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The great city of pilgrimage on the banks of the sacred river Ganges.

Varanasi is a city of over 1m inhabitants within Utar Pradesh on the banks of the sacred river Ganges. Known as the 'eternal city' and is one of India's foremost cities of Hindu pilgrimage, as well as a major tourist attraction. More many Indian people, Varanasi is also a place where you can die and go to heaven. The visitor will experience what for some might seem an upsetting sight of bodies burning - cremated - in the one of over 88 Ghats. Early morning is perhaps the best time of day to observe this unique passing of life. You will also see many local people bathing in the sacred river in the hope this will wash away their sins. The Ghats are also worth returning to at sunset where the combination of the smoke from the fires and sun going down is quite mesmerising.

One of the most fascinating experiences in Varanasi is taking an early morning boat journey on the Ganges, ideally by small rowing boat. You will be able to see the many Ghats from the perspective of the river, each one with its own history and shrine for a particular ruler or saint. The scent of the burning Ghats and vision of people sure in the knowledge of the healing powers of the Ganges is something you will never forget.

The old city stretches back from the Ghats on the banks of the Ganges, with a maze of narrow alleyways with shops, traders and small hotels. It is a wonderful, vibrant area and a joy to explore on foot. Other attractions in Varanasi include the Golden Temple, built in 1776 adorned with gold plating. There are also a number of temples and Mosques worth exploring and other other side of the Ganges is Ram Nagar Fort and Museum, former home to the Maharaja of Benares. The nearby Buddhist site of Sarnath is include six temples and an archeological museum. 


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READY - 12 April 2024

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