Known by many names, from Benares to Kashi, the city of Varanasi is among the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities and one of India’s most significant holy sites for Hindus. Straddling the Ganges River in Uttar Pradesh, the city attracts pilgrims who come to bathe in the Ganges waters, visit famous temples and perform the last rights of their loved ones here; it’s believed that anyone whose ashes are submerged in the Ganges at Varanasi will be liberated from moksha, the cycle of rebirth.
Agra is most often associated with its most famous attraction, the Taj Mahal. While there’s no denying that the centuries-old mausoleum is by far the city’s most visit-worthy attraction, there are plenty of other gorgeous historic sites in Agra beyond the Taj Mahal. Here are a few favorites.
Although India is predominantly a nation of tea drinkers, coffee has long been the hot beverage of choice in the southern states and the past decade has seen a huge boom in coffee shop culture across the country. Here are a few of the Garden City’s best spots for coffee and conversation.
The Indian festival of Holi marks the end of winter and ushers in spring on the full moon of March every year. Over time, the festival has grown into a nationwide celebration where the entire country of India covers itself in brightly colored powder. Although it’s celebrated all over the sub-continent, some places celebrate more than others.
As the sun goes down in the city of Jaipur, the crowds gather to watch the nightly Light and Sound Show at the Amber Fort. As impressive as the fort is during the day, it’s even more magical at night. After viewing the show, we stopped at a few other Jaipur hotspots to see them light up at night. Touring at night we got a different view of the fort, Water Palace and Surabhi cultural center.
The capital of West Bengal, Kolkata is home to numerous places of worship, reflective of the city’s diversity of religious communities. Here are a few of Kolkata’s churches, temples and mosques worth visiting.