Varanasi Pages - Incredible India

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Varanasi Pages - Incredible India
varanasi city
GETTING AROUND
City and private bus service can be availed from the bus stand
near Varanasi Junction Railway Station. Auto-rickshaws though
available in abundance mostly don’t run by meter, hence bargaining is necessary. Prepaid taxis and private cabs can be hired
from Canal Road Taxi Stand.
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
The Ghats of Varanasi
Every holy activity begins with a cleansing bath on one of the
hundreds of ghats lining the Ganga in Varanasi. It would be safe
to say that the life of a Hindu centres on the Varanasi ghats.
When he is born, he is brought to the ghats for the blessings of
the gods, he receives the janeo (holy thread) on its banks and
when it is time for him to depart to the other world, his mortals
remains are cremated on its banks. No journey to Varanasi is,
hence, complete without a visit to the ghats.
Assi Ghat (Map Grid D4)
at the very site where Guru Tegh Bahadur is said to have stayed
during his visit. It is 3-storeyed building that houses a sanctum,
two shrines and a small room called Tap Asthan which is believed to be the chamber that Guru Tegh Bahadur used for meditation. The complex also has a narrow step-well, called Baoli
Ganga Pargat.
Mrityunjay Mahadev Temple (Map Grid D3) (K-52/ 39 Vriddha Kal;
famous Prataha Aarti (morning puja with hymns) at 5am every
day must be attended by one and all
New Vishwanath Temple (Map Grid C5)
Situated within the Banaras Hindu University grounds, the Shiva
temple was planned by Madan Mohan Malviya and built by the
famous Birla family. The Bhagavad Gita engraved on the walls
and shivalinga are the main attraction of this temple.
: 4am – 12midnight)
Varanasi is counted among the cities that have been
inhabited since ancient times. Popularly known as
Kashi, the city is spiritually as vast as the Ganga herself and hence is called the religious capital of India.
Varanasi finds mention in epics like the Ramayana,
Mahabharata and Jataka tales. Known as the city of
Lord Shiva, his benediction can be felt in the belief
that whoever dies here attains salvation from the cycle of birth and rebirth.
This temple city is known for being the heartland of
Hindu renaissance, the land of piety, philosophy and
religious mysticism. It has gifted the world with great
souls like Gautam Buddha, Bhagwan Mahavira, Sant
Kabir, Ramanuja, Tulsi Das, Adi Shankaracharya and
many more.
The name of this holy temple is derived from the legend that the
linga enshrined in its sanctum has the powers to conquer death
(mrityu in Hindi means 'death' and jay means 'victory'). The waters
of the well called Kalodak Kup inside the complex is believed to
have healing properties.
Ganga Dussehra, the biggest festival dedicated to goddess Ganga, is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the city. Numerous
devotees take a holy dip in the Ganga and make offerings to the
goddess.
Alamgir Mosque (Map Grid D3) (Near Panchganga Ghat; : sunrise to
The beautiful 17 century Alamgir Mosque, built by Emperor Aurangzeb, is the largest structure on Panchganga Ghat.
th
Ganga Mahotsav (October-November)
Legend has it that Assi Ghat is located exactly on the spot where
Goddess Durga threw her dagger after slaying the demons
Shumbha and Nishumbha. The impact was so great that a crater
was formed and a stream emerged that merged with the Ganga.
The festival is organised by the Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department to celebrate Dev Deepavali and also provide a platform to
display the cultural legacy of the city. Reputed artistes are invited
from across the country to perform and participate in the official
celebrations of the 4-day festival on the Dasashwamedh Ghat.
Harishchandra Ghat (Map Grid D4)
Dev Deepavali (November)
Harishchandra Ghat can be easily identified by the pyres that
burn all day long on its stone steps. It is believed that the legendary King Harishchandra worked here as a chandaal (one who
performs the cremation). One can also visit the temples of Adi
Manikanteshwara, Vriddha Kedar and Raja Harishchandra located on the ghat.
The ghats of Varanasi brighten up with several glittering diyas,
‘earthen lamps’, during the Dev Deepavali. Devotees pay homage to River Ganga during the full moon in the month of Kartik
called Kartik Purnima.
The foremost feature of the Hanuman Ghat are the numerous
akhadas (country gymnasiums) lining its steps. Every morning,
heavily built men wielding clubs can be spotted exercising on its
earthen floors. It is also the best place to lie down on a charpai
(string cot) and have a pehelwan (wrestler) give you nice and
refreshing oil massage.
Dasashwamedh Ghat (Map Grid D4)
One of the most important ghats in Varanasi, Dasahhwamedh
derives its name from the ten (dus, in Hindi) horse sacrifices
(ashwamedh) performed here by Lord Brahma to appease Lord
Shiva. One of the primary attractions is the Ganga aarati. Every
evening, priests come down to the ghats and worship the Ganga
with multi-tiered flaming lamps. Viewed from a boat on the river,
it is a visual spectacle.
QUICK FACTS
Nakkatayya Leela (October)
Alamgir Mosque
St. Mary s Church (Map Grid C3) (Mall Road, Cantonment Area;
: 8am-6pm)
St. Mary’s is among the oldest Protestant churches in the country. It is believed that the foundation stone of this church was laid
by Daniel Corrie in 1810. The compound with a short tower, spire
and projecting porch also serves as the resting place to many
tombs and memorials.
Bharat Mata Temple (Map Grid C3) (Kashi Vidyapeeth Campus; :
9.30am-8pm)
Pay your obeisance to the map of undivided India, carved on
marble and guarded by five pillars, each one symbolising the
convergence of nature’s elements like earth, wind, fire, water and
sky. Unlike other temples of India, Mother India is worshipped in
the Bharat Mata Temple. Established by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupt,
the temple had Mahatma Gandhi as its first visitor in 1936.
Dasashwamedh Ghat
: 125 sq kms
Altitude
: 80.7 m above sea level
Temperature
: Summer- Max: 38°C Min: 28°C
: Winter- Max: 21°C Min: 7°C
Average annual
Precipitation
: 11.1 cms
Best Season
: July to March
STD Code
: 0542
Language
: Hindi, English
GETTING TO VARANASI
By Air
Manikarnika Ghat (Map Grid D3)
The chief cremation ghat of Varanasi, Manikarnika Ghat has
numerous pyres burning day and night. It is believed that Lord
Shiva himself goes near the burning pyre and carries the soul
to heaven. Fuelled by this belief, the ghat receives hundreds of
bodies every day.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple (Map Grid D3) (Vishwanath Gali; : 2.30am10.30pm)
One of the most popular and revered shrines of Varanasi is the
Kashi Vishwanath Temple. It is one of the twelve sacred jyotirlingas or the 'lingas of light’. Devotees believe that even a glance
of this famed linga can sanctify one’s entire being. In the same
complex is the temple of Devi Annapurna Bhavani.
Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport or Babatpur Airport in Varanasi operates daily flights to New
Delhi, Agra, Khajuraho, Lucknow and Mumbai. It also
has international flights to Kathmandu, Colombo and
Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi.
Gyanvapi Mosque (Map Grid D3) (Nagwa; : sunrise to sunset)
By Rail
Jantar Mantar (Map Grid D3) (Near Dasashwamedha Ghat)
Varanasi with its two railway stations, Kashi Junction
and Varanasi Cantonment, connects trains to New
Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Khajuraho, Jammu
and Jodhpur.
Established by Maharaja Jai Singh in 1737, this observatory is
similar to the one in Delhi and Jaipur. It measures local time,
sun's declination, altitude, movement of stars, planets and determines eclipses with the help of yantras or mechanical instruments. Some of the important yantras are the Krantivritta Yantra,
Digansha Yantra, Samrat Yantra, Prakash Yantra, Ram Yantra,
Disha Yantra and Dhruva Yantra.
Tickets can be booked easily through the Indian
Railways website (www.irctc.co.in) and reservation
counters all over the city.
Hanuman Jayanti (March-April)
Sharing the same complex of Kashi Vishwanath Temple on the
Panchganga Ghat, the triple domed Mughal style mosque was
built by Emperor Aurangzeb. The mosque and the Kashi Vishwanath Temple stand testimony to the diversity of India.
Bharat Mata Temple
Durga Temple (Map Grid C4) (Durga Kund Road ; : 5am-12noon &
1pm-10pm)
The 18th century temple, placed on the rectangular Durga Kund,
can be easily identified by its huge multi-tiered red shikhara. Built
by a Bengali queen, the goddess is worshipped with fervour
especially during the Navratras.
Bharat Kala Bhavan (Map Grid C5) (Inside BHU; : 11am-4.30pm;
closed on University holidays; Entry fee: Indians/ SAARC/ Foreigners/
students: `5/ 20/ 40/ 2; Camera/ Shooting: `10/ 1000)
A part of Banaras Hindu University, this museum treasures Hindu and Buddhist archaeological remains. Established in 1920,
the hall has the sculpture of a man on one leg, one hand on his
hip and the other handling a huge stone on his head. The museum houses other galleries like Nicholas Roerich Gallery, Chhavi
(painting) Gallery, Mahamana Malviya Gallery, Nidhi (treasure)
Gallery, Archaeological Gallery, Sculpture Gallery, Decorative
Art Gallery and many others.
New Vishwanath Temple
Banaras Hindu University (Map Grid C5)
One of the internationally accredited institutions, the Banaras
Hindu University or BHU, was founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya in 1916, with Dr Annie Besant playing a crucial role.
Known as ‘Oxford of the East’, it is spread over 1,300 acres on
the south of the city. The architecture of the university considered amongst the marvellous monuments in Varanasi and also
houses an airstrip for aeronautical education.
FEW WORDS FROM INDIAN LEXICON
English to Hindi
Address
Answer
Arrival
Baggage
Directions
Festival
Food
Friend
Fruit
Gift
Hungry
Hurry up
Water
Price
Purchase
Question
Safe
Shop
Thank You
Toilet
Vegetable
Your
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
Pata
Jawab
Pahunchna
Saaman
Dishayen
Tyohar
Khana
Dost
Phal
Uphar
Bhukha
Jaldi Kijiye
Pani
Mulya
Kharidna
Sawal
Surakshit
Dukaan
Dhanyavad
Jan Suvidha/ Shouchalaya
Sabzi
Tumhara
CONVERSATIONAL PHRASES
English to Hindi
At the Airport
: Airport ki taraf
Where is the exit?
: Bahar ka raasta kidhar hai?
How far is the hotel?
: Hotel kitni door hai?
What is the rent?
: Kiraaya kitna hai?
Please call Taxi
: Kripaya Taxi bula dijiye
Please stop here
: Kripaya yaha ruke
Place worth visiting
: Dekhne layak jagah
Want city guide map
: Shahar maanchitra chahiye
Show me the way
: Mujhe raasta bata dijiye
Please do booking
: Kripaya booking kar dijiye
Which is the main
shopping centre?
: Mukhy bazaar kaunsa hai?
I want to send an e-mail
: Mujhe Email bhejna hai.
It is hot/ cold today
: Aaj bahut garmi/ sardi hai
An incident from the great epic, Ramayana, Nakkatayya is reenacted in the Nakkatayya Leela at Chetganj. Although it is more
popular among the people of Varanasi and the neighbouring
towns, it is also recommended to those exploring the heritage
of India.
Nag Nathaiya Festival (November- December)
Nag Nathaiya festival is a unique and popular festival celebrated
on the Tulsi Ghat. It marks the famous episode of Kaliya Mardan
from Krishna Leela, where Lord Krishna leapt into the water and
killed the poisonous Kaliya Cobra (nag) to save the people of
Vrindavan. A huge celebration takes place where the same episode is enacted and applauded by large number devotees.
SHOPPER’S PARADISE
Godowlia Market (Map Grid D3) (Godowlia; : 10am-8pm; Closed on
Sunday)
Godowlia Market is one of the most popular and busy shopping
areas in the city. An array of shops selling different items, from
garments to bags, handicrafts to gift items make this market simply stand apart. Beautiful silk and zari sarees, salwar suits and
other decorative household products are available here at reasonable prices.
Chowk Bazaar (Map Grid C3) (: 10am – 8pm; Closed on Sunday)
The Chowk Bazaar has numerous shops exhibiting and selling elegant silk dresses. There are also book stores like Vishwavidyalaya Prakashan, Motilal Banarasidas and Chaukhambha Sanskrit
Bhavan boasting of rare collections. It is also known for its flower
market and as being a foodie’s paradise. The famous Khoya Gali
specialises in condensed milk sweets, while Kachori Gali has
the famous Banarasi kachori (flour snack filled with stuffing). For
chaat (curd-based snack) lovers, Deena Chaat (Deenanath Kesari) at Nariyal Gali is the place to be.
Vishwanath Gali (Map Grid D3) (Near Vishwanath Temple; : 10am8pm; Avoid on Monday)
Located in the middle of old Varanasi (Banaras) city, Vishwanath Gali is a puzzle with three entry points. Apart from delicious
vegetarian snacks, this is a perfect place for people who have a
sweet tooth. Vishwanath Gali is a street shopper's delight, with
everything available from backpacks to audiocassettes. The
beautifully adorned wood and lacquer sindoor case are a must
pick from this market. The saunf-supari, a mouth freshener offered after hot kachoris and delicious jalebis here is as refreshing
as the water of the Ganga.
ACCOMMODATION
Wide range of hotels in all categories are available.
Contact nearest tourist office or www.incredibleindia.org
FAIRS & FESTIVALS
Dhrupad Mela (February)
Not for sale
Distances of various cities and villages from Varanasi
are as follows:
Agra 599 kms, Allahabad 129 kms, Ayodhya 217
kms, Bodhgaya 274 kms, Chitrakoot 255 kms, Faizabad 211 kms, Ghazipur 79 kms, Gorakhpur 201 kms,
Jaipur 832 kms, Jamshedpur 559 kms, Jaunpur 64
kms, Jhansi 532 kms, Kanpur 327 kms, Khajuraho
376 kms, Lucknow 318 kms, Mussoorie 894 kms,
Muzaffarpur 306 kms, Nalanda 333 kms, Patna 252
kms, Rae Bareli 241 kms, Ranchi 431 kms, Sarnath
12 kms.
Bharat Kala Bhavan
Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple (Map Grid C4) (Nagwa, Sankat
Mochan Gali: : 5am-10pm; Photography, mobile phones and carry bags
not allowed)
Jantar Mantar
Gurudwara Bari Sangat Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur (Map Grid D3)
(Nichi Bagh; : sunrise to sunset)
The earliest and most significant gurudwara at Varanasi is located
Founded by Goswami Tulsidas, the holy Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple is believed to grant the wishes and desires of
those in distress. According to Vedic Astrology, Lord Hanuman
rescues people from the malignant forces of planet Saturn. The
UP Government Tourist Office
Urban Haat, Sanskritik Sankul,
Maqbool Alam Road,
Chowka Ghat
: +91-542-2505033
LIST OF MUSEUMS
Dhrupad Mela is a 5-day North Indian classical music extravaganza. Legendary artists perform throughout the night, enlivening the Tulsi Ghat with sounds of an assortment of Indian musical instruments; it culminates when the sun comes up on Ganga.
Mahashivaratri (February-March)
The city of Lord Shiva celebrates Mahashivaratri festival with
great fervour. On this occasion, all Shiva temples of Varanasi are
ornamentally embellished. The enactment of Lord Shiva’s marriage sees the baraat or ‘marriage procession’ being taken out
from the Mahamrityunjaya Temple, Daranagar and concluding
at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
Bharat Kala Bhawan (Map Grid C5)
Banaras Hindu University
: +91-542-2316337/ 2307620/ 2307621
Timings: 11am-4.30pm
Closed: Sundays, University Holidays
Entry Fee: Indian/ SAARC/
Foreigner/ Student: `5/ 20/ 40/ 2, Camera: `10
Archaeological Museum (Map Grid D1)
Sampurnand Sanskrit Visvavidyalaya
: +91-542--203961 (M): 09415711655
Timings: 10.30am-4.30pm (August-April),
7.30am-1pm (May-July)
Closed: University Holidays
Departmental Museum (Map Grid C5)
Ancient Indian History, Culture and
Archaeology, BHU
: +91-542-2307436/ 2367059/ 2368024 Timings:
10.30am-4.30pm; Closed: University Holidays
Geological Museum (Map Grid C5)
Department of Geology, BHU
: +91-542-2316081 Timings: 10.30am-5pm;
Closed: Sundays, University Holidays
Jnana-Pravaha Kalamandapa (Map Grid D5)
Centre for Cultural Studies & Research,
South of Samne Ghat
 : +91-542-2366326/ 2366971
(@) : [email protected]
(w) : www.jnanapravaha.org
Timings: 11am-5pm;
Closed: Monday
Parshwanath Vidyapeeth (Map Grid C5)
ITI Road, Karaundi
 : +91-542-2575521
(@) : [email protected]
Timings: 8am-12pm, 3pm-5pm (Summer)
10am-5pm (Winter)
Closed: Sunday
IMPORTANT NUMBERS
Ambulance
102
Police
100
Fire Brigade
101
Traffic/ Accidents
+91-542-2502073
District Control Room
09415908476
Varanasi City Railway Station
Enquiry - General/ Reservations 131
Airport Enquiry
+91-542-2400569
SPG Hospital, Kabirchaura
+91-542-2333723
SSL Hospital, BHU
+91-542-2312542-45
Government Hospital, Shivpur
+91-542-2282226
Note: Due to space constraint, all places of interest could not
be included here. For more up-to-date-information, contact
nearest India Tourism office. Or visit www.incredibleindia.org
varanasi city
Vishwanath Gali
By Road
Varanasi is connected to other states by National
Highway 2, 7 and 56. To travel in and around the
city, Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation
(UPSRTC) buses can be hailed from Varanasi Central
Bus Station on Sher Shah Suri Marg.
India Tourism, Varanasi
15-B, The Mall
: +91-542-2501784
(@) : [email protected]
(w) : www.incredibleindia.org
Ganga Dussehra (June)
sunset)
In India, the very thin line that often separates myth
from truth can be seen at best in Varanasi. In this city,
live the 330 million gods that are believed to be worshipped. It is logical, therefore, to say that it is even
heavenly than the heavens. It is also said that when
Shiva, the god of destruction lets loose the pralaya
(the flood that will destroy all creation), Kashi will remain unscathed. It is truly an eternal city!
Area
The festival of colours in Benaras is celebrated with a great spiritual and traditional fervour. The idols of Lord Shiva and Parvati
are taken out in a procession from Kashi Vishwanath Temple
and the devotees flock on the roadside throw gulal (dry coloured
powder) on them.
Devotees celebrate and rejoice at Sankat Mochan Temple on the
occasion of Lord Hanuman’s birth. The janmotsav or ‘birthday’
is celebrated for five days, with performances by renowned artistes from all over India.
Hanuman Ghat (Map Grid D4)
City
Ci
ty Map
ap
Must see Sites
TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRES
Holi (March)
Thatheri Bazaar (Map Grid C3) (: 10am – 8pm; Closed on Sunday)
Shop till you drop for silk sarees, suits, exquisite fabric materials, embroidered garments, pillow and cushion covers
and other garments at this fabric paradise. When you’re tired
of garments switch over to the brass works and choose from
the wide range and variety available here. Chew the famous
Baarasi paan or betel leaf in Babu Nandan’s paan shop which is
one of the most eminent paan shops in Varanasi. Do avail some
heavy discounts and of course be ready to raise your voice for
bargaining.
Bansphatak Chowk (Map Grid C3) (: 10am – 8pm; Closed on
Sunday)
Popular as sari market, Bansphatak Chowk is famous for Banarasi sari shops. The best of lehenga choli, ghagra and other
traditional dresses are found here. Don’t forget to visit the state
emporium for genuine Banarasi items.
City
Ci
ty Map
ap
Must see Sites
GETTING AROUND
City and private bus service can be availed from the bus stand
near Varanasi Junction Railway Station. Auto-rickshaws though
available in abundance mostly don’t run by meter, hence bargaining is necessary. Prepaid taxis and private cabs can be hired
from Canal Road Taxi Stand.
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
The Ghats of Varanasi
Every holy activity begins with a cleansing bath on one of the
hundreds of ghats lining the Ganga in Varanasi. It would be safe
to say that the life of a Hindu centres on the Varanasi ghats.
When he is born, he is brought to the ghats for the blessings of
the gods, he receives the janeo (holy thread) on its banks and
when it is time for him to depart to the other world, his mortals
remains are cremated on its banks. No journey to Varanasi is,
hence, complete without a visit to the ghats.
Assi Ghat (Map Grid D4)
at the very site where Guru Tegh Bahadur is said to have stayed
during his visit. It is 3-storeyed building that houses a sanctum,
two shrines and a small room called Tap Asthan which is believed to be the chamber that Guru Tegh Bahadur used for meditation. The complex also has a narrow step-well, called Baoli
Ganga Pargat.
Mrityunjay Mahadev Temple (Map Grid D3) (K-52/ 39 Vriddha Kal;
famous Prataha Aarti (morning puja with hymns) at 5am every
day must be attended by one and all
New Vishwanath Temple (Map Grid C5)
Situated within the Banaras Hindu University grounds, the Shiva
temple was planned by Madan Mohan Malviya and built by the
famous Birla family. The Bhagavad Gita engraved on the walls
and shivalinga are the main attraction of this temple.
: 4am – 12midnight)
This temple city is known for being the heartland of
Hindu renaissance, the land of piety, philosophy and
religious mysticism. It has gifted the world with great
souls like Gautam Buddha, Bhagwan Mahavira, Sant
Kabir, Ramanuja, Tulsi Das, Adi Shankaracharya and
many more.
The name of this holy temple is derived from the legend that the
linga enshrined in its sanctum has the powers to conquer death
(mrityu in Hindi means 'death' and jay means 'victory'). The waters
of the well called Kalodak Kup inside the complex is believed to
have healing properties.
Ganga Dussehra, the biggest festival dedicated to goddess Ganga, is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the city. Numerous
devotees take a holy dip in the Ganga and make offerings to the
goddess.
Alamgir Mosque (Map Grid D3) (Near Panchganga Ghat; : sunrise to
The beautiful 17 century Alamgir Mosque, built by Emperor Aurangzeb, is the largest structure on Panchganga Ghat.
th
Ganga Mahotsav (October-November)
Legend has it that Assi Ghat is located exactly on the spot where
Goddess Durga threw her dagger after slaying the demons
Shumbha and Nishumbha. The impact was so great that a crater
was formed and a stream emerged that merged with the Ganga.
The festival is organised by the Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department to celebrate Dev Deepavali and also provide a platform to
display the cultural legacy of the city. Reputed artistes are invited
from across the country to perform and participate in the official
celebrations of the 4-day festival on the Dasashwamedh Ghat.
Harishchandra Ghat (Map Grid D4)
Dev Deepavali (November)
Harishchandra Ghat can be easily identified by the pyres that
burn all day long on its stone steps. It is believed that the legendary King Harishchandra worked here as a chandaal (one who
performs the cremation). One can also visit the temples of Adi
Manikanteshwara, Vriddha Kedar and Raja Harishchandra located on the ghat.
The ghats of Varanasi brighten up with several glittering diyas,
‘earthen lamps’, during the Dev Deepavali. Devotees pay homage to River Ganga during the full moon in the month of Kartik
called Kartik Purnima.
The foremost feature of the Hanuman Ghat are the numerous
akhadas (country gymnasiums) lining its steps. Every morning,
heavily built men wielding clubs can be spotted exercising on its
earthen floors. It is also the best place to lie down on a charpai
(string cot) and have a pehelwan (wrestler) give you nice and
refreshing oil massage.
Dasashwamedh Ghat (Map Grid D4)
One of the most important ghats in Varanasi, Dasahhwamedh
derives its name from the ten (dus, in Hindi) horse sacrifices
(ashwamedh) performed here by Lord Brahma to appease Lord
Shiva. One of the primary attractions is the Ganga aarati. Every
evening, priests come down to the ghats and worship the Ganga
with multi-tiered flaming lamps. Viewed from a boat on the river,
it is a visual spectacle.
QUICK FACTS
Nakkatayya Leela (October)
Alamgir Mosque
St. Mary s Church (Map Grid C3) (Mall Road, Cantonment Area;
: 8am-6pm)
St. Mary’s is among the oldest Protestant churches in the country. It is believed that the foundation stone of this church was laid
by Daniel Corrie in 1810. The compound with a short tower, spire
and projecting porch also serves as the resting place to many
tombs and memorials.
Bharat Mata Temple (Map Grid C3) (Kashi Vidyapeeth Campus; :
9.30am-8pm)
Pay your obeisance to the map of undivided India, carved on
marble and guarded by five pillars, each one symbolising the
convergence of nature’s elements like earth, wind, fire, water and
sky. Unlike other temples of India, Mother India is worshipped in
the Bharat Mata Temple. Established by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupt,
the temple had Mahatma Gandhi as its first visitor in 1936.
Dasashwamedh Ghat
: 125 sq kms
Altitude
: 80.7 m above sea level
Temperature
: Summer- Max: 38°C Min: 28°C
: Winter- Max: 21°C Min: 7°C
Average annual
Precipitation
: 11.1 cms
Best Season
: July to March
STD Code
: 0542
Language
: Hindi, English
GETTING TO VARANASI
By Air
Manikarnika Ghat (Map Grid D3)
The chief cremation ghat of Varanasi, Manikarnika Ghat has
numerous pyres burning day and night. It is believed that Lord
Shiva himself goes near the burning pyre and carries the soul
to heaven. Fuelled by this belief, the ghat receives hundreds of
bodies every day.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple (Map Grid D3) (Vishwanath Gali; : 2.30am10.30pm)
One of the most popular and revered shrines of Varanasi is the
Kashi Vishwanath Temple. It is one of the twelve sacred jyotirlingas or the 'lingas of light’. Devotees believe that even a glance
of this famed linga can sanctify one’s entire being. In the same
complex is the temple of Devi Annapurna Bhavani.
Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport or Babatpur Airport in Varanasi operates daily flights to New
Delhi, Agra, Khajuraho, Lucknow and Mumbai. It also
has international flights to Kathmandu, Colombo and
Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi.
Gyanvapi Mosque (Map Grid D3) (Nagwa; : sunrise to sunset)
By Rail
Jantar Mantar (Map Grid D3) (Near Dasashwamedha Ghat)
Varanasi with its two railway stations, Kashi Junction
and Varanasi Cantonment, connects trains to New
Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Khajuraho, Jammu
and Jodhpur.
Established by Maharaja Jai Singh in 1737, this observatory is
similar to the one in Delhi and Jaipur. It measures local time,
sun's declination, altitude, movement of stars, planets and determines eclipses with the help of yantras or mechanical instruments. Some of the important yantras are the Krantivritta Yantra,
Digansha Yantra, Samrat Yantra, Prakash Yantra, Ram Yantra,
Disha Yantra and Dhruva Yantra.
Tickets can be booked easily through the Indian
Railways website (www.irctc.co.in) and reservation
counters all over the city.
Hanuman Jayanti (March-April)
Sharing the same complex of Kashi Vishwanath Temple on the
Panchganga Ghat, the triple domed Mughal style mosque was
built by Emperor Aurangzeb. The mosque and the Kashi Vishwanath Temple stand testimony to the diversity of India.
Bharat Mata Temple
Durga Temple (Map Grid C4) (Durga Kund Road ; : 5am-12noon &
1pm-10pm)
The 18th century temple, placed on the rectangular Durga Kund,
can be easily identified by its huge multi-tiered red shikhara. Built
by a Bengali queen, the goddess is worshipped with fervour
especially during the Navratras.
Bharat Kala Bhavan (Map Grid C5) (Inside BHU; : 11am-4.30pm;
closed on University holidays; Entry fee: Indians/ SAARC/ Foreigners/
students: `5/ 20/ 40/ 2; Camera/ Shooting: `10/ 1000)
A part of Banaras Hindu University, this museum treasures Hindu and Buddhist archaeological remains. Established in 1920,
the hall has the sculpture of a man on one leg, one hand on his
hip and the other handling a huge stone on his head. The museum houses other galleries like Nicholas Roerich Gallery, Chhavi
(painting) Gallery, Mahamana Malviya Gallery, Nidhi (treasure)
Gallery, Archaeological Gallery, Sculpture Gallery, Decorative
Art Gallery and many others.
New Vishwanath Temple
Banaras Hindu University (Map Grid C5)
One of the internationally accredited institutions, the Banaras
Hindu University or BHU, was founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya in 1916, with Dr Annie Besant playing a crucial role.
Known as ‘Oxford of the East’, it is spread over 1,300 acres on
the south of the city. The architecture of the university considered amongst the marvellous monuments in Varanasi and also
houses an airstrip for aeronautical education.
FEW WORDS FROM INDIAN LEXICON
English to Hindi
Address
Answer
Arrival
Baggage
Directions
Festival
Food
Friend
Fruit
Gift
Hungry
Hurry up
Water
Price
Purchase
Question
Safe
Shop
Thank You
Toilet
Vegetable
Your
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
Pata
Jawab
Pahunchna
Saaman
Dishayen
Tyohar
Khana
Dost
Phal
Uphar
Bhukha
Jaldi Kijiye
Pani
Mulya
Kharidna
Sawal
Surakshit
Dukaan
Dhanyavad
Jan Suvidha/ Shouchalaya
Sabzi
Tumhara
CONVERSATIONAL PHRASES
English to Hindi
At the Airport
: Airport ki taraf
Where is the exit?
: Bahar ka raasta kidhar hai?
How far is the hotel?
: Hotel kitni door hai?
What is the rent?
: Kiraaya kitna hai?
Please call Taxi
: Kripaya Taxi bula dijiye
Please stop here
: Kripaya yaha ruke
Place worth visiting
: Dekhne layak jagah
Want city guide map
: Shahar maanchitra chahiye
Show me the way
: Mujhe raasta bata dijiye
Please do booking
: Kripaya booking kar dijiye
Which is the main
shopping centre?
: Mukhy bazaar kaunsa hai?
I want to send an e-mail
: Mujhe Email bhejna hai.
It is hot/ cold today
: Aaj bahut garmi/ sardi hai
An incident from the great epic, Ramayana, Nakkatayya is reenacted in the Nakkatayya Leela at Chetganj. Although it is more
popular among the people of Varanasi and the neighbouring
towns, it is also recommended to those exploring the heritage
of India.
Nag Nathaiya Festival (November- December)
Nag Nathaiya festival is a unique and popular festival celebrated
on the Tulsi Ghat. It marks the famous episode of Kaliya Mardan
from Krishna Leela, where Lord Krishna leapt into the water and
killed the poisonous Kaliya Cobra (nag) to save the people of
Vrindavan. A huge celebration takes place where the same episode is enacted and applauded by large number devotees.
SHOPPER’S PARADISE
Godowlia Market (Map Grid D3) (Godowlia; : 10am-8pm; Closed on
Sunday)
Godowlia Market is one of the most popular and busy shopping
areas in the city. An array of shops selling different items, from
garments to bags, handicrafts to gift items make this market simply stand apart. Beautiful silk and zari sarees, salwar suits and
other decorative household products are available here at reasonable prices.
Chowk Bazaar (Map Grid C3) (: 10am – 8pm; Closed on Sunday)
The Chowk Bazaar has numerous shops exhibiting and selling elegant silk dresses. There are also book stores like Vishwavidyalaya Prakashan, Motilal Banarasidas and Chaukhambha Sanskrit
Bhavan boasting of rare collections. It is also known for its flower
market and as being a foodie’s paradise. The famous Khoya Gali
specialises in condensed milk sweets, while Kachori Gali has
the famous Banarasi kachori (flour snack filled with stuffing). For
chaat (curd-based snack) lovers, Deena Chaat (Deenanath Kesari) at Nariyal Gali is the place to be.
Vishwanath Gali (Map Grid D3) (Near Vishwanath Temple; : 10am8pm; Avoid on Monday)
Located in the middle of old Varanasi (Banaras) city, Vishwanath Gali is a puzzle with three entry points. Apart from delicious
vegetarian snacks, this is a perfect place for people who have a
sweet tooth. Vishwanath Gali is a street shopper's delight, with
everything available from backpacks to audiocassettes. The
beautifully adorned wood and lacquer sindoor case are a must
pick from this market. The saunf-supari, a mouth freshener offered after hot kachoris and delicious jalebis here is as refreshing
as the water of the Ganga.
ACCOMMODATION
Vishwanath Gali
By Road
Wide range of hotels in all categories are available.
Contact nearest tourist office or www.incredibleindia.org
Varanasi is connected to other states by National
Highway 2, 7 and 56. To travel in and around the
city, Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation
(UPSRTC) buses can be hailed from Varanasi Central
Bus Station on Sher Shah Suri Marg.
FAIRS & FESTIVALS
Dhrupad Mela (February)
Not for sale
Distances of various cities and villages from Varanasi
are as follows:
Agra 599 kms, Allahabad 129 kms, Ayodhya 217
kms, Bodhgaya 274 kms, Chitrakoot 255 kms, Faizabad 211 kms, Ghazipur 79 kms, Gorakhpur 201 kms,
Jaipur 832 kms, Jamshedpur 559 kms, Jaunpur 64
kms, Jhansi 532 kms, Kanpur 327 kms, Khajuraho
376 kms, Lucknow 318 kms, Mussoorie 894 kms,
Muzaffarpur 306 kms, Nalanda 333 kms, Patna 252
kms, Rae Bareli 241 kms, Ranchi 431 kms, Sarnath
12 kms.
Bharat Kala Bhavan
Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple (Map Grid C4) (Nagwa, Sankat
Mochan Gali: : 5am-10pm; Photography, mobile phones and carry bags
not allowed)
Jantar Mantar
Gurudwara Bari Sangat Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur (Map Grid D3)
(Nichi Bagh; : sunrise to sunset)
The earliest and most significant gurudwara at Varanasi is located
Founded by Goswami Tulsidas, the holy Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple is believed to grant the wishes and desires of
those in distress. According to Vedic Astrology, Lord Hanuman
rescues people from the malignant forces of planet Saturn. The
India Tourism, Varanasi
15-B, The Mall
: +91-542-2501784
(@) : [email protected]
(w) : www.incredibleindia.org
UP Government Tourist Office
Urban Haat, Sanskritik Sankul,
Maqbool Alam Road,
Chowka Ghat
: +91-542-2505033
LIST OF MUSEUMS
Ganga Dussehra (June)
sunset)
In India, the very thin line that often separates myth
from truth can be seen at best in Varanasi. In this city,
live the 330 million gods that are believed to be worshipped. It is logical, therefore, to say that it is even
heavenly than the heavens. It is also said that when
Shiva, the god of destruction lets loose the pralaya
(the flood that will destroy all creation), Kashi will remain unscathed. It is truly an eternal city!
Area
The festival of colours in Benaras is celebrated with a great spiritual and traditional fervour. The idols of Lord Shiva and Parvati
are taken out in a procession from Kashi Vishwanath Temple
and the devotees flock on the roadside throw gulal (dry coloured
powder) on them.
Devotees celebrate and rejoice at Sankat Mochan Temple on the
occasion of Lord Hanuman’s birth. The janmotsav or ‘birthday’
is celebrated for five days, with performances by renowned artistes from all over India.
Hanuman Ghat (Map Grid D4)
Varanasi is counted among the cities that have been
inhabited since ancient times. Popularly known as
Kashi, the city is spiritually as vast as the Ganga herself and hence is called the religious capital of India.
Varanasi finds mention in epics like the Ramayana,
Mahabharata and Jataka tales. Known as the city of
Lord Shiva, his benediction can be felt in the belief
that whoever dies here attains salvation from the cycle of birth and rebirth.
TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRES
Holi (March)
Dhrupad Mela is a 5-day North Indian classical music extravaganza. Legendary artists perform throughout the night, enlivening the Tulsi Ghat with sounds of an assortment of Indian musical instruments; it culminates when the sun comes up on Ganga.
Mahashivaratri (February-March)
The city of Lord Shiva celebrates Mahashivaratri festival with
great fervour. On this occasion, all Shiva temples of Varanasi are
ornamentally embellished. The enactment of Lord Shiva’s marriage sees the baraat or ‘marriage procession’ being taken out
from the Mahamrityunjaya Temple, Daranagar and concluding
at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
Thatheri Bazaar (Map Grid C3) (: 10am – 8pm; Closed on Sunday)
Shop till you drop for silk sarees, suits, exquisite fabric materials, embroidered garments, pillow and cushion covers
and other garments at this fabric paradise. When you’re tired
of garments switch over to the brass works and choose from
the wide range and variety available here. Chew the famous
Baarasi paan or betel leaf in Babu Nandan’s paan shop which is
one of the most eminent paan shops in Varanasi. Do avail some
heavy discounts and of course be ready to raise your voice for
bargaining.
Bansphatak Chowk (Map Grid C3) (: 10am – 8pm; Closed on
Sunday)
Popular as sari market, Bansphatak Chowk is famous for Banarasi sari shops. The best of lehenga choli, ghagra and other
traditional dresses are found here. Don’t forget to visit the state
emporium for genuine Banarasi items.
Bharat Kala Bhawan (Map Grid C5)
Banaras Hindu University
: +91-542-2316337/ 2307620/ 2307621
Timings: 11am-4.30pm
Closed: Sundays, University Holidays
Entry Fee: Indian/ SAARC/
Foreigner/ Student: `5/ 20/ 40/ 2, Camera: `10
Archaeological Museum (Map Grid D1)
Sampurnand Sanskrit Visvavidyalaya
: +91-542--203961 (M): 09415711655
Timings: 10.30am-4.30pm (August-April),
7.30am-1pm (May-July)
Closed: University Holidays
Departmental Museum (Map Grid C5)
Ancient Indian History, Culture and
Archaeology, BHU
: +91-542-2307436/ 2367059/ 2368024 Timings:
10.30am-4.30pm; Closed: University Holidays
Geological Museum (Map Grid C5)
Department of Geology, BHU
: +91-542-2316081 Timings: 10.30am-5pm;
Closed: Sundays, University Holidays
Jnana-Pravaha Kalamandapa (Map Grid D5)
Centre for Cultural Studies & Research,
South of Samne Ghat
 : +91-542-2366326/ 2366971
(@) : [email protected]
(w) : www.jnanapravaha.org
Timings: 11am-5pm;
Closed: Monday
Parshwanath Vidyapeeth (Map Grid C5)
ITI Road, Karaundi
 : +91-542-2575521
(@) : [email protected]
Timings: 8am-12pm, 3pm-5pm (Summer)
10am-5pm (Winter)
Closed: Sunday
IMPORTANT NUMBERS
Ambulance
102
Police
100
Fire Brigade
101
Traffic/ Accidents
+91-542-2502073
District Control Room
09415908476
Varanasi City Railway Station
Enquiry - General/ Reservations 131
Airport Enquiry
+91-542-2400569
SPG Hospital, Kabirchaura
+91-542-2333723
SSL Hospital, BHU
+91-542-2312542-45
Government Hospital, Shivpur
+91-542-2282226
Note: Due to space constraint, all places of interest could not
be included here. For more up-to-date-information, contact
nearest India Tourism office. Or visit www.incredibleindia.org

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