17 Must-visit Popular Places Near Varanasi
One of the holiest places around the world; Varanasi is the colorful and spiritual charm of India. Visited by millions each year, this destination is famous for Ghats that line River Ganges.
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While some come here for spiritual enlightenment, others come for the salvation of their sins. If you have already explored attractions as Dasawamedh Ghat, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Durga Temple and still have a few days to spend in this beautiful city, you may want to explore these tourist place near varanasi that can brighten up your vacation.
Top 17 Weekend Getaways From Varanasi
- Singhpur Sarnath
- Bodh Gaya
1. Singhpur Sarnath
Distance:- 11 km from Varanasi
Singhpur’s Sarnath is a religious center known for Buddhist monuments. It is the place where Gautama Buddha first came and taught about the concept of Dharma. People who want to learn about history and religion in India, Sarnath is certainly one of the Best Places to visit near Varanasi. Emperor Ashoka erected a number of stupas for spreading Buddhism. Chaukhandi and Dhammek Stupa are the main stupas built from a blend of stone and bricks. This area is a rich repository of the culture and heritage. To gain further insight of Indian history, development of Buddhism, Aliens theories and how they visited the earth; you should definitely visit this place.
Distance:- 35 km from Varanasi
Known as the “Dhaan Ka Katora of Uttar Pradesh”; Chandauli adds to Indian GDP by exporting oats, paddy, and wheat. Away from mass tourism; lesser-known sanctuaries in India, Chandraprabha Wildlife Sanctuary established to conserve the Asiatic lions has several interesting species of animals, birds, and plants which retains its pristine charm. There are several picnic sites especially two scintillating waterfalls Rajdari and Devdari. The scenic, tranquil surroundings, crystal clear waters, gurgling over the rocks present a breathtaking sight to experience. Perfect for a day trip or a weekend gateway from varanasi. You can stay at budget hotels in Varanasi as there is no accommodation in this Sanctuary. Best time to visit varanasi, Chandauli is between October and March.
Distance:- 96 km from Varanasi
Kaimur has a glorious heritage that exhibits a true coherence of the Mughal and Hindu dynasties. It is one of the most vibrant regions of the Bihar border by 3 beautiful rivers Karmanasha, Durgawati, and Kudra. The major tourist attractions of Kaimur are historic monuments, ancient temples, Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary, Baidyanath, Maa Mundeshwari Temple, Chorghatia, Karmanasa River, Sidhanath Temple. Kaimur offers a taste of everything and doesn’t disappoint its tourists from temples, forts, hills, forest, waterfalls and scenic spots. During Monsoon Telhar waterfall is a great feast for the eyes. Best time to visit Kaimur to observe its tranquil nature is from October to March.
Distance:- 61 km from Varanasi
Surrounded by several hills, the city is a blend of fine work in carpet making, mud, clay pots and toys. It is also prominent for the holy shrine Vindhyavasini Devi most cherished Shakti Peeths of India, Ashtbhuja, Kali Khoh, and Devrahwa Baba Ashram. It is not just a place of astute devotion but also of serene beauty with green valleys, cascading waterfalls, meandering rivers, which are a delight for a nature lover.
5. Allahabad (Prayagraj)
Distance:- 120km from Varanasi
Allahabad, recognized for hosting the largest and grandest Kumbh Mela, is actually more than that. Popularly known as Allahabad; the original name of the city is “Prayag” or “Kaushambi”. Major Tourist attractions are Allahabad Fort, Allahabad University, and ancestral home of the Nehru Family (Anand Bhawan). The grand Kumbh Mela held every 12 years finds a humongous gathering of nearly 120 million people. Another Grand Annual Fair called Magh Mela which starts from Makar Sankranti in the months of January lasts till February. Allahabad is considered one of the most favorite tourist place to visit near varanasi.
To enjoy the silent side of Allahabad and best of nature, take a boat from Triveni Sangam during sunrise or sunset. Allahabad Public Library is one of the biggest libraries of Uttar Pradesh. This place possesses hundreds of manuscripts dating from the 19th century like blue books, 125,000 books, manuscripts in different languages, etc.
Formerly known as the Oxford of the East, Allahabad University was the fourth modern university of India established in 1887. So while you are in the Allahabad, one of the must visit places is Allahabad University.
Shami kebabs, Crispy thin paratha, and aromatic chicken biryani are few things you should definitely try when in Allahabad.
Distance:- 114 km from Varanasi
The second largest district of Uttar Pradesh; Sonbhadra has immense historical and cultural significance and is home to several ancient monuments, forts.
The Vijaygarh Fort dates back from 5th century built by the Kol kings is widely known for its exquisite rock carvings, inscriptions and cave paintings. Naugarh Fort built by the Kashi kings is now a guest house for government dignitaries is considered as a prominent tourist attraction. Among religious sites, Shiv Dwar known for its old 11th-century black stone statue of the two gods in the Srijan posture is the famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Agori Fort, Salkhan Fossil Park, Mukha Falls, Rihand Dam, Barkandhara Dam, Lakhania Caves are known for their beautiful ageless rock paintings among few well-known places.
Sonbhadra can appeal to both art lovers and explorers and is another must visit tourist place near varanasi. November to March is the Best time to visit Sonbhadra.
Distance:- 202 km from Varanasi
Ayodhya is an important city of Ancient India, situated on the bank of Sarayu River popularly known for the birthplace of Lord Rama is one of the seven most important pilgrimage sites. However, Ayodhya is not confined to Hindu pilgrimage there are also Buddhist and Jain shrines as well as a museum. Bahu Begum Ka Maqbara is the Historic Building in Ayodhya also known as’Taj Mahal of the East’, is a unique 42m-high maqbara built for the queen of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula. It is considered to be a prime example of Awadhi architecture. Ayodhya boasts of a range of tourist attractions among them such as Hanuman Garhi, a temple in the central part of the city said to be a must visit attraction while on your Ayodhya Trip. Kanak Bhawan also called Sone-ka-Ghar is the place where Lord Sri Rama and Sita dressed in gold crowns is another attraction of the city. Similarly, Nageshwarnath temple, Treta ke Thakur, Vijayraghaw temple and Choti chawni should certainly be a part of your Ayodhya itinerary.
Distance:- 231 km from Varanasi
Kushinagar is an ancient and one of the four main pilgrimage centers for Buddhists, the others being Lumbini (Nepal), Bodhgaya and Sarnath. It is believed that Buddha took his last breath in Kushinagar. Visitors can see several ruined stupas that date back from the 3rd century to the 5th century. Ramabhar Stupa is where Buddha is believed to have been cremated, Nirvana Chaitya, the Wai Thai complex, and Indo-Japan-Sri Lanka Temple are must-visit sights. The museum here displays a good collection of Buddhist sculptures, Tibetan thangka paintings, and Mughal miniatures. Your trip to this place will reveal a lot more about the art, culture and historical facts.
9. Bodh Gaya
Distance:- 253 km from Varanasi
Famous for Mahabodhi Temple and Bodhi Tree; Bodhgaya is one of the most sacred places located in the Gaya district of Bihar. Prince Gautama meditated under the Bodhi tree and gained supreme knowledge and came to be known as Buddha. During the earlier times, this city was known as Uruvela due to the presence of sand that is now famous for many places such as Mahabodhi Temple, Animesh Lochan Chaitya, Chankramana is other tourist attractions. Due to the tropical climate, the tourists visit this place throughout the year. Gaya is one of the main tourist attractions in Bihar, a city of ancient historical and mythological significance.
Distance:- 280 km from Varanasi
Settled on the banks of River Ganga, Patna is a joyful city offering a number of activities to hold your interest, a planetarium for science enthusiasts, and some gorgeous heritage sites for history buffs. One can also take a boat ride near the Gandhi Ghat or dine at Pind Balluchi; revolving restaurant. Patna and Maner Sharif – a historical site that houses two tombs; Patna Sahib – a holy place for Sikhs; Patthar ki Masjid – a mosque wholly constructed of stones and Mahavir Mandir dedicated to Lord Hanuman are other important tourist spots in Patna including Golghar, Patna Planetarium, Patan Devi, Eco Park, Agam Kuan and Phulwari sharif.
Distance:- 303 km from Varanasi
The City of Nawabs, Golden City of the East and The Constantinople of India; Lucknow is a major cultural hub of the country. When you Visit Lucknow, you will spot the Welcome Sign ‘Muskuraaiye Aap Lucknow Mein Hai’ says it all. In short, it means a trip to this capital city will be the best memories you will make throughout the trip! Lucknow allures history buffs, foodies, and explorers. Day picnic spot to Kukrail, Indira Dam, Imambara, and Marine Drive makes for a perfect family outing. Do try Tunday ke Kebab, the Rahim ki Nihari when in Lucknow. Known for its uniqueness on a global platform for its tehzeeb (manners), poetry, music, dance, beautiful gardens, grand architecture, old markets, and fine cuisine. Lucknow certainly is the best places to visit.
The travelers who come to Varanasi inevitably head to this small town for a day or two and it is just about 4.5 hours drive from the city. It is a small town which is mostly known for its quaint temples and street food. The main attraction here is Ramvan Hanuman Mandir which is quite a local pilgrimage site and people come here from various parts of the state to pay their respects in this temple. There are monkeys here so please be careful of your belongings. It is the perfect place to enjoy the small town life and live the life of simplicity away from the chaos of the big cities.
Vaishali is one of the oldest cities of India and it was an important center of learning, art and culture during the Mauryan rule. The history of the place can be seen in the temples and the Buddhist stupas which were established here, as the region had seen heavy influence of both these religions. The Bawan Pokhar Temple is a major attraction and the evening worship here is a sight to behold. The Buddha Stupa here is a sacred site as they are known to contain one- eighth of the ashes of Lord Buddha. The Ashoka Pillar is also located here.
The Archeological Museum of Vaishali, which was established in 1971, is a must visit. The museum was established with the aim of preserving the many historical artifacts which had been found during the excavations in this region and they have contributed significantly to the understanding of India’s ancient history. Be sure to visit with enough time on your hands as you will be covering four massive galleries. If history is really your thing, then head 3 km away from the main town of Vaishali and visit Kutagarshala Vihar, which is also referred to as Buddha Stupa II. This out of the way town still has one of the oldest Vihars of the country, and was built by the Licchavis for the Sakhamuni.
Located about 4.5 hours drive away from Varanasi, Rewa is another town which will surprise you with the historical sites it has. One of these is the Govindgarh fort, which is a small fort but nevertheless a wonderful sit to explore. The fort was the summer capital of the kings of Rewa at one point of time and the weather here is quite pleasant because of its higher altitude. The region is famous for its Sunderja mangoes. Purwa Falls is another site here which you should visit and is a lovely picnic spot. Keoti Falls and Chachai Falls are some of the other falls in the vicinity and equally picaresque picnic spots.
The Rani Talab is one of the oldest water wells in the region and is a source of sustenance here as its waters are used for various purposes from irrigation to worship. The Baghel Museum is the place to be in if you want to know about the history of the place. The personal belongings of the Maharaja of Rewa are stored here and there are plethora of tools and equipments on display from ancient and medieval times. Do pay a visit to Pili Kothi, another spectacular building built by the kings here. Lastly, do not forget to visit the Rewa Fort, whose construction was started by Salim Shah, son of Sher Shah Suri and was completed by Maharaja Vikramaditya. Temples were built inside the premises by subsequent kings and it is a major attraction here.
Located about 6.5 hours away from Varanasi, this is a heritage site which will carry you through the portals of history. One of the major attractions in Ambikapur is the Tattapani, which is a continuously flowing hot water spring. It is said that the waters of the spring has miraculous healing powers and it can cure any kind of skin diseases. Ram Garh and Sita Bengra are two major areas of interest here and it is that Ram and Sita spent 14 years of their life here.
Do head to Mainpat if you want to enjoy a whole new cultural landscape. Known as Mini Tibet, the region is so named because of the hilly landscape that is mostly found in such regions and is a great area for motor biking. If you want to look at older temples, then head to Mahamaya Temple, which was built by king Ratansen of Kalachuri dynasty in 1050 AD. It is a temple of Goddess Durga. At the end, be sure to head towards Jogimara Caves, and they date back to 300 BC. The caves are a wonderful example of earlier cave paintings and they are filled with images of paintings, humans and trees and there are about seven different paintings of elephants. There are messages engraved on the walls and they are considered the first messages of love.
The temples of Khajuraho are famous across India and each year hundreds of tourists come here from various parts of the world. The Lakshmana Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is considered to be one of the oldest existing temples in the world. The temple was constructed in around 950 AD and it is one of the most well preserved temples in the country. It houses more than 600 images of gods and goddesses and there are scenes of Hindu mythology depicted along the walls, along with scenes of battles. The temple also has images of apsaras and the Vaikuntha Avatar of Vishnu, with his three heads is depicted in all majesty. Do not forget to visit the Raneh Falls, which is another popular picnic spot in the location. The Vishwanath Temple is another sight to behold and while the temple has the Shivalinga as its major shrine, the interiors of the walls are depicted with idols of Lord Brahma. The 6 feet high Nandi bull deserves special mention. The Chitragupta Temple, on the other hand, is dedicated to the Sun God and there are five idols adorning the walls in particular, among many other smaller ones. Visiting the temples of Khajuraho is a real eye opener about how magnificent India’s heritage is.
17. Bandhavgarh National Park
If you are in Varanasi, do take some time out and visit the Bandhavgarh National Park. It is home to a number of wildlife species like tigers, bison, chital and langurs. There are also nilgai and chinkaras, along with wild boars. The park has the highest density of tigers in the world and thanks to conservation, the numbers are steadily increasing. The park was increased to 448.84 km in 1982. The park also boasts of 250 species of birds like Malabar hornbills and browed fantails among others. The white bellied drongos and gold fronted leaf birds are can also be spotted here. It is also one of the few places in India where pythons can be found. The park also has some ancient caves here where inscriptions in Sanskrit can be found. The best way to go around the park is by a jeep safari or an elephant ride. In 1993, the park was included in the Project Tiger Network. The Umrar, Son and Johila Rivers flow around the perimeters of the park.
Where to Stay
Depending on which areas you want to travel, you can book your rooms in Varanasi. After all, the tourist places nearby has so much to offer and it would be a good idea to make Varanasi as your base as you travel to this nearby spots. You can of course, book hotels of every budget, through the OYO app and you will not be disappointed. As a major city, Varanasi has all the amenities that can one can want and the hotels will make sure you have them, and you can book rooms based on the amenities you want.
A slight change in routine life is the best way to deal with the week ahead. What can be better than enjoying a fun-filled weekend at Varanasi. There are myriad fascinating places around that won’t take more than 5 to 6 hours’ drive and makes for perfect tourist place near Varanasi. So if you have any plans to visit Varanasi, make sure you consider exploring these places around the city.
P.s. You might like these related resources:
- 10 incredible places to visit in Varanasi and what to do there.
- Best Time to Visit Varanasi – the holy city of River Ganga
A music enthusiast and a sucker for harmonies, Megha loves singing and expressing her emotions through her writings. Stuck between a fragile heart and a strong mind, she intends to stay passionate about her work. She has a soft corner for animals and loves binging on netflix!
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