The land of Varanasi (Kashi) has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Often referred to as Benares, Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world.
Mark Twain, the English author, who was enthralled by the legend and sanctity of Benaras, once wrote :
"Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together"
Varanasi can be called as the spiritual capital of India, it occupies a prime position in the list of the holiest of holy destinations for Hindus. Varanasi is also an important spiritual destination for Buddhists too as Buddha gave his first sermon and established Buddhism in the year 528 BC at a place called Sarnath, just outside Varanasi.
When to visit Varanasi
The best time to visit Varanasi is from November to March. In May it's insanely hot. June to September is monsoon season, when the weather is still hot and humid. October to March is cold, when temperatures can be as low as 5 degrees. This time of year would be the most comfortable time to visit Varanasi.
I visited varanasi in the month of february.
How to get there
Varanasi is accessible by road, rail and air by all the major cities of India, including Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. It has an international airport called Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport and all the major domestic airlines operate from here.
I took a train from Delhi which took me 13 hrs to reach this holy city.
Where to stay
I stayed at my friend's home.