Varanasi is one of the oldest and holiest cities in India, situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges River. It is home to various Hindu temples and shrines. This is a city that will challenge your senses, inspire your curiosity, and touch your soul.
If you are planning to visit Varanasi for 2 days, you might be wondering how to make the most of your time and what to see and do in this fascinating city.
In this article, you will get a suggested itinerary for 2 days in Varanasi that covers some of the best attractions and experiences that this city has to offer. This itinerary will give you a glimpse of the diversity and beauty of the city.
2-Days Varanasi Trip Itinerary
Visit the Kashi Viswanath temple
The most auspicious way to begin your Varanasi trip is by paying homage to Lord Shiva at Kashi Dhaam, the most revered of the four sacred Dhams. However, you may have to wait for a long time in a queue of devotees to enter the Kashi Viswanath temple, where Lord Shiva resides. To save time, you can opt for the VIP line that takes you directly to the main shrine.
Now let me give a short detail about the shrine.
Kashi Viswanath Temple is one of the oldest shrines in India, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The spiritual atmosphere surrounds the temple. Once you enter the temple, you can sense a calmness even in the crowd, the smell of incense sticks and flowers, the golden dome, the prayer chants, and the intricate architecture of the temple will mesmerize you. You can circumambulate the entire temple complex chanting “Om Namah Shivay.”
Pappu Chai, Pahalwan Lassi Bhandar, Kashi Chaat Bhandar, Baba Thandai, Shri Ram Bhandar, Kulhad Coffee Kachori, and Samosa Lane are the best places to have your breakfast near Assi Ghat. Delectable breakfasts and snacks are available in these roadside shops at affordable prices. Exploring the street food scene is one of the fun things to do in Varanasi.
Enjoy a boat ride at Assi Ghat
A boat ride in Assi Ghat is a wonderful way to experience the sacredness of the Ganges River. You can witness the rituals and ceremonies that take place along the ghats. You can feel the bliss, tranquility, and devotion that the river inspires.
You can also capture some amazing photos of the diverse activities that happen on the ghats. You can even take a dip in the holy water of the River Ganga.
For lunch, you can choose from a variety of cafes and bistros near Assi Ghat. Some of the options are The Village in Town Cafe, Kashi Cafe, Tea Quilla Cafe, Bistro, Ashish Cafe, and The Tripling Bistro. These places offer a range of cuisines and dishes to suit your taste buds.
Attend the Ganga Arati
In the evening attend the beautiful Ganga Arati in Daswamedha Ghat. You will be mesmerized by the sight of the priests waving fire in front of the Ganges, creating a serene and sacred atmosphere. Hundreds of pilgrims flock to this ghat in Benares to be a part of this auspicious ritual.
Stroll along the ghats
As you walk along the ghats, you may notice a large area where smoke and flames rise from the riverbank. This is Manikarnika Ghat, the famous cremation ground where hundreds of deceased are burned every day. This ghat is considered to be very sacred and auspicious.
After leaving the ghats, you can also explore the nearby shops that sell a variety of items such as sarees, shawls, handicrafts, spices, and the special Benarasi paans (betel leaves). Thateri Bazar is one of the best places to find many Benarasi products and souvenirs.
Visit the other religious places
On your second day in Varanasi, you can explore some of the famous religious sites that make this city so sacred. I will give you some brief information about these places and why you should include them in your Varanasi tour.
Some of the places you can visit are:
Sarnath: This is a beautiful place where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. You can see the ancient stupas, temples, and museums here. If you are staying near the Varanasi railway station, you can take a taxi or an auto rickshaw for about Rs 200-800 to reach Sarnath. Or if you are staying in a hotel or a Dharmasala, you can rent a taxi or a cab that will take you to some of these top destinations.
Since the place is associated with Buddhist and Tibetan Cultures, you can have delicious and tasty momos here. Vaishali Restaurant and Friends Corner Tibetan Restaurant are some of the food eateries near Sarnath. You can eat some food here and head towards the next destination.
Sri Durga Temple: Your next stop can be the stunning temple near the Durga Kund with its red spires. This place will awe you with its beauty. Seek the blessings of Devi Maa to fulfill all your wishes. She is depicted as wearing a bright red saree and riding a tiger.
You will see many locals and pilgrims worshipping her for their well-being. You can also feed some fruits to the monkeys that are often seen here.
Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple:
Next, visit the sacred Sankat Mochan Hanuman Shrine or the Shri Hanuman Temple. Lord Hanuman is a great devotee of Lord Rama and is ‘Chiranjeevi.’ He is believed to relieve people from all troubles, heal, grant wisdom and strength, and end human suffering. So don’t miss this opportunity to worship Lord Hanuman. This is also believed to be the place where Tulsidas composed Ramcharitmanas and had a darshan of Bajrangbali.
(Learn more about various Hindu religious places in Varanasi)
Have your lunch nearby
You can find many good restaurants, dhabas, street food stalls, and cafes near the Hanuman Temple where you can enjoy your lunch.
Explore Ramnagar Fort
Last but not the least, after having your lunch set out for the mesmerizing Ramnagar Fort.
This incredible fort showcases the amazing architecture and heritage of the royal family. You can admire the impressive collection of weapons, a cannon, portraits, trophies, and other relics. The fort becomes even more enchanting in the evening when the sun casts a warm glow over it. You can also witness the serene view of the Ganges and the sunset from here.
If you have some extra time, you can also watch the Ram Leela plays that are performed here in the evening!
This concludes your two-day tour of Varanasi, the oldest and holiest city in India. This place will captivate you with its natural beauty, spiritual music, sacred Ganges, vibrant markets, and many other attractions.
You will always remember the unique charm and grace of Varanasi in your heart!
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