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Varanasi is an ancient city, home to the holy River Ganges, which is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus. Varanasi is located in India’s Uttar Pradesh State, and is accessible by train from most other cities, by bus from some cities, and served by Varanasi Airport.

The Ganges River sees thousands of pilgrims every day, as it is a very holy site for Hindus and bathing in this river carry a great deal of spiritual significance. For visitors, just walking around the different steps – known as Ghats - and witnessing the religious ceremonies is an incredible experience. The river is also used as a burial site for those who were able to make it there in time for their death. While it’s a unique experience to witness most of what goes around in and around the river, it also offers a great deal of cultural and spiritual education so it’s important to be a respectful and open-minded visitor.

Spend at least one day exploring Varanasi on foot. The city is full of interesting and mostly ancient architecture and very small alleyways that are often too small for even the rickshaws. Walking among the neighborhoods and watching the activity of people all around is a great way to really get to know the city.

Of course, Varanasi is also home to many temples and places of worship. Near the famously intricate Dashashwamedh Ghat can be found the famous Vishwanath Temple, one of the holiest temples dedicated to the Lord Shiva. It’s an incredibly beautiful structure that carries a massive religious significance, definitely worth visiting.

There’s much more to see and experience in Varanasi, and the interactive map on this page is a great way to find out where the attractions and hotels can be found in this interesting city.