Varanasi an Overview
Varanasi or Kashi or Banaras is one of the oldest living cities in the world, with a continuous history dating back to more than 5,000 years. The City is situated on the western bank of River Ganges. On the north flows the Varuna and on the south flows the Assi, giving the city its official name Varanasi . Banaras is modified version of Varanasi . The city is also known as Kashi which is derived from the word Kashi (means to shine).
Kashi is the ‘original ground’ created by Shiva and Parvati. Varanasi is the microcosm of Hinduism, a city of traditional classical culture glorified by myth and legend and sanctified by religion. It has always attracted large number of Pilgrims and worshippers. To be in Varanasi is an experience in itself…. An experience in self –discovery and eternal oneness of the mind, body and soul. Mark Twain, the English author and literature, was enthralled by the legend and sanctity of Benares that he described the city as: ” Banaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together”
Few Places in India are as colorful, charismatic, spiritual as the bathing Ghats lining the Ganges in Varanasi . It is considered to be one of the holiest places where Hindus come to wash their Sins. It’s a city where the rituals of life and death take place in public on the Ghats.
To every visitor, Varanasi offers a breathtaking experience. The ray of the dawn shimmers across the Ganges… the high bank, the temples and shrines along the banks …sole stirring hymns and mantras along-with the fragrance of incenses filling the air… and the refreshing dip in the holy water of Ganges . Varanasi the land where experience and discovery reach the ultimate bliss.
Time Zone: IST (UTC+5:30)
Weights Measures System: Metric
25.282°N82.9563°E / 37.483, 126.633
1550 km² (598 SQ MI)
Average Rainfall 244 mm
Sex Ratio 879 Females to 1000 male
Language Spoken Hindi and English