Exploring Kashi: Beyond the Ghats

A Traveler's Guide

6 min readNov 15, 2023

I’ve been dreaming of visiting Kashi for an year, and finally, in December 2023, I’m making it happen. I’ll be exploring this ancient city with my camera, capturing its beauty in a photo-documentary. This guide lays out a plan for my two-day adventure, going beyond the famous riverbanks to discover the heart of Varanasi.

🧳Travel Map

Destination Map and Town Map

📸Ready. Set. Click

Don’t forget to carry these stuff!

  • Camera, Charger, Spare battery & Extra memory cards
  • City map & Water proof phone cover
  • Comfortable shoes, Water bottle, Cap/Scarf Face mask &Sunscreen
  • Cash 💸

🐾Day-wise Trip Plan

Day 1: XX Dec, 2023

1. Arrive in Kashi (6:30 am)

Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport, Varanasi

2. Kashi Vishwanath Temple (8:00 am — 8:40 am): A sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Cameras are not allowed; deposit them in lockers for a spiritual experience.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple

3. Mata Annapurna Temple ( 8:45 am — 9:05 am): Dedicated to the goddess of food, Annapurna, it’s a short walk on the left side of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple exit.

Mata Annapurna Temple

4. Kaal Bhairava Temple (9:15 am — 9:45 am): Explore this temple dedicated to Lord Bhairava, a manifestation of Lord Shiva associated with annihilation.

Kaal Bhairava Temple

5. Godalia Market (Book shop) to Dashashwamedh Ghat (10:00 am — 11:00 am): Reach via Rickshaw. Enjoy breakfast at a local eatery and capture the vibrant atmosphere.

Godalia Market

6. BHU Campus (11:15 am — 12:45 am): Visit the Vishwanath Temple and Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum in the prestigious Banaras Hindu University.

New Vishwanath Temple and Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum

7. Lunch (12:45 pm — 3:30 pm)

8. Assi Ghat to Raja Harishchandra Ghat via Kedar Ghat (3:45 pm — 6:00pm): Reach and start your exploration of ghats, capturing the essence of life along the Ganges.

Assi Ghat

9. Raja Harishchandra Ghat to Dashashwamedh Ghat (via Darbhanga ghat, Rana Mahal) for Arti (6:00 pm — 8:00 pm): Witness the grand evening prayer ceremony. Speak to a priest for a good spot and absorb the spiritual ambiance. Spend time at Harishchandra Ghat or other ghats after the Arti.

Dashashwamedh Ghat Arti and Raja Harishchandra Ghat

10. Manikarnika Ghat (8:00 pm — 8:30 pm): Walk to reach here witness the evening Arti and perhaps call Prashant Ji for local insights.

Manikarnika Ghat

11. Scindia Ghat (8:30 pm — 9:30 pm): Explore this ghat on foot from previous location, known for post-cremation ritual bath. Capture pictures and explore the kund on left side on the way.

Scindia Ghat

12. Back to the accommodation by Auto/Rapido (9:30 pm)

Day 2: YY Dec, 2023

1. Sunrise Arti at Assi Ghat (5:30 am — 6:30 am): Begin the day with the serene morning prayer ceremony via Rickshaw/Rapido.

Sunrise Arti at Assi Ghat

2. Tulsi Ghat (6:30 am — 7:30 am): Explore the architecture and tranquillity of Tulsi Ghat.

Tulsi Ghat

3. Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple (7:30 am — 8:15 am): Visit this revered temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman.

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple

4. Kashi Mukti Bhawan (8:15 am — 9:30 am): A guest house for salvation seekers. It is said that if one dies and gets cremated in Varanasi, he/she is refrained from the cycle of death and birth impelled by karma. Know more here:

Kashi Mukti Bhawan

5. Bharat Mata Temple (9:30 am — 10:15 am): Explore the unique temple made of marble, showcasing a relief map of undivided India.

Bharat Mata Temple

6. Durga Temple (10:15 am — 11:00 am): Visit this vibrant temple known for its resident monkeys.

Durga Temple

7. Tulsi Manas Temple (11:00 am — 11:45 am): Experience the serenity of this white marble temple with walls inscribed with the Ramcharitmanas.

Tulsi Manas Temple

8. Lunch & Photo Walk towards Assi Chauraha (11:45 am — 5:30 pm): Take a Rickshaw to Lanka, explore local food places (listed below), and soak in the cultural richness.

9. TRY to do Nothing (5:30 pm — 7:00 pm)

10. Head back to the accommodation (7:00 pm)

11. Reach the Railway Station for departure (8:30 pm)

Varanasi Railway Station


  • Blue lassi shop
  • Kashi Chaat Bhandar
  • Ramchandra Chaurasia Tambul Bhandar — Paan
  • Laxmi Chai-Waale — Malai & Makkhan Toast
  • Gauri Shankar Kachori Waale
  • The Ram Bhandar — Kachori
  • Baati Chokha Dot Com
  • Deena Chat Bhandar
  • Baba Thandai Shop

Other places to visit

  • Sarnath Archaeological Site: Dhamek Stupa, Sarnath Museum, etc
  • Sarnath: Lord Buddha gave his first sermon. Visit the Dhamek Stupa, Sarnath Museum.
  • Namo Ghat: Capture the morning beauty of this ghat through your lens. Reach via Rickshaw/Rapido.
  • Malviya Bridge: Enjoy a picturesque view of the Ganges from Malviya Bridge.
  • Birthplace of Maharani Lakshmi Bai: Visit the birthplace of the legendary Rani Lakshmi Bai.
  • Ramnagar Fort: On the banks of the Ganges, ancestral home of the Maharaja of Banaras. It has a museum with a collection of vintage cars, royal costumes, etc. — Opp side of river Ganga
  • Chunar Fort: 40 km from Varanasi, panoramic views of the Ganga.
  • Gyanvapi Mosque: Near the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
  • Alamgir mosque
  • St. Mary’s Church: Stained glass windows
  • Jantar Mantar: Built by Maharaja Jai Singh II, ancient astronomy — between Dashashwamedh Ghat and Manikarnika Ghat
  • Nepali Temple: Wooden temple gifted to Varanasi by the King of Nepal — Comes before Manikarnika Ghat


Video Documentary

Photo Documentary

Text Documentary

Kashi seems to be more than just the river and the temples; it’s a mix of old traditions and the busy modern life. The pictures of temples, markets, and peaceful riverbanks tell a story that goes way back in time. I’m eagerly looking forward to the trip, ready to capture the city’s spirit through my lens.

If you’ve been to Varanasi or have any suggestions for must-visit places or hidden gems, please share them in the comments below.