Varanasi, also known as Kashi or Banaras, is one of the oldest and most spiritual cities in India. It is located on the banks of the holy river Ganges and attracts millions of visitors every year. If you’re a solo traveler looking to experience the unique vibe of Varanasi, there are plenty of things to do and places to explore. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the top things to do for a solo trip to Varanasi.
How To Reach Varanasi
Getting to Varanasi Before we dive into the things to do, let’s discuss how to get to Varanasi. The city is well-connected by air, rail, and road. The nearest airport is Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, which is around 20 kilometers away from the city center. You can also reach Varanasi by train from major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. Alternatively, you can take a bus from nearby cities like Allahabad, Lucknow, and Gorakhpur. The best time to visit Varanasi is from October to March when the weather is pleasant and there are many festivals and cultural events happening.
Accommodation Options Varanasi offers a variety of accommodation options for solo travelers. If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of guesthouses and hostels that offer clean and comfortable rooms at affordable prices. Some popular hostels in Varanasi are Zostel, Stops Hostel, and International Travellers’ Hostel. If you prefer more luxurious options, there are several hotels and resorts in and around the city that offer world-class amenities and services. Some popular hotels in Varanasi are Taj Ganges, Ramada Plaza JHV, and The Gateway Hotel Ganges.
Places to Visit Now, let’s talk about the top things to do and places to visit for a solo trip to Varanasi.
- Kashi Vishwanath Temple – This is one of the most famous temples in Varanasi and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located in the heart of the city and is a must-visit for any spiritual seeker.
- Sarnath – This is a small town located just a few kilometers away from Varanasi and is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. It is believed that Lord Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath after attaining enlightenment.
- Dashashwamedh Ghat – This is the most famous and crowded ghat in Varanasi. It is believed that Lord Brahma created this ghat to welcome Lord Shiva. You can take a boat ride on the Ganges during sunrise or sunset to witness the mesmerizing aarti (prayer) ceremony.
- Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum – This museum is located inside the Banaras Hindu University campus and houses a vast collection of paintings, sculptures, and textiles from all over India.
- Kala Bhavan Art Gallery – This art gallery is also located inside the Banaras Hindu University campus and showcases contemporary Indian art by local and national artists.
- Ramnagar Fort – This fort is located on the opposite bank of the Ganges and is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture. It also houses a museum that displays the weapons and armor used by the royal family.
- Kachori Gali – This narrow alley is lined with street food stalls that serve some of the best kachoris (a savory pastry) in Varanasi.
- Blue Lassi – This iconic shop serves lassi (a yogurt-based drink) in clay pots and offers a variety of flavors like mango, chocolate, and apple.
- Vishwanath Gali – This bustling street is a foodie’s paradise and offers a variety of street food options like chaat, samosas, and jalebis.
- Vishwanath Lane – This narrow lane is located near the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and is famous for its silk and cotton textiles, jewelry, and souvenirs.
- Thatheri Bazaar – This market is located near the Manikarnika Ghat and is famous for its brass and copper utensils, lamps, and other household items.
- Godowlia Market – This market is located near the Dashashwamedh Ghat and offers a variety of products like spices, sweets, clothes, and handicrafts.
Tips To Help You Navigate The City
Tips for Solo Travelers Varanasi can be overwhelming for solo travelers, especially if it’s your first time in India. Here are some tips to help you navigate the city:
- Dress modestly and respect local customs and traditions.
- Be wary of touts and scammers who may try to rip you off or sell you fake goods.
- Avoid traveling alone at night, especially in secluded areas.
- Use a map or GPS to navigate the city and keep your belongings safe.
- Try to learn some basic Hindi phrases to communicate with locals and make your trip more enjoyable.
Varanasi is a city that offers a unique blend of spirituality, culture, and history. As a solo traveler, you can immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions and explore the city at your own pace. By following these tips and visiting the top places mentioned in this blog post, you’re sure to have an unforgettable solo trip to Varanasi.