Varanasi is the holy city of India and is also called Benaras and Kashi. This is a sacred place of Hindus and one of the oldest cities of the world. Millions of pilgrims visit this place every year and they take bath in the River Ganges early in the morning at sunrise and offer their prayers. Bathing in Ganges is believed to wash away all the sins. There are numerous shrines in Varanasi that it is also known as the city of temples and it attracts spiritual lovers from various parts.
Varanasi has a humid subtropical climate and has great variations in summer and winter seasons. The summers are long and hot and so it is better to avoid visiting in summer season. The winters are very cold and the cold waves from the Himalayas make it even colder. The formation of fog will screen the sight in winter making it difficult to travel. The post monsoon season and the early summers are the right time to visit Varanasi.
Though weaving, manufacturing and agriculture are some of the major industries of the area, tourism overtakes them all. Fine silks, wall hangings and lamp shades are made here focusing the tourists coming to this place. Though this is an ancient city, there are many modern buildings and malls and multiplexes built these days.
There are many museums in Varanasi worth visiting such as Jantar Mantar, Archaeological Museum, Bharat Kala Bhavan and Saraswati Bhawan in Ramnagar Fort. Jantar Mantar is an observatory built during the time of Maharaja Jai Singh in 1737, Archaeological museum is located in Sarnath and is the oldest museum of its kind in India and houses the antiquities and has five galleries displaying items from 300 B.C. to 1200 A.D. that were excavated at Sarnath, Bharat Kala Bhawan was established in 1920 has more than 100,000 objects including costumes, paintings, philately and archival materials and personal collections and Saraswati Bhawan houses many books including the precious handwritten manuscript by Tulsidas. There are also more than 100 ghats in Varanasi.
There is a domestic airport in Varanasi called Babatpur Airport that has regular flights to selected destinations of India. Varanasi Junction is one of the important railway stations of North India and connects all major Indian cities. NH 2, NH 56 and NH 7 connect Varanasi with other neighboring cities and reaching Varanasi by road is the easiest option for those who are living around the place.
There are many restaurants that offer different types of foods and those that are closer to the ghats cater to the tastes of the foreign tourists. The Banarasi Khana is available in the main market area and Benaras Aloo Dhum is popular among the locals. The place is also famous for its paan. As home stays are famous here, home cooked foods also have great welcome.
Many good places to stay are located around the ghats. The most famous temples and the main market are located here. Another good place where you can find the best hotels is Sarnath. To find the right Varanasi hotels and Varanasi restaurants take a look at the good Varanasi travel guide.