Travel tips for Varanasi, Banaras - one of the holiest cities of Hindus

Varanasi or Banaras is one of the holiest / pilgrimage cities for Hindus which is the home city of the Hindu God Shiv. Recently, there has been tremendous development within and around Banaras which has led to huge influx of Hindu devotees to the city.

City connectivity -

Varanasi or Banaras is well connected by all modes of transports (Road, Railways and Air).

By Air - The airport is about 20 kms away from the main city and takes about 30-60 mins to reach to the heart of city. 

By Train - There are two prominent Railway Stations - Banaras and Varanasi (VNS). The popular Vande Bharat usually arrives at and departs from Varanasi railway station. It takes 10-20 mins to reach to the heart of city. 

By Road - It takes about 12 hours to reach Varanasi from New Delhi as the distance is about ~kms. The highways are pretty well constructed. 

Popular locations and places in Banaras

1. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple - It's one of the oldest temples in the world and recently went through renovation work. It's a must visit place for all Hindu devotees. Visiting times are from 6 AM - 3PM & 5PM - 7PM. It is usually crowded during the weekends. One can purchase tickets to get faster entry (costs about INR 350 per head).

Lockers availability - There is also provision of frees lockers from the Ghat side where shoes and valuables can be kept. Proper tokens are given to devotees and CCTV camera is installed in the premises.

2. Sankat Mochan Mandir - It's one of the popular temples dedicated to Hindu God Hanuman. There are legends that the Hanuman Chalisa was written here. It's absolutely busy on Saturday so have couple of hours in hand. There are provisions to keep footwear inside and outside the premises. 

3. Assi Ghat - It's popular ghat where there are many food stalls, Ganga arti also takes place there (however the main Ganga Arti happens at Dashwamed Ghat). You can take ferries/ boats which will take you to the tour of some / all of the ghats. These boats are be taken as Shared (costs INR 50-200 per head) to private ferries which can cost in multiple thousands (as all depends on no. of passengers, boat type, time of the day, duration/ distance and how you negotiate with the service providers).

4. Dasaswamedh Ghat - One of the main ghats among the 80 ghats which also hosts the world famous Ganga Arti. You will find dozens of boats with hundreds of devotees attending the mesmerising Ganga Arti which is a great experience in itself.

5. Durga Mandir (Durga Temple), Durgakund - It is one of the prominent temples in Banaras/ Kashi and is dedicated to a Hindu goddess. Attending the evening arti is a ritual of thousands of Hindu devotees.