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Destination Varanasi: Discover the city’s sightseeing & shopping hotspots!

Benares, Banaras, Kashi – these are all names of Varanasi, a place that has become synonymous with spirituality, mythology, and a history that dates back to ancient times; some historians say the evolution of the city began almost 3,000 years ago.

Varanasi shopping hotspotsPhoto Courtesy: Happy Flashbacks

Situated on the banks of the Ganges river in the state of Uttarakhand, Varanasi draws in tourists from India and across the world, thanks to its mesmerizing ‘ghats’ (series of steps leading down to the banks of a river), the dramatic ‘Sandhya Aarti’ (evening prayer ritual conducted by Hindu priests) at Dashashwamedh Ghat which features light and chants, royal palaces, ornate temples, Buddhist pilgrimages, Ayurvedic treatments – and Banarasi silk products.

Authentic Banarasi silk products such as handloom sarees are much in demand with brides and their families from across the world. Established names such as Shanti Benaras are famous for their exquisite handloom collections, and also offer services such bridal concierges and online shopping. An entire family can get a bespoke wedding trousseau created here as the store caters to both men and women.

Varanasi shopping hotspotsPhoto Courtesy: Vadym Kulykov

Here, we take you on an immersive trail through some of the wonders of Varanasi that are guaranteed to make any wedding or celebration here a memorable one.

Relish Local Flavors
From the iconic Banarasi ‘paan’ to fried savories and syrupy jalebis, every local treat in Varanasi harks back to a culinary tradition passed down many generations. From grand ‘thalis’ (platters) with seasonal delights at exclusive hotels to tiny stalls in winding lanes dishing out cold buttermilk, milky rabdi, and spicy chaats, every meal in Varanasi is a sensorial experience that your guests will relish. We recommend you add a local taste tour to your wedding itinerary as an added attraction if you are tying the knot in Varanasi.

Varanasi shopping hotspotsPhoto Courtesy: Sangeeta Khanna

Varanasi shopping hotspotsPhoto Courtesy: Rani George

Get Framed in Stunning Locations
The architecture and dramatic structures of Varanasi have been portrayed in many movies and TV serials over the years, and rightly so. From the serene backdrop of the Ganges, scenic boat cruises, light and shadow play in narrow lanes, palatial backdrops at Darbhanga Ghat, cascading steps of the ‘ghats,’ the Kashi Vishwanath temple and other religious complexes, almost every corner of this exotic, Insta-worthy city offers unique photoshoot locations that suit diverse themes and moods.

Varanasi shopping hotspotsPhoto Courtesy: Happy Flashbacks

Varanasi shopping hotspotsPhoto Courtesy: Shutterdown Photography

Explore a Shopping Paradise
While malls have sprung up all over Varanasi, the charm of shopping there lies in its local stores, busy lanes with stalls selling souvenirs and religious trinkets, and outlets selling ‘meenakari’ (local craft) bling and Ayurvedic products. Female guests at your wedding will love browsing the crowded Dal Mandi, said to be one of the biggest shopping streets in India. Here, one can find ethnic lampshades, intricate brass lamps and traditional wall-hangings which make for interesting wedding favors. If your guests want to take back something that represents Varanasi, they can pick from wooden flutes, sandalwood boxes, carved stone statues, glass beads, fine silk products, and wall hangings.

Varanasi shopping hotspotsPhoto Courtesy: Vadym Kulykov

Discover Wonderful Weaves
Fine silk woven with gold and silver threads, featuring zari borders and embellished with exquisite embroidery, Banarasi silk sarees are wardrobe staples across India. You can even opt to wear a bridal Banarasi saree instead of a lehenga at your nuptials. Your female guests will love sifting through the beautiful creations at the famous Shanti Banaras store which recently launched their master weaves collection called ‘Navarasa: Threads of Fantasy’ that is inspired by the nine human emotions/expressions as stated in the ancient tome ‘Natyashastra’ by Bharat Muni. If you want to check their collections online, you can check out Shanti Banaras Studio.

Smaller stores in Chowk, Madanpur and Dashashwamedh Ghat also sell Banarsi silk sarees at reasonable price points.

Varanasi shopping hotspotsPhoto Courtesy: Shanti Banaras Studio

Varanasi shopping hotspotsPhoto Courtesy: Shanti Banaras Studio

Varanasi shopping hotspotsPhoto Courtesy: Shanti Banaras Studio

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