Though there are several five star hotels that offter good cuisine, the best of Varanasi lies in its deep tangles of alleyways, in its people, in its mysteries that come out at night. At night Varanasi is transformed. As one walks through the narrow streets, one can see through tiny windows families kneeling to dinner, old sages smoking pipes, tea heating on carcoals. The clinking of plates and glasses emanate from the doors of homes.
The holiness and spirituality of the city pervades into the night regardless. Ceremonies in this holy city go until late in the night, as people stream to the Ghats to chant mantras and burn incense. Along the river side, bazaars light up the alleys with silks and clothes, bracelets and dyes. Women organize their goods and smile in the flickering light. Spices can be smelled around the corner. Stray dogs tear at abandoned garbage in the gutters. Older men chat in huddles at the street side, faint laughter drifting off down into the riverbed. If one is lucky, one may even see fire-jugglers, creating patterns of glowing flowers in the sky.
Nightlife and Varanasi don’t go hand-in-hand considering it’s a rather holy city and a popular pilgrimage destination. However if we widen the meaning of nightlife, there are several other activities to keep you busy during the evenings when staying in Varanasi.
Activities such as having an evening at the cinema are often a popular choice with a selection of Indian films that can be highly entertaining, even for those which the language is foreign. Many Bollywood films include a lot of singing and dancing that can be enjoyable without being able to understand the language.
If music is a favourite pastime then make sure you tag along to one of the International Music Centre Ashram’s located close to the Dasaswamedh Ghat that performs regularly on Wednesdays and Sundays. Alternatively hire someone to row you down the River Ganges at sunset where you can observe Hindu devotees pray at the ghats smothered with the last of golden sun for the day with the beautiful temple backdrop. This has been considered one of the world’s most impressive sights so one should not miss the opportunity to see for themselves what the world is suggesting.
For those who like a quiet drink before bed, you will not be starved as there are some bars in the city. The Prinsep Bar in Hotel Taj Ganges is a great place to bring friends for a quiet drink and some excellent Indian food in the evenings. For a more musical ambience, stop in at the Hotel Vaibhav where you can find the Gazal Bar which features musical entertainment through to midnight. Alternatively if you are after some delicious food to accompany your evening drink, the Patiala Peg provides a place to do both within the Hotel Meradan Grand.
Nightlife and Varanasi don’t go hand-in-hand considering it’s a rather holy city and a popular pilgrimage destination.
Varanasi is a sacred and oldest city of the world located at the banks of the holy River Gange. Where, Gange aarti is performed daily in the evening by a group of priests at the Dashashwamedh ghat.
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