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Brief of Varanasi

Varanasi is also known as Benares, Banaras, or Benaras or Kashi or Kasi is a famous Hindu holy city situated on the banks of the River Ganga. It is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, dating back thousands of years and contemporaneous with the Sumer civilization. The city is called Kasi, "the luminous" in the Rig-Veda. It is often also referred to as "city of temples and learning". Varanasi is also renowned for its rich tapestry of music, arts, crafts and education.


Some of the world - renowned exponents India has produced in these fields were schooled in Varanasi's cultural ethos. Luminaries apart, Varanasi abounds in the art of silk weaving, an exotic work of art which manifests itself in precious Banarasi silk sarees and silk brocades which are cherished as collector's items across the world today.

History of Varanasi

Varanasi's Prominence in Hindu mythology is virtually unrivalled. According to the 'Vamana Purana', the Varuna and Assi rivers originated from the body of the primordial Person at the beginning of time itself. The tract of land lying between them is believed to be 'Varanasi', the holiest of all pilgrimages. The word 'Kashi' originated from the word 'Kas' which means to shine. Steeped in tradition and mythological legacy, Kashi is the 'original ground 'created by Shiva and Parvati, upon which they stood At the beginning of time. Varanasi is the microcosm of Hinduism, a city of traditional classical culture, Glorified by myth and legend and sanctified by religion.

How to reach Varanasi

The nearest airport is Babatpur, 22 km from Varanasi and 30 Km from Sarnath. Direct flights for Varanasi are available from Delhi, Agra, Khajurao, Calcutta, Mumbai, Lucknow and Bhuvaneshwar airports.
Varanasi, on NH 2 from Calcutta to Delhi, NHZ to Kanya Kumari and NH 29 to Gorakhpur is well connected to the rest of the country by good motor able roads.
Varanasi and Mughal Sarai (one of the main railway stations of Varanasi) are the important rail junctions, with train connections to all major cities of India.

Distance from major cities to Varanasi
Agra = 565 kms
Allahabad = 128 kms
Bhopal = 791 kms
Bodhgaya = 240 kms
Kanpur = 330 kms
Khajuraho = 405 kms
Lucknow = 286 kms
Patna = 246 km
Sarnath = 10 Km

Best time to visitVaranasi
October to March

Climateof Varanasi
Summer 43o C to 30o C, winter 25o C to 3o C

Languages of Varanasi
Hindi, Urdu and English

STD Code of Varanasi
+91 - 542

Fairs and Festivals of Varanasi
Bharat Milap
It is the celebration of Lord Ram's return to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile and his reunion with his brother Bharat, the festival is held one day following Dussehra. It is attended by the Kashi Naresh resplendent in regal finery; the festival attracts at least a million devotees.
Buddh Purnima
It is the celebration of the birth of Lord Buddha; this festival is celebrated with gaiety and rare abandon. A large fair is held at Sarnath and the relics of the Buddha are taken out for a public display on a procession, on this day.
The Unique Ramlila
This world renowned Ram Lila has been based on Goswami Tulsidas's 'Ramcharitmanas' and one can see a live demonstration of ancient rituals. A month long feast for the tourists. Ramlila is performed in the form of Ram Janmotsav, Dhanush Bhang, Surpnakha Nasika Chedan etc. at various places.
Dhrupad Mela
It is a 5 days musical festival of Dhrupad is performed by renowned artistes at Tulsi Ghat. It is very popular among foreign tourists.
Hanuman Jayanti Janmotsav
Hanuman Jayanti Janmotsav is celebrated at Sankat Mochan Temple for 5 days with cultural and musical programmes by artistes from all over India. It is based on Saraswati, Ram and Krishna Lila and Hanuman Charitra.
It is showing a story from Ramayan in which Surpnakha - the sister of Ravan comes to entice Ram and then Lakshman. But Lakshman cuts her nose and she goes back crying. This act is enacted on this day in a beautiful way, a stage - play that attracts people in thousands. Also on this occasion many beautifully decorated "Lag" are taken out throughout the night.
Nag Nathaiya
It is a performance in which Lord Krishna jumps into Ganga for Nag Nathan at the local Tulsi Ghat. It is famous as Nag Nathaiya. The whole city comes together to see this event.
On this day every Shiv Mandir in decorated. In Varanasi a marriage procession of Lord Shiv is taken out starting from Mahamritunjaya temple, Daranagar to Kashi Vishwanath temple via chowk. Round 50,000 - 60,000 people gather to see this event.
Panch Koshi Parikrama
It has a special importance in the ancient Parikramas of India, starting and finishing at Manikarnika Ghat. Each parikrama passes through 5 places: Kardmeshwar, Bhimchani, Rameshwar, Shivpur and Kapildhara.

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