Varanasi, situated at the bank of River Ganga in the state of Uttar Pradesh, is being considered to be one of the oldest cities in India. They say the common saying about the origin of the city that Lord Shiva constituted it. It is one of the 7 sacred cities for Hinduism, acknowledged as Sapta Puri. Antiques of the city are noticing from its presence in Skandmahapuran under the section as Kashi Khand, it has 1000 chapters to explain Varanasi in it.
They have evolved the name of Varanasi from two rivers, Varuna and Assi. As the name mentioned in several religious scriptures and the textbook was “Kashi”, meaning “the luminous”. Also, Varanasi respects the salvation of souls from the human body post-death, and Manikarnika Ghat for the place of salvation. It is popular that if a person wants to die in Varanasi, it is because of deliverance in the city of Shiva. It often states the place to be the junction of Culture, Religion, Spirituality, Education, Trade, and Music Art.
Reasons to Visit
1. Kashi Vishwanath Temple:
One of the holiest places for following Hinduism for worshipping, there are 12 Jyotirling and Kashi Vishwanath is one of them. It is said that a single view of Vishwanatha Jyotirlinga is considered meriting more than other jyotirlingas. Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore built the temple, in the present form, next to the Gyanwapi Mosque on the outskirt of River Ganga, this temple holds great religious importance for Hindus all over the world. Recently, Honourable Prime Minister Of India launched the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor, the sight-seeing of the temple from Ganga River gives the temple a magnificent look and that catches the eye of tourists from all over the world.
2. Ganga Arti:
Ganga Arti is worshipping of Holy River Ganga. The consideration of water of River Ganga is as a deity across India, and here in Varanasi, the water is said to be the healer of misdeeds if one takes a bath in the river. The worshipping of the River Ganga attracts lakhs of tourists each month in Varanasi. The eternal peace, positivity, and the music will keep your psyche in a balanced state. Usually, people come to see Ganga Arti at Dashashwamedh Ghat and Assi Ghat. Eventually, this Ganga Arti has been the eye-catching event for many journalists and politicians.
3. Sarnath Temple:
Sarnath, at the North-East outskirt of Varanasi, is the place where Mahatma Buddha gave his first teaching of Dharma to his 5 companions. It refers this event to be the turning of the wheel of the Dharma and marks the founding of the monks. The capturing of name “Sarnath” was from Sarangnath, which means “Lord of Deer”. As the name itself relates to the lord of deer, there is a sanctuary reserved here for the deer. Sarnath is one of four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha himself for pilgrimage. The other three sites are Lumbini (birth); Bodh Gaya (enlightenment); and Kushinagar (death). Most of the ancient structure is damaged by the Turks. However, amongst the ruins, the Dharmekh Stupa is impressive with 128 feet high. This data is from around 200 BC and is the spot where the Buddha preached his first sermon.
4: Banaras Hindu University (B.H.U):
BHU is known as the capital of education. Founded in 1916, with the vision of Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya to serve the nation with education. B.H.U. is Asia’s biggest residential University with over 35K students residing in the campus spread across 1300 acres. The green campus has 6 institutes, 14 faculties, and 140 departments. Along with the educational buildings, University also has “New Kashi
Vishwanath Temple”. B.H.U has consistently stayed in the top 10 ranks of the NIRF ranking of University. The fame of University students can be known from any corner of not only from India but also from different Nations. Some of the notable alumni of B.H.U are C.N.R. Rao, B.P. Koirala, Markandey Katju, Ram Manohar Lohia, C.V. Raman, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Krishan Kant, Bhupen Hazarika, Hariwansh Rai Bachchan, and many more.
5. Music and Art:
By being one of the oldest living cities, Varanasi has its history of music and art. Lord Shiva is also considered as the God of Dance and Music. According to Puranic tales, Apsaras(nymph), Gandharvas(demigod) and Kinnars(shemale) lived in Varanasi and made the musical tradition of Varanasi a rich one. The Bhakti Movement of the Medieval period also contributed to its music in Varanasi.
Saints like Surdas, Kalidas, Meerabai, Tulsidas. Thus, a galaxy of great musicians made Banaras a great centre of music. Varanasi saw the development of Banarasi Thumri, Dadra, Chaiti, Hori, Bhairavi, Kajri, Tarana, Ghetto, and much more. Varanasi has also been known for musical instruments. Shehnai(clarinet) maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan is famous world-wide while Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Kishan has been
known by musicians all over the world. Varanasi has a lot of music academy that will nurture your talent and will provide you with the platform.
6. Narrow Streets:
As the city has many different features, one of the best features is its narrow streets. The streets here are in such order that even the map may not work sometimes. Varanasi is bifurcate in two parts (a) “Purani Kashi” (old Varanasi) (b) “Nayi Kashi” ( new Varanasi). The old Varanasi has the oldest houses and streets while the recent one has the mix-up of both old and new ones. 3-wheeler rickshaw is the major public vehicle one will find to roam. Along with the traffic of some uncouth people, jams here will sometimes let you in trouble. The worshipping of sows here is on a large scale and we can easily find each street with cows and street dogs, making your vehicle drive slowly.
7. Street foods:
Varanasi has a scattered market for street foods, ranging from veg to non-veg. You will easily find Banarasi Paan in someone’s mouth as Google in a smartphone. People here believe that Paan will let their mind to work efficiently in any circumstances. Apart from paan, Kachaudi Sabji, and queue in some shop will increase your early morning hunger because it is the breakfast of Kashi. Apart from Paan and Kachaudi, Varanasi has some famous outlets for Fast-Foods, Non-Vegs, South Indian, North Indian, Chinese, and Italians. Some famous outlets to fill your hungry stomach are,
1 – Deena Chaat Bhandar
2 – Kalika Dhaba
3 – Baati-Chokha Restaurant
4 – Kaashi Chaat Bhandar
5 – Pahalwan Lassi
6 – Kerala Café
7 – Tandoor Villa
8 – Nichibagh Thandai
9 – Malaiyyos of Kachori Gali
8. Language Culture:
You will find that locals of Varanasi are often cunning and they need not prove it. Their speaking skill with the mix-up of languages like Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Braj, Hindi, and English will surely attract you somehow. People usually have an abusive tendency here, but the tolerance level of the listeners is appreciable. Out of nowhere, one can easily listen to abuses of a person when the guy stuck in the traffic jam. But apart from this, people usually believe in Ganga-Jamuni culture and people live in a great affinity.
9. How to reach Varanasi:
In Varanasi, there is an International Airport, Lal Bahadur Shashtri International Airport which is connected with all the major Indian Airport and with some International airports. It situates the airport on the outskirt of the city with a distance of 20km. Varanasi has 3 major Railway Station which is Cantt
Railway Junction, Manduadih Railway Station, and Kashi Railway Station. It connects trains across other routes of India. Also, Varanasi has a Domestic Bus station, that connects with some of the nearest cities along with National Capital. The best season to visit Varanasi from July to September. The Saavan period is the busiest and most visited period of the year.
Law student and an active social political analyst. Nationalist in writing and positivity in words. Loves to know more about different cultures. Giving my spare time to start some new stuff.