Varanasi , Uttar Pradesh


Varanasi, also known as Benares, or Kashi, is an Indian city on the banks of the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, 320 kilometres  south-east of the state capital, Lucknow. It is the holiest of the seven sacred cities  in Hinduis and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism.It is one of the oldest continuously i nhabited cities in the world. Varanasi is also known as the favourite city of the Hindu deity Lord Shiva  as it has been mentioned in the Rigveda  that this city in older times was known as Kashi.

The culture of Varanasi is closely associated with the Ganges.The Benaras Gharana form of Hindustani classical music was developed in Varanasi, and many prominent Indian philosophers, poets, writers, and musicians live or have lived in Varanasi. Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon at Saranath, located near Varanasi.

Varanasi is the spiritual capital of India. One of the largest residential universities of Asia, the Benaras Hindu University (BHU), is located here.

Places to visit

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The Ganga is the most sacred river to Hindus. It is also a lifeline to millions of Indians who live along its course and depend on it for their daily needs. It is worshipped as the goddess Ganga in Hinduism.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Located on the outskirts of the Ganges, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple – dedicated to Varanasi's presiding deity Shiva is an important Hindu temple and one of the 12 jyotirlinga Shiva temples. It is believed that a single view of Vishwanath Jyotirlinga is worth more than that of other jyotirlingas. The temple has been destroyed and rebuilt a number of times.

Dashashwamedh Ghat

The Dashashwamedh Ghat is the main and probably the oldest ghat of Varansi located on the Ganges, close to the Kasi Vishwanath Temple.

Manikanika Ghat

The Manikarnika Ghat is the Mahasmasana (meaning: "great cremation ground") and is the primary site for Hindu cremation in the city. Adjoining the ghat, there are raised platforms that are used for death anniversary rituals. 

Assi Ghat

Assi Ghat is one of ghats often visited for recreation and during festivals.  The ghat accommodates about 22,500 people at once during festivals like Shivaratri.

Ramnagar Fort

The Ramnagar Fort located near the Ganges River on its eastern bank, opposite to the Tulsi Ghat, was built  by Kashi Naresh Raja Balwant Singh with creamy Chunar sandstone. It is in a typically Mughal style of architecture with carved balconies, open courtyards, and scenic pavilions. At present the fort is not in good repair.

Dhamek Stupa

 is a massive stupa located at Sarnath,13 km away from Varanasi. In its current shape, the stupa is a solid cylinder of bricks and stone reaching a height of 43.6 meters and having a diameter of 28 meters. It is the most massive structure in Sarnath.

Chaukhandi Stupa

It  is an important Buddhist stupa in Saranath, located 13 kilometres from Varanasi.  Stupas have evolved from burial mounds and serve as a shrine for a relic of the Buddha.

Today the stupa is a high earthen mound covered with a brickwork edifice topped by an octagonal tower.

Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary

 It is well endowned with beautiful picnic spots, dense forests, and scenic waterfalls like Rajdari and Devdari that attract tourists every year to its vicinity. Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary is situated about 70 kilometres from the historic city of Varanasi.

Gyanvapi Mosque

The gyanvapi Mosque, is adjacent to the Kasi Vishwanath temple.  Muslims have been residing in Varanasi since several generations starting from the rule of the Delhi Sultanate. 

Sarnath Museum

Sarnath is located near Varanasi, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The museum has 6,832 sculptures and artifacts.This is the famous original sandstone sculpted Lion Capital of Ashoka preserved at Sarnath Museum, which was originally erected around 250 BCE atop an Ashoka Pillar at Saranath.

Holidays related to Varanasi

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