• Varanasi - Sarnath

Varanasi - Sarnath

kashi vishwanath temple

Varanasi is among the oldest living cities in the world and its antiquity finds place in ancient scriptures. Located along the Ganga it is a sacred place for all Hindus, Jains and Buddhists.

  • Area : 73.89 sq. km.
  • Population : 3,676,841 (As per 2011 census)
  • Altitude : 80.71 mtrs. above sea level
  • Season : October - March
  • Clothing (Summer) : Cottons
  • Clothing (Winter) : Woollens
  • Language : Hindi, English, Bhojpuri
  • Rainfall : 111 cms annually(approx)
  • Temperature : Summer 32º C-43º C; Winter 5º C-15.5º C

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About Varanasi

A visit to this legendary city will be among the most moving trips you'll ever make.

Regarding the creation of Kashi, it is mentioned in the Shiv Purana that the Advaita Parameshwara, who was engrossed in his non-duality, had a desire to become another form. He appeared in two forms due to the distinction of man and woman. Prakriti and Purusha were also created by them. Nirguna Supreme God gave a voice to them, ‘both of you should do penance, that would be a perfect creation’.

When asked by nature and man that when there is no place for penance, then where should we do penance with your permission. Then Nirguna Shiva created an auspicious and beautiful city with the result of Panchkrosh, the essence of all the energies, located in space, coordinated with all the materials and sent it near to Purusha. This Panchkroshi Shiv Nagari has been called Kashi.

Varanasi is very dear to Shiva; it gives him pleasure. So, it is an Anandavan.

The word Kashi is derived from Kash (shine). It has been mentioned in Skanda Purana that Kashi became famous because it throws light on the path of Nirvan or because here, god Shiva is Bhasman.

Some of the Puranas have given the etymology of Varanasi in such a way that it lies between two streams named Varna and Asi, which respectively make it the northern and southern boundaries.

According to other Puranas, this holy place was named Avimukt because Shiva never expressed or left it.

For some reason it is also called cremation ground or mahashmashan. It has been the belief of the people that Kashi liberates people from the world.

In this way Shiva's bliss Kanan, Kashi and Maha crematorium, now known as Varanasi, the world-famous Kashi for its ancient beauty, adorns the whole world with its light and attracts millions of tourists to its courtyard every day.

Just a little beyond the Arc


Varanasi : Hub of Adventure and Water sports (Assi Ghat)

Varanasi is not only the city of temples and Ghats but the city also attracts adventure and water sports lovers. These activities like: Speed Boat, Para Motor, Bummpy Ride, Desert Bike, Jetski, Para Sailing, Banana Ride and many more have thumped the banks of the holy river Ganga.

Banaras Darshan : with Cruise Boat.

If you come to Varanasi and do not take boat ride, then Varanasi Darshan remain incomplete. With the common boats can take rite with Cruise Boats also

Ganga Mahotsava

The five day festival, with all its rituals and customs, traditional music and dance shows portrays the cultural heritage of Varanasi.

Dev Deepawali

The most, picturesque festival, Dev Deepawali is celebrated every year fifteen days after the traditional Deepawali by the banks of the river Ganga. The Ghats come alive with lights, chants and prayers. The mighty Ganga is lit up with endless floating lamps. It's an infinitely divine experience. People and Gods together celebrate deepawali the stream of Ganga looks like the holy pathway connecting from heavens to land. The high spirits of the festival and the waves of joy round the city, create an inimitable scene to be experienced.

This is the only reason, why millions of people from the entire country and all over the world gather in the holy grounds of Varanasi and celebrate the jubilant carnival of Gods and Humans. Illuminating diyas are decorated on the steps of Ghats and the Ganga can bee seen under shimmering lamps floating alongwith the lights from hundreds of boats.



Excavation sites of Sarnath

The archaeological remains of sarnath started attracting the scholars since the 19th century. In the recent past, the Sarnath Circle of Archeaological Survey of India has been taking care of the excavation work in Sarnath. The Archaeological site showcases the grandeur of the ancient times. An open exhibition of structures like Mulagandha Kuti Vihar remains, Dharmrajika Stupa remains, Dhamek Stupa, Ashokan Column, monuments, relics, monasteries from the Mauryan period are showcased here.

  • Sarnath, 10km from Varanasi, is one of the most revered Buddhist pilgrimage centers. It is believed that after attaining the Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, it was here that Lord Buddha preached his first sermon, sanctified as Maha Dharm Chakra Parivartan.
  • The great Dhamekh Stupa and several other structures stand testimony to the importance the place enjoyed at that time.
  • The Chaukhandi Stupa is the place where, during his first visit to Sarnath, Lord Buddha met his first five disciples.
  • The area is a treasure trove of archaeological findings such as Dharmrajika Stupa and Mulgandhkuti Vihar.
  • The smooth glistening pillar established by Emperor Ashoka in 273-232 B.C. marks the foundation of the Buddhist Sangha, and the Lion Capital atop this pillar is now India's National Emblem.
Man Mahal

Man Mahal

Man Mahal a beautiful example of Mughal Rajput architecture with stone balconied windows and painted ceiling, is famous for its observatory. Built in sand stone, in around 1600 A.D., by Man Singh, the Raja of Amber and a celebrated general of the great Mughal, the Man-Mahal is situated on the western bank of river Ganga near the famous Dashashvamedh ghat of Varanasi. The observatory was built in Man-Mahal. Varanasi, in around 1734 A.D. by Sawai Jai Singh, Some of the instruments which still exist are the Samrat Yantra, Nadivalaya Yantra, Chakra Yantra, Digansh Yantra, Dakshiontrrabhitti Yantra.


Virtual Experiential Museum at Man-Mahal: A new attraction for Tourist

Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Sri Narendra Modi inaugurated newly established Virtual Experiential Museum (VEM) on 19th February 2019 in a Centrally Protected Monument under Archeological Survey of India, Man-Mahal,

Virtual Experiential Museum show the glimpse of various cultural aspects, tangible and intangible, of Varanasi through modern and sophisticate scientific equipments. Visiting of VEM will be a unique experience for a visitor where they will experience to holy ghat, classical music, weaving of sari, writer/author, Ram Leela, 3D view of monuments, narrow lanes and betel shop etc. of Varanasi in very interesting way by using curved T.V. screen, paintings, touch screens and projectors. The story of descending of Ganga on earth is also shown to the visitors made in a very interesting way.

Entry ticket for this museum with monument in Rs. 25/- for indian and visitor from SAARC and BIMSTEC countries while for others foreigner Rs. 300/- will be charged and it is open from sun rise to 9 PM. The entry of children below 15 years in free.



This area, which is in the proximity of the long Vindhya Mountain range, enjoys nature's beauty in the form of historical forts-buildings, murals, art, rock shelters, waterfalls.

Ashtabhuja and Kalikhoh temple along with Maa Vindhyavasini Devi temple in its lap is the center of faith for devotees.

There is a following to walk around the triangle of Vindhyavasini temple, Ashtabhuja temple and Kalikhoh temple.

On the occasion of Basantik and Shardiya Navratri, there is more movement of devotees.

Apart from this, Budhenath Temple, Tarakeswar Temple, Rameshwar Mahadev Temple, Taradevi Temple, Vaman Devi Temple, Badevaranath, Shivdham Khaira Shivdham, Kantit Sharif etc. are places of interest.



  • sonebhadra is known for its vast culture, history, nature, mineral, forest with rich flora fauna, rock carving, rock paintings etc.These are special features of sonebhadra.
  • This region has a great potential of adventurous activities like mountaineering,trekking, bungy jumping, river rafting etc
  • Vijay Garh Fort, Agori Garh Fort, Shiv Dwar, Mukkha Fall, Mahuariya kaimoor wild life Sanctuary, kauwakhoh Rock Shelter, Lekhaniya Rock Shelter, Panchmukhi Hill Rock Shelter Rhihand Dam,Sone eco point are major tourist attractions of Sonebhadra.


  • The name of Chunar, situated on the banks of river Ganga, at a distance of about 40 km from Varanasi and 35 km from Mirzapur, is mentioned in the literature by the names of Charanadri, Nainagarh etc.
  • It is mentioned that King Vikramaditya had built the fort for his brother Bhatrihari.
  • Apart from this, there are other tourist destinations like the Samadhi of King Bhatrihari, Dari of Siddhanath, Durgakhoh etc.

Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirling

Vishwanath Jyotirling is located in Kashi. On the north side of Kashi city is Omkarkhand, in the south is Kedarkhand and in the middle is Vishweshwarkhand. The famous Vishwanath-Jyotirlinga is situated in this area. According to the details received in Shivpuran, Shri Kashi Vishwanath temple is recognized in the twelve Jyotirlingas.

There are details of temple demolishion by various invaders. Aarti is performed daily, five times in the temple. For all the facilities related to temple darshan etc., people can visit the website (https://www.shrikashivishwanath.org/) of the temple. Live Darshan has also been arranged by the temple administration.


Manmandir Observatory and Virtual Experiental Museum

This observatory was built by Raja Man Singh of Jaipur at Manmandir Ghat near Dashashwamedh Ghat in which one can see the devices to know call count of that time.

Virtual Experiential showcases the glimpse of various aspects, tangible and intangible, of Varanasi through modern and sophisticated scientific equipments. Visiting of VEM will be a unique experience for a visitor where they will experience to holy ghat, classical music, weaving of sari, writer/author, Ram Leela, 3D view of monuments narrow lanes and betel shop etc of Varanasi in very interesring was by using curved. TV Screen,painting, touch scheens and projectors. The story of descending of Ganga on the earth is also shown to the visitors made in a very interesting way.

Overview of Varanasi


Ghats of Kashi


List of Buddhist Temples and Monasteries in Sarnath

S.No. Temple/Monastery Name Mobile/Phone No.
1. MahabodhiSocietyofIndia(SriLankaTemple) SumitranandanThero 9599732503
2. TibetanTemple Tenjin 7082279411
3. ThaiTemple Dr.Mangaliko 9450546919
4. JapaneseTemple KalsangNarbu(Manager) 6393451110,9450015325
5. Indo-SriLankaTemple Dr.K.SumedhaThero 9839056094
6. ChineseTemple KuldeepChakma(Manager) 8127190326
7. NiyanganaTemple PemaTenkyong 7307250307
8. VajraVidyaSansthan Phopal(Manager) 941522436
9. VietnamTemple Tan 7084610492
10. MyanmarTemple VannaDhwaja 9450965836
11. CambodianTemple NA NA
12. ShakyataBuddhistTemple NA NA
13. DhammaLabhingTemple NA NA
14. KoreanTemple NA NA
15. Vipassana NA NA
16. BodhiDhammaTemple NA NA
17 SasaathInternationa Veen 955963259


By Air

The nearest airport is Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport at Babatpur, 22 km from Varanasi and 30 Km from Sarnath. Direct flights for Varanasi are available from Delhi, Agra, Khajurao, Kolkata, Mumbai, Lucknow, Bhuvaneshwar and Kathmandu ( Nepal).

By Rail

Varanasi Cantt and Mughal Sarai (one of the main railway stations of Varanasi) are the important rail junctions, that link Varanasi with all major cities of India.

By Road

Varanasi is on NH 2 from Kolkata to Delhi, NH 7 to Kanya Kumari and NH 29 to Gorakhpur, is well connected with the rest of the country by good motorable roads. Some of the major road distances are: Agra - 565 km, Prayagraj - 128 km, Bhopal - 791 km, Bodhgaya - 240 km, Kanpur - 330 km, Khajuraho - 405 km, Lucknow - 286, Patna - 246 km, Sarnath - 10 Km.


By Air

The nearest airport is Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport at Babatpur, Varanasi : 30 Km.

By Rail

Convenient rail connections to all major cities are available from Varanasi Railway Station.

By Road

Sarnath, 10- km from Varanasi, is well connected by road to other destinations of the state.

Varanasi Station
Varanasi Airport


Travel Agents

  • UP Government Tourist Office, Urban Haat, Sanskritik Sankul, Maqbool Alam Road, Chowka Ghat, Varanasi, Ph. No.- (0542) 2505033.
  • UP Government Tourist Information Counter, Cantt. Railway Station, Varanasi, Near Enquiry Office, Main Hall, Ph. No.- 0542-2506670.
  • Modern Reception Centre, Sarnath, Ph. No.- 9580574420.
  • Government of India Tourist Office, 15 B The Mall, Cantt, Varanasi, Ph. No.- 2501784.
  • Government of India Tourist Information Counter, Babatpur Airport
  • Bihar State Tourist Office, Englishiya Market, Sher Shah Suri Marg, Cantt, Ph. No.- 2223821.


  • Office of Assistant Tourist Officer, Modern Reception Centre, Sarnath.
  • Mirzapur
Travel Desk


Various restaurants in Varanasi serve a variety of cuisines like continental, Chinese, Indian and of course, the traditional Mughlai.

Some of the prominent restaurants in Varanasi are:

  • Shyamal Vatika, Lanka.
  • Kerala Cafe, Bhelupur Chauraha.
  • Mandarin Restaurant, Lahurabir.
  • Shahi Restaurant, near Rathyatra Crossing
  • Yelchico Bar & Restaurant, Sigra.
  • Amrapali, Hotel Clarks, The mall, Varanasi, Ph. No.- (0542) 2501011.
  • Ashiyana Restaurant, Varuna Bridge, Clark Road.
  • Mc Donald; IP Mall Sigra JHV Mall, Cantt.
  • Haveli Restaurant, The Mall, Cantt.
  • Berger King, Nadesar, Varanasi.


  • Shiv Prasad Gupta Hospital, Kabir Chaura, Ph. No.- (0542) 2214723, 2214720.
  • Sir Sundar Lal Hospital B.H.U, Ph. No.- (0542) 2369169.
  • Rajkiya Hospital, Shivpur .
  • Hindu Seva Sadan, Chowk, Ph. No.- (0542) 2400356, 2400988, 2400355.
  • Mata Anand Mai Hospital, Bhadaini, Ph. No.- (0542) 2310186, 2310230.
  • Ram Krishna Mission Hospital, Luxa, Ph. No.- (0542) 2451727.
  • Marwari Hospital , Godoulia, Ph. No.- (0542) 2392611.
  • Cancer Institute, N.E. Railway Lahartara. Ph. No.- (0542) 2220348.
  • Heritage Hospital , Lanka, Ph. No.- (0542) 2369991-5.
  • Apollo clinic , Mehmoorganj, Ph. No.- (0542) 2360682.
Varanasi Food
Varanasi Food



  • Modern Reception Centre, Sarnath
  • Anand Restaurant, Sarnath.
  • Rangoli Garden, Sarnath.
  • Open Restaurant, Ashapur, Sarnath.
  • Green Hut Restaurant, Sarnath.
  • Highway Inn Restaurant, Ashapur Sarnath.


  • Govt. Hospital, Sarnath.
  • Dr. Baijnath Hospital, Sarnath.

Crafts of varanasi & Vindhyachal Division

Banarasi Saree

Banarasi Saree are elegant brocaded silk sarees. These are known to be the finest sarees of the country and has been popular for its golden and silver zari work it is the most preferred bridal attire for every indian woman The weavers can be seen in hundreds of small workshop in peelikothi area where they are working day and night creating wonderful crafts with threads zaries and passion in loms

Varanasi Shopping
Varanasi Shopping

Wooden lacquerware & Toys

The varanasi lacquerware is the producer toys that are crafted in detail and coloured. All the toy are beaing manufactured with eucalyptus. Goolar and coraiya woods and are carvad and coloured with hands. The colouring is don with lac by processing heating mixing and cooling.

Bell Metal Works

Around the alleys of Kashipura, the thriving works of art can be spotted while in process. But the display of the art is everywhere, from the bells of the temples to the fascinating daily use vessels made with distinct bell metal or mix metal in Varanasi.

Varanasi Shopping
Varanasi Shopping

Metal Repose

While roaming around the lanes of Kashipura, the sonorous sound of hammers can be noticed. The sound is nothing else but the unveiling of the beautiful craft of Metal repose. Diverse items are created in this field of metal craft. The malleable precious sheet of metals like Gold, Brass, Silver, or copper is molded into required shapes and then they are covered with a layer of liquid Lan on the reverse side. When the Lac is settled, the metal sheets are hammered and chiselled over the Lac, which bulges the design on the forefron. Platters, jugs, betel boxes and many other such articles decorated with these endemic fretworks leave everybody spellbound.

Undercut Stone Carving of Ramnagar

On the other side of the Ganges resides Ramnagar. Meanwhile, in Ramnagar lives one beautiful art that is a perfect mixture of simplicity and prodigality. The locals of 'Bhang Wali Gali' are traditionally been involved in the work of elegant carving works for generations . Ivory, Bone and Sandalwood was used for the artwork in older days. Which are replaced by marble rock tablets now. The outcomes of the work are not just very beautiful but also stupefying as the precise design involves net like carvings above the model and inside the model there is a replication of the same model. The models are fine and hollow from inside. The beautiful decorative pieces are result of minute arts of excellent caliber.

Varanasi Shopping
Varanasi Shopping

Clay and Terracotta Works

This sip of tea is bliss for everyone and the tea served in clay cups add-in a different flavor. These clay cups are found around most parts of the India. But the making and creation of the works can been seen in the Bhatti Village, near Varanasi. These clay utensils, pots, flower vases, cups and vessels are made over a spinning base and the clay is moulded with hands. they are then dried under the sun and are baked later on. But the clay art doesn't end with the utensils. Families here are also involved in making clay idols of different gods and deities.

Zardozi Badge Making

The works of Zardozi Badge making craft has been residing in the city since the colonial era. The work of Zardozi is not concentrated in a singular field or specific art, different froms of the art are also prominently performed in Lucknow and Allahabad, but the Badge making craft is essentially done here at Shivala in Varanasi. The making of rank badges for the defence and police forces are used not only India, but many other countries around the world. Zardozi involves embroidery work with Zari, which formerly used 'Khalabatun' which were silver threads coated in gold.

Varanasi Shopping
Varanasi Shopping

Glass Beads

The glass beads of Varanasi take a long path before being ready to be make into garlands. The scrapt peices of glasses are sifted, heated , colored, reheated then they are shaped and decorated using other colorful glass scrap. Later on they are left to get stiff and finally the beads of unique shapes and sizes are taken out and made into these beautiful jewelleries like necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, and several other kinds. These beads are made and sold near the very well known pathways Vishwanath Gali.

Mirzapur Dari

Dari is a very important object in an average household here thse are mats made out of cottn jute wool and woven in a very simple manner by hands In spite of being a non-luxurious and cheaper than the carpats.its unique and vibrant design makes it no less attractive. There are thousands of people involved in the production of these mats in mirzapur

Varanasi Shopping
Varanasi Shopping

Carpets of Bhadohi

Renamed as Sant Ravidas Nagar' Bhadohi has been called the 'Carpet City for a long time. The hand knitted carpets of Bhadohi are majorly exported to the foreign countries and give a great deal of competition to the neighbouring countries.

The hand woven carpets are solely made of wool and are woven with minute details. Each rug has been taken into special attention by the artisans. These are made with adequate technology and fine skills and the new tehnology and creation has updated itself with time. The gorgeous carpets look spendid when they are finished and ready to be sold.

Gulabi Meenakari

Precious, vibrant, colourful and elegant, Banarasi Gulabi Meenakari is an art from; one of its kind. The works done here are not only exceptionally delicate but also very precious. Meenakari divides to Meena which means Silver Kari which means Arwork. The art work introduces beautiful ornamental designs by moulding the metal into eye catching peices of art. But what makes it unique, is it's lustrous colour and very intricate hand painted floral patterns.

Varanasi Shopping
Varanasi Shopping

Chunar Sandstone Work

The historic fort of Chunar is enchanted with many myths, folktales and stories of India. The stone carving in the very National emblem of India; the 'Lion Capital' of Ashoka, is an ancient peice of work. It has been made almot 2300 years back, on the hilly grounds of Chunar at some median workshop; with the unique local sandstone.

Even today, the classic art has preserved itself from being lost. The resplendent are is used to make precious home decor pieces, idols of gods and goddness, and sculptures, with hands and the artists make them with handmade tools. The present sculptors of Chunar are also making marble stone statues and paint them with their hands.

Khadi of Sewapuri

30 km away from Varanasi, the Gandhi Ashram located in Sewapuri is a great step towards esclating the works on Khadi. New solar powered looms produce great quality Khadi clothes, so that the Cloth of the Nation could create its place in the wider market.

Varanasi Shopping
Varanasi Shopping

Bamboo Baskets

Everybody who has been around the Asia pacific, must have noticed the street side hawkers and traders selling things on bamboo baskets. These baskets are also made around Varanasi by people living in suburb makeshift slums. Made only using scraps of bamboo and a sharp knife, these baskets are completely biodegradable and light in weight. The sticks of bamboo are woven and painted entirely by hands. Bouquet baskets, shoe racks flower baskets are some other products made out same bamboo sticks.

Urban Haat

Keeping the preferences of tourists in mind the city has developed an Urban Haat where artisans (State and National Awarded) from various states are brought together to showcase the handicrafts of India daily (15 days roster basis) so that the excitement of upcoming crafts remains the same. The compound of Haat is provided with all basic public amenities. Visitors enjoy Indian music, art, craft and culture spiced with exclusive food plazas.

Venue : Urban Haat, Sanskritik Sankul, Maqbool Alam Road, Chowka Ghat, Varanasi.

Souvenir Shops and Malls

  • M/s Mehrotra Silk Factory, S. C. - 21/72, Englishia Line, Varanasi.
  • M/s Baba Black Sheep , Bhelupur, Varanasi.
  • IP Mall, Sigra Varanasi
  • JHV, The Mall, Cantt.
  • Modern Reception Centre, Sarnath
Varanasi Shopping


Varanasi or Kashi the”City of Spiritual Light” is considered to be one of the oldest living cities in the world.

The glorious traditions and mythological legacy of this shining city are virtually unrivalled. It offers a breathtaking experience to every visitor. A morning at the Ganga ghat is a memorable experience. The rays of the dawn shimmering across the Ganga, the high banks, the temples and shrines, soul steering hymns and mantras along with the fragrance of incense filling the air, a refreshing dip in the holy water and a rich tapestry of music, arts, crafts and literature… truly this is the city where experience and discovery reach the ultimate bliss.

Ganga Mahotsav

Ganga Mahotsav the only festival of its kind. It adds to the attraction of this city of temples, Ghats and traditions.

As classical music fills the atmosphere, a mystique seems to envelop the environs creating a mood both celestial and soulful. The classical music rendered by maestros indeed imparts an unforgettable flavour. The attraction of the five-day-long Ganga Mahotsav is its message of faith and culture, which is enhanced by the daily Shilp Mela and the unique Dev Deepawali. Innumerable ‘Diyas’ or earthen lamps in chain, lit by devotees float down the river on the full moon night of Kartik, creating a spectacle both mystical and heart warning.

Boudh Mahotsav

One of the greatest spiritual teachers of mankind which India has produced is undoubtedly, Buddha. Edwin Arnold has fittingly called him the "Light of Asia". Buddha's message has travelled far and wide and captured the hearts and minds of billions of people outside India also.

This festival celebrates the birth of Lord Buddha with traditional religious fervour. A large fair is held at Sarnath and the relics of Buddha are taken out for public display in a procession on this day in the month of May. The beauty of this event is amplified by millions of earthen lamps or "Diyas" placed in a pattern in Mulgandh Kuti Vihar.