🛕 A Travel Itinerary for an Ancient City

(upon a reader's request)

Hey explorer,

Remember how I once told you my grandmother wanted to go to Varanasi, also called Kasi? Well, she ended up going after 2 days of having the conversation about it with me.

Although her plans were good, she asked me to prepare a travel itinerary for 4 days. But why am I sharing it now? Because one of you wanted to know how her trip went (haha, kidding!).

Why Varanasi?

Remember how people say every Hindu must visit Kasi at least once in their lifetime? The reason that makes people say it lies back decades. Hindu mythology strongly believes taking a dip in the Ganga river washes your sins away.

Well, let's say that's old. Today, Varanasi goes beyond that. It's a place where pilgrims seek comfort, where seekers find refinement, and where every soul finds a connection to something greater than themselves. Varanasi isn't just a destination. It's a place where people flock in groups to seek peace and reflect on themselves.

Do not trust me? Try it.

Hey Hey!

How about we learn something each time we discover a new place or break down the history of a place you might have heard once at least?

The correct answer to the last question is "Odisha". Let's see how many of you can get it correct today. 

Which city is known as the "Leather City of India?"

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Varanasi is an ancient city sitting on the banks of the Ganges River in Uttar Pradesh with a history of over 3,000 years. It is so traditional-involved that this holy city is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. 

Not just Hinduism, people also belonging to Buddhism and Jainism live here harmoniously (can you believe it?), while the geography looks like a maze with narrow valleys, busy markets, and approximately 84 ghats lining the Ganges

The temple and shrine ambience at almost every corner of the city will find their way to give you the peace you want, letting you love the place even more. Spiritual rituals, music, and art, in which the local cultures lie, you can never miss it. To boost it, you can attend Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat.

Hindi is the predominant language spoken here, yet you can find people speaking English here and there. So, here are a few Hindi phrases you must learn before going to Varanasi to bridge the communication gaps. 

- Yes: हाँ (haan)
- No: नहीं (naheen)
- Hello: नमस्ते (namaste)
- Maybe: शायद (shaayad)
- Excuse me: सुनिए (suniye)
- Thank you: धन्यवाद (dhanyavad)
- Good night: शुभ रात्रि (shubh ratri)
- I am sorry: माफ़ कीजिए (maaf kijiye)
- See you later: अलविदा।(phir milenge)
- Good morning: शुभ प्रभात (shub prabhat)
- What’s new: क्या चल रहा हैं (kya chal raha hai)
- You’re welcome: आपका स्वागत है (aapka swagat hai)
- Thank you very much: बहुत धन्यवाद (bahut dhanyavaad)
- I don’t know: मुझको मालूम नहीं (mujhko maaloom naheen)
- What’s your name: आपका नाम क्या है (aapka naam kya hai)

Varanasi experiences a tropical climate with scorching summers. Winters offer a pleasant escape from chilly temperatures, and the monsoon brings relief with periodic heavy rainfall. Therefore, Varanasi can be your place to visit in winter and monsoon. Yet, we suggest you keep track of the weather. 

Discovery Checklist

Varanasi and its surrounding places are deep into cultures and traditions. Although they are traditional, and you can find temples on every corner possible, there are certain things you must do while in the city to boost your Varanasi expectations. 

Some such must-do things include:

- Take Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat.
- Visit the historic Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
- Take a boat ride on the Ganges.

While must-visit places are:

- Sarnath (9.5 km away)
- Chunar Fort (about 28.6 km)

You know Varanasi is also famous for Banaras silk sarees? Do not forget to buy a home and Brassware and Handicrafts. You can find all these in the bustling local markets at affordable prices. 

Travel Itinerary

Note: This is a general itinerary, combining cultural experiences and adventure. It provides a well-rounded exploration of this hidden gem. You can make adjustments as per your preferences, local events, and weather conditions.

A Guide to WH Questions


Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport is the nearest airport to Varanasi at 20 kilometres northwest of the city centre, and the Varanasi Junction, also called Varanasi Cantt Railway Station in the city centre, is the nearest railway station.

To travel within the city, Auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are popular choices for short distances, while taxis provide a more comfortable option for longer journeys. You can also ride on electric rickshaws, known as e-rickshaws, which are eco-friendly alternatives widely available in the city.

For a unique experience, explore Varanasi's narrow lanes on foot or by boat ride along the Ganges River to get to different ghats and temples.


  • Accommodation

Many stay options are available since Varanasi is a city and a popular holy destination that many will go to and fro. Any option you pick has several benefits and is almost similar. So, check the links of a few stay options below. 

Royal Guest House - It's a 3-star hotel 
Rahul Guest House - It's a 2-star hotel
Stay Banaras - It's a 4.4-star rating hotel

  • Eateries

Aum Cafe - Best for veg, drinks, and desserts.
Niyati Cafe - Best for South and North Indian foods.
Ashish Cafe - Best for Indian and non-Indian foods. 

- Banarasi Chaat: It is a flavorful chaat variety, including Aloo Tikki Chaat, Papdi Chaat, and Chhole Chaat.
- Malaiyyo: A creamy dessert unique to Varanasi, Malaiyyo is made with milk froth, saffron, and cardamom and served chilled.
- Baati Chokha: Baati Chokha consists of roasted wheat balls (baati) served with mashed potatoes (chokha), ghee and tangy chutneys.
- Litti Chokha: It's a roasted wheat dough ball filled with spiced gram flour (sattu), served with mashed vegetables (chokha) and tangy chutneys. 
- Benarasi Paan: It's a betel leaf filled with areca nut, slaked lime, and various flavorful ingredients like fennel seeds, cardamom, and rose petals. 

Travel Tips

- Dress modestly, especially when visiting temples and sacred sites.
- Carry sufficient cash because many places may not accept cards.
- Bargain while shopping in local markets to get the best deals.
- Stay hydrated and carry a water bottle to beat the heat, especially during summer.
- Respect local customs and traditions, including photography restrictions at a few religious sites.

Safety Tips

- Avoid going into isolated areas alone, especially at night.
- Follow traffic rules and be careful while crossing roads, as traffic can be chaotic. 
- Be cautious of your belongings, especially in crowded areas and while travelling on public transport.
- Stay informed about any local unrest or safety advisories and avoid areas prone to political or social tensions.

Travel Expenses

Varanasi caters to various budget ranges, offering affordable options. It includes accommodation, transportation, and dining. Considering various travelling behaviours, a budget traveller might need ₹2,000 to ₹3,500 per day for a person


With its timeless spirituality, rich culture, and mouth-watering dishes, Varanasi, one of the ancient holiest cities, attracts the hearts of travellers. With every step taken, every sight seen, and every flavour tasted, Varanasi shows itself as a place where spirituality meets culture, history meets modernity, and the essence of India's soul felt. A trip to Varanasi is a surer way of getting cultural peace and relief from hustling life. 

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