Tips on surviving Benaras

by Shruti Sharma Content Curator

Varanasi, Benaras or Kashi, is the oldest and most religious city in India. People from all around the world come to Benaras to experience the rich culture, art, and religiousness of the place. Chances are your first visit might be an overwhelming experience for you, so it’s better to prepare yourself for what will come your way. Read on to know a few things to expect and tips to tackle them that will help you make the most of your Benaras trip:

Expect the right things

If you are expecting party places in Varanasi then you’ve entered the wrong city. As mentioned earlier it’s a religious city and a party place can be hard to find. Also, try and book your hotel in advance. Your train may arrive at the station at an untimely hour and making through the old city without help is not just difficult but also unsafe. Additionally, while looking for resorts in Varanasi, put the filter of places near the ghat on.

Do not click pictures without permission

While on the Ghats you’ll see many people cremating their loved ones. It is extremely insensitive to the family members to take pictures of the deceased. Further, you’ll spot a lot of sadhus smoking charas or bhang around the Ghats. They do make for fantastic portraits, but it is important to ask them for permission before clicking them. Usually, all they do is charge a little fee and you can click as many pictures in as many filters.

You might be barred entry at a few places

If you are a foreigner, then there is no guarantee that you will be allowed entry into the Vishwanath temple. Don’t feel bad, it’s just the temple rules.


Almost anyone who comes to Benaras has to tackle the touts who are annoyingly tenacious. Many times they’ll try to sell you fake wood in the name of ‘Chandan’. Don’t make a fool of yourself. Also, they will follow you and start educating you about the various aspects of the city. Make sure you convey it firmly that you’re not interested; else they’ll ask you for a fee at the end of their following session.

Cow shit

According to the Hindu Mythology, cows are holy animals. Thus, you’ll see people respecting cows more than humans. You’ll see cows everywhere and needless to say cow poop everywhere too. So, be prepared to step into a pile of poop at some point in your journey.


Paan is an assortment of tobacco and spices wrapped around in betel leaves. This seemingly uninteresting snack is highly popular and savoured by all the men in Benaras. There are paan stains everywhere in the city.

Don’t get lost

Varanasi is full of small and confusing alleys. Don’t panic if you get lost in one of them. They will eventually open to the main road. Also, ensure your safety by keeping the business card of someone. Book your stay at any of the villa in Varanasi for a memorable stay.

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About Shruti Sharma Innovator   Content Curator

7 connections, 0 recommendations, 57 honor points.
Joined APSense since, November 29th, 2017, From Delhi, India.

Created on May 25th 2018 07:39. Viewed 365 times.


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