About the Mystical City Kashi | Book Your Hostel Stay
Once a year, every year, Varanasi gets a supercharged beauty treatment in the form of hundreds of thousands of Diyas (earthen lamps) lit up—all at once—along the riverside, on its eighty ghats. Also known as Diwali of the Gods, the celebration marks the festival of Kartik Purnima, which takes place 15 days after the festival of lights, Diwali. This spectacular sight is worth every hype – there’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world.
We suggest you book a bed at ITH if you haven’t already.
Kashi is a beautiful place with magnificent riverside views and a boating experience like none other – truly unmatched by anything else in the world!
We strongly encourage independent travel, and therefore offer an offbeat Varanasi Travel Guide on our Travel Guides & Stories portal My Wanderlust. Our guide is designed for intrepid travellers who prefer wandering on their own to explore.
Besides its biggest attraction – the river Ganges and its ghats, Varanasi is also famous for its historical temples. Literally, thousands of temples line up the lanes and by-lanes of this ancient city. And the mystics? They’re everywhere!
One of the most enchanting experiences you can get in the world is witnessing the sun rise over the Ganges in Varanasi. The sounds of the daily morning rituals (Aarti) performed by the priests, of the temple bells ringing and of the chirping birds mingled with the calmness of the river and of the water splashing from the rowing boats creates a truly magical atmosphere.
The best place to enjoy the sunrise is being on the ghats (the stairways leading to the river) watching the sun appear over the east bank of the river. Alternatively you may also be boating and watch the golden rays of the sun begin to shine on the several heritage buildings of the ancient city Kashi lining the west bank.
Contrary to the wee hours, evenings in the city are typically bustling with an unimaginable diversity of life. The famous Ganga Aarti ceremonies performed every evening on Dashashwamedh Ghat and Assi Ghat can be enjoyed on the ghats themselves as well as from boats. The rituals performed in the evenings are on a grander scale and are quite an exhibit.
With the nighttime settling in, and along with it the receding sounds of the city, spending time at the riverside before calling it a day is a good way to bring your soul to calm.
The ghats are lined up with a diverse range of cafés and restaurants that are recommendable for a quick snack as well as supper.
Food & City Life
Varanasi has some of India’s best and yet largely mysteriously hidden food scene to offer…believe it or not. Ranging from the obvious local street food specialties such as Gol Gappa and Lassi to the not-so-obvious Alsace’s famous Flammkuchen; authentic wood-fired oven Italian pizza to American Apple Pie to German bakery; cheesecakes to raw vegan – there truly is a diverse landscape of exciting food joints. You’ve just got to know where to look!