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Varanasi

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also known for: Banares
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History of: 3000-5000 years approx.
Population: 14 Lac

The cultural capital of India, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is a major center for spiritualism, mysticism, Hinduism and Indian philosophy. Also known as Benares and Kashi, Varanasi is one of the oldest surviving cities worldwide and an important pilgrimage destination not only for Hindus, but for Buddhists and Jains as well. Learn more about Varanasi in touristplacesinindia.com before you plan to travel to Varanasi.

Home to numerous Hindu temples, ashrams and ghats, which are among the main attractions for visitors, Varanasi also boasts of several Buddhist Stupas and Jain temples. A melting pot of Indian civilization, Varanasi receives hordes of pilgrims and devotees every year from all corners of the world, who are attracted by the religious places and other tourist attractions of the town.

Since time immemorial, Varanasi has continued to be an important cultural and religious centre in northern India. Besides, the city is also famous for the Benares Gharana (school) of Indian classical music developed here. Another prominent feature about Varanasi is that the town houses the distinguished Banaras Hindu University. At various points of time in history, Varanasi served home to many an eminent Indian philosopher, poet, writer, and musician. The local people of Varanasi are famous as advocates of literature, music, Vedic philosophy, arts, crafts and architecture.

Major Attractions

 

Holy River Ganges
Since Varanasi is mainly associated with Hinduism, temples form the main attraction. The Ganga Ghats (river fronts) are the main center of religious activities and rituals and also form one of the main attractions of Varanasi.

Bharat Kala Bhavan
Bharat Kala Bhavan, located inside the BHU campus, is an art and architecture museum and houses a vast collection of paintings, Hindu and Buddhist sculptures and other materials of archeological importance. The Bharat Kala Bhavan was established in the year 1920 A.D. In the main hall of the Bharat Kala Bhawan, there is a figure of a man standing on one leg and one hand on his hip and lifting a mass of stone above his head, with one hand. The figure is said to be of Lord Krishna, lifting Mount Govardhana. Many images in the Bharat Kala Bhavan confirm to the existence of Krishna cult in Kashi in 15th and 16th century.

Banaras Hindu University
The Banaras Hindu University or BHU is an internationally reputed University and is situated in Varanasi. The great nationalist leader, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, founded the Banaras Hindu University in the year 1916. Dr Annie Besant also played an important role in the formation of the BHU. The Banaras Hindu University played an important role in the Indian independence movement. Over a period of time, it has developed into one of the greatest centers of learning in India. The BHU has produced many great freedom fighters and Nation builders. It has immensely contributed to the progress of the nation through a large number of renowned scholars, artists and scientists.

Jantar Mantar
Jantar Mantar is an observatory, built by Jai Singh, the Maharaja of Jaipur in the year 1737. Jai Singh was a great admirer of science and technology and he was particularly passionate about astronomy. Before the commencement of construction (of observatories) he sent scholars abroad to study the foreign observatories. The emissaries returned with many manuals on astronomy. The Jantar Mantar at Varanasi was built in line with Delhi, Mathura, Ujjain and Jaipur observatories.

Ramnagar Fort
The Ramnagar fort lies about 14 km. from Varanasi and is situated on the opposite bank of river Ganga. It is the ancestral home of the Maharaja of Banaras. Maharaja Balwant Singh built this fort-palace in the eighteenth century. The fort is built in red sandstone. The Ramnagar fort has a temple and a museum within the grounds and the temple is dedicated to Ved Vyasa, who wrote Mahabharata, the great Indian epic. Legends have it that Ved Vyasa stayed here for a brief period.

 

Nearby Excursions

 

Sarnath
It is worth coming here to compare the different styles of these modern Buddhist temples, which were built by Buddhists from Burma, China, Japan, Thailand and Tibet. Within a peaceful parkland setting, the 5th-century Dhanekh Stupa monuments marks the very spot where Lord Buddha preached his very first sermon. Also from the same era is the Chaukhandi Stupa, while Sarnath's more modern Mulgandha Kuti Vihar Temple and Deer Park may also be of interest.

Fun Festives

 

Ganga Festival
A festive experience like none other awaits you at Ganga Festival at Varanasi.

Kartik Purnima
Celebrated in the month of November-December is the sacred day, when the ghats of Varanasi come alive with thousands of brightly-lit earthern lamps.

Buddh Purnima
This festival is celebrated with pomp and gaiety in Sarnath. This day Lord Buddha was born. A large fair is held in Sarnath and the relics of Buddha are taken out in a procession for public viewing on this day. Buddh Purnima is celebrated during the month of May.

 

Distance from major cities
Agra 605 Kms
Khajuraho 402 Kms
Delhi 802 Kms

 

How to reach there

by Air Varanasi Airport is well connected with all major cities of India.
by Rail Varanasi Railway Station is well connected with Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai and all major cities of India.
by Road Well connected to all major cities of Uttar Pradesh.

Recommended Restaurants

  • Haifa Restaurant, Varanasi

  • Canton Royale, Varanasi

  • Varanasi Raga, Varanasi

Hotels in Varanasi

Luxury

Medium

Budget

Taj Ganges

Hotel Clarks

Hotel Vaibhav

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