August to April
One of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities and one of Hinduism’s seven holy cities, Varanasi (Banaras) is a hub of philosophy, theosophy, medicine and learning. It is now a chaotic mélange of pilgrims, tourists and trident-toting sadhus, cycle rickshaws, boats and ghats. It is impossible to leave unstirred, unshaken or unmoved.
The modern deer park is home to some of the most ancient Buddhist monuments and relics. There is an archaeological museum that houses the famous Ashokan Lion Capital with four lions over the wheel of Dharma, which is today the national emblem of India. In the evening you can enjoy the Ganga Aarti, the performance of daily ablutions to the sacred river.
At sunrise, there are boat rides on the Ganges river, revered by the Hindus as a goddess and then walk through the narrow lanes of the ancient town to visit the most prominent temple of Varanasi, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Shiva. Head out into the city to the Benares Hindu University, a pleasant and verdant area of the city that hosts a Bharat Kala Museum and the new Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The Durga Temple, known popularly as the Monkey Temple because of all the simians loitering around, is an interesting stop before heading out to the Ghats for another Aarti.
Varanasi is also known as the city of temples and you can explore it with an expert anthropologist and get a glimpse to understand the nuances of religious and spiritual lives of the people of Varanasi. Get a unique perspective on the culture of the city and its significance in the larger cultural context of India. Later, visit a famous silk weaving facility. Varanasi is well known for its pure form of silk and unique weaving techniques
Walk the narrow alleyways and explore the fabulous variety of street food that is unique to Varanasi.The temple town hides several culinary secrets. Try the creamy Malaiyo, or the sweetened Gilori, or the Sabzi Kachori and of course the famous Banaras kipaan. Later on, you will take a drive to Ramnagar Fort, a 17th century fort. It is situated across the Ghats on the other side of the Ganga river.