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City Guide - Varanasi
Introduction: Varanasi, also known as Benares, is one of the oldest cities of World. Located on the bank of holy river Ganga, in east Uttar Pradesh, this city of alleys is one of the favourite tourist destinations of India. 80 Ghats (podium) built along the bank of river Ganga is its special feature. One can have a tryst with Varanasi folk and culture visiting these sacred ghats. People across the world descend in this holy city to imbibe its unique art and culture. It is said that, who don’t visit Varanasi, is not a Hindu. People believe that pilgrimage of this holy city; flush out all the sins of life. It is the 2nd most sacred city after Ayodhya. Denizens of this city of temple are friendly and peace loving. Benarsi sarees and paan (betel) are famous all over the country.  

History: History of Varanasi is as old as Indian civilization. It has been great center of learning for ages. Influenced by the spiritualism of this city, Mrs Annie Besant chose Varanasi as the base for her Theosophical Society. Ayurveda is said to be originated from Varanasi, and is believed to be the basis of modern medical science such as plastic surgery and cataract. Knowledge, philosophy, India’s art and culture, all have flourished here for hundreds of years. It has been home of some of the eminent personalities of the world like Munsi Prem Chand, Tulsi Das, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Bismillah Khan. Apart from Hindus, it also consists of some places of interests for Jains also.

Places of interest: Varanasi is the favourite pilgrimage spot for Hindus. They come from different parts of world to visit sacred temples of this city. Vishwanath Temple is one of them; it is just located on the bank of river Ganga. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit this oldest temple of Lord Shiva every year. Ghats are another major attraction of Varanasi, Dasaswamedh Ghat, Harishchandra Ghat, Assi Ghat and Manikarnika Ghat are very popular among visitors. Sankat Mochan is the one more important holy spot of Varanasi. This temple is dedicated to Hanuman (disciple of Lord Rama), built by Tulsi Das. There is a huge rush of visitors on Tuesday and Saturday, which is the sacred day to pay obeisance to Hanuman. Located on outskirts of Varanasi, Benares Hindu University is the largest university of Asia. Pandit Mohan Malviya founded it in 1916. This reputed university has sprawling campus, spread across 1300 acres.

Travel information: There is no any special time earmarked to visit this city, it can be visited any time of the year. Throughout the year this holy city is abuzz with numerous tourists. Climate of this city is moderate. During summer season mercury rises to 40 ‘C, and in winter temperature hovers around 18 “C. It is well connected to road, rail and air transport. Almost all famous hotels of Varanasi are concentrated near railway station.

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