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Varanasi is one of the holiest cities for Hindus, also known as Kashi – the City of Light and believed to be founded by Lord Shiva. The city is the India of imagination and most agree a visit to Varanasi is enlightening. Devotees come here to wash away their sins in the River Ganga and to cremate their loved ones with a series of sacred public rituals themed around the cycle of birth and death.
Stretching along the River Ganga with stone ghats, you’ll see thousands of pilgrims coming here to take their ritual baths. The visuals, sounds, and smells, of this ancient city can be intense. Take a stroll through the ghats and go for a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges, and you’ll know what we’re talking about. The city has attracted saints, pilgrims, sanyasins, devotees, and students of Vedas throughout history including saints like Buddha and Mahavir.
Varanasi can be visited all year round but the best time is during winter when you can visit all the sites comfortably. It gets fairly cold during winter but summer can be very hot with temperatures hitting up to 45 degrees Celsius. Varanasi is especially popular during the Hindu festivals of Holi and Diwali when the entire city comes alive with endless colourful celebrations.
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