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Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

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How to Reach

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

Varanasi is well-linked to some of the major cities in India like Delhi and Mumbai. International participants can board connecting flights from major International airports to Varanasi. The nearest airport is Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport at Babatpur, 22 km from Varanasi and 30 Km from Sarnath. Direct flights for Varanasi are also available from Agra, Delhi, Khajurao, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Bhubaneshwar. Besides, road and Railway connections to all major cities are available from Varanasi Railway Station. Travel time from Delhi to Varanasi by railway is around 13 hours, Delhi to Lucknow is around 9 hrs and Lucknow to Varanasi is about 6 hours.

Things to Do Tourist Attractions in Varanasi

Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple is a major sacred attraction, dedicated to Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of the city. One amongst the twelve Jyotirlinga, the present temple was built by Rani Ahailya Bai Holkar of Indore in the year 1776, However, Shri Kashivishwanath Temple was existed even before the present one. About 800 kg of gold being used to cap the spire by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, hence also known as the Golden Temple in Varanasi.

Location

It is located in the heart of the city, near the Dashashwamedha Ghat. It is situated at a distance of 5 KM from the Varanasi Station.

Aarti Timings

  • 03.00 AM - 04.00 PM : Mangala Aarti
  • 11.15 AM - 12.20 PM : Bhog Aarti
  • 07.00 PM - 08.15 PM : Sandhya Aarti
  • 09.00 PM - 10.15 PM : Shringar Aarti
  • 10.30 PM - 11.00 PM : Shayan Aarti

Dashashwamedha Ghat

It is one of the most famous Ghats of Varanasi owing to its serene atmosphere and the footfall of tourists. The Ghat is Varanasi's most frequent bathing Ghat. Located on a bank of River Ganga, it is lined with a trail of temples, which are thronged by devotees throughout the year. Dashashwamedha, meaning 'Sacrifice of ten horses'; is a series of sacrifices performed by Lord Brahma to test the King Divodasa.

Aarti Timings

  • Sunset and sunrise time

Kal Bhairav Temple

The temple is dedicated to Lord Kaal Bhairav, who is known as the 'Kotwal of Varanasi', it is said that without his permission no one can stay in Kashi. Bhairav is considered a fearsome manifestation of Shiva, who wears a garland of skulls and carries a club of peacock feathers.

Opening time

  • 5:00 am to 1:30 pm
  • and 4:00 pm to 9:30 pm

Nepali Mandir

Nepali temple, situated on Lalita Ghat, was constructed in the 19th century A.D by the late King of Nepal. The temple features a blend of intricate woodwork and red hued concrete which were brought from Nepal. The walls have exquisite and lively carvings.

Location

Lalita Ghat in Varanasi

Aarti Timings

  • The Aarti is held twice a day 5:00 am and 6:00 pm.

Opening Timings

  • Open daily from 4:00 AM - 12:00 PM in the morning
  • and 1:00 PM - 9:00 PM in the evening.

Alamgir Mosque

The Alamgir Mosque is adjacent to the sacred River Ganga, and oversees the Panch Ganga Ghat. The masjid exhibits influential architectural skills. It is a fine example of what can be achieved if Hindu and Mughal styles of architecture are beautifully blended. The Hindu effect is more noticeable in the lower portions of the mosque and the enclosure walls whereas in the rest of the mosque the Muslim effect is far more obvious. The Alamgir Mosque, Varanasi is one of the significant tourist attractions in the city.

Location

Panchganga Ghat

Man Mahal Ghat

Man Mahal Ghat was built in 1600 by Maharaja Man Singh of Amer along with a palace known for the magnificent building with exquisite ornate window carvings and also for a very interesting observatory on the roof. This was built by Savai Jai Singh II in 1710.

Durga Temple

Durga temple, also known as the Monkey temple (because of the presence of huge number of monkeys), is adjacent to Durga Kund Varanasi. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Durga. It was built in the 18th century. Durga temple was constructed by a Bengali Maharani in the north Indian Style with multi-tiered shikhara.

Sankat Mochan Temple

The Sankat Mochan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city which is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. It is situated on the banks of Pauranic Assi River. Goswamiji has specifically named lord Hanuman "Sankat Mochan" which means reliever from troubles. It is said that Tulsidas wrote Ramcharitmanas here. Temple is located about 6.8 km from the railway station of Varanasi and same distance from bus stand and 3 km from the BHU.

Aarti timings

  • (Subah Aarti) 4 AM in the morning
  • (Sandhya Aarti) 9 PM in the night

Opening timings

  • 5:00 AM in the morning till noon
  • and then from 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM at night.

Tulsi Manas Mandir

Built in 1964 the Tulsi Manas Mandir is one of the most famous temples in Varanasi. It is made up of white marble and the beautiful garden adds to its attraction. The temple is dedicated to the Lord Rama and was constructed by the Sureka family of Banaras.

Aarti timings

  • 6:00 AM in the morning and 4:00 AM in the evening.

Opening timings

  • The temple opens up at 5:00 AM in the morning till noon
  • and 3:30 PM to 9 PM in the evening.

Assi Ghat

Assi Ghat is described in the Kashi Khand as Assi "Saimbeda Tirtha" meaning the one who gets a dip here once in his life will get punya of all the Tirthas (religious places of the Hindu). The Ghat is open at all times and to everyone.

Sant Kabir Math

Varanasi is also the birthplace of Sant Kabir Das. Thus, this city is home to 'Kabir Math', which was built in honour of Sant Kabir. It is located in the Kabir Chaura locality and houses paintings depicting the life-events of the saint, which are worth seeing.

Lahartara Sarovar (lake)

Located some three kilometers from Cantonment. Railway Station on Varanasi-Prayagraj route, it is the Udbhav Sthal of the great Saint Kabir. An old temple built in the proximity of the lake is worth a visit.

Kedar Ghat

On the Sonarpura road is the narrow Kedar Gali leading to Kedar Ghat. The ancient temple of Kedareshwara is especially revered by Pilgrims from South India.

The ever burning Ghats

Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghats are where you can witness the ritual of cremation from a respectful distance, offering a once-in-a lifetime experience.

Harishchandra Ghat is a cremation Ghat, named after the legendary king Harishchandra who is said to have lost everything in desire for self-abnegation, a king who kept honesty above everything and was reduced to work as a scavenger at the cremation ground. People in this part of the city believe that this is the oldest cremation ground in Varanasi, surpassing even Manikarnika Ghat in its sanctity.

Ram Nagar Fort & Museum

Located on the eastern bank of River Ganga, Ram Nagar Fort is a beautiful place to witness the sunset over the river. It is an 18th-century structure built by Maharaja Balwant Singh and is the ancestral home of Maharaja of Banaras. The fort is built in red sandstone. It houses a temple dedicated to Ved Vyasa, writer of Mahabharata, the great Indian epic. The Fort includes an eccentric museum boasting a royal collection of vintage cars, swords, palanquins, ivory works, an old weaponry section and an extremely unusual astrological clock.

Location

The Ram Nagar Fort is located 14 KM from Varanasi city centre and 8 KM from Banaras Hindu University on the opposite bank of River Ganga.

Opening hours

  • Daily (10:00 AM – 5:30 PM)

Entry Fee

  • INR 150 for foreigners, INR 20 for Indian adults and INR 10 for children.

Bharat Kala Bhawan (BHU)

Bharat Kala Bhavan was established on 1 January 1920 in a wing of Bharat Kala Parishad in Godowlia, Varanasi. Between 1920 to 1962, the museum was shifted to several locations within Varanasi before Jawaharlal Nehru laid foundation of the existing museum building in 1950 and the museum was shifted to its existing location in the Banaras Hindu University in 1962. Mahatma Gandhi visited Bharat Kala Bhavan thrice and in his final trip he inscribed, "the collection is very good".

New Kashi Vishwanath Temple, BHU

Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya planned to replicate Shri Kashi Vishwanath Mandir on the campus of Benaras Hindu University. The Birla family undertook the construction and foundation was laid in March 1931. The temple (Shri Vishwanath Mandir) was finally completed in 1966.

Shri Vishwanath Mandir's construction took thirty-five years to complete (1931-1966). The temple is one of the tallest in India. With a height of 77 meters (253 feet). Temple's design was inspired by Shri Kashi Vishwanath Mandir and is made mostly of marble.

Sarnath

Where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon

Located at a distance of 10 KM from Varanasi, Sarnath is one of the most significant Buddhist pilgrimage centres. This is the place where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon, after attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. His first sermon is sanctified as Maha Dharma Chakra Pravartan, meaning set in motion the Wheel of Dharma. During the time of Lord Buddha, this town was called Rishipattana or Isipatana and Mrigdava owing to the dense forest inhabited by deer. Emperor Ashoka, who spread Lord Buddha's message of love & peace throughout his empire, came to Sarnath around 234 B.C. and got a Stupa built here.

Today, Sarnath stands as one of the key sites on the Buddhist Circuit, attracting followers from around the world. The town is dotted with well-maintained erstwhile monasteries, stupas, and a museum.

Major Attractions in Varanasi

Chaukhandi Stupa

Chaukhandi Stupa is huge mound of brick –work whose square edifice is surrounded by an octagonal tower. Originally said to be built by Emperor Ashoka, the site has great significance for the Buddhists devotees as this is the place where Lord Buddha met his first five disciples after attaining enlightenment.

Dhamek Stupa

Dhamek Stupa is the most remarkable structure at Sarnath. 28 metres in diameter at the base and 43.6 metres in height this cylindrical structure is built partly of stone and partly of brick. The stone facing the lower part is adorned with delicate floral carvings of Gupta origin. Dhamek Stupa is one of the most frequented attractions of the townas this is the place where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon.

Archaeological Museum

Archaeological Museum Sarnath is the oldest site museum of Archaeological Survey of India in real sense. In order to preserve and display the antiquities found from the site during the excavations, a decision was taken in 1905 by the Government to construct a site museum adjacent to the excavated area at Sarnath.

It was due initiative of Sir John Marshall, the then Director General of Archaeology in India, that this museum was created. The plans were prepared by Mr. James Ransome , the then Consulting Architect to the Government of India. The building was completed in 1910 to house, display and study the antiquities in their right perspective. The building forms half of a monastery (sangharama) in plan.

There are five galleries & two verandahs in the museum to display the antiquities ranging in time from third century B.C. to twelfth century A.D. found at Sarnath.

The museum preserves a large number of sculptures, artefacts, statues of Goddess Tara, bodhisattva and the iconic Ashoka Lion Capital, which is the national emblem of India.

timings

  • 10 AM – 5 PM
  • Closed on Fridays

Amenities

  • Purify Drinking Water
  • Museum Cafe
  • Museum Shop (Souvenir Shop)
  • Touch Screen Information Kiosks
  • Restroom
  • Cloakroom
  • Wheel chair & ramp
  • Baby Care Room
  • Braille description for Differently Abled People
  • Separate Toilet Facility for Differently Abled People

Excavated Archaeological Site

The archaeological remains of Sarnath started attracting scholars since the 19th century. As a result excavation works of Sarnath started first of all by Sir Alexender Cunningham (1835-36) Major Kittoe (1851-52), Mr. C. Horne (1865), Mr. F..O. Oertal(1904-05), Sir Johan Marshal (1907), Mr. H. Hargreaves (1914-15), Mr. Daya Ram Shani (1927-32). Then after a gap of about eighty-two years once again excavation work is conducted by Sarnath Circle,Sarnath of Archaeological Survey of India.

The Archaeological site showcases the grandeur of the ancient times. An open exhibition of structures like Mulgandh Kuty Vihar remains, Dharmrajika Stupa remains, Dhamek Stupa, Ashokan Column, monuments, relics, monasteries existing here since the Mauryan period are showcased.

Lord Buddha's statue

This statue of Lord Buddha is in his first sermon preaching posture (Dharma Chakra Pravartan Mudra), was found at Sarnath during the archaeological excavation. The statue is kept in the museum and is considered highly sacred by the devotees.

National Emblem

The National Emblem of India was found in the archaeological excavation. It was situated on the top of a column which was built by Emperor Ashoka. At present the Lion's capital is kept at the museum while the broken Ashokan column can be seen amongst the ruins.

Deer Park

The forest area gifted by the King of Varanasi holds pride for being the place where Lord Buddha taught the laws of Dharma to the world. He taught Dhamma chakka pavatan Sutta and the Anattalakhana Sutta to his disciples so they can propagate the same. A large number of deer inhabited the area during those times.

Mulagandha Kuti Vihar

It is worth mentioning that Shri Angarika Dharmpal, a Sri Lankan Buddhist saint revived almost all Buddhist sites at Sarnath and established the Maha Bodhi Society of India. The society built the new Mulagandha Kuti Vihar Temple to commemorate the original Mulagandha Kuti Vihar whose ruins can be seen here. Lord Buddha's golden statue, in the pose of preaching the first sermon is worshipped here as the deity. It is taken out every year on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. The inner walls of the temple are adorned with beautiful frescoes created by the Japanese artist KosetsuNosu; displaying his life from birth to the attainment of Maha-parinirvana. One can also behold a Bodhi Tree here, planted by a branch of the Bodhi Tree of Anuradhapuram (Sri Lanka).