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BY Seema Shukla
Varanasi one of the oldest living cities and a center of spirituality is located on the banks of the Ganges River in northern India. Despite its official name (adopted in 1947) Varanasi, the city is still popular as Banaras and Kashi. It is 692 kilometers from India’s national capital New Delhi, 320 kilometers from the state capital, Lucknow, and 121 kilometers from Allahabad, another Hindu pilgrimage site.
Varanasi is among one of Hinduism’s seven holy cities. The Varanasi name has taken from the two Ganges tributaries forming the city’s borders: Varuna, and Assi.
The spiritual center of the country, Varanasi, is the land of more than two thousand temples, glorious forts and the world-famous university Banaras Hindu University also known as BHU. Therefore, it is revered as one of the holiest and culturally rich cities in the entire world.
Varanasi greets tourists with its mystical environment and glorious history. The visitors can explore the city for a minimum time of two days. They can visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Assi Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Dasaswamedh Ghat, Tulsi Manas Temple, Ramnagar Fort & Museum, Alamgir Mosque, Godowlia Market, Chowk & Vishwanath Gali, Man Mandir Observatory, Darbhanga Ghat, and BHU to check the glorious history of this city.
Varanasi is divided into two parts old city and a new city. The old part of the city lies along the western banks of the Ganges, spread across a labyrinth of narrow galis. You can discover the real essence of Banaras by walking on foot and encountering some holy cows. In another hand, the new Varanasi has big malls, tall buildings and wide roads.
The morning of Varans is full of cymbals, bells and hymns chanting sounds. It is an early-riser city. The morning can be very interesting by seeing joggers, wrestlers, priests, sages and devout who are busy in their activities. Evenings are quiet and peaceful in Varanasi. You can enjoy the Ganga Arti here in the evening.
Varanasi is a center of art and aesthetics, the glimpse can be seen in the artwork of Banarasi sarees, clay and wood handiworks music and dance.
Varanasi also provides the flavor of traditional cuisines also, visitors can also like the traditional Banarasi cuisines at some of the best restaurants and cafes located over here.
This divine city is also an important destination for Buddhists. The historical evidence shows that Gautam Buddha preached his first sermon in Benaras, a part which is now in Sarnath, every year thousands of followers of Buddhism come here to see this place.
In sort it can be said the Varanasi is a heaven on earth, comprising the flaovour of religion, knowledge, modern techniques and provide salvation after death (it is believed).
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