1. Spend your morning boating in Ganga
the owing boat against the backdrop of rising sun is one of the best things to do in Varanasi. On this tour, you can begin with a forty-five-minute boat ride, starting from DasashwamedhGhat, ending at Manikarnika ghat. During the ride, the guide will make you aware to the history of Varanasi, the morning rituals carried in the city and the specials of the various ghats that you visit along the way. The best time to enjoy boat ride is from 5:30 AM to 8 AM.
You can de-board from the boat at Manikarnika ghat where the deads are cremated.
2. Holy Bath in Ganga? Why not!
The Ganga, holy river in Hinduism flows north for a while at Varanasi. This special flow at the city is considered very sacred and that is why Banaras is of a special importance. Holy books and legends have suggested that taking a dip in the holy waters helps offer salvation to the soul. The religious texts of Hinduism explicitly suggest that one gets salvation just by taking a plunge into River Ganges for the purification of all sins accumulated in current or previous births.
Bath in Ganga, Varanasi
The Ghats can be accessed easily and used for dipping or taking bath in Ganga. Even if you are not a religious devotee, you can always take a plunge into the Lake.
3. Wander along the serenity of Ghats
Ghats in Varanasi are riverfront steps leading to the banks of the River Ganges. The city has 87 ghats. Some of the popular ghats of Varanasi are DashashwamedhGhat, ManikarnikaGhat, ScindiaGhat, LalitaGhat and BachrajGhat. You don’t need to indulge in any religious activity to wander around the ghats. Stroll alongside the Ganga for a peace of mind. Sit down at Ghat with a mug of coffee and your favourite playlist on.
4. DO NOT miss the magnificent Ganga Aarti
Ganga Aarti is the most spectacular event one cannot miss witnessing while in Varanasi. The ritual of worshipping the holy river Ganga fills the aura with chants and temple gongs. Beautiful, large-sized brass lamps are used during this event which adds to the beauty of the evening. The dhoopcoming out of incense sticks fills the pilgrims with enthusiasm and devotion at the same time. Go at least an hour before the Aarti if you want to gather the best experience.
5. A day trip to Sarnath
Sarnath is a small city located thirteen kilometres from Varanasi, near the junction of the river Ganga and the Gomati in Uttar Pradesh. In the morning, admire the beauty of ChaukhandiStupa, one of the main stupas built by Ashoka after he converted his religion to Buddhism. Another main attraction is the DhammekStupa, constructed from a mix of stone and bricks.
Sarnath is known to be the home of large number of remains that were extracted from Sarnath. The Ashoka Pillar, which is featured on the Indian emblem, is also presented here. Do attend the festival of Buddha Purnima. This festival celebrates the birth of Lord Buddha with traditional religious happenings. Sarnath hosts a large fair and the relic of the Buddha is taken out for public display.
6. Visit temples of Varanasi
Varanasi is known for its aesthetic temples. Some of the most popular temples in Varanasi are the Nepali temple, GauriKedareshwar Temple, Sri Durga Devi Temple, SankatMochan Temple, and Birla VishwanathMandir. Kedareshwar temple is situated on the banks of Ganges, on the KedarGhat. The King of Nepal constructed the majestic Nepali Temple on Lalita ghat on Ganga River at Varanasi in the Nepali style. This Nepali temple is also known as the Kathwala temple. This temple has spectacular woodwork. Tourists from all over the world visit just to see this temple which has no comparison with any other temple in India because of its magnificence.
7. Shop! Shop! Shop!
Silk weaving is one of the most popular art in Varanasi and Banaras. The world-famous gold and silver brocades and richly decorated banarasi saris are known to have passed on from generations to generations much without losing their charm. Besides Banarasi saris and brocades, you can shop wonderful pieces of brassware, wooden, copperware, clay toys and antique designs of heavy gold jewellery in Varanasi.
8. Lastly, BanarasiPaan
Banarasipaan is famous across the world because of its lip-smacking taste. People usually eat paan after meal which act as a mouth fresher to remove the bad odour and it also helps in digestion. But when it comes to Banarasipaan, one can have it any time of the day. The leaves of paan, which moist the eye of dedicated Banarsis’ eyes, is called Maghai and is grown in Bihar. The Maghai leaf is soft and melts in the mouth, and leaves no strands in between the teeth.