- the religious capital of India :
The holy city of Varanasi also known as the city of temples and learning is
a place of great historical and cultural significance. This religious
capital of India is situated on the banks of the holy river Ganges and is
presided over by Lord Shiva. It is the soul of India and an exemplification
of the union of cultures, religions and races. The river-front of the city
is ornamented by hundreds of well built ghats which is a unique feature. The
holy Buddhist place, Sarnath (15km) is another marvel to see.
Varanasi is the prime place of oriental learning which simultaneously keeps
pace with modern advanced knowledge. The city possesses three universities
namely a Tibetan Institute and an Institute of Arabic Studies and the
Banares Hindu university. The city is known for silk fabrics, perfumes,
artistic brass and copper wares and a variety of handicrafts. It is a prime
center of literature, art and culture. This land has given birth to great
poets, writers, musicians and scholars. This vibrant city encompassing joy,
knowledge and liberation has a magical attraction for people all over the
Famous for - the Bathing Ghats :
The famous ghats offer an amazing experience as one either walks along or
brave the waters. This is the real Varanasi, with the sadhus clad in
saffron, the echoes of the shlokas, bathing pilgrims with prayers on their
chilled and stuttering lips, the shoreline with flames flickering towards
the sky, where the heaven awaits the arrival of the good souls - a thousand
sights and smells overwhelm you. The more visited Ghats are the
Dasashwamedha, Manikarnika, Assi, Panch Ganga and Harishchandra Ghats.
» By Air -
The airport is situated 22 km from the
city. Varanasi is connected with regular flights from Delhi, Agra,
Khajuraho, Kathmandu (during tourist season) and Mumbai.
» By Rail -
Varanasi is connected to all major
cities and towns in India such as Delhi, Agra, Lucknow, Patna Calcutta,
Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
Highlights of the City :
» Vishwanath Temple -
Built in 1777 by Ahilya Bai
Holkar of Indore, the temple allows entry only to Hindus. The temple
dedicated to lord Shiva was destroyed by Aurangzeb and then rebuilt on the
same site which gave it a historical significance. The temple is famously
referred as the 'Golden Temple' because 800 kgs of gold adorn its shikharas
and the roof was gold-plated by the blessing of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in
1835. In the inner sanctum, the Shivalinga is enshrined on top of a golden
» Bharat Mata Temple -
This temple is dedicated to
India as it has a marble relief map of India and other related memorabilia.
The temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi.
» Benaras Hindu University -
The BHU, as it is
popularly called, was founded in 1917 by well-known nationalist Pt Malviya.
The biggest residential university in India, it has an excellent Sanskrit
School, a museum within its campus, the Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum. The
Museum offers a beautiful assortment of old manuscripts, ancient sculptures
» Sarnath -
One of the major Buddhist centers,
Sarnath, lies at a distance of 15 km from Varanasi. Lord Buddha preached his
first sermon here after attaining enlightenment and later Ashoka, the great
Buddhist emperor build grandiose stupas and monasteries here. Muslim
invaders destroyed it and in 1836 the British archeologists excavated
Sarnath and it regained it's lost glory.