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INFORMATION ABOUT VARANASI

The land of Varanasi (Kashi) has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Often referred to as Benares, Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. These few lines by Mark Twain say it all: "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together". Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. Abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the origins of Varanasi are yet unknown. Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals.

VARANASI HISTORY

Varanasi has also been a great center of learning for ages. Varanasi is associated with promotion of spiritualism, mysticism, Sanskrit, yoga and Hindi language and honored authors such as the ever-famous novelist Prem Chand and Tulsi Das, the famous saint-poet who wrote Ram Charit Manas. Aptly called as the cultural capital of India, Varanasi has provided the right platform for all cultural activities to flourish. Many exponents of dance and music have come from Varanasi. Ravi Shankar, the internationally renowned Sitar maestro and Ustad Bismillah Khan, (the famous Shehnai player) are all sons of the blessed city or have lived here for major part of their lives. New Vishvanath Temple at BHUVaranasi is not a city with distinct tourist destinations as such: instead, the experience is in watching the spectacle of life and death on the river and meandering through the alleys of the old city.

VARANASI TOURISM

    The Places of Interest and Sight Seeing

  • New Vishwanath Temple : also known as the Golden Temple, security is tight making entrance difficult and sometimes completely off limits to foreigners. No bags, cellphones or pens are allowed. They can be deposited in the shops side by the temple entrance.


  • Nepali Hindu Temple : A small golden temple, built in Nepali architecture, near Lalit Ghat


  • Alamagir Mosque : overlooking Panchganga Ghat, it's a great place for a bird's eye view of the area.


  • Man Mandir Observatory


  • Durga Temple


  • Banaras Hindu University : a very green and peaceful campus


  • Some of the main ghats, from north to south


  • Panchganga Ghat : the meeting of the five rivers

  • Manikarnika Ghat : the main cremation ghat; a must-see, but remain quiet and never take photographs

  • Dasaswamedh Ghat : the main ghat and site of the large evening aarti; only reachable by foot at some times of day, about a 5 minute walk south from Godaulia Rana Ghat

ACCOMODATION/STAY OPTIONS IN VARANASI



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