We’ve compiled the best of the best in Varanasi - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Boat ride on the Ganges


    The quintessential Varanasi experience is a boat ride along the Ganges. The most popular place to hire a boat is at Dashashvamedh Ghat—essentially...Read More

  • 2. Dashashvamedh Ghat

    Notable Building

    At roughly the midway point of Varanasi's ghats, this is a convenient and popular spot, always busy with hawkers and pilgrims, and a good place...Read More

  • 3. Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum


    No one interested in Indian art should miss this museum on the campus of Banaras Hindu University. The permanent collection includes brocade...Read More

  • 4. Chaukhandi Stupa


    The first monument you come to in Sarnath, on the left-hand side of Ashoka Marg on the way to the park, is this Buddhist shrine that is believed...Read More

  • 5. Dhamekh Stupa


    Dappled with geometric and floral ornamentation, the stone-and-brick Dhamekh Stupa is the largest surviving monument in Sarnath, at 143 feet...Read More

  • 6. Durga Temple

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This 18th-century shrine, dedicated to the goddess Durga, Shiva's consort, stands beside a large, square pool of water due west about a kilometer...Read More

  • 7. Kashi Vishvanath Temple

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Known as the Golden Temple because of the gold plate on its spire—a gift from the Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab in 1835—this is the most...Read More

  • 8. Mulagandha Kuti Vihar Temple

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Built in 1931 by the Mahabodhi Society, the temple joins the old foundations of seven monasteries. The walls bear frescoes by a Japanese artist...Read More

  • 9. Ramnagar Fort and Palace


    Across the Ganges from the river ghats is the 17th-century, red sandstone palace of the Maharaja of Varanasi, who still lives here (if the flag...Read More

  • 10. Sankat Mochan Temple

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    One of Varanasi's most beloved temples—as well as one of its oldest—Sankat Mochan (Deliverer from Troubles) was built in the late 16th century...Read More

  • 11. Sarnath Archaeological Museum


    At the entrance to this excellent museum is Ashoka's Lion Capital, moved here from its original location in the park. The museum represents...Read More

  • 12. Shitala Temple

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This unassuming but very popular white temple near Dashashvamedh Ghat is dedicated to Shitala, the goddess of smallpox, who both causes and...Read More

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