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The ghats are must-see architectural sites. The ghats line the Ganges River as immense staircases that build from the edge of the river to the sky. From the top, there are idyllic views of the sunrise and sunset. Cremations take place at the top of the ghat as well. The most important is the Dashaswamedh Ghat. Constructed by Peshwa Balaji Rao, it is one of the most holy bathing ghats of the Ganges. This ghat derives its name from the time when in Ramayana Dashrath the father of Rama performed ten (Das in hindi) Ashwamedh yagnas or tentimes the Pooja for ruling the country through Horses ...... Das + Ashwamedh = Dasashwamedh.
The southern end has the Assi Ghat which leads to many ghats, ending in the Adikashva Ghat in the north. Nearby is the Tulsi Ghat where Goswami Tulsidas lived till his death. Harishchandra Ghat is the cremation (burning) ghat where dead bodies are burnt day and night. Another cremation ghat is the Mani Karnika Ghat which is very old. It is a belief that only lucky people die in Varanasi.
There are also phenomenal temples to view in Varanasi. Krishna Balarama Temple, built in 1975 by ISKON, has become Varanasi's most visited temple. It has one of the chief principles of deity worship and cleanliness. Hare Krishna devotees from around the world visit this temple throughout they year. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is the most famous religious tourist attraction of the city. In addition, the Bharat Mata Temple, Alamgir Mosque, Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Temple, and the Archaeological Museum are some of the places worth visiting. An intriguing temple is the Sankat Mochan Temple, dedicated dedicated to the monkey God Hanuman.
Do visit the Astronomical Observatory of Raja Jai Singh on the banks of the Ganges river near the ghats where the aartis take place in the evenings. This is one of the five observatories like the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi of which only four survive now. Be cautious of the monkeys that rule over the place and may snatch any food items from your bags if left open.
The Banaras Hindu University Campus has one of the best museums you can visit in Varanasi and it has a lot of old sculptures and miniature paintings that are worth seeing.
Also, the Ram Nagar Fort is a popular site. Queen Elizabeth stayed in this fort on her visit in 1958, is more intriguing on the outside than in, with grand brick walls. Inside there are intricate ivory carvings, displays of clothes and remnants of the Maharaja of Benares' transport department.
Sarnath which is another lovely site near Varanasi is not to be missed if you are interested in ancient architecture as it has the old Dhamekh Stupa refurbished by Emperor Ashoka and also the Ashoka Column with the four lions atop it (India's National Emblem) at the Sarnath Archaeological Survey of India Museum. Almost all the countries from South East Asia that practice Buddhism have their individual Buddhist temples in Sarnath built in their own artistic styles. There is also the Deer Park where the Buddha gave his first sermon nearby. A Jain temple is also there nearby.