Varanasi or Banaras is one of the oldest and holiest cities in the world. One of the most popular pilgrimage sites in India, Varanasi has intrigued foreigners for ages. Often called the Spiritual City of India, Varanasi finds mentions in the scriptures, epics and literature of India. Rabindranath Tagore’s novels – Chokher Bali and Naukadubi – refer to Varanasi as Kashi. Believed to be founded by Lord Shiva, one of the most revered Hindu deities, Varanasi is where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon, “The Setting in Motion of the Wheel of Dharma,” at nearby Sarnath. It is the birthplace of Kabir and Ravidas, the legendary figures of the Bhakti Movement. Guru Nanak founded Sikhism after his return from a trip to Varanasi in 1507.
The city was the center of cultural revival during the regime of Mughal Emperor Akbar. The Hindustani Classical Music owes its ‘Banaras Gharana’ form to this holy city. Varanasi houses India’s largest residential Banaras Hindu University, which evolved from the Center Hindu College, founded by Annie Besant from Bengal. Varanasi has age-old heritage of art and craft including silk cloth weaving, carpet weaving, silver work, ivory work, glass bangle making, etc. Aparajito, one of the films in Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy, was shot on the ghats and in the lanes of Varanasi.
Winter, the best season to visit Varanasi, has arrived in India. Indian Eagle is up with an illustrative infographic on Varanasi Travel Guide sharing some tips on things to see and things to do in Varanasi India.
Varanasi is a must visit in lifetime. It is a city of many unheard stories and unknown tales. Mark Twain says, “Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.”
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