Varanasi : – Known as India’s most sacred city, Varanasi is situated on the western bank of the holy river Ganga. It is also the oldest living city in the world. As a place for devotion and worship, with hundreds of temples dotting the city, sunrise on the river front as seen from a boat can be a spiritually uplifting sight. It has a fascination uniquely its own, a quality of sublime beauty, a timeless eternal appeal.
Morning boat ride at the dawn followed by old city walk: Boating in the Ganges during the sun rise in Varanasi is main attraction. We can observe here the Hindu’s way of life on the bank of the river Ganges (Ghats).
Varanasi presents a unique combination of physical, metaphysical and supernatural elements. According to the Hindu mythology, Varanasi liberates soul from human body to the ultimate. It is the Ganga Ghats of Varanasi that complement the concept of divinity. The Ganga Ghats at Varanasi are full of pilgrims who flock to the place to take a dip in the holy Ganges, which is believed to absolve one from all sins.
There are number of temples on the bank of the Ganga River in Varanasi. It is at the Ganga Ghats where we see life and death together. There are numbers of Ghat alongside Ganga in Varanasi. Some of the prominent and popular Ghats at Varanasi are the Dasaswamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Harischandra Ghat &Kedar Ghat
After boat ride a small walk in to the oldest part of Varanasi which is famous for its narrow street.
Sarnath : Sarnath in Varanasi, is the place where Buddha chose to deliver his first sermon. It makes Sarnath one of the most venerated Buddhist places. Besides Buddhism, Sarnath is also connected with Jainism.
There are many Buddhist monuments and edifices at Sarnath. Some of the important Buddhist monuments at Sarnath are the Dhamekha stupa, the Dharmarajika stupa & the Chaukhandi stupa and monasteries and temples of different schools of Buddhism from Japan, China, Thailand, Burma and others. The Indian Buddhist society called Mahabodhi Society maintains a park around the Buddha temple. The Mahabodhi Temple within the park has a tooth relic of the Buddha.
There is also a vast expanse of ancient ruins at Sarnath. Several Buddhist structures were raised at Sarnath between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, and today it presents the most precious ruins amongst places on the Buddhist trail. The Lion Capital of Ashoka pillar at Sarnath is the National emblem of India, which is displayed in the archaeological museum in Sarnath.
Evening Aarti : Aarti, also spelled arathi, is a Hindu ritual, in which light is offered to one or more deities. Aartis also refer to the songs sung in praise of the deity, when offering of lamps is being offered.
Hindus in India worship the river Ganges as goddess. Every evening in Varanasi, Aarti is performed at the Dashashwamedh ghat. We can watch it from the ghat or from the waterside in a boat. It is a beautiful, resonant, and majestic spectacle with a very precise choreography involving rituals performed by several priests with the sound of bells, drums, cymbals, and Sanskrit mantras. The river is also worshiped with flower petals.