Morning bathers on the Ganges River at Varanasi
Photo by: Paul Mannix, Creative Commons

Varanasi, also called Benares, is part of northern India and is considered as the pilgrimage site for Hindus. It is located along the Ganges River, a holy river that has withstood the test of time and diversity.

The climate here is relatively bearable as compared to other cities because of its geographical location. The summers reach up to 45°C while the winter seasons reach temperatures as low as 7°C. The monsoon season usually comes in the months of June or July and lasts for two months. Tourists are highly encouraged to visit the city from October to April when the weather is not that harsh and the climate is mostly cool.

It is relatively easy to get around since there are two railway systems that pass through Varanasi to connect it t o the major cities of India, there are also daily domestic flights going to and coming from Varanasi and even the roads are developed enough to accommodate drives from city to city.

Shopping in the city of Varanasi and other Indian cities can be very exciting as you get to witness the culture of the place as well as find treasures from the market place. Why not get yourself a Banarasi Saree, a weaved veil that is used during Indian weddings as part of the bride’s attire. The carpets in this city are also of superior quality and are mostly export-grade. There are also other handicrafts such as ivory wares, brass wares, wood crafts, bangles and jewelries that can interest you.

There are also several feasts and festivals in Varanasi that is worth a stopover. One of which is the Buddha Purnima done to celebrate the birth of Buddha. It is usually celebrated during a full moon in May of April. Mahashivratri is also a very important time for the Hindus as this is the “great night of Shiva” and is done during the fourteenth day of April or March. Most festivities are circled upon their religious beliefs and showcase the intricate designs of the Indian as well as Persian influences.

Some places to visit when in Varanasi are:

Jantar Mantar: an observatory built by Jai Singh because of his love for astronomy.
Ramnagar Fort: dedicated to the Ved Vyasa the writer of the epic Mahabharata.
Ganga Ghats: pilgrimage sites for Hindus
Assi Ghat: worshipers first bathe before they praise Lord Shiva

There are a lot of places and sights Varanasi can offer all tourists whether you went there for religious reasons of to simply admire their culture and architecture.

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