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"Varanasi, one of the most ancient cities of the world is studded with numerous temples, shrines and sacred ghats giving you an excellent option to explore the spirituality and Hindu philosophy in their best form."
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Varanasi - the Throne of Lord Shiva

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi Uttar Pradesh
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi Uttar Pradesh

Come to the abode of Lord Shiva – Varanasi. One of the most ancient cities in the world, Vanarasi has something in the air that spells divinity itself with all its religiosity and reverence. Veneration for Varanasi or Kashi has existed from time immortal attracting a lot of tourists from all over the world in search of his share of salvation. The age old temples, mazes of lanes and fat old bulls blocking the roads are all that seem to take you century behind leaving your soul bewildered and awe inspired. Pilgrims and devotees find this city the right place to raise their spiritualism and sense of absolute being and hence travel from various corners of the world to have a glance of the city.

The city finds mention in the age old Upanishads, epics and Indian mythologies. The seven thousand years old hue of Varanasi presents a kaleidoscope of pre-historic antiquity blending nicely with the heritage of ancient time and also combining with the thread of present time. Hindus believe that to die in the city attains instant salvation. As you take a walk in the ghats and streets of Varanasi, you will find old people spending their days in the holy city taking the names of Lord Vishwanath (Lord Shiva) and hoping to end their lives here to make a move to the heaven.

As We Follow The Legend

As the legend goes, once Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, grew a fifth head to prove his superiority. On a stance of rage Lord Shiva cut the excess head and eventually became a hunt of wrath, accused by the sin of Brahman slaughter, considered as one of the deadly sins in Hindu mythology. The sin clung to his body in the form of the head that he had cut off and he was unable to get rid of it. Then Lord Shiva started for a long pilgrimage in search of atonement. He was purified by the holy water of the Ganges and was released of this heinous crime in the sacred land of Varanasi. This is the reason that make Vanarasi, Lord Shiva's favourite dwelling place in the earth.

Divine Attractions of the City
Ghats

Kashi Vishwanath Temple

The temple is dedicated to the prime deity of Vanarasi – Vishwanath, an identity of Lord Shiva. It is also known as the Golden Temple for its 15.5 metre high spire coated with one ton of gold plating and which is standing gracefully in Varanasi. The temple was destroyed during various invasions and was rebuilt by Rani Ahilyabai of Indore in 1776. You can even offer 'puja' in the temple and there are holy saints in the temple premises to help you out. But it is always advisable to go for some authorized persons which your guide will help you to find out.

At the temple gate you will have to go through a security checking and you are requested to co-operate with the guards. You will have to leave your mobile phone there. Any kind of baggage or food item is not admissible inside the temple premises and hence you are requested to leave them in your hotel or bus.

Banaras Hindu University

Established at the beginning of this century, Benaras Hindu University is famous for having an excellent Sanskrit school. It has over 150,000 rare manuscripts in its collection, which promotes the study of Hindu Shastras inviting students from all over the country to live and study here. The Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum inside the university campus is one of the best museums in India and deserves a close look from your side. The big statue of Krishna holding Govardhana Hill, dating from the fourth century is no doubt the prime attraction of the museum.

Sarnath

Sarnath situated at a distance of 8 km from Varanasi is one of the most important sites of Buddhist circuits. It still holds the reminiscence of Lord Buddha which is savoured by thousands of tourists every year coming from different parts of the world. As you take a walk in the ancient roads and lanes, you may have a spine chilling experience with the feeling that Lord might had walked on the same road some thousand years back. The Sarnath complex houses the remains of a Buddhist monastic settlement which are till now alive with the fragrance Buddhist divinity. Dharma Chakra Stupa is a must see place in Sarnath where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon after attaining salvation. The area comes alive when the devotees fill the ambience enchanting Sanskrit mantra. Once you are in Sarnath, do not miss to visit the museum which contains some exquisite 6th or 11th century Buddhist icons excavated from the site, which may just leave you bedazzled. Don't miss to have the experience.

Shopping Delight

Benaras or Varanasi is the heaven of dazzling silk sarees and Indian traditional musical instruments. The Beanarasi Silk Saree are the inevitable part of any Indian marriage which are ornamented with thin wire work. The tradition of using gold and silver wire in the saree make it even more precious item which Indian women store and care for their whole life. It won't be wrong to say that every Indian woman possesses at least one Benarasi Saree. We recommend you to go to Government emporia or authorized shops to get the best of Benarasi Silk.

From Sitar, Tanpoora, Veena and Tabla to modern Guitar and Keyboard, the musical instrument shops of Varanasi are well stocked with good quality musical instruments. You may have an instrument of life time from here.

Getting There

By Air

India Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Sahara and Air Deccan connect Varanasi to Bhubaneshwar, Lucknow, Agra and Delhi with regular flights service. The airport is at Babatpur , 23 km from the city centre and is about 30 km from the ghats. Pre-paid taxis are available outside the airport to transfer you to the city within 45 minutes.

By Rail

Varanasi is linked to all major cities of the country and is the focal point for the Northern and North-Eastern Railways in India. From Delhi, Kashi-Vishwanath Express(18 hours) is most convenient train to reach Varanasi. Auto rickshaws are available outside the station to take you inside the city.

Varanasi Cantt. is the main railway station of the city and is located on the Grand trunk Road. Pre-paid taxi and auto rickshaw service is available at the railway station.

By Road

Varanasi is situated at the junction of three national highways -Nh2 from Kolkata to Delhi, NH 7 to Kanyakumari and Nh29 to Gorakhpur and undoubtedly it is one of the busiest roads of India. Some important distances are : Allahabad – 125 km, Lucknow – 320 km, Patna – 210 km, Bodhgaya – 234 km, Khajuraho – 406 km, Lumbini(Nepal) – 386 km.

Public Transport

Auto rickshaw and rickshaw are the prime modes of communication in city and you will love to travel through the congested lanes of Varanasi. Mini buses run in the outer region of the city. Small boats and small steamers are also used by the common people to cross the river Ganga.

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