Weekend Getaway in VaranasiVaranasi, also known as Kashi, is situated at the bank of Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is interesting to note that the word ‘Kashi’ is originated from the word ‘Kas’ which means to shine. In the mythological legacy or tradition, it is believed from ages that Kashi is the ‘original ground' on earth which is made by lord Shiva and Mata Parvati and upon which they lived. Many glorious myth, legend and stories are famous of this place. Due to rich tradition, classical culture, monuments, ghats and sanctified religion, this place attracts many visitors, pilgrims and tourists across the world for worship and weekend getaway in Varanasi.
Varanasi is considered as microcosm of Hinduism. Many Hindus visit this place every year. Experience in Varanasi is like self discovery of oneself and also eternal oneness of our body and soul. So in short, it satisfy us with breathtaking experience. The amazing dawn, the sun rays on the high-banks, the temples, mantras, the striking fragrance of incense fill the air of Vanarasi and the refreshing every body and soul.
Not only restricted to this, Varanasi is also place of bundle of joys. This place is renowned for its rich tapestry of music (famous as Benaras Gharana), arts, crafts along with strong pillar of education. Along with this, this place is very famous in the art of silk weaving, an excellent art work which presents itself in exotic Banarasi Silk Sarees and Silk brocades which are cherished and accepted as one of the best collection across the world today.
Today people from all across the world visit this place and many weekend getaway near Varanasi. Some of the prominent and famous places in and around Varanasi are:
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Known as the “religious capital of India”, Varanasi has many famous temples which attracts many worshippers and pilgrims. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, also know as golden temple is situated on the outskirts of the Ganges, dedicated to Lord Shiva (Vishwanath – "Lord of the world"). This is one of the 12 jyotirlinga Shiva temple. This temple has been destroyed and rebuilt many times in past because of Hindu-Muslims rift and fight. Originally, this temple was situated at the site where right now Gyanvapi mosque is built. Just at the entrance of this temple, one can find a great Gyan Kup Well is the holy site in Varanasi. Just as the name suggest the word “Gyan” stands for knowledge and wisdom.
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Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple
This is one of the sacred temple in India, dedicated to Hindu god Hanuman, situated by Asi river. It is believed that this temple was built at the same site where Hindu saint Tuslidas had a vision of god Hanuman. Later in 1990s, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, founder of Banaras Hindu University was built. There are other temples as well in Varanasi which attracts many visitors each day are Annapurna Temple (located close to the Kashi Vishwanath temple), Durga Mandir, Durga Kund, Kalabhairav Temple, Mrithyunjay Mahadev Temple, New Vishwanath temple and Birla Mandir to name a few. To reach this place from Varanasi Railway station, there are three recommended routes: Durgakund Rd, NH 29 and Lahurabir Rd which will take maximum 30 mins to reach. Similarly from Banaras Hindu University, it will take around 33 mins by walk. The total distance is 2.9 km.
Ghats in Varanasi
Along with temples, another devotees attraction is Ganga Ghat. In Varanasi, Ghats are made in steps with stone slabs along the river bank where thousands of worshippers and pilgrims perform ritual ablutions. There are around 84 ghats in the city named and associated with legends and others are privately owned. Some prominent ghats are Panchganga Ghat, Dashashwamedha Ghat, the Manikarnika Ghat and and the Harishchandra Ghat. Morning boat ride on the River Ganges across the ghats is a popular and adorable visitor attraction of city. Cost of these ride is not much. You can book both private or public boat as per your budget.
Jantar Mantar is built in year 1737 at above the high water level of Ganges, near to the Dasaswamedha Ghat which is adjoining the palace of Raja Jai Singh of Jaipur. Compared to other two Jantar Mantar of Jaipur and Delhi, this place is less equipped but still it has amazing and unique equatorial sundial which is functional till date and allows people to take and record measurements. To reach this place from Varanasi Railway station or Banaras Hindu University, it is recommended to take auto or rickshaw as travel to this place will be take more than 1 hour.
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Opposite Tulsi ghat in Varanasi, this marvelous place is built in 18th century by Kashi Naresh Raja Balwant Singh. Well-carved balconies, open courtyard, scenic pavilions, this fort was created with Chunar sandstone in Mughal architectural style. Commonly known as unconventional museum, equipped with amazing and rare collection of many precious furnitures, western vintage car, impressive weapons, clothes, religious books and writing and many astonishing things are kept here. This place is situated 14 kilometres away from Varanasi. One of the best weekend getaway near Varanasi. This place is situated 10.9 km from Varanasi Railway station and to reach this place, you can hire any public transportation which will take around 22 mins. From Banaras Hindu University, this place is situated at 4.1 km distant.
Sarnath Museum and Temple
Amazing to note that Sarnath Museum is the oldest site museum of Archaeological Survey of India. You will be surprised to find that museum has 6,832 sculptures and artifacts which are as old as 3rd century BCE to 12th century AD. Sarnath is the temple of Mahatma Buddha and this museum have finest specimens of Buddhist art and other important remains which are now housed at the museum. Another striking fact about this place is the presence of original sandstone sculpted Lion Capital of Ashoka erected around 250 BCE in Sarnath near Varanasi. Situated at the outskirt of Varanasi, this place is 16.1 km from Banaras Hindu University. By transport, it will take around 30 mins to reach which again depends in traffic condition. And from Varanasi railway station, it is situated at a distance of approx 10 km.
Bharat Kala Bhavan
It is located inside the Banaras Hindu University campus. This is amazing museum which have vibrant collection of our past treasures, rich heritage and glorious preservation. This place has rare collection of paintings and artifacts. Entry fee is Rs 5 for Indians and Rs 40 for foreigners. To reach BHU from railway station, you can take any one route out of three suggested: route SH 74 and DLW Rd which is 11.7 km from this place, Pandit Manmohan Malviya Rd which is 9.5 km and lastly Lahurabir Rd which is 10.3 km from BHU. By transport, it will take approx 30 mins to reach. And from university, you can take a healthy walk to reach this marvelous place.
This is an ancient temple of more than 500-year-old construction is dedicated to powerful goddess Durga. Placed with various forms of Durga Sculptures. Colored in red, this temple is created in magnificent Nagara style with multi-tiered shikhara. This style originated from north India. There is no entry fee. Famously, also known as Monkey Temple due to presence of large number of monkeys. It is situated at Bulanala Maidagin Road and from railway station the approx distance is 4.4 km which will hardly take 10 mins ride.
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Bharat Mata Temple
This is the only temple which is dedicated to Bharat Maa or Mother India. This unique temple is symbol of patriotism for India. No other countries across the world have such temple dedicated temple for motherland. This amazing temple was built by great patriotic man, Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta and inaugurated in year 1936 by our nation father Mahatma Gandhi. Unlike other temples, where you can find ample statue of god and goddess, here you will find relief map of undivided India, which is beautifully marble carved out featuring plains, mountains and oceans across India.
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Weekend Trips Near Varanasi
Apart from the various fabulous places within Varanasi, you can also choose your favorite destination and plan your holiday from many weekend trips from Varanasi.
A small city or district within Uttar Pradesh. Mirzapur is situated 48 kms from Varanasi. Mirzapur has an amazing rocky and unsurfaced terrain which consists of hills, plateaus and cliffs. Situated at the bank of river Ganges and Belan and their tributaries, beautifully surrounded by low lying hills like, Devdari, Rajdari ,Lakhaniyadari, Windom fall range, Sirshi, and many more and its an extensions of the Vindhya Range. Well-played in center which is bounded by Varanasi on its north and north-east, Sonbhadra on its south and Allahabad on its south-west side, it has many places for tourist attractions like Vindhyachal Temple, Shaktehgarh Fort Chunar Fort, Lekhania Dari, Kali Khoh (the cave of Goddess Kali), along with water sports in river Ganga.
Haldia is a city that is situated in the West Bengal, India and it is 25 kms from Varanasi. The main attraction in the city is sea ports present in the Hooghly River. There are many places of tourist attraction that include historical monuments, temples and various spell-bounding places. Famous for relaxation and a perfect place to escape the hectic life of the city.
Tezpur is a town that is situated in the Assam, India and it is 27 kms from Varanasi. This is an ancient town situated along the banks of the River Brahmaputra. This place has many sight-seeing places to visit like Hazara Pukhuri pond, Agnigarh hills, Bamuni Pahar, Rudrapura, Shiva temple, Cole Park, Bhairabi temple and many more. This place is magnificent in look and provide ample peace and relaxation to both your body and mind.
Mohania is a small yet vibrant city, passing River Durgauti, placed at 64 km distant in the Kaimur, Bihar which can be reached from Varanasi by passing Delhi-Kolkata Hwy/Grand Trunk Rd. This place is famous among many nearby places. Mainly for worship, people visit this place to see old Satti Devi Mandir , Mundeshawari Devi Temple and White Hanuman Mandir, Sahid Baba, Mahawir Swet Mandir and Sabji Mandi Mosque. Non-religious or other sight-seeing places like, Maharana Pratap Stadium, Jag Jeevan Maidan, Mundeshwari Gate and Dak Bunglow. Main occupation of people here is agriculture and farming.
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