Silk Sarees

Varanasi is famous for its Silk Sarees and the brocades hand-woven in Gold or Silver thread. These masterpieces of elegance and artwork have always fascinated the to-be brides and Saree aficionados. Weaving communities thrive across the town, especially in Godowlia, Lallapura and Madanpura. Especially famous is the Gold and Silver brocade work, with intricate designs being woven on pure silk, organza, georgette and other pure materials. If you pass by these areas, the clack of weaving looms persists like a background score. Shopkeepers often do the quintessential ‘ring test’ to affirm the quality of the silk, where the complete Saree can pass through a ring. 

Ganga Jal

Ganga Jal is one of the biggest exports from Varanasi. Devotees from around the world come here to take home ‘Ganga Jal’, water from River Ganga. As you move close to the Ghats you could spot heaps of beautiful plastic and metal cans of all sizes, which people buy to store the Ganga Jal. 

Gulabi Minakari

Gulabi Minakari is a hidden artwork of Varanasi. Though Minakari is famous in other parts of India, the one in Varanasi is unique owing to the shade it uses - Pink, hence called Gulabi Minakari. It is an intricately designing work done by the craftsmen of Varanasi on jewellery and miniatures. While exploring Varanasi, there are lanes which will lead you to the wooden toy crafters. They sell beautiful toys made using wood. They typically make sets of birds, animals and other miniatures in bright colors. 

Sphatik or Crystal Shivalinga

Sphatik or Crystal Shivalinga, found in Varanasi are transparent white Shivalingas moulded out of crystal, used for worship in homes. These Shivalingas can be found in the Vishwanath Gali, the lane leading to the Kashi Vishwanath temple. Banaras also has the world’s largest manufacturing unit of glass beads. You can find many souvenir shops in Varanasi selling jewellery made out of these glass beads. 

Stone-carved toys

The city also offers stone-carved toys. Varanasi is also a good place to shop for musical instruments like sitar and tabla. The cost of the instrument depends primarily on the type of wood used. Mango is cheapest, while black shisham or mahogany are of the highest quality. Serious buyers should be sure to double-check that their chosen wood isn’t banned or export. While being on the go in Varanasi, you can collect some other souvenirs. The city also produces extravagantly made brassware, copperware, clay toys, and antique designs of heavy gold jewellery. 

Ganga Aarti

Each evening the boats on the River Ganga converge at the Dashashwamedha Ghat for the magical Aarti. Five-seven young priests follow a practiced routine with flaming lamps, incense sticks, conches and other holy paraphernalia to a live bhajan sung on the microphone – the synchrony is mesmerizing. The Aarti for the first time was performed when Lord Shiva visited the city, it was repeated when various Maharajas explored these Ghats to take a holy dip in River Ganga. Most of it is repeated every single day for the average pilgrim coming to Varanasi from around the world. The evening ends with devotees and visitors offering small leaf baskets with a burning lamp inside and flowers to the river. Possibly one of the most picturesque spectacles in Varanasi, you can witness it from the middle of the river resting on a boat. The Aarti takes place in the evening after the sunset for around 45 minutes at the Dashashwamedh Ghat in the Varanasi. Devotees start to gather at the Ghat atleast one hour before it starts. Now the Ganga Arti is performed at other Ghats also.

Subah-e-Banaras

The Varanasi is known for its hours of dawn, when the city is in its most serene state. The morning glory of Banaras is the most auspicious tour to witness and discover life sprawling on the banks of the holy Ganga. It is a mystical blend of nature’s grandeur and human existence. The rising sun, golden Ganga and illuminated Ghats inspire the people to enchant, sing and conjure (Yoga). It takes one close to the spiritual fragrance of this land. A morning of Varanasi is full of life, light and divinity perpetuating the eternal beauty of nature.

Ghat Sandhya

Daily evening a dedicated team of “culture enthusiasts”, quietly descend upon the Gangamahal-Reewa Ghat from different corners of city and bring the venue to life at around 6:00 pm that is ornamented with soulful gala of music & dance. The cultural legacy of the city is showcased on this very location. Visitor can see and become a part of the mesmerizing musical journey.

Boat ride along River Ganga

Boating down the Ganga River during sunrise is one of the main attractions in Varanasi. One can observe here the Hindu way of life along the banks of the Ganga (Ghats) River. Start your day with a boat ride at dawn and witness the heavenly beauty of the pious Ghats and the delightful ambience of Varanasi. Behold the captivating beauty of the vicinity when the first rays of the sun touches the sacred lands of this holy city. Join boat-ride tour and experience how life starts with devotion, spirituality and sacredness in Banaras. Assembling at the ‘Assi Ghat’ at 5:15 AM during the summers and 6:00 AM during the winters, embark on a boat ride in the holy Ganga. As the boatman rows through the holy waters, you can catch a sight of the sunrays touching the tranquil water. The evening boat ride is also equally amazing!