Lining the banks of the Ganges River, Varanasi is India’s oldest city and the holiest in the world to Hindus. Varanasi with children is a unique and special experience as the rich history will hold unique meaning in their eyes. Kids will be amazed by stunning buildings and architecture, colorful artwork and exotic food as they tour some of the oldest sites in the world. Your family will love exploring the India not many see in a cultural experience you shouldn’t be afraid to bring children along for.
Address: Banaras Hindu University Campus, Varanasi, India
Phone: +91 542 239 2629
Hours: Daily, 4 AM – 12 PM and 1 PM – 9 PM
The major draw of the city and holiest site in the world for Hindus is the stunning Kashi Vishwanath Temple or “Golden Temple.” Unfortunately it is only accessible those of the Hindu faith. For those travellers who are not Hindu, we recommend the New Vishwanath (or Birla) Temple which is smaller, and while less impressive visually, it will give you a fantastic overview of local culture and the Hindu faith. NOTE that you can catch a glimpse of the Golden Temple’s exterior from the cab on your way to the New Temple. Located on the campus of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), the New Vishwanath Temple is a quiet site less frequented by tourists. It is an accurate scale model of the larger Vishwanath Temple and also dedicated to Shiva. Here you will be able to take your time without fighting crowds and have a better chance to gain actual understanding of what you are seeing, rather than waiting for hours on long lines to only get a brief glimpse.
Address: Sarnath | Via-Anlabereni, Varanasi 759026, India
Hours: Saturday – Thursday, 9 AM – 5 PM, Closed Fridays
Getting There: Approximately 20 minutes by cab from the university, or for more unique transportation about 40 minutes by rickshaw.
Admission: Adults $2, Children under 15 are free.
Just outside of, but easily accessible from, the city of Varanasi lies the excavated site of Sarnath. This extremely holy site for Buddhists is now an impressive facility containing active archaeological digs and an impressive museum of what has been recovered so far. Visitors will see some beautiful statues of Buddha and enjoy a museum that is well marked and accessible for Westerners to not only see the art but understand as well. The ruins cover half of a monastery and the museum displays antiquities spread through five galleries and two verandas. The artifacts in the museum date from the 3rd century BC to the 12th century AD. Make sure to see the Dhamekh stupa, a solid cylindrical tower about 28.5 meters across the base and about 33.5 meters tall. Also be sure to check out the original Ashok pillar, a national emblem of India. Families will enjoy the quieter nature and slower pace of this site as they browse the vast campus at their own pace.