Famous Vegetarian Street Food in Lucknow

Lucknow is known for its non-vegetarian food, you don’t hear much about its under-rated vegetarian food joints. We travelled early last year when we went to witness ardh kumbh in Prayagraj and adjoined by a trip to Banaras.

Our travel style is usually shoestring, and we try to use lots of cheap public transport and try street food wherever we venture out to explore a new city. This time it was Lucknow. Through some research, we had a grand food plan. The idea was to munch our way while immersing in the beauty of Lucknow. We had two full days for sightseeing and food tasting before heading to Banaras.

We have compiled a list of must-visit vegetarian joints in Lucknow area wise:

Vegetarian Street Food Joints in Hazratganj, Lucknow:

1. Bajpai ki Kachori

Bajpai ki kachori Lucknow
Bajpai ki Kachori

We started with breakfast at Bajpai ki kachori, this is an old joint which serves kachori with special spicy chole (Chickpea). So, the very first dish we tasted was Bajpai ki Kachori at Hazratganj.

It’s a very simple shop with a basic setup but this simplicity in making his pooris, kachoris served with aloo sabzi with choley, onion slices and pickle will turn into a mouth-watering delight. It is the spiciness of the sabzi, which we loved. We tried all the dishes; pooris, kachori and samosa, each dish was so perfect in the taste that you would like to have it again and again. This happened to us and we stopped by this joint twice or thrice during our travel. People queue up in front of his shop in great numbers every morning when the shop opens at 8 and you will find the crowd remains till it is closed in the evening.

Timings: 8 am to 5 pm

2. Shukla Chaat House

Shukla ji ki chaat is the best joint for the Indian Chaats, it is one of the jewels of our food trial in Lucknow. They serve mouthwatering Golgappe (known as Pani batashe), Dahi batashe, Aloo tikki and Matar ki tikki. It is a tiny roadside stall, no seating facility but the taste will remain in your mind for a long time. Although at first glance it will not attract you if you are a street food lover you must stop here and try all the items. The footfall is quite high so don’t be late 😊

Timings: 6 pm to 10 pm

3. Shukla Tea stall

It’s a pretty small shop just opposite to Shukla chat house, but it was crowded which drew me to the place. When we entered the shop it looks like a utensils store lots of kettles, mugs, vessels which shows how much tea he sells every day.

So very first famous “Gol Samosa”, I had it at Shukla tea stall and trust me I would say one of the best Gol samosas of Lucknow I have tasted here. Tea quantity is too much and within 10 Rs. I thought it would be too milky, but he boils the tea leaves in a separate container so if you want less milk you can ask for that too.

Timings: 8 am to 9 pm

4. Royal Café

This place is famous for the Basket Chaat, although they served all variety of chat. Basket chaat they served in edible basket shaped made of potato thin flakes. If you are too hygiene cautious then this is the place for you. You can try gol gappas and other snacks too. But we found this place quite fancy and not so pocket friendly.

Timings: 11:30 am to 08:30 pm

Vegetarian Street Food Joints in Lalbagh, Lucknow:

1. Sharma Tea center/ Sharma ji ki chai

A very famous place in Lucknow for chai and the kind of set up they have, says everything. Tea is good and to enjoy it more you can add bun-maska and gol samosa. They use homemade white butter to spread on the bun with raisins. You will find this place every time packed up, although I found gol samosa taste better at Shukla tea stall.

Timings: 7:00 am to 07:30 pm

2. Sardar Ke Choley Bhature

We were roaming in this area and suddenly we saw another crowded place – Sardar ke chole bhature. As the name says, this place is famous for Punjabi style chole bhature and you can try kulcha as well to have a full packed brunch. You can also try “Sooji ka Halwa” made in pure ghee.

Timings: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm

3. GPO Dahi Bada

The next place in Lalbagh area is GPO dahi Bada. Enjoy the super tasty dahi Bada here which was so soft that it melts instantaneously.

Timings: 11:30 am to 10:00 pm

Famous Desserts to Try in Lucknow:

1. Makhan malai at Chowk

Malai makhan is a special dish in Lucknow and Banaras which you will get during winters. A cream-coloured ethereal sweet-dish that melts in the mouth. The key to makhan malai preparation lies in exposing the milk to dew.

The process begins in the evening with boiling milk in a huge saucepan over a stove. Thereafter, fresh milk cream is added to the boiled milk and it is boiled again. Once the mixture cools down completely, it is filled in buckets and hung under the evening sky for six to eight hours and in the morning sprinkles sugar, and cardamom powder over the portion to mix the layers. That’s the reason you will get this dish during winters only.

Timings: -8:30 am to 11:00 am (Best time to have it)

2. Malai Gilori at Ram Asrey Sweets, Chowk

Ram Asrey sweets shop is famous for its sweets and the most famous one is Malai gilori or Malai pan. Ram Asrey have another outlet in Hazratganj as well but at chowk it’s the original one from where they have started this shop. This is where I have tasted their most famous Malai gilori. This sweet shop apparently invented the Malai Gilori in 1805. It is located in a quaint little lane very reminiscent of a Ban wali gali. Malai gilori is known with the name of Malai pan as well because of its shape of pan. As it goes in your mouth it melts instantaneously but I found it too sweet, so 1 piece is enough to taste. They sell this sweet on per piece basis and it costs around 25 -30 rs per piece. Although they have a variety of sweets available, I have tasted just Malai gilori which is their speciality.

Timings: – 9:00am to 10:00pm

3. Prakash kulfi, Amenabad

Prakash Kulfi is quite a well-known place in Aminabaad. Although Aminabaad is famous for clothing shops, one of the oldest Kulfi shops of Lucknow is Prakash ki mashoor kulfi. It’s a faluda Kulfi and Many flavours are available to taste but if you want the true refreshing classic taste of Prakash Kulfi then you must try ‘Kesar Badam Pista Kulfi’. Space is a bit small, so if it is crowded you must wait for your turn.

Timings: – 10:00 am to 11:00 pm

After so much food tasting, we agreed to say Lucknow food is one of the best and delicious tastes that you can get in India. It is a myth that vegetarians can’t enjoy food in Lucknow since it is primarily known for Awadhi cuisine. But we would say that If you are a lover of local vegetarian food, Lucknow can be nothing less than a treat for you.



How will one plastic harm? Said 7.8 billion.

Hi! I am glad you could make it to this blog post. 🙂

This definitely means that there is a high chance that you are well aware of how terrible is single-use plastic and you want to know what are the ways to reduce plastic use. I have contemplated the idea of writing this blog piece after my recent talk at work. I would keep it very short and to the point to talk about why we need it and what I am doing and what you can start doing from this day!

So let’s start with this picture:

Single use plastic bottles in offices

Looks all normal, nice and convenient?

Now look at the next one:

Single used plastic bottles in shops

This could remind you of the last road trip you took and you stopped by to buy some water and cola.

The next one is where they end up forever:

Plastic bottles trash

But what can you do alone, you ask? Surprisingly all 7.8 billion people ask the same question. 😀

But before I move on to what can be done or what I am doing; I want to share some stats which I found from Google.

20,000 plastic bottles are used every second. That’s more than a million bottles every minute.

300 million tons of plastic is produced each year. And, 50% is one-time use! 9% of plastic gets recycled globally.

1 million seabirds die every year due to plastic

83% tap water samples have plastic

1 fish in every 4 fishes have plastic

Half of the world’s plastic come from Asia

Stats can be validated here: WWF Video

Shocking and depressing isn’t it? Is it overwhelming? Do you feel helpless or do you think there is somebody else who will fix it? It’s complicated. Yes, the govt. and the corporates should stop the origin but in the meantime what can you do to reduce plastic? And, eventually, save money too.

The truth is, it is almost impossible to get rid of plastic due to our lifestyle and industry usage but we can still start with few things to contribute less to our own carbon footprint.

I want to introduce ‘The Mantra’ of reducing waste to you. The 5 R’s for waste reduction:

  • Refuse – Avoid single-use plastics and paper products by opting for re-usable.
  • Reduce – Downsize what you purchase, opting to be more mindful of what you really need.
  • Reuse – Always find a way to keep an item out of the landfill by keeping it in great condition, repairing or up-cycling it when it breaks.
  • Recycle – Properly recycle any plastic, paper, glass or metal that comes into your life you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse.
  • Rot – Set up a compost system for your food scraps, or find a food scrap drop off centre (like a farmers market, or community garden) near your house.

How to rock at work? aka How to reduce plastic at work:

Reusable office stuff

  1. Get your own mug for tea/coffee.
  2. Ask cafeteria personnel not to give plastic spoon/straws
  3. Carry your own bottle for meetings all the time
  4. Don’t wrap food in foil, opt for beeswax wrap (if at all)
  5. Reduce paper usage, go digital wherever possible.

How to chill right at home? aka How to reduce plastic at home:

Resuable bag for shopping

  1. Use a bamboo toothbrush
  2. Get your own tiffins for takeaways
  3. Borrow/rent plates and cutlery for parties
  4. Always carry a bag for shopping
  5. Use no/less plastic bag at grocery stores
  6. Adopt a menstrual cup or reusable cotton pads
  7. Use reusable diapers for babies
  8. Say no to fast fashion
  9. Stop wrapping gifts

How to be a pro-traveller? aka How to reduce plastic while travelling

Plastic pollution due to travelling

  • Carry travel cutlery
  • Keep a reusable water bottle
  • Get your trash back 
  • Cleanup where you travel
  • Take your own toiletries
  • Motivate your friends and family

Now after all this preaching, the question is – where have I reached in all of this fight against plastic?

Reusable water bottle

This was my reusable bottle when I attended a conference recently. In this two day conference, I at least saved 20 of these small monsters. The hotel was more than happy to refill the bottle for me from their filter.

Above set of pictures denotes my personal use items which are helping me to reduce so much waste while saving me money.

  1. I swear by my reusable menstrual cup which is helping me save almost 50 sanitary pads per year which will otherwise will be on this planet forever.
  2. My reusable cutlery helps me to save so much plastic every time I travel now.
  3. I have started making and using homemade toothpaste and orange peel facewash with no chemicals which don’t come in any new one time use bottles.
  4. And this is my dear bamboo toothbrush will is helping me to send less plastic to the landfill. 🙂
  5. The last picture is how I do takeaways now, I carry my own boxes to get food.
  6. I use homemade soapnut liquid cleaner for shampoo, bathing my dog, dish-washing and laundry.
  7. Honestly, I am quite proud of my small accomplishments. :)As a last takeaway from this blog I want you to remember this picture before you pick up your next single-use plastic.single use plastic disadvantages

Visiting Prague in Winters? Things You Should Know.

Prague can be tough in winters but it is equally dreamy with snow. I was thinking about a trip to Prague for a while and was delaying it a few times already, but the last January I decided to just go and explore in winters anyway. I was sceptical initially until I went. In the end, it was a good decision and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I decided to pen down how it’s like to be in Prague and also what are the perks in the winter months.

1. Less Crowd

Good news is, there will be way fewer people! You can have a gala time enjoying a walk at the Charles bridge or taking all your time at the magnificent Prague castle.

Prague Castle From Charles Bridge
Prague Castle From Charles Bridge

2. Low Prices

The hotels will be at slashed prices during the off-season if you visit in January. You can look up for a suitable hostel/Airbnb or a hotel, which will be most likely to be a lower price barring Christmas and New year times. I got a steal deal at a hostel for 8 Euros a night with breakfast. 😀

3. Enjoy a Dreamy Getaway

Winters can be difficult in Prague and temperature can really go very low. But this also means a good amount of snowfall which makes everything in the city dreamy. The houses, walkways, bridges everything will be all covered in the white blanket of snow.

4. What to Pack?

Lots of layers and layers, warm jackets, all winter essentials likes caps, scarfs, gloves. Good and warm walking shoes and a pair of boots is essential to explore the city comfortably.

5. Shorter Opening Timings

It is important to check the winter timings for the attractions, important monuments, museums and walking tours. There are activities which open for shorter duration or remain closed during the offseason.

6. Decide What You Want to do When You Get There

Do your research beforehand which is suitable for the weather you are planning for. Indoor activities could a great option for the evenings. There are lots of museums that open till late at night. Consider the National Film Museum, The National Gallery, and the Apple Museum which hosts 450+ Apple products to date.  More unusual museums that may be more popular among bachelor parties in Prague include the Sex Machines Museum and the Prague Beer Museum.

Take your pick and decide which ones you fancy.  Sipping hot chocolate or coffee while the world goes by will definitely be one leisurely activity while you are enjoying your time there.

7. Indulge in Seasonal Czech Food

Choose from zelňačka (traditional cabbage soup), Guláš (goulash), mulled wine served piping hot with cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg to warm you up to explore the magical city more. You can also opt for an eating tour to know some hidden gems in the city.

I must admit, the options for a vegetarian are very limited, and for a vegan traveller like me has to settle down what is possibly available.

Humble Aglio Olio Pasta
Humble Aglio Olio Pasta
Cinnamon Chimney Cake
Cinnamon Chimney Cake

8. Take a Walk on the Charles Bridge

The dreamy Charles bridge, straight out of the medieval times – decorated with 30 statues of saints (now replaced by replicas). It is one of the busy places in Prague and at any time of the day, you will see it bustling with tourists. It had been an important mean to cross the Vltava river and connect the old town with other prominent areas of Prague.

Charles Bridge Prague
Charles Bridge

9. Visit Prague Castle – Take the Golden Lane Tour and Medieval Prison Tour

Admit it, Prague castle is the number one thing that every tourist do when they visit Prague. It is in a very big complex, built in the 9th century and hosts multiple buildings, museums, cathedral and a prison. It is the largest ancient castle in the world. It also has the official office to the president of the Czech republic. You will need at least 3 hours to explore it.

Vladislav Hall, Prague Castle
Vladislav Hall
Residence Entrance of the President of Czech Republic
Residence Entrance of the President of Czech Republic

Take the ticket to see the buildings and museums from inside, it will also include the entry to Golden lane tour which shouldn’t be missed. It is a lane of tiny and colourful homes on displaying how life was for people who lived in those tiny homes. It has a lot of stuff on display to create a scene that will take you to medieval times.

Golden Lane in Prague Castle
Golden Lane in Prague Castle

Also, don’t miss the prison tour – it can be quite brutal to watch the ways, the prisoners were treated but a must watch to experience.

Medieval Prison in the Castle
Medieval Prison in the Castle

10. St. Vitus Cathedral

Prague castle also is the home to St. Vitus Cathedral, which is a prominent example of Gothic architecture and is the largest and most important church in the country. It contains the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Roman emperors. You would be surely awed by the aura and the beauty of this ancient church with a brilliant architecture.

11. Old Town Square and Prague Astronomical Clock

This is the place to enjoy beautiful evenings and usually, all walking tours start from the old town square. The Old town square has multiple buildings with historical significance – art museum, churches, oldest working astronomical clock. This clock was installed in 1410, it is the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world. There is a tower in the Old Town Hall which is open to the visitors and you can experience panoramic views of the Old Town. Old Town square is also known for splendid Christmas market, it was ranked 10th best in the world by CNN recently.

Old Town Square at Night, Prague
Old Town Square at Night
Oldest Running Astrological Clock Prague
Astrological Clock

In short, whatever time you choose; Prague will be gorgeous all year round and there won’t be enough time to submerge in the beauty of this town. Do let me know how did your Prague winter trip went. 🙂


Famous Temples to Visit in Banaras

Varanasi/Banaras has more than thousands of big and small temples and that’s the reason this city is also known as “City of temples”. The city is located on the banks of two tributaries of Ganges, Varuna, and Assi, which merge here. 

We have already shared 9 things to do in Banaras

Varanasi is the city of Lord Shiva, as Lord Shiva is considered the ruler of the city from the beginning of the time. That’s the reason you will find there are a lot of Shiva temples in every corner of Varanasi.

Round up in a video

Here is the list of must-visit temples in Varanasi 

1. Kashi Vishwanath Temple:  

kashi vishwanath temple Banaras
Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Kashi Vishwanath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped here in the form of linga and is built 250 years ago. It is one of the most prominent Hindu temples and one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Lord Shiva is represented as a fiery column of light in Jyotirlinga temples and hence no idol is worshipped. Kashi Vishwanath temple is believed to be here since ancient time and has been mentioned in Puranas too. The temple was destroyed and rebuilt several times. Aurangzeb last destroyed it in 1669 and constructed the Gyanvapi Mosque at its place, later the temple was constructed adjacent to the mosque. Over the years different structures were built around the temple. The most prominent of them are low-roofed colonnade with over 40 pillars in the Gyan Vapi precinct and a 7 feet tall statue of Nandi bull gifted by the king of Nepal. 

The 3 domes of the temple are covered with gold and that’s why people call it Golden temple of Kashi. Later on, many other temples were built around Kashi Vishwanath temple in the Lane, which leads to the Ghat.

Kashi Vishwanath temple opens at 03.00 AM in the morning remain open till 11.00 PM but it is closed in between for special aartis and rituals. These aartis and rituals can be booked online.

Best time to visit this temple is early morning like 4:00am or 5:00 am; otherwise, you will have to wait in a queue for the darshan for approx. 2-3 hours.

Kashi Vishwanath temple darshan tickets and aarti timing:

Mangala Aarti – 03.00 – 04.00 AM Booking cost: 350 INR

Bhog Aarti -11.15 AM to 12.20 PM Booking cost: 180 INR

Sandhya Aarti – 07.00 PM to 08.15 PM Booking cost: 180 INR

Shringar Aarti – 09.00 to 10.15 PM Booking cost: 180 INR 

Shayan Aarti – 10.30 to 11.00 PM

Note: Due to tight security mobile phones, camera, belts with metal buckle, leather belts & bags, cigarettes, lighters are not allowed inside the temple. 

You are allowed to carry offerings like water, milk, flowers, leaves, fruits or sweets inside the temple but a security check is done on these and only small portions are allowed. 

Other must-visit temples are situated in and around BHU campus. 

To visit BHU temple and others you can hire an auto. You will find autos with a package of 4 hours with the cost of 400 rs to 500 rs on the way from Dashashmedh ghat to Assi ghat. That auto driver will take you around all the temples including BHU – Vishwanath Mandir and at the end of the drive he can also take you to the factory outlet for Banaras saree in case you are interested.

2. New Vishwanath Mandir

Birla Vishwanath Temple
New Vishwanath Temple

This temple is located inside the BHU campus. It’s huge and surrounded by clean gardens. It is also known as Birla temple. 

There are nine temples in the BHU campus of Shiva Lingam, Nataraj ji, Mata Parvati ji, Ganesh ji, Panchmukhi Mahadev, Hanuman ji, Mata Saraswati ji, and Nandi ji.

Birla Temple/New Vishwanath temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and it is the exact copy of the original Vishwanath temple. The centre of the temple has a Siva lingam and the walls of the temple have Hindu scriptures written. Birla Temple is made up of the marble and it opens all days a week from 4 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 9 pm.

Aarti timings are 4 am, 4.45 am, 10.30 am, 11.45 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, 6.45 pm, 7.30 pm, 8 pm and 8.45 pm. Every Monday, Rudrabhishek is performed from 7 am to 8 am.
It’s peaceful and clean and not too crowded. Also unlike other temples here, one can carry their mobiles and bags here.

Note: – Do not miss to have cold coffee at “Om cafe”, it’s a cafe just outside of the temple.

3. Baba Kaal Bhairav Mandir:

Kaal Bhairav Mandir Varanasi
Kaal Bhairav Mandir

Baba Kaal Bhairav temple is 1.5 Km from famous Kashi Vishwanath temple. It is situated in a narrow lane. This temple is dedicated to the fierce form of Lord Shiva. It is believed that a visit to Varanasi is incomplete without visiting this temple. Kaal bhairav believed to remove the sins of his disciples and protect them from all problems. Bags with camera and mobiles are allowed inside the temple here.

4. Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple: 

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple Varanasi
Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple

Tulsidas Ji, the author of Ramcharitmanas established the temple of Hanuman Ji in the 14th century at this place and named it Sankat Mochan Hanuman temple.

The statue of Hanuman Ji is placed in a small open shaped sanctum. The idol of Hanuman Ji is covered with Kesari Sindoor and it is facing the idol of Lord Rama.

Beware from monkeys, although they don’t snatch the food packets from devotees there. The temple remains crowded on Tuesday and Saturday. Camera and mobile phones are not allowed inside the temple due to security, after the terrorist attack.

5. Tridev Temple

This is at 450 meters distance from Sankat Mochan Hanuman temple. As the name sounded this temple is dedicated to three gods Tridev (Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh). This temple does not have any historical records but Temple is beautiful and very interesting in design.

6. Shri Durga Temple:

Shri Durga temple is at a 750-meter distance from Sankat Mochan Hanuman temple. This is another very famous temple in Varanasi. It is believed that the idol of goddess Durga appeared itself here. It is also known that there was a temple at this place, which was demolished during Aurangzeb’s attack. A Bengali queen built the current temple in the 18th century. Temple is situated adjacent to a pond, which is known as Durga kund and painted in vibrant red color.

7. Shri Satya Narayan Tulsi Manas Mandir

Shri Satya Narayan Tulsi Manas Mandir Varanasi
Shri Satya Narayan Tulsi Manas Temple

This place is believed to be where Tulsidas has composed and sang Sri Ramacharita manas. Which is one of the holiest scripture in Hinduism. The temple is very beautifully made with marble and couplets of Ramacharitmanas are engraved on the walls of the temple.

8. Bharat Mata Mandir

BharatMata Mandir
Bharat Mata Temple
Bharat Mata Temple Banaras
Bharat Mata Temple

Completed in 1936, it was created when we were undivided. Instead of idols, there is a huge map carved out of marble with very precise details of elevation of all the lands of what now we know as Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. This map depicts rivers, mountains, and oceans up to the scale.

Although it is in bad shape with almost no maintenance and fewer visitors, we found this place very interesting from the historical perspective. It is less than 2 km from Railway station and worth visiting.

9. Nepali Temple

Nepali temple Varanasi
Nepali Temple

This temple is located on Lalita Ghat of Ganga river. The temple is made of terracotta, stone, and wood. King of Nepal had constructed it at the beginning of 19th Century. The temple architecture is similar to temple structures found in Bhaktapur and Patan in Nepal. The temple is also dedicated to Lord Shiva and also known as Pashupatinath Mahadev Mandir Varanasi. Local Varanasi people also call this temple Kanthwala temple because wood is one of the main material used in the temple. 

10. Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple:

Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple Varanasi
Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple

This temple is situated at Manikarnika Ghat. The Inner sanctum of this temple remains submerged in water throughout the year except for few summer months. It is situated in the bank of Ganga and there are several interesting stories associated with the submersion of this temple.

9 Best Things To Do in Varanasi

Sunrise at the Ghat, Varanasi
Sunrise at the Ghat, Varanasi

Till now, we have travelled to many historical cities in Maharashtra and Karnataka, this year’s goal was to visit some old cities in India. The very first list we came up with was Lucknow, Varanasi/Banaras and Prayagraj/Allahabad.

All three cities are not very far from each other, so we made a travel plan in the month of Feb which is the best time to visit northern India. In this blog, I am going to cover Banaras/Varanasi. This city is known to be the oldest living city in the world, believe me, this city has some magical vibes. We had heard a lot of things for Banaras and we were so excited to experience the life of this city.

There are many hostels and hotels available in Banaras. There are quite nice hostels available in 2-3 km radius of Dashashwamedh ghat or between Dashashwamedh to Assi ghat so finding a place is not an issue until you are going on some auspicious day. So without any further adieu, let’s get on to the best things to do and see in Varanasi.

1. Go on a boat ride:

The very first thing we did after reaching ghat is to get on a boat ride. In my opinion, do not take the motorboat, take the manually driven boat. Because as the boat sails slowly, you will be able to observe different ghats and appreciate the beauty of the place. If you are lucky, your boatman will also tell you the history and other details about the famous ghats. The mornings and evenings are the best times for boating and to enjoy the scenic beauty of Banaras.

You should be doing good bargaining for boating, we paid 600 rs for our ride.

Boat ride at Varanasi ghats
Do an Hour-Long Boat Ride

2. Know the History Behind Ghats:

All the ghats are different, built by different people in different years; sometime eras! All of them are named after some important person or carry some unique significance. A boat gives you a great view of how architecture is. The famous ones are Assi ghat where river Assi meets Ganga river, Dashashwamedh ghat is famous for evening aarti and it is said that Lord Brahma created it to welcome Lord Shiva. Manikarnika ghat is one of the most famous, sacred and oldest ghat in the Varanasi. It is said that if you get cremated here, you will achieve Nirvana.

Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Panchayati Akhada Varanasi
Panchayati Akhada

3. Watch Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat and Assi Ghat:

In the evening, do not miss the evening Ganga aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat. It is one of the best memorable experience in Varanasi. You can either see the live aarti by sitting in a boat or reach early by 5:45 and get a place in the open area. According to me, reaching early and getting a place is better than seeing it from the boats. Evenings are very beautiful at Dashashwamedh ghat, you will find a lot of sadhus there, lots of people come here to be the part of live Aarti. Once the Aarti is over, do not miss to take a boat ride. It is beautiful to see all the ghats lit up to its glory. Sight cannot be missed.

Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat
Evening Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat
Evening Arti Decoration at Dashashwamedh Ghat
Dashashwamedh Ghat

For morning aarti, goto Assi ghat; there is early morning yoga as well at Assi ghat. You will get a different experience at both the Ghats. Although, the aarti process is the same but the beauty of both the Ghats makes it different. Assi ghat is also famous for the different events happen here every day during morning and evening.

Aarti at Assi Ghat
Morning Aarti at Assi Ghat

4. Take a Dip in the Ganges:

It’s been said that once you take a dip in the Ganga at Banaras, your soul and body gets pure.  I think anyone visiting Varanasi will not miss taking a dip in the holy river. The actual ritual is to take a dip in the morning and then goto Kashi Vishwanath temple. The situation is water is almost good but at some ghats, it might not be that clean. A lot of people go to the other side of the river too via boat to take a holy dip.

Vijyanagar Ghat
Vijayanagar Ghat
Life on Varanasi Ghats
Life on Varanasi Ghats
Life on Varanasi Ghats

5. Take a Long Walk Across the Ghats:

After the boat ride, we walked from Dashashwamedh ghat to Assi ghat via different ghats. During the walk, we met many sadhus; few were making breakfast/tea, few were bathing, few were meditating, and few were busy with their daily rituals. It’s a long stretch from Dashashwamedh to Assi but the landscape and beauty of each ghat will keep you fascinated.

6. Eat Your Heart Out:

In our three days stay in Varanasi, we just survived and thrived on the street food. I have a whole list of food and the places here to explore, I need to do a separate post only on food, will update the link here. For breakfast near Godowlia chowk, go to Kachauri (or Khoya) galli or Thateri bazar and find “Shri Ram Bhandar” shop for an early breakfast of kachori served with aloo sabzi. Kachori Sabzi is the most popular breakfast in Varanasi. And, how can you forgot dahi jalebi, yum!

There is another famous shop for breakfast who serves toast butter with white butter and Amul butter with Tea. Stop for mithai at Shree Rajbandhu, one of the oldest sweet shops in Varanasi. Have the strawberry pomegranate lassi at the Blue Lassi Shop. I will do a detailed post for all the must eating places in Varanasi.

7. Go on a Temple Visiting Trail:

There a lot of temples in Varanasi and it will be difficult to cover all of them if you there just for a few days. The most famous one is, Kashi Vishwanath temple! The best trick to experience this great temple is to reach as early as you can. That’s the time when you will find this place to be less crowded compared to the day time. So we reach at the entrance by 5 am and within 30 minutes we completed the darshan. We have done a complete round-up all famous temples of Varanasi in a separate post all famous temples of Varanasi in a separate post here. But to name the famous ones: BHU Vishwanath temple, Shri Durga temple, Bharat Mata temple, Satya Narayan temple, Sankat Mochan Hanuman temple.

Birla Vishwanath Temple
BHU Vishwanath Temple
Shri Durga Mandir Varanasi
Shri Durga Mandir

8. Shop for Banarasi Saree:

When you are in Banaras, you ought to buy a banarasi silk saree. That is traditionally the most famous clothing that you can buy from here. Alternatively, you can buy banarasi silk dress material or a scarf too.

banarasi saree
Beautiful Silk Banarasi Saree

9. Learn Yoga:

Learn Yoga from the most spiritual city of India. If you are planning to spend a few weeks in Varanasi, opting for a Yoga class is a great idea. There are a lot of Yoga centres in Varanasi for morning or evening classes. There are Yoga classes conducted at Assi ghat too. There are all classical Indian music classes too if you are interested.

Learn Yoga in Varanasi
Early Morning Yoga at Ghat

Overall, as expected; I found Varanasi to be a very magical place. With all the chaos of residents and tourists and others who are here to see knowledge and truth; we found peace and tranquillity which is enough to lead us back to it someday very soon.

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