Varanasi, also known as 'Kashi' or Banaras, is situated on the holy banks of Ganga. This historic city is a center for Indian education, religion, art and culture. Because of situated between Varuna and Asi rivers, it is called Varanasi. Kashi means the city of light. Light in Hindu verbatim is synonymous with 'knowledge' and 'spiritual awakening'. Varanasi is one of the world's oldest living cities. As a result, to a curious tourist on Varanasi tour, the city offers a lot, tangible and intangible. Varanasi attracts majority of tourists for its ethereal occult appeal.
This is the religious city, where the Hindus want to pass their last days with the hope to get salvation. It is believed that whosoever dies here, gets salvation. The Pandas and Pujaries, along with their umbrelles at the Ghats, are the center of attractions in Varanasi for the tourists and pilgrims. Kashi is also called the cultural capital of India.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple has been the place of pilgrimage for Hindus since ancient ages, which is devoted to a black idol of Lord Shiva (Vishwanath). From 11th century to 17th century, Vishwanath Temple, one of the prime tourist attractions in Varanasi, was assaulted and restored a number of times. Queen Ahilya Bai Holkar rebuilt it in the beginning of 18th century. In the year 1889, renowned king Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab studded its 15.5 meters high acme with golden plating. Therefore, it is also called as Golden Temple. The evening worship is worth seeing.
The Ghat (River Front) of Varanasi are magnificent. Varanasi tour without experiencing Ganga Aarti at Ghats of river Ganga is incomplete. The tourists get internal peace here. Varanasi travel becomes a fulfilling experience with a morning boating cruise along the ghats of river Ganga. Boating in the evening fills the tourists with joy and wonder.
Kashi Hindu University was established by the most learned educationist and patriot Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya, collecting donations throughout the country. This is well renowned place for getting the knowledge of Indian culture. Bharat Kala Bhawan, a museum situated in its campus has a good collection of historic and scare ancient artistic idols, paintings and manuscripts.
Sarnath - Varanasi is also one of the major tourist attractions in Varanasi. Sarnath is a pious and famous place due to its religious traditions, archeological remains and a place where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon. After getting knowledge of 'Kaivalya' at Bodhgaya, he started his 'Dharma Chakra' here only. Emperor Ashoka, who spread the messages of Lord Buddha in his own empire as well in other countries, visited Sarnath around 234 B.C. and erected a 'Stupa ' here. Chaukhandi Stupa: made of bricks, is a squire edifice surrounded by an octagonal tower which is said to be built by Emperor Ashoka.
Tulsi Manas Mandir is dedicated to the Lord Ram. It is believed that Goswami Tulsidas created his epic 'Ramcharitmanas' at the same place. Besides above Kamkotiishwar Temple, Bharat Mata Temple, Annapurna Temple, Durga Temple, Sankat Mochan Temple, Kalbhairav Temple, Nav Vishwanath Temple, Gurudwaras, Jain Temples, Manmadir, observatory, Ram Nagar Fort and Museum are worth to be seen.