Varanasi ……The city of Moksha

Varanasi is one of the major cities of Uttar Pradesh and is located in the northern part of India. It is locally called Banaras and is also known as Kashi. There is a considerable number of sightseeing spots in this city. Tourist attractions in Varanasi offer authentic information on the places of tourist interests in Varanasi.

Being an important Hindu pilgrimage center, Varanasi attracts a large number of people from all over the world. For centuries, Varanasi is associated not only with Hinduism but also with Buddhism and Jainism. Besides numerous temples, Varanasi also boasts of Buddhist Stupas and Jain Temples. Varanasi is also a mirror of the age-old Indian civilization . Often referred to as Banaras, Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. These few lines by Mark Twain say it all: ”Banaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together”. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re –birth. Abode of Lord Siva and Parvathi, the origins of Varanasi are yet unknown. Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals.

With a number of temples, Mrs. Annie Besant chose Varanasi  as the home for her “Theosophical Society “and Pundit  Madan Mohan Malaviya , to institute “ Banaras Hindu University , a biggest university in Asia. Ayurveda is said to be originated at Varanasi and is believed to be the basis of modern medical sciences such as plastic surgery , cataract and calculus operations. Maharshi Patanjali , the preceptor of Ayurveda and Yoga, was also affiliated with Varanasi, the Holy city. Varanasi is also famous for trade and commerce, especially for the finest silks and gold and silver Brocades , since the early days.

Honored authors such as ever –famous novelists Prem Chand and Tulsi Das, the famous saint – poet who wrote Ram charit manas .Aptly called as the cultural capital of India, Varanasi has provided the right platform for all cultural activities to flourish . Many exponents of dance and music have come from Varanasi. Ravi Sankar, the internationally renowned sitar maestro and Usthad  Bismillah Khan, (the famous Shehnai player)are all sons of the blessed city or have lived here for major part of their lives.

Sreerekha. R. Nair

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