Popular flight routes
See what's popular with other travellers
Varanasi, Kashi, or Benaras: what’s in a name?
Varanasi, Kashi, or Benaras, the city is known by three different names and each name has something or the other to contribute to the city’s spirituality, and overall grandeur. The overwhelming spiritual feeling that one gets at Varanasi is unbeatable and unmatchable at the same time. Varanasi is considered to be older than history itself. It was termed Kashi in Rig Veda, also meaning the city of lights. The city is known by other names too such as Avimuktaka, Rudravasa, Bhrahmavarda, etc.
Spiritually enlightening, the grounds of Kashi are treated as highly sacred by pilgrims flowing in from far-off lands in search of enlightenment. Benaras got its name from two Ganga tributaries flowing in the northern and southern parts. The northern part flow is known as Varuna and the southern part is known as Assi.
Varanasi came to be known as Benaras, all thanks to colonizers as they called the city Benaras to suit their accent. The magnetic grounds of Kashi do hold the power to change you spiritually. The famous Indian Epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharat find mention of Varanasi in their scriptures.
The narrow lanes and alleys in the city are sure to be highly welcoming and one can find a home away from home. You can feel extreme emotion and a highly awakened spiritual self when in Kashi.
Ghats at Varanasi
Varanasi is home to Ghats as there are 70 ghats in Kashi. If you want to take a holy dip or need to shave your head or do some pooja then Dasaswamedh Ghat is the one where you need to be. The evening aarti performed at the Dasaswamesh ghat is a sight to behold. The Assi Ghat is yet another significant ghat that is mostly visited by scholars, long-term students, researchers, and foreigners. Moving forward is the Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghat, both of these are used for cremation purposes in Kashi and as a consequence are dirty and reeking.
Places to eat
The streets and alleys in Varanasi are full of flavorsome food and one can enjoy a scrumptious street food platter as Benaras is famous for an array of delectables such as the famous Varanasi Chats, Kachori, Jalebis, and several other mouth-watering desserts. When in Benaras, people cannot miss the iconic Benarasi Paan (Betel leaf). Make sure to have a heartful of Lassi and Rabri. If you happen to visit Varanasi in winter, do try out the winter delicacy that is Malaiyo, a type of frothy dessert. Kashi is a heaven for food lovers, their ultimate paradise.
One can also visit Sarnath, a place where Gautama Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. It is nestled 10 km northeast of Varanasi. A day trip to Sarnath is easy to plan and execute as one can take an auto-rickshaw ride to reach Sarnath from Kashi.
Places to Stay
Numerous distinct travel options are available to stay in Varanasi. The best place to check for accommodation can be found near the vicinity of Dasaswamedh Ghat or Manikarnika Ghat. For tranquility lovers, the best places could be found at Assi Ghat or Kedar Ghat.
Get going and plan your next pilgrimage to Kashi for the best enlightenment experience on the Ghats of the holy river for an enchanting excursion into spirituality.