The sacred city of Varanasi not just draws pilgrims to its numerous ghats and temples, but also curious travellers who are keen on exploring India and its many cultures. A visit to the ancient city can indeed be an overwhelming experience for some. It is unbelievably crowded and noisy, and making your way through the narrow lanes in the heat is never easy. But when you step closer to the ghats, that's when you realise that's where the charm of the city lies. Slowly you start adjusting yourself to its slow pace and opening up to its vibrant culture. An early morning boat ride of the Ganges, walking along the ghats, shopping for gorgeous Banarasi sarees, visiting the temples, and experiencing the grand aarti ceremony are just a few of the things that make your stay in Varanasi a memorable affair.
If you call yourself a food lover then you will know that Varanasi also offers some spectacular food, making it a popular foodie destination and giving you ample of reasons to indulge. So if you are planning a visit to Varanasi, here's a list of popular local foods you must definitely try:
The best way to start your morning in Varanasi is to order yourself a plate of poori-sabji after a boat ride of the Ganges. in one of the many small eateries, you can enjoy piping hot pooris that are often spiced, and served with aloo sabji or ghugni.
Where: Ram Bhandar in Chowk or Madhur Milan near Dashwamedha Ghat
Almost in every nook and corner you will find chaat stalls. It's a favourite way to satisfy hunger pangs amidst temple visits. You can try the regular golgappas and papdi chaat, or try special ones like palak chaat, tomato chaat and aloo tikkis.
Where: Deena Chat Bhandar and Kashi Chaat Bhandaar
If you prefer hot and crispy treats, then don't miss out on the stuffed kachoris.
Where: Ram Bhandar
Tea lovers should surely not miss out on the experience of sipping kulhad chai. The strong masala tea will give you the much needed energy boost to go about the busy city.
Where: Laxmi Chai Waale
Varanasi is also where you can enjoy batti or litti chokha, which is a speciality of Bihar and UP. The baked wheat balls are stuffed with sattu or gram flour, and served with mashed brinjal and dal.
Where: Baati Chokha Restaurant on Puran Das Road
A trip to Varanasi can be made much sweeter by indulging in a plate of malaiyyo although we can't guarantee if you can stop at one. The foamy milk treat, however, is only available during winters and is similar to makhan malai or daulat ki chaat.
The locals in Varanasi are also known for their sweet tooth. A walk around the town centre and you will find umpteen sweet sellers, where apart from jalebis, a popular treat is also malpua.
Where: Ram Bhandar
You cannot leave Varanasi without trying the legendary Banarasi paan. Loaded with sweet and spicy fillings, the process of making it is interesting too.
Where: Keshav Paan Bhandar
Make the most of your time in Varanasi and enjoy the local food.