Varanasi is one of the oldest living cities in the world and one of the holiest cities for Hindus. It is an important pilgrimage centre often refered to as the spiritual capital of India. The city is situated on the banks of the river Ganga, which believed to bring purity to the living and salvation to the dead. There are nearly one hundred ghats (a series of steps leading to the river) and 23,000 Temples and a beautiful old city called Vishwanatha Khanda.
Major tourist sites in and around Varanasi: Jantar Mantar observatory, Ramnagar Fort, Ghats, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, Gyanvapi mosque, Ganj-e-Shaheedan Mosque, etc.
When to visit: best time to visit end of October to March. April to May are hot and humid. June to September is monsoon season.
HOW TO REACH
Nearest railway station: Varanasi is well connected by trains to all major cities of India.
The main station is Varanasi Junction (IR station code : BSB) also popularly known as Varanasi Cantt Railway Station. Other train stations - Manduadih Railway Station, Kashi railway station and Varanasi City railway station. Mughal Sarai Junction (IR station code : MGS) is located about 20km east of the city.
Nearest airport: Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport is located about 26 kilometers from the city centre in Babatpur.
Buses: The bus station in Varanasi is located just east of the Varanasi Junction train station.
By road: Varanasi is well connected by National Highway 19 with Kolkata, Kanpur, Agra, and Delhi. National Highway 28 connects Varanasi to the Nepal-India border.
The distance from Delhi to Varanasi is about 820 km via NH19. It takes around 13 hours.
The distance from Agra to Varanasi is about 600 km via NH19. It takes around 10 hours.
The distance from Kolkata to Varanasi is about 683 km via NH19. It takes around 13 hours.
The distance from Lucknow to Varanasi 320 km via Varanasi - Allahabad Rd and NH30. It takes around 6-7 hours.
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