Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Benaras, is the cultural capital of India. Varanasi is a melting pot, where both death and life come together. We visited Varanasi during the month of August. Light Rain and Flooded Ganges was what we saw when we went for Ganga Aarti. The Ghats are flooded with people all across to witness the pious and divine Ganga aarti. Do not miss the aarti and make sure you reach the Ghats before 7. The aarti in Benaras is considered to be the best aarti across India followed by the Ganga aarti of Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar. The feel and the aura of the entire process will leave you awestruck. Make sure to visit the market and try the various delicacies of Benaras after aarti. Try the different type of chats and panipuri. Sit and enjoys the gupchup served to you in Dona. Savour your taste buds with lassi and malai. Do not forget to try the samosa and chats of benaras. try all the street food as varanasi is also known for itz street food.
We visited the Kashi Vishwanath temple twice in a day. Usually the temple remains comparatively less crowded during day time. there are lot many monkeys on the way. So cover your prashaad and make sure that the monkeys doesn't snatch it. Darshan to the mandir was quite an experience, usually people are not allowed to stay for long but due to less crowd , we managed to stay there for quite sometime.
One of our next stop was Shri Sankat Mochan Hanuman Mandir. That is another place you have to be careful of. We saw a monkey sitting on the top of the temple. People here loves to give food to monkeys. Over here You will find more monkeys than people. Make sure you DO NOT CARRY anything with you. Keep your cameras and phones away. Try various ladoos and mithai in the shop within the temple premises.
Another beautiful destination is Sarnath. Take an auto to reach Sarnath. It will take you maximum Rs 200-300. It is said that after achieving enlightenment, Lord Buddha went to Sarnath. It is a MUST VISIT place if you are in Varanasi. It is hardly 10 kms away from Varanasi. Beautiful in literal sense, Sarnath will take you to a different World altogether.
Varanasi is a city which is culturally rich. You get to see and experience many things which you thought didn't exist. Roads are flooded with people. There is something in Varanasi which is very close to our culture. People work and survive. People laugh and enjoy in whatever they have.
Beware of autorikshaws. They tend to charge tonnes from you even for small trips. Make sure you bargain a lot. Keep your belongings safely. Be safe and enjoy :)