Varanasi City India - Travel and Touring Guides.
The huge City of Varanasi is located in the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh and has the River Assi to it's south and the Ganga (River Ganges) to it's north and south.
This 3000 year old Indian city of Varanasi is therefore a very important pilgrimage destination for Buddhists and Jains - and is also one of seven sacred cities for Hindus. This topic is
simply about a tour and sightseeing in and around Varanasi (as well as to nearbye Sarnath Archaeological Site and Temples) - for masses of information about the history and development of the city etc a good source to look at is via wiki
Varanasi is also a major tourist destination and is well served by several internal Indian airlines with for instance the flight from Delhi to Varanasi taking around 50 minutes. Varanasi Airport (also known as Babatpur Airport) is located to the northwest and some distance away from the city - it's around an 18km drive into the centre of the city.[ Click the thumbnails for a larger picture - use the back button to return to this page. ]
Perhaps one of the few times when you will need a taxi to get anywhere around Varanasi is when heading out to Varanasi airport for a flight out
- always allow plenty of time because of Varanasi's traffic congestion. From planning a touring point of view it is worth noting that a regular'ish flight operates from Varanasi to Khajuraho (where you can see all those beautiful Jain Temples).
There are several
railway stations at Varanasi - the main railhead is Varanasi Cantonment Railway Station and this serves destinations such as Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Howrah and Jammu. For getting to Agra, Jaipur and Jodhpur there is a daily express train which leaves from Mughal Sarai Railway Station. (as with many trains in India - take the "Express" bit with a large pinch of salt of course).
A few photos from around the streets more in the Cantoment area of Varanasi, India.
Touring and Sightseeing the Ghats and other areas in Varanasi City, India. As mentioned Varanasi is traffic chaos - the only way to get around for sightseeing in the city area in reality
is by using the auto rickshaws which seem to have the ability to get through gaps half their size. Cycle rickshaws are pretty hazardous to ride on - they are way down the food chain and get carved up by everything except cyclists and pedestrians. Accidents involving cycle-rickshaws happen quite frequently - with particularly car drivers treating them with complete disdain - particularly in the Old City area. Any four wheeled transport from buses to taxis/cars really have got major problems in getting around especially in the Old City and in general they are probably not worth bothering with - it can take hours to get nowhere in particular
and is probably quicker walking!.
Visiting Ramnagar Fort beside the River Ganges at Varanasi, India (with photos)
This old riverside Indian Fort is well worth a visit whilst staying on holiday in Varanasi - Ramnagar Fort is located around 14 Kilometres from Varanasi City
if you want to go there by auto-rickshaw or taxi so quite a long way round. However you can also get to Ramnagar Fort from the City side of the river by crossing the River Ganges on foot via the pontoon which is a little way from Asi Ghat. It is quite interesting to walk across the River Ganges in this fashion - the whole thing does tend to wobble around a little though. However note that this pontoon is dismantled when the Ganges floods.
The pontoon is only meant to be used by motorbikes, cyclists and pedestrians but autos do use it too.
There is much more about touring in India via our India Travel and Touring Guide Home Page.
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containing lots of walks as well as items on churches, canals and wild flowers.