Banaras Hindu University (BHU), a central university located in the city of holy river Ganga, Varanasi, is a must-visit place when exploring the beauty, heritage and culture of Varanasi. If you happen to visit Varanasi, you should never miss out on the opportunity to explore the beauty of the BHU campus and other beautiful places nearby. Here I will help you in this journey of exploring places in and around BHU by making you aware of the different beautiful places, so let’s start our journey by exploring following different places.
Vishwanath Temple (VT)
- The Vishwanath temple commonly referred to as VT by the students of the campus is located inside the lush green environment of BHU.
- Not only is the Vishwanath Temple located in the heart of the cultural capital of India – Varanasi, but its divinity is multiplied by the holy river Ganga that flows by its side.
- It is one of the most famous attractions for tourists visiting Varanasi.
- Vishwanath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the most sacred and holiest places in Varanasi.
- It is also known as Birla Temple which is a beautiful architecture crafted by white marbles.
- The Vishwanath temple has an elevation of 77 meters.
- It is approximately 1.2 kilometres far away from the main gate of BHU.
Bharat Kala Bhavan
- Bharat Kala Bhavan is a museum in Varanasi which is sadly underestimated a lot when it comes to visiting and exploring this place and thus many tourists miss out on this place.
- Bharat Kala Bhavan is located inside the campus of BHU and is approximately 2.3 kilometres far away from the main BHU gate.
- It has been instrumental in the dissemination of knowledge on Indian art and culture.
- Bharat Kala Bhavan has a collection of artefacts, Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, pictures, manuscripts, Mughal miniatures, paintings, brocade textiles, contemporary art form and bronze statues from the 1st–15th century.
- Pottery, metal craft, ivory goods, jewellery, terracotta beads & a rare collection of Gujarati, Rajasthani & Pahari miniature paintings are also on display in the museum.
- The total holdings of Bharat Kala Bhawan are 104,376.
- Madhuban is a vibrant small Eden garden located inside the campus of BHU.
- The Park is decorated with abstract futuristic statues.
- It is pleasant to take rest on a bench under the shade of a tree’s leaves shaken by the soft wind.
- In the morning, you will find people exercising and practising yoga in Madhuban.
- During day time, most students in a bunch are found here.
- Nescafe shop is available at Madhuban where other snacks are also available such as maggie.
- It is open till 5 in the evening.
- It is at a distance of 2.7 km from the main BHU gate.
- Situated at the confluence of Ganga and Assi river, Assi Ghat is the southernmost Ghat in Varanasi, where pilgrims bathe before paying their homage to Lord Shiva.
- To most visitors in Varanasi, Assi ghat known for being a place where long-term foreign students, researchers and tourists live.
- It was at Assi Ghat where the famous Indian poet, Tulsi Das had written the much-celebrated Ramcharitmanas.
- The Assi Ghat can accommodate about 22,000 people at once during festivals like Shiv Ratri.
- In the evenings, around 7 pm, a full-fledged aarti takes place here.
- Many visitors prefer watching it from the boats that can be hailed from the Assi Ghat.
- Subah-e-Banaras is organised every morning at the Assi Ghat.
- It is 4.6 kilometre far from the BHU Gate.
Sankat Mochan Temple
- The Sankat Mochan Temple is one of the most beautiful and holiest temples in Varanasi which is dedicated to the Hindu God Hanuman.
- Each year in the month of April, the temple organizes classical music and dance concert festival titled ‘Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh’.
- Sankat Mochan Temple was founded by Tulsidas who was the author of the Ramcharitmanasa.
- In the temple, the prasad offered to Lord Hanuman are sold like the special sweet ‘besan ke ladoo’, which the devotees relish.
- The idol is also decked with a pleasant marigold flower garland as well.
- Sankat Mochan temple has the unique distinction of having Lord Hanuman facing his Lord, Ram, whom he worshipped with steadfast and selfless devotion.
Durga Kund Mandir
- Durga Kund is also known as the Durga temple is situated in the holy city of Varanasi.
- It is dedicated to the goddess Durga.
- Durga Mandir was constructed in the 18th century by Rani Bhabani of Natore.
- Durga Mandir is situated on the Sankat Mochan Road, adjacent to Durga Kund, 250 meters north of Tulsi Manas Mandir, 700 meters north-east of Sankat Mochan Mandir.
- Durga Mandir is 1.3 kilometres far away from the main BHU gate.
- Next to the temple, is a kund (pond) which was earlier connected to the river Ganges.
- It is believed that the existing icon of the goddess was not made by a man but appeared on its own in the temple.
Tulsi Manas Mandir
- Tulsi Manas Mandir is one of the holiest and most famous temples of Varanasi.
- Tulsi Manas Mandir is located on the banks of the Tulsi ghat.
- Tulsi Manas Temple has great historical and cultural importance since the Hindu epic Ramcharitmanas was originally written at this place by Hindu poet-saint, Tulsidas.
- The walls of this temple are adorned with verses from Ramcharitmanas, the Hindi version of the epic Ramayana.
- Tulsi Manas Mandir is situated on the Sankat Mochan road.
- It is 250 meters south of Durga Kund, 700 meters north-east of Sankat Mochan Mandir and 1.3 kilometres north of the BHU main gate.
- The Tulsi Manas Mandir was inaugurated by Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishanan.
- It is made up of white marble and the beautiful garden adds to its attractiveness.
- One of the oldest and the most sacred ghats in the holy city of Varanasi is Dashashwamedh Ghat.
- This place is most famous for its Ganga Arti ( a holy fire ritual), which is an elaborate and lively ceremony that takes place at dusk every day.
- The arti lasts about 45 minutes.
- The hour-long ritual can be watched from the Dashashwamedh ghat or boats moored at the river bank.
- The name ‘Dashashwamedh’ means the place where Lord Brahma sacrificed ten horses.
- It is also said that Bajirao Peshwa I had the ghat reconstructed in 1740 AD.
- It was later constructed over by the queen of Indore, Ahilyabai Holkar, in 1774.
- This ghat lies very close to the famous Vishwanath Mandir.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
- The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is the most famous and one of the holiest temple situated in Varanasi.
- It is located on the banks of the river Ganga and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, or Jyotirlingams, the holiest of Shiva Temples.
- Varanasi city was called Kashi in ancient times, and hence the temple is popularly called Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
- A visit to the temple and a bath in the river Ganges is one of many methods believed to lead one on a path to Moksha.
- There is a popular belief that Shiva himself blows the mantra of salvation into the ears of people who die naturally at the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
- The distance between the BHU gate and the Kashi Vishwanath Temple is around 6 kilometres.
- Ramnagar Fort is located on the eastern bank of River Ganges, opposite Tulsi Ghat, in Varanasi.
- The red sandstone fort was built in Mughal style by the ruler of Kashi, Maharaja Balwant Singh.
- Ramnagar Fort is said to be the ancestral home of the Maharaja of Banaras.
- A 30-minute boat rides away from Varanasi, the fort is an imposing sight, rising from the bank of the river.
- A museum inside the compound of the Ramnagar Fort showcases collectables belonging to the royal family.
- It is known for its exhibits of antique scripts and scriptures, vintage furniture, cars, royal costumes, gold and silver brocaded palanquins and elephant saddles carved out of silver.
- There is an armoury that contains swords and old guns from Burma, Japan and some African countries.
- The fort palace appears most vibrant during the one-month-long Ram Leela festival held in the months of October-November.
- Ramnagar Fort is at a distance of 3.4 kilometres from the BHU main gate.