There are around 100 ghats in Varanasi, each with its own significance. Most Indians believe that anyone dying on the banks of the river, in Varanasi, attains instant 'Moksha' or enlightenment. Pilgrims flock the Ghats to have a ritual bath and perform puja to the rising sun, following centuries old tradition. The Dasashvamedh Ghat offers a splendid view of the river front. Other special ghats are the Asi, Barnasangam, Panchganga and Manikarnika Ghats.
Temples form the major source of attraction in this ancient city. Providing the backdrop is an incredible array of temples and ancient buildings, several of them standing at odd angles because their foundations have been eroded unevenly by flood waters. There are 2,000 temples and shrines in Varanasi, but the holiest, Vishvanatha, is closed to non-Hindus.
Dedicated to Shiva or Vishveswara is the Golden Temple, the main temple of Varanasi.
THE DURGA TEMPLE
Commonly known as the Monkey Temple, was built in the 18th century by a Bengali Maharani, and is stained red with ocher. This small temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga, consort of Shiva, is built in north Indian Nagara style, with a multicolored shikhara or umbrella.
THE BHARAT MATA TEMPLE
It was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi and houses one of the most perfect relief maps of India carved out of marble.
TULSI MANAS TEMPLE
This temple is dedicated to Lord Rama. The temple is built in the place where Goswami Tulsidas composed the epic 'Ramacharitramanas' which provides us with detailed description of the history and deeds of Lord Rama.
BANARAS HINDU UNIVERSITY
Founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya it is considered to be the largest residential university in Asia. Within the university campus, Vishwanath Temple and Bharat Kala Kendra (Museum) are well worth a visit.