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Also known as ‘Kashi’ and ‘Banaras’, this city is one of the oldest cities of the world. Varanasi is one of the most prominent pilgrimage sites of the Hindus. The Hindus also believe that Lord Shiva along with his wife Goddess Parvati reside here and those who live in Varanasi are blessed by both the deities. The holy Ganga River also flows through the land of Varanasi and whoever bathes in the holy river is released from all the sins and gets a place in the heaven. The Hindus have uncomplaining faith in this city and the River. Varanasi is the combinations of many temples and several ghats on the River Ganga that are used for different purposes. Both combine to give Varanasi spectacular surroundings. Varanasi is also one of the eminent cities in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
History of Varanasi
Varanasi is known to be as old as time, it has seen ages and was present as long as 5000 years ago. The city has seen many civilizations come and go. According to the Hindu belief, when the person dies his spirit takes the form of another being and is formed again. But dying and cremation in Varanasi frees oneself from this cycle of life and death as this is the abode of god. Hindus believe that Banaras gives one salvation.
Tourist Attractions in Varanasi
The major places of interest in Varanasi are:
The name of this ghat has an interesting story. According to which Lord Brahma sacrificed 10 horses on this land and hence, the name dasa-meaning ten, ashwa- meaning horse, medha- sacrifice came into being. This is the place where the world famous Ganga Aarti is held in the evening after sunset daily. Watching the enthralling Ganga aarti being performed that feels truly amazing and spectacular.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is the temple of Lord Shiva and is located on the western bank of River Ganga. It has one of the 12 Jyotirlings of Lord Shiva and was built in 1780 by Rani Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore. The temple has a huge sanctum in a conical shape which is sculpted and is a very prominent temple of the city.
Tulasi Manas Mandir
The Tulasi Manas Temple is one of the most famous Temple in Varanasi and this temple is dedicated to one of the most renowned writer in history of India ‘Tulasi Dasa’. The facts have that the famous Hindu epic Ramcharitmanas was written on this location by Saint Tulasi Das and later this place was converted into a beautiful marble temple. The temple is surrounded by tailored gardens and has the events from the Ramcharitmanas painted on the walls inside.
Durga Temple also called the Monkey Temple or the Durga Kund Mandir has great importance in the Hindu culture. It was constructed in eighteenth century by a Maharani from Bengal and is dedicated to Hindu goddess Durga.
Bharat Mata Temple
The Bharat Mata Temple, translated as the Mother India Temple in English is one of a kind. As there is no idol of goddess, instead there is a map of undivided India made with marble in this multistoried temple.
Languages Spoken in Varanasi
The languages that are spoken in Varanasi are Hindi (Benarasi), and English.
Cuisines of Varanasi
Although one will find a whole variety of cuisines here, the common breakfast dish is Kachori-Subzi, Tikki, Dahi Bada, meal with Baati- Chokha and afterwards, for dessert one can have Malaidar Kulfi or Thandai which is a famous sweet beverage of the area.
Famous Festivals in Varanasi
Dev Deepawali, Mahashivratri and Nagpanchami are the festivals which are celebrated with excitement and devotion in Varanasi.
Climate in Varanasi
Humid sub-tropical climate is what is experienced in Varanasi. The best time to visit is from August to March.