Latest posts by ELT (see all)
- Find out what are the Top 5 things to AVOID to make your Europe Vacation better here! - November 4, 2017
- Visiting Varanasi? Check out the coolest things to do in Varanasi - August 25, 2017
- Visiting Istanbul? Check out the coolest things to do in Istanbul - August 23, 2017
Cool Stuff Varanasi
What exactly is this “Cool Stuff Varanasi” – Well, with the entire globe in our bucket list and the clock ticking really fast, vacationers like me hardly repeat a destination and so whenever we plan a vacation we all are actually dummies looking for some prominent answers like what we gonna do, what it has to offer, how can I best utilize my 3-4 days in the city (we “Earned leaves Travelers” cannot think of spending more than that at one place). So, from one dummy to another, here is me sharing my list of – Cool Stuff in Varanasi aka things that must not be missed, it is definitely gonna help you in planning your first visit to this Spiritual Capital of India
Just Two minutes to Varanasi
Before starting the blogpost, I would totally recommend that if you are short in time and looking for a quick guide on what NOT to miss in Varanasi then CHECK out my vlog below:
ELT in Varanasi
I believe that it’s not us who choose a destination but it’s the destination that chooses us! And so finally this August I was chosen by one of the most ancient or I may say oldest living cities in the world (dating back to 5000 years, NO KIDDING!) and to top it up also the spiritual capital of India; a city known by many names – Varanasi/Banaras/Kashi/Anandvana. I named her the “city with a soul” and to understand WHY you need to pay a visit yourself but before that simply read my blog!
Best Season to visit – Avoid the months of July and August (highly humid and high water level due to monsoons)
Points to Ponder:
- Forget about cars and be prepared to walk!
- Do not hesitate to ask locals when in doubt, people are friendly and helpful than most other cities in India 😉
- Also, always remember that this city is one of the holiest city to the Hindus and it is good to know in advance that alcohol and non-vegetarian is not served in any hotel/hostels close to the temples/ghats
My trail aka Things you must look out for in Varanasi
Stay close to the Ghats
The city is known for its serene and beautiful ghats and to get the best vibes the city has to offer you must look for an abode as close to the ghats as possible. You will find many guesthouses/hotels/hostels in all budgets and sizes here. Infact, this city is the home to backpackers and you can bag a room close to the ghat for as low as INR 200. If you are seeking luxury than Brijrama Palace with its own personal ghat (Mulshi Ghat) should be your pick.
Book a personal boat tour along with evening Ganga Aarti which is the highlight
Book a personal boat tour for just INR 2000 (bargaining is the key here). Trust me this will be the best 2K you would ever spend. Listen to the enchanting stories associated with each ghat as your boat glides away on the ganges and you will see a view that is found nowhere else in the world. On this tour my guide told me that the first name given to this place was ANANDVANA (we all know the 3 other names Varanasi, Banaras and Kashi but this 4th name is known by very few and luckily now you are one of them ;)). Ask the guide to take you to Kashi Vishwanath temple after which you will be escorted to witness one of the most atmospheric events you will ever encounter in India, The Ganga Aarti which begins at 7 in the evening and goes on for 45 mins. Do not forget to seek the blessings of goddess Ganga by lightening a diya and offering rose petals to the goddess 🙂
Fill your senses with the best food India has to offer
Forget about those extra calories and get ready to be on a “cheat diet” when in Varanasi. The city has soo much to offer. Try Kachori in the morning from Kachori gali than go and have a royal lunch in silverware at Brijrama Palace. Do not forget to try the Tomato Chaat from this very old shop near Kashi Vishwanath Temple called “Kashi Chaat” and thank me later! Try “Rangeeli” thandai from Raju Thandai right opposite Kashi Chaat. And then to digest it all give Banarasi Paan a try! Take a sneak peak of my Food Trail here – ELT’s Varanasi Food Trail
Visit Sarnath not just for the famous stupa ruins but also for this amazing Japanese style Buddhist temple
Fix one day to visit Sarnath which is around 25 kms away from the city. Along with visiting the famous ruins and museum here do ask your guide to lead you to this amazing and unique Japanese style budhhist temple.
Pick a Banarasi Saree as a Souvenir
Another thing Banaras is famous for is the artistic and colorful banrasi sarees so do not forget to pick one as a souvenir of your visit since you are not gonna spot another anywhere else! There are various traditional saree houses in Sarnath where you may also see how a Banarasi saree is made so go for a tour and see the masterpiece in the making!
What else, come back home with loads of unforgettable experiences and a desire to visit again this one of a kind ancient place with many names but one divine soul!
WATCH my video to get yourself motivated!
Now, till we meet again stay connected and never get LOST!
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Twitter and Instagram: @dmehta_elt