The religious capital of India, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, is a renowned pilgrimage and tourist destination in India. Being one of the oldest cities of the world, Varanasi (also called Banaras and Kashi) attracts a large number of people from all over the globe. For thousands of years, Varanasi has enjoyed prominence as a leading destination for mysticism, spiritualism, Indian philosophy and Hinduism. There are several tourist attractions in Varanasi that are worth visiting.
Banaras Hindu University –
Steeped in tradition and mythological legacy, the city of Varanasi situated on the banks of the holy Ganges in Uttar Pradesh is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations not only for Hindus, but for Buddhists and Jains also. Varanasi being mainly associated with Hinduism, the numerous Hindu temples, ashrams and ghats constitute the main tourist attractions in Varanasi. Nevertheless, tourist places in Varanasi also include several Buddhist Stupas and Jain temples, which lure numerous devotees and regular tourists to the City of Lord Shiva.
Among the major tourist attractions in Varanasi are the Ganga Ghats which constitute the main center of rituals and religious activities. Among the prominent temples in Varanasi are the Durga temple, Sankat Mochan temple, Vishwanath temple, Tulsi Manas temple and Bharat Mata temple. Of these, the Bharat Mata Temple contains a huge relief map of the Indian subcontinent and Tibetan plateau. Also prominent among the places to see in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh is the Alamgir Mosque, which showcases a fine blend of Hindu and Mughal styles of architecture. Some other tourist attractions in Varanasi which are worth visit include the Benaras Hindu University (BHU), the Archaeological Museum at Sarnath which houses the National emblem of India and the Ashokan pillar, Bharat Kala Bhavan and the Buddhist Stupas and temples at Sarnath.
Popularly known as BHU, this is an internationally renowned University that had played an integral part in the Indian independence movement. Today, it ranks as one of India’s greatest centers of learning.
Bharat Kala Bhavan –
Located within the BHU campus, Bharat Kala Bhavan is an art-and-architecture museum, which puts to display a huge collection of Hindu and Buddhist sculptures, paintings and various other artifacts.
Jantar Mantar –
An observatory built by Jaipur’s Maharaja Jai Singh, Jantar Mantar was built to measure the local time, declination of the Sun, the stars and planets, and to determine eclipses. Till date, it contains several masonry instruments to record the same, including the Krantivritta Yantra, Samrat Yantra, Digansha Yantra, Prakash Yantra, Ram Yantra, Dhruva Yantra and Disha Yantra.
Ramnagar Fort –
Located on the opposite bank of the Ganges, about 14 kms from Varanasi, this fort is the ancestral home of the Maharaja of Banaras.
Touristplacesinindia.com offers online information on Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, and tourist places in other parts of India.