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Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world. It developed on the banks of the River Ganga more than 4000 thousand years ago and could be much older. It was earlier called Kashi and was a part of the larger Kashi Empire that flourished here around 2500 years ago. Since then, it has imbibed the many cultures of India and the world into a monolithic and magnificent entity that must be seen at least once by everyone.
Today, Varanasi is known as a Hindu pilgrimage site. It is visited by thousands of religious tourists and pious Hindus who come here to pray, learn about Hinduism, and administer the last rites to the dearly departed. This vast ocean of visitors who come to this ancient city every year has only added to its charm, culture, and character.
The name “Varanasi” comes from two tributaries of the river Ganga: the “Varuna” which flows to the north of Varanasi and “Assi,” a smaller tributary that flows to the south of the city. Between these two tributaries lies the ancient city that was once called Kashi, then Benares, and finally Varanasi.
The city has more than 3,300 Hindu religious places. Many of these are temples dedicated to various gods while others are cultural, educational, and administrative centers. Together, they give the city a distinctly sacred and holy feel, which can be felt at every step and sight.
However, Varanasi is more than just a religious stop. It has a vibrant and evolved culture and houses many industries, centers of production, artistic hubs, and educational institutions. It also has many important marketplaces where visitors can buy many unique handicrafts, textiles, and locally made products.
The Ghats of Varanasi
Varanasi also has over 84 different Ghats. These are embankments or riverbanks that separate the river from dry land. Many of these Ghats also incorporate buildings or open spaces where ceremonies, functions, and pujas are performed.
The most famous of these ceremonies is the “Aarti” where small candles and tea lamps are floated down the river, creating a singularly beautiful scene.
The Manikarnika Ghat and Harishchandra Ghat are two Ghats that are used for cremation and end-of-life rituals. According to Hindu tradition, the ashes of the departed are immersed in the waters of the holy river Ganga, which takes them out to the ocean so that they can be unified with the material universe.
One of the oldest and most famous Ghats in Varanasi is called Dashashwamedha Ghat. It is located close to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and is called Dash-Ashwamedha Ghat because it is said that lord Brahma sacrificed ten (Dash) holy horses (Ashwamedhas) here. Today it is the center of the city and a vibrant confluence of the many sects and sections that are active here.
The Dashashwamedha Ghat Aarti Ceremony is world-famous. It is performed every Tuesday and on most religious days at sunset and lasts for about 45 minutes. It is one of the largest Aarti ceremonies in the world and is attended by hundreds of tourists along with musicians and priests.
Witnessing the Aarti or participating in it is an all-consuming experience. Like many ancient Hindu ceremonies, there is both a spiritual and a real-world aspect to this well-versed and well-honed activity. The sounds of ancient Sanskrit Verses (Shlokas) and religious music (Bhajanas) with many devotees can be a moving and evocative event.
How to visit Varanasi
Varanasi is an interesting and intriguing tourist destination. Getting here is relatively easy as the city has its own airport called Varanasi Airport (VNS). It is also called Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport and is located about 20 Km from the city center. Driving to Varanasi is a little harder as it is located 14 hours away from Delhi and 15 hours away from Kolkata.
Where to Stay in Varanasi
Of all the resorts in Varanasi, the Suryauday Haveli by Amritara is by far the best. This is a luxurious heritage property that has been refurbished to provide an authentic and amazing experience for guests. It is located right on the banks of the Ganga at Shivala Ghat and is only a stone’s throw away from Dashashwamedha Ghat and Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
This hotel offers the best of both worlds as guests can enter the busier parts of town easily while relaxing in the bespoke luxury and carefully curated experiences offered by the hotel in peaceful solace. This makes it one of the best hotels near Dashashwamedha Ghat and our top choice for accommodations when visiting Varanasi.
If you are visiting Varanasi to see the city and experience the religious activities and ambiance of the city, there is no better place to stay than Suryauday Haveli. The staff here will surely help you organize your trip for a truly memorable and transcendental experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is the Starting price of hotels near Dashashwamedha Ghat, Varanasi?
Ans. A good 5-star hotel near Dashashwamedha Ghat starts at around Rs. 25,000 per night per room.
Q2. Where to stay near Dashashwamedha Ghat, Varanasi?
Ans. The best place to stay near Dashashwamedha Ghat, Varanasi is the Amritara Suryauday Haveli. It is a centrally located and luxurious property with great views, amazing food, and fort-like architecture.
Q3. What are the best hotels near Dashashwamedha Ghat in Varanasi?
Ans. One of the best hotels near Dashashwamedha Ghat in Varanasi is the Amritara Suryauday Haveli. It is a centrally located and luxurious property with great views, amazing food, and fort-like architecture.
Q4. What are things to do at Dashashwamedha Ghat, Varanasi?
Ans. The best thing to do at Dashashwamedha Ghat is to experience the Aarti Ceremony that is held here every Tuesday and on religious days. One can also visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and go shopping at the many local marketplaces.