Varanasi is one of the most celebrated places for a Hindu pilgrimage. People of this religion come from far and wide to visit Varanasi at least once. There are many temples here that are definitely worth a visit. On top of that Varanasi is located on the banks of the river Ganga, which is considered to be one of the most important rivers in the Hindu pantheon.
If you are planning for a pilgrimage to Varanasi, or simply for a visit that will get you a feel of this holy place, then you will not have any problem in finding accommodation here since, there are plenty of hotels in varanasi. However, if you want a room in a hotel of your choice, then do make sure that you book your rooms in advance since this holy city experiences a tremendous rush of tourists during the tourist season. Here are some of the religious places that adorn the cityscape of Varanasi, and are definitely worth a visit:
- Kashi Vishwanath Temple: This is the certainly the star attraction of Varanasi. It is the most venerated temple in the city for a Hindu pilgrimage. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is believed to be one of the 12 jyotirlingas in the world. This temple is believed to have been constructed more than 1000 years ago, only to be destroyed during the rule of Aurangazeb, who plundered the temple and destroyed its structure. It was rebuilt by the queen of Indore, Maharani Ahalya Bai and it is the current structure that we find today. The temple tops have been plated with gold.
- ManikarnikaGhat: Manikarnika means the jewelled earring. It derives its name from the manikarnikakund that is located here. It is said that this kund symbolizes both life and death and hence this place is a resonance of the cycle of life and death. This ghat is the most famous cremation ground of this city. It is said the light of the funeral pyre never goes out here. Many Hindus still prefer to spend their remaining days in Varanasi, since it is believed that those who are cremated here attain freedom from the cycle of life and death.
- TulsiManas Temple: This temple is dedicated to GoswamiTulisdas who wrote the Ram CharitManas. His work on the Indian epic Ramayana is exemplary since Tulsidas rewrote it in a simple language for the common people of the country to understand. It is said that he wrote his work at this very site!
- Durga Temple: Constructed by a Bengali queen this temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga. Head out from any one of the varanasi hotels where you will be staying to visit this temple, since it is rare to find Durga temples in a region which primarily worships Lord Shiva.
- Hanuman Ghat: Also, known as the RameshwaramGhat, this temple is believed to have been constructed by Shree Ram himself, making it is an important place of worship.
So if you want to explore the holy side of Varanasi, a visit to these temples and ghats are a must!