of nature, religion and history. It has an enchanting view as it overlooks the River Ganges. It perfect positioning on the Vindhya Ranges gives it scenic calm and ethereal beauty.
What To Look For:Of obvious interest is the gigantic Chunar Fort
that stands at a whopping height of 80 feet to 175 feet from ground
level and spread over 34,000 square feet of area. The natural setting
around this fort is perfect for some quiet time spent with ancient
nature. Inside the fort is the Sonwa Madap, an open pavilion, a deep
well and a Sun dial.
How To Reach: A drive by taxi will take approximately two hours for one to get from the heart of Varanasi city to this fort.
Excavations have yielded many treasures elaborating the glories of ancient India. Of these, the Sarnath Museum abounds, and is a great place to visit.
With a rich yield of historical artefacts, this museum is a dream-come-true for anyone who revels in the glory of India. With the finest collection of Buddhist and Bodhisattva remains, some of the best art can be found here.
What To Look For: Renowned especially for the
Ashoka Pillar, India’s National Symbol, the Sarnath Museum is a place
of great interest. Also within its walls are well-preserved ancient
remains of Buddhist art and artefacts. There is a fifth century
rendering of the Buddha in meditation. Also of interest are the numerous
Bodhisattva figures that are enshrined here.
How To Reach: Located around 12 kilometers from Varanasi, one can reach this museum by autorickshaw or taxi within 30 minutes.
With its conglomeration of historical, religious and natural beauty, Varanasi is definitely a traveller’s dream come true. A perfect place to visit for all seasons, the numerous picnic spots within and around this city beckons one to relax and unwind. Going back in time and back to nature is made possible by Varanasi – one of India’s cultural gems.