Being the oldest city of the world and an important Hindu pilgrimage center, Varanasi attracts a large number of people from all over the world. For centuries, Varanasi is famous for spiritualism, mysticism, Indian philosophy and Hinduism. All these are reflected in numerous sects, temples, Ashrams and Ghats. Varanasi is associated not only with Hinduism but also with Buddhism and Jainism. Besides numerous temples, Varanasi also boasts of Buddhist Stupas and Jain temples. Varanasi is also a mirror of the age-old Indian civilization. The archaeological museum at Sarnath houses numerous remains of the past, including the National emblem of India, the Ashoka pillar.
Since Varanasi is mainly associated with Hinduism, temples form the main attraction. The Ganga Ghats (river fronts) are the main center of religious activities and rituals and also form one of the main attractions of Varanasi. The Alamgir Mosque, blend of the Hindu and Mughal styles of the architecture, is another important attraction of Varanasi. Some of the most important temples of Varanasi are Durga temple, Vishwanath temple, Sankat Mochan temple, Tulsi Manas temple and the Bharat Mata temple. The Bharat Mata Temple houses a huge relief map of the whole of Indian subcontinent and Tibetan plateau. Other attractions of Varanasi are the Benaras Hindu University (BHU), the Archaeological Museum, Sarnath, Bharat Kala Bhavan and the Buddhist Stupas and temples at Sarnath.BUDDHA PURNIMA - Sarnath
This festival celebrates the birth of Lord Buddha with trditional religious fervour. A large fair is held at Sarnath and the relice of the Buddha are taken out for public display in a procession on this day.RAMLEELA- RAMNAGER
The unique Ramleela of Ramnager performed in the pageant style, was started about 1830 by Maharaja Udit Narayan Singh of Banaras, and has today become famous the world over. Thousends gather to see the enactments during months of sep.- oct.DHRUPAD MELA
A five days music festival of Dhrupad is performed by renowned artistes at Tulsi Ghat. It is very popular among foreign tourists.HANUMAT JAYANTI
Jannotsav of Lord Hanuman is celebrated at Sankat Mochan Temple for five days with cultural & musical programmes by artistes from all over India.MAHASHIVARATRI
On this day every Shiv Mandir is decorated. In Varanasi a marriage procession of Lord Shiva is taken out starting from Mahamrityunjaya Temple, Daranagar to Kashi Vishwanath Temple via Chowk.PANCH KROSHI PARIKRAMA
It has a special importance in the ancient Parikrama of India, starting and finishing at ManiKarnika Ghat. Each Parikrama passes through five places: Kardmeshwar, Bhimchandi, Rameshwar, Shivpur & Kapil Dhara.GANGA MAHOTSAV
Ganga Mahotsav, the tourism festival of Varanasi is celebrated every year from Prabodhani Ekadashi to Kartik Purnima in the month of Oct.-Nov. The festival celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Varanasi.LOCAL HANDICRAFT
Varanasi has, since times immemorial, been hailed as a premier centre for some of the finest handicrafts. The most renowned craft of the city is silk weaving. "Banarasi Sarees" produced by local craftsman are among the most preferred, not only in India but across the world. Brassware, copperware, ivory work , glass bangles, wood, stone and clay toys and exquisite gold jewellery are some of the other crafts the city is famous for. Bhadohi Carpets and musical instruments are among the other shopping attractions.