Varanasi (also known as Banaras/Benares) is an ancient city in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh . The city dates back to 11th century B.C.

The city is also a major religious site for Hindus, and draws lakhs of Hindu pilgrims each year. People come here to bathe in the Ganges River, whose waters are believed to be sacred enough to wash away their sins, and to perform funeral rites. For these reasons, Varanasi is known as the spiritual capital of India.


Varanasi, being a religious spot with a rich heritage, has various temples, other religious centers and historically significant attractions . The city, being on the banks on river Ganges, also has many sacred Ghats (stepwells leading to the river) where devotees pray, perform rites etc. Here are some of the things to see in Varanasi –

  • Kashi Vishwanath Temple – Probably the most popular Hindu temple in Varanasi; this attracts more pilgrims than any other temple in the city
  • Durga Temple, Varanasi
  • New Vishwanath Temple
  • Alamgir Mosque Varanasi
  • Bharat Mata Temple, Varanasi
  • Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi
  • Assi Ghat, Varanasi
  • Gyan Vapi Well
  • Manmandir Ghat
  • Ramnagar Fort Varanasi
  • Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple


  • Archaeological Museum Varanasi
  • Bharat Kala Bhavan
  • Banaras Art Gallery (an art gallery where art pieces are displayed and are also available for purchase)
  • Man Singh Observatory


The major festivals celebrated in Varanasi are –

  • Maha Shivratri – People worship Lord Shiva and fast for long hours
  • Makar Sankranti – An auspicious harvest festival celebrated in the month of January
  • Dussehra
  • Diwali (festival of lights)
  • Ramzan – A festival of Muslims (where people observe a month long intermittent fast)


Varanasi also has various markets and shopping spots where people can shop for traditional clothes, accessories, handicrafts, idols of deities, and a lot more. Here are some of the best shopping spots to check out in the city –

  • Thatheri Bazar
  • Vishwanath Lane
  • Golghar
  • Godowlia Market
  • Dal Mandi Market
  • Rajan Silk Market
  • Gyanvapi
  • Chowk & Urban Hatt


Varanasi’s food scene is filled with north Indian delicacies that include foods from Awadhi, and other north Indian cuisines and various snacks. Some must-try food in Varanasi are –

  • Kachori sabji
  • Chena Dahi Vada
  • Baati Chokha
  • Chooda Matar
  • Dahi chutney golgappe
  • Tamatar Chaat
  • Banarasi Thandai
  • Banarasi Paan – a famous after-food munchie that people here (and all over north India) love to have after heavy meals


Following is a list of some of best restaurants in Varanasi city to try the local delicacies and sumptuous meals –

  • Aadha Aadha Cafe
  • Bowl of Compassion
  • Tadka
  • Shree Shivay Varanasi
  • Niyati Cafe
  • Bana Lassi
  • Kashi Chat Bhandar
  • Phulwari Restaurant & Sami Cafe
  • Aum cafe


Some of the best hotels in Varanasi for a comfortable stay include the following –

  • Taj Ganges
  • Radisson Hotel Varanasi
  • Amritara Suryauday Haveli


Varanasi city STD Code – 0542 (to be used before dialling numbers from a number that is not locally registered).

Common emergency numbers:

  • Police – 100
  • Fire – 101
  • Ambulance – 102
  • Women (Harassment) Helpline – 1090
  • AIDS Helpline – 1097
  • Child Helpline – 1098


Hindi is the Official language of Varanasi. Sanskrit is the oldest language here.


  • Welcome - Svagat
  • How are you? - Aap kaise hai?
  • What's your name? - Aapka naam kya hai?
  • I don't know - Mujhe nahi pata
  • I don't understand - Mein samjha nahi
  • Thank you - Dhanyavad

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