Varanasi, once known as Benares or Banaras and Kashi, is a historical city in the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India. The city is sacred to Hindus and also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. These few lines by Mark Twain say it all: "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together". In many ways Varanasi epitomizes the very best and worst aspects of India, and it can be a little overwhelming. However, the scene of pilgrims doing their devotions in the River Ganges at sunrise set against the backdrop of the centuries old temples is probably one of the most impressive sights in the world. People believe that Varanasi is a must see destination in India…. http://wikitravel.org
Boat rides are very popular, especially at sunrise and sunset. The most popular sunset ride is to start at Dasaswamedh Ghat and head up to Manikarnika Ghat to see the cremations in progress, and then return to Dasaswamedh and watch the evening aarti from the boat.
Walk: Get lost in the alleyways - the sounds, sight and smells are just unbelievable! Walk along the ghats. Best way to explore Varanasi is by walk.
Kriti Gallery, Raman Niwas, Mahmoor Ganj, Varanasi (opposite All India Radio Station), ☎ 9839058007. 11-6 pm. A place to interact with contemporary art in the city of Varanasi
Diwali is a great time to be in Varanasi, with special preparations going on in many temples. The once-in-a-year decorations and aarti at the ghats are spectacular.
Shivaratri is another great time to be in Varanasi. The day of Shivaratri is also the last day of the Dhrupad Mela, a festival of classic indian music going on night and day for three days. Since the date of the festival is decided by Hindu calendar, the date is never clear and changes every year.
Kartik Purnima is one of the most important festivals of the city. People flok to see Ganga Mohotsab, do the bath. All the ghats are decorated with lamps.
The nearest airport is Babatpur, 22 km from Varanasi and 30 Km from Sarnath. Direct flights for Varanasi are available from Delhi, Agra, Khajurao, Calcutta, Mumbai, Lucknow and Bhuvaneshwar and Kathmandu ( Nepal).RAIL
Varanasi and Mughal Sarai (one of the main railway stations of Varanasi) are the important rail junctions, with train connections to all major cities of India.ROAD
Varanasi, on NH 2 from Calcutta to Delhi, NH 7 to Kanya Kumari and NH 29 to Gorakhpur is well connected to the rest of the country by good motorable roads. some of the major road distances are : Agra - 565 km, Allahabad - 128 km, Bhopal - 791 km, Bodhgaya - 240 km, Kanpur - 330 km, Khajuraho - 405 km, Lucknow - 286, Patna - 246 km, Sarnath - 10 Km