I. Subah-e-Banaras :
The morning of Varanasi is a mystic blend of nature’s grandeur and human existence. The enchanting light of the rising sun on the horizon towards the opposite bank of the river Ganga creates a mystical environment. A large number of visitors walk down to the Ghat every morning for the unique cultural and spiritual event called Subah-e-Banaras. Many people use to start the day with Vedic enchanting and vibrant soulful Indian music at the ghat. The sunrise of many places are beautiful and famous but the sunrise of Banaras is spectacular in the world. The residents and visitors of Varanasi feel the spiritual fragrance and eternal beauty of nature there.
II. Watch the daily rituals and ceremonies along the Ghats :
really a fascinating one to just walk 6 km long along the river on Ghats from Assi Ghat to Rajghat. The river Ganga and the Ghats are very peaceful and serene in the dawn. People start to descend on the ghat. Locals and pilgrims come to take bath in the sacred river, washerman washes the clothes by rhythmically hitting on the slabs, monks meditate on the ghat and all these activities simultaneously creates a fascinating scene. Also, the cremation on the ghats of Varanasi is one of the oldest rituals. Two ghats of Varanasi is designated as cremation ghats as it is believed among Hindus that Varanasi is the most sacred place to die.
III. Witness a Funeral procession at the cremation ghats :
Ghats of Varanasi are considered one of the auspicious locations for the cremations. The Manikarnika and Harishchandra ghats are the ghats for cremation. This is the place where one can see the funeral procession. On these ghats photography is not allowed, one can capture the moment from distance or from a boat. Varanasi is the only place where the holy river Ganga, the holy temples, the pilgrims from all around the globe, the cremation ghats, the infants, the young, the old, the person with sorrow, the person with happiness and the holy cows exist togetherely.
IV. Boating in the Ganga :
Boating in the mystic environment of Varanasi in the morning time is really a spectacular thing. Boating along the Dashwamedh Ghat and Assi Ghat has now become the tradition for the visitors. Boat ride is a must do activity in Varanasi. Usually visitors use to ride boat either at the dusk or at the dawn and also this is the best time to ride.
V. Enjoy Ganga Aarti in the Evening :
Varanasi become more vibrant in the evening at 7p.m. It is the time for the magnificent and holy Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh ghat. At the time of Aarti number of devotees, tourists and locals gathered around the ghat to enjoy the aarti. A group of priests starts aarti in a well organised manner by having a lighting lamp in their hand, start a rhythmic chant of mantras. Priests blow the conch shell in between the aarti very loudly and aarti continues with the incense sticks. After completion of the mantras, priests do aarti with multi-tiered brass lamps having firing camphor.
VI. Enjoy Dev Deepawali :
Dev Deepawali is celebrated on the fifteenth day of Diwali in the respect of Ganga every year. Then entire ghats of the Ganga, from Ravidas Ghat at the Southern end to Rahghat get decorated with the number of tiny earthen lamps and floral rangolis at the evening of Kartik Purnima. It is considered that pilgrims flow diyas in water of Ganga to welcome the God.
VII. Explore the Roots of Buddhism in Sarnath :
After the attainment of enlightenment at Bodhgaya, Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon in Sarnath. Afte that, in sarnath Buddhist kings constructed many stupas, viharas and monasteries and also evolved Sarnath as a great learning centre of Buddhism. Sarnath is the place from where the famous Ashoka pillar was excavated. And from which “The Lion Capital”, the Nationa Emblem of India is adopted.
VIII.Visit at least a Fair/Festival :
By virtue of its religious and cultural importance, Varanasi is abuzz with fairs and festivals all around the year. The fairs and festivals of Varanasi attract lakhs of visitors. Some famous fair held in the month of October during the festivals of Navratri and Diwali in Varanasi are- The Nag Nathaiyya(nailing the king cobra by Lord Krishna) at the Tulsi Ghat, Bharat Milap(first meeting of lord Rama with his brother Bharat after exile) of Nati Imli, Nakkataiy(cutting the nose of Suparnakha) of chetganj. And the most enjoyable and famous festivals are Holi, Diwali, Navratri, Durga Puja, Chhath Puja.
IX. Eat Banarasi Paan :
Basically Banarasi Paan is the betel leaves. Banarasi Paan is famous all over the world because of its awesome taste. Banarasi Paan refreshes the mouth and is also helpful in digestion. Preparing a Banarasi Paan is an art as only the appropriate ingridients will give the perfect taste. Banarasi Paan is also known as Tambul in Sanskrit. There is wide array of delicious paans available in Varanasi.
X. Enjoy the street foods :
Besides the restaurant and hotels Varanasi is full of small shops, hawkers selling food items along the road or in streets. Among all these- Kachori in kachori gali, Jalebi Rabri in Vishwanath Gali, Lassi and Lawang Lata at Pahalwan’s Shop or at Basant Bahar, aloo chat at Kashi chat bhandar are some the famous street shops. There is a complete neat and clean environment maintained in Varanasi. Varanasi is a place to enjoy and celebrate.
XI. Enjoy Mangoes in Summer :
Varanasi is also famous for the sweetness of Mango. As in India mango is considered as king of all fruits, there are lots of varieties of mango across the country. But the mango which is known as Langda mango is found only in Varanasi in India. This variety of mango is popular because of its sweetness and also it is considered suitable for slicing and canning. It is normally harvested during the last half of July. It is far sweeter than much famous mango Alphonso.
XII. Buy Banarasi Silk Saree :
Sari made in Varanasi which is much popular as Banarasi Sari is among the finest saris in India. Banarasi Saris are known for their gold and silver brocade or Zari, fine silk and opulent embroidery and are decorated with intricate design.
Varanasi is a city full of contrast as Varanasi is considered as holiest and is also the dirtiest; Ganga is one of the sacred and is also the polluted; city is full of kind people and is also famous for its thugs; it’s a place to live and also there is cremation place. In short one can say that Varanasi is a place to enjoy and experience. Once a person visit here, either love this place or hate this place. This is the place where people togetherely enjoy, puzzled, shocked, feel comfort and feel hatred. This is the place to relax or to soothe forgetting all the worldly tensions. This place takes a special space in one’s heart once who spend time here. It can be said about varanasi is that- this place is more than a pilgrimage place, more than a spiritual place and more than a place to enjoy.