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K

ashi is the oldest living city in the world. Living is a

poor description, because Kashi is not just surviving but is pulsating, vibrating with life. Kashi has no death even during the great deluge (Mahapralaya) as it is regarded as being lifted up by the trident (Trisul) of Lord Shiva and manifest itself at the next cycle of creation. It is not only Kashi has no death, nothing in Kashi dies. People who breathe their last in this holy city do not die but get liberated from the cycle of birth and death. The city, its people, their beliefs and traditions do not die. These change and grow almost imperceptibly. The beliefs and traditions, however, seem to last forever. What is this energy that keeps the city vibrant, the spirit,the secret essence which keeps it glowing and ever bewitching! Kashi has a mysterious charm not found in any other city. Kashi has attracted people from all over the country, off all possible beliefs,customs and traditions,religious and philosophical view points. People have bowed down respectfully to the sacredness of the city.

ashi, Varanasi and Banaras are used synonymously

nowadays. Buddhist traditions used the name Kashi and Varanasi from about the 1st century AD1. However, the names assumed the same meaning only sometimes in the seventh century AD2. Earlier Kashi was the name used for the Janpada and Varanasi for the name of the capital city of the Janpada. Kashi is derived from the Sanskrit root Kaste or Kash which means one which shines or one which is luminous. The Skanda Purana explains that Kashi by its radiance lights up the path of moksha or nirvana(liberation or salvation). An unseen cosmic light(Brahma Jyoti)is said to emanate from jyotirlinga and hence the place becomes luminous. The Puranas refer to Kashi variously as Varanasi, Moksha Prakashika, Avimukta, Anandkanan, Mahasmashan, Rudravas, Gaurimukha, Apurnabhavabhava Bhumi Tapasthali,Mahapuri and Dhamakshetra. Each name carries an additional meaning in terms of the sacred symbolism of the city, with each defining aprogressively decreasing arc starting and ending on the west bank of the Ganges. While the boundary of Kashi is delimited by the circular Panchakroshi Road, Varanasi is the main city, extending from Asi Ghat and circling around to the confluence of the Ganges and the Varuna.

Varanasi was located in the van (forest) of Varuna and is called Varunavan vasi.Varanasi,it is suggested,can also be a settlement (basi) by the river Yamuna. Varanasi can be split into varana(eyebrows)and nasi(nose),the place between the eyebrows and the nose . It may be recalled that this part of the human anatomy,between the eyebrow and the bnose is believed to be the abode of Brahma. According to legend, Varanasi was founded by the god Shiva. The Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata are also stated to have visited the city in search of Shiva to atone for their sins of fratricide and bramhanahatya that they had committed during the climactic Kurukshetra war.. It is regarded as one of seven holy cities which can provide Moksha: 1. Ayodhy, 2 Mathur, 3 Gay, 4 Ka, 5 Kachi, 6 Avantik, 7 Dwrvat, these seven cities should be known as the givers of liberation. Garua Pura The earliest known archaeological evidence suggests that settlement around Varanasi in the middle Ages in the Ganga valley (the seat of Aryan religion and philosophy), began in the 11th or 12th century BCE, placing it among the worlds oldest continually inhabited cities. These remains suggest that the Varanasi area was populated by Vedic people. However, the Atharvaveda (the oldest known text referencing the city), which dates to approximately the same period, suggests that the area was populated by indigenous tribes. It is possible that archaeological evidence of these previous inhabitants has yet to be discovered. Varanasi was also home to Parshva, the 23rd Jain Tirthankara and the earliest Tirthankara that is accepted as a historical figure, in the 8th century BCE.

Varanasi, one of world's oldest living cities, is rightly called the religious capital of India. Also known as Banaras or Benaras, this holy city is located in the southeastern part of the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India. It rests on the left bank of the holy river Ganga (Ganges), and is one of the seven sacred spots for Hindus. Every devout Hindu hopes to visit the city at least once in a lifetime, take a holy dip at the famous 'Ghats' of the Ganga.

Varanasi is easily accessible from all parts of the country. Very well connected by Air, Rail and Road the City offers convenient and comfortable travelling options to and from other cities of India. Air Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport or Varanasi Airport The nearest airport is Babatpur, 22 km from Varanasi and 30 Km from Sarnath. Direct flights for Varanasi are available for Delhi, Agra, Khajurao, Calcutta, Mumbai, Lucknow and Bhuvaneshwar and Kathmandu ( Nepal). Lal Bahadur Shashtri Airport, Babatpur Ph. 2622494, 2622090 Manager, Babatpur Airport: 9935000251 Terminal Manager: 2623060 Airport Director: 2622155 Babatpur Auto Exchange: 2622082, 2622083,2622084

Rail Varanasi Jn (BSB), Varanasi Railway Station and Mughal Sarai (MGS) Jn (one of the main railway stations of Varanasi) are the important rail junctions, with train connections to all major cities of India. Varanasi Railway Station, Ph : 131, 139 Mughal Sarai Railway Station, Ph :05412 - 255344 Road Varanasi, on NH 2 from Calcutta to Delhi, NH 7 to Kanya Kumari and NH 29 to Gorakhpur is well connected to the rest of the country by good motorable roads, some of the major road distances are : Agra - 565 km, Allahabad - 128 km, Bhopal - 791 km, Bodhgaya - 240 km, Kanpur - 330 km, Khajuraho - 405 km, Lucknow - 286, Patna - 246 km, Sarnath - 10 Km. Local Transport: Taxis: Private taxis are available from travel agencies, hotels, etc., auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws and Tempos are also readily available. Best Time to Visit: October to March Varanasi city enjoys all three types of seasons: cold, hot and rainy. Varanasi city enjoy the Cold from November to February, hot from March to June and Rainy from July to September. October to March is the best to visit the Varanasi

UP Government Tourist Office, Urban Haat, Sanskritik Sankul, Maqbool Alam Road, Chowka Ghat, Varanasi. Telefax : (0542) 2505033 UP Government Tourist Information Counter, Cantt. Railway Station, Varanasi, Near Enquiry Office, Main Hall. Ph : 2506670 Modern Reception Centre, Sarnath Government of India Tourist Office, 15 B The Mall, Cantt, Varanasi. Ph : 2501784 Government of India Tourist Information Counter, Babatpur Airport. Bihar State Tourist Office, Englishiya Market, Sher Shah Suri Marg, Cantt. Telefax : 2223821

Tourist Offices In Varanasi Name & Place


India Tourism Varanasi (Govt. of India) 15B, The Mall, Cantt, Varanasi Regional Tourist Officer (UP Tourism) Pared Kothi, Varanasi U.P. Tourist Banglow, Pared Kothi U.P. Tourist Banglow, Sarnath U.P. Tourism (Station Counter) District Information Office

Contact No.
0542-2501784 0542-2206638 2208545, 2208413 0542-2595965 0542-2506670 0542-2222859

TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICES Regional Tourist Office, U.P.Tourism. Parade Kothi, Cantt. Ph:(0542)-2206638, 2208413 U.P. Tourist Office, Sarnath.Open: 10 a.m.- 5 pm. Closed on Sundays and Govt holidays. U.P.Government Tourist Information Counter.Varanasi Cantt, Railway Station, Near Enquiry Office , Main Hall. (Opens daily 6 am.-8 pm.) Ph: (0542)2346370 Railway Tourism. Ph: (0542)-2506670 Govt.Of India Tourist Office.15B, The Mall Cantt.Varanasi. Ph: (0542)-2501784 Govt. Of India Tourist Information Counter,Babatpur Airport, Varanasi.

TRAVEL AGENTS & TOUR/COACH OPERATORS The city has numerous travel agents and tour operators. Some of them are 1. Cosmic Travels & Movers, Varuna Bridge (0542)2502246, 2504526

2. Ashok Tour & Travel, Indian Airlines Building Cantt,Varanasi. (0542)- 2503432 3.Surbhi Travels & Tours Cooperative Building Nadeser (0542)-2502664 4.Tour Aids, Hotel India Travels Assistance, Varuna Bridge ,Varanasi (0542)-2502954 5.Travel Corporation Of India. Varuna Travels, Pandey Haweli (0542)-2393371-72 Approved tourist guides for local sight seeing may be hired through the Govt. Of India Tourist office. IMPORTANT TOURIST INFORMATION BANKS /MONEY CHANGERS State Bank of India, Cantt, Varanasi State Bank of India, Banaras Handu University, Varanasi. Indian Overseas Bank, Lahurabir Varanasi. Bank of Baroda, Godowlia, Varanasi. Allahabad Bank, Nadeser,Varanasi. Allahabad Bank, Chowk, Varanasi. Central Bank of India, Chowk, Varanasi. Canara bank, Bansphatak, Varanasi. IDBI Bank, Arihant Complex, Sigra, Varanasi HDFC Bank , Arihant Complex, Sigra, Varanasi ICICI Bank , Gyanwapi Chowk, Varanasi Punjab National Bank, Lahurabir ,Varanasi HOSPITALS S.P.G. Hospital, Kabirchaura, Varanasi. Phone: (S.S.L. Hospital, BHU, Varanasi (0542)- 2312542-45 Ram Krishna Mission Hospital, Luxa (0542)-2391727 Mata AnandMai Hospital, Bhadaini Phone (0542)-2310592 Govt. Hospital, Shivpur. Varanasi (0542)-2282226

Hindu Seva Sadan, Chowk..Varanasi (0542)-2412143 Marwari Hospital, Godowlia, Varanasi (0542)-2321456 Cancer Institute, NE Railway, Lahartara (0542)-2425338

THE KASHI VISHWANATH TEMPLE

Also known as the Golden Temple, it is dedicated to Lord shiva, the presiding deity of the city. Varanasi is Said to be the point at which the first jyotirlinga, the fiery pillar of light by which shiva manifested has supremacy over others gods, broke through the Earths crust and flared towards the heavens. More than the Gaths and even the Ganga, the Shivalinga installed in the temple remains the devotional focus of Varanasi.

BANARAS HINDU UNIVERSITY

Banaras Hindu University (B.H.U) founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya in 1917A.D is the largest residential University in India. At the entrance, there is the grand statue of its founder and the Vishwanath temple in its centre. The huge temple was built in 1966, under patronage of the Birlas. It has a 677 meter high rising white top and its well carved architecture attracts pilgrims. DURGA TEMPLE

Godess durga is considered as the goddess of Strength and Power. This temple was built in the 18th century with red stone work. A fine example of Nagara art. This temple falls on the main route from Railway Station to BHU, just before Tulsi Manas temple and Sankatmochan temple.

BHARAT KALA BHAWAN (ART MUSEUM)

In the cool and calm surroundings of B.H.U is the Bharat Kala Bhavan which has established in 1920A.D and has a vast collection of paintings, Hindu and Buddhist sculptures and other materials of archeological studies. In the main hall of the Bhawan, there is a figure of a man standing on one leg and one hand on his hip and lifting a mass of stone above his head, with one hand. The figure is said to be of Lord Krishna lifting Govardana. In the halls of the Bharat Kala Bhawan, there are many rare images that testify to the existence of Krishna cult in Kashi in 15th and 16th century Gupta period. It has the miniature paintings from the courts of Mughals and the Hindu Princes of Punjab Hills. Visit: Monday to Saturday. Opens from 10:30 to 16:00.

RIVER FRONT (GHATS)

The spectacular 4 km sweep of the Ghats is unique sight, best viewed at dawn, in that "soft first light" when the river and Ghats have a timeless appeal. Life is almost panoramic detail unfolds here from dawn to dusk as a steady stream of devotees-swelling to thousands on auspicious days perform rituals by the Ganga. The Ghats are best approached by Dashashwamedha ghat, where boats are available on hire. NEW VISHWANATH TEMPLE

Situated in the premises of Banaras Hindu University, a modern place of worship planned by Pandit Malviya and built by the Birlas. Open to all, irrespective of caste or creed.

.TULSI MANAS TEMPLE

Constructed by family of Varanasi, this modern temple is dedicated to Lord Rama. It is situated at the place Where Tulisdas, the great medieval seer, lived and wrote the epic "Shri Ramcharitmanas", which narrates the life of Lord Rama, the hero of the Ramayana. Verses from Tulidass epic are inscribed on the walls. SANKATMOCHAN TEMPLE Lord Hanuman temple, who is known to be the 'Sankatmochak' is just 300 meters from Tulsi Manas Temple. It is an ancient temple considered as built by Goswami Tulsidas himself. MAHATMA GANDHI KASHI VIDYAPEETH Kashi Vidyapeeth was set up in 1920 by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta to provide alternate education arrangement discarding that of the British. It soon became a centre of natoinal

education with Hindi as the medium of instruction. Acharya Narendradev, Babu Sampurnanand, Babu Sriprakash & many more Luminaries of the time have been associated with this institute.>MUSUEMS & ARTS GALLERIES Archaeological musuem Sarnath open 09:30 am.- 5 pm. Friday clossed. Ramnager fort musuem, open 10 am.-5 pm. Clossed on Friday. Bharat Kala Bhawan B.H.U. open 10:30 am.- 4 pm. Clossed on Sundays & university holidays. Archaeological musuem, Sampurnanand Sanskrit University open 10 am. 5 pm. Clossed on Sunday & university holidays. BHARAT MATA TEMPLE

This Temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936 and houses one perfect relief Map of India carved out of marble. The Temple was gifted by the nationalists Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta (Barat Ratana ) and shri Durga Prasad Khatri, leading numismatists and antiquarians. It is inside the premises of Kashi Vidyapeeth.

ASHOKA PILLAR

It is at Saranath, 10km north of Varanasi. Sarnath, the place where Buddha gave his first sermon is a popular Buddhist pilgrimage centre. The Ashoka pillar stands in front of the main stupa where Ashoka sat and meditated. The Sarnath Archaeological Museum at Ashoka Marg, houses a copy of Ashoka's lion pillar and some sculptures.

RAMNAGAR FORT

The residential place of Kashi Naresh (Former Maharaja of Varanasi) across the Ganges at Ramnagar houses a museum with the exhibits of palanquins, costumes, swords, sabres, etc. Dussehra celebration of Ramnagar is an interesting event to witness.14 km. from Varanasi. The fort at Ramnagar houses a museum displaying the Royal collection which includes vintage cars, Royal palkies, an armoury of swords and old guns, ivory work and antique clock. The Durga Temple and Chhinnamastika Temple are also located at Ramnagar. Ramnagar Fort which was built in 1750A.D by the Maharaja of Banaras, is on the right bank of River Ganga. Built of red stones, it provides strength and stability to the city. Visit : Daily from 0900 t0 1200 and 1400 - 1500. It is the residential palace of the former Maharaja of Varanasi. The palace is an astronomical and astrological wonder. Inside the giant walls of the palace, there is a big clock. Besides showing year, month, week and day, it baffles the onlooker with astronomy of the sun, moon and constellation of stars. This wonder clock or Dharam Ghari was made by the court astronomer of Banaras in 1852A.D. The palace has a temple dedicated to Ved Vyas and a museum set up by the last Maharaja of Banaras, Vibhuti Narain Singh. The museum has a collection of brocade costumes, palanquins, weapons and has expensive coaches made of

ivory. The palace is decorated majestically and it vibrates with colour and life, during Dussehra festival. The celebrations comes to an end on Vijayadashmi, when the huge effigies of demon king Ravana and his kinsmen are sent up in flames, signifying the victory of good over evil.

ALAMGIR MOSQUE An amalgmation of Hindu-Muslim religious sentiments, this mosque is also known as " Beni Madhav ka Darera". Curiously, the entire lower portion of the mosque is retained as a Hindu temple.

CENTRAL INSTITUTE OF HIGHER TIBETAN STUDIES The only institute of its kind in the world, , imprating education in the Tibetan language, it was Est. by the Dalai Lama in 1971. Presently located at Sarnath.The institute has a rare collection of Buddhist texts, Tibetan manuscripts and other journals.

JANTAR MANTAR

Jantar Mantar is an observatory, built by Jai Singh, the Maharaja of Jaipur in the year 1737. Jai Singh was a great admirer of science and technology and he was particularly passionate about astronomy. Before the commencement of construction (of observatories) he sent scholars abroad to study the foreign observatories. The emissaries returned with many manuals on astronomy. The Jantar Mantar at Varanasi was built in line with Delhi, Mathura, Ujjain and Jaipur observatories. The Jantar Mantar was built to measure the local time, the Sun's declination, altitude, the declination of stars, planets and to determine eclipses The Jantar Mantar at Varanasi has several masonry instruments to record the motion, speed and properties starts and planets and study astronomy that are accurate and can still be used efficiently today. The Jantar Mantar incorporates multiple structures of unique form, each with a specialized function for astronomical measurement. These structures with their striking combinations of geometric forms have captivated the attention of architects, artists, and art historians. Originally, there were many yantras (instruments). Some of the important ones are the Krantivritta Yantra, Digansha Yantra, Samrat Yantra, Prakash Yantra, Ram Yantra, Disha Yantra and Dhruva Yantra.

JAIN TEMPLE

Jain temple The Famous Jain Saint Shvetambar temple is there juust on the way from Railway Station to BHU, before Bhelupur Street. Nepali Temple: Built in Nepali style by the King of Nepal on Lalita Ghat, it is also known as the Kathwala temple because of the magnificent woodwork. Tourist attraction for visitors from all over the world, it is said to be incomparable to any other temple in India. It is said that the workers and the wood was imported from Nepal to build this temple and the its specialty is that termites do not eat the wood used to construct it. St. Mary's Church: Situated in the cantonment area of Varanasi, the architectural peculiarity that distinguishes St. Mary's Church from others are its louvered doors and hooded ventilation. It has a low tower, spire and projecting portico. The church looks beautiful with its plain timber canopy protecting the rectangular fanlight above each doorway and also impresses a major architectural impact.

Distict information Location:Longitude 83.0 Geographical Area(2001) Population (2011) (1) Male (2011) (2) Female (2011) (3) Rural (2001) (4) Urban (2001) (5) Scheduled Caste (6) Scheduled Tribes (7) Sex Ratio (8) Population Density Literacy (1) Male (2) Female No. of Tehsil No. of Block No. of Nyay Panchayats No. of Gram Panchayats No. of Villages (1) Inhabitated (2) Uninhabitated Town/Group of towns (2001) (1) Nagar Nigam (2) Nagar Palika Parishad (3) Nagar Panchayat (4) Cantonment Board No. of Police Stations (1) Rural (2) Urban Summer Temperature Winter Temperature Annual Average Rainfall Main Languages STD Code Famous Tourist Places Sarnath, B.H.U., Bharat Mata Temple, Bharat Kala Bhawan, Ramnagar Fort, Ganga Ghats, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidhyapeeth, Maan Mandir Vedshala, Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, DLW. Latitude:25.20 1535 Sq. Km. 3,682,194 1,928,641 1,753,553 1878100 1260570 435540 770 909 2399 per.sq.km. 77.05 % 85.12 % 68.20 % 2 8 108 702 1327 1289 38 4 1 1 1 1 25 8 17 : 43C (Max); 32C (Min) : 15C (Max); 5C (Min) : 111 cm : Hindi and English : 91-0542

Famous Religious Places


Kashi Vishwanath Temple, New Kashi Vishwanath Temple (BHU), Sankat Mochan Temple, Durga Temple, Manas Temple, Shitala Temple, Mahabeer Temple, Markandey Mahadev Temple (Kaithi), Kadareshwar Temple, Maha Mritunjay Temple, Gyanwoapi Mosque, Aalamgir Mosque, Kabir Prakatya Sthal, Sant Ravidaas Temple, Sant Merry Church (Gurudwara , Gurubag), Gurudwara Nichibag. source:: http://updes.up.nic.in/spatrika/spatrika.htm http://censusindia.gov.in/2011-provresults/data_files/up/Census2011UttarPradeshPaper1.pd

Important Destinations & Distances Allahabad Lucknow Kanpur Agra Patna Bodh Gaya Lumbini (Nepal) Khajuraho Delhi Sarnath Sonauli Rihand Dam Renukut Shakti Nagar Kolkata 128 km 320 km 320 km 606 km 252 km 243 km 335 km 411 km 765 km 10 km 305 km 160 km 175 km 225 km 681 km

HOLY KASHI

he name Kashi tops the list of Saptapuris,the seven most

important and saced cities,and is regarded as even holier than the other six namely, Ayodhya, Avantika, Mathura, Dwaravati, Kanchi, and Mayapuri (Haridwar). To the believer ,Kashi is the holiest of all places.The Hindu considers certain things most important in life.He believes in cleansing the body and purifying the mind.He believes in the presence of devine grace in certain places known as tirthas, where he gets a glimpse or feeling of divinity. Any meditation or penance in the Tirtha is said to take him yo an exalted state of mind, knows as Samadhi.The Hindu believes in attaining salvation or mukti by a continuous process of rising from ordinary life to the divine life.Kashi gives him fulfillment of all these beliefs.In Kashi, the holy Ganga is believed to have the supernatural power of cleansing all sins commited by man.Kashi has a number of tirthas and penance or meditation done here yields results ten times more than any other tirtha,is the faith. Death is Kashi is said to assure one mukti or salvation or liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Lord Shiva himself is believed to whisper the takara mantra in the ears of the dying person to give him mukti. No wonder that every hindu considers Kashi as the holiest of all places in Bharat Varsha.

FAIRS & FESTIVALS BUDDH PURNIMA RAMLEELA DHRUPAD MELA HANUMAN JAYANTI BHARAT MILAP NAKKATAYA NAG NATHAIYA MAHASHIVRATRI PANCH KOSHI PARIKRAMA GANGA MAHOTSAV SARNATH RAMNAGAR ( AT NATI IMLI ) ( AT CHETGANJ )

BUDDHA PURNIMA SARNATH This festival celebrates the birth of Lord Buddha with trditional religious fervour. A large fair is held at Sarnath and the relice of the Buddha are taken out for public display in a procession on this day.

RAMLEELA RAMNAGAR The unique Ramleela of Ramnager performed in the pageant style, was started about 1830 by Maharaja Udit Narayan Singh of Banaras, and has today become famous the world over. Thousends gather to see the enactments during months of sep.- oct.

DHRUPAD MELA A five days music festival of Dhrupad is performed by renowned artistes at Tulsi Ghat. It is very popular among foreign tourists.

BHARAT MILAP (AT NATI IMLI)

Celebreting Lord Rams return to Ayodhya after 14th years of exile and his reunion with his brother Bharat, this festivel is held the day following Dussehra. Attended by the Kashi Naresh resplendent in regal finery, the festival attracts a large number of devotlees. NAKKATAYYA (AT CHET GANG) Showing a story from Ramayan in which Surpanakha- the sister of Ravan- comes to entice Ram and then Lakshman. But Lakshman cuts her nose and she goes back crying. This act is enacted as a stage- play during mid oct. in the locality of Chetgung. Numerous processions and tableaux are also carried out on the occasion.

MAHASHIVARATRI On this day every Shiv Mandir is decorated. In Varanasi a marriage procession of Lord Shiva is taken out starting from Mahamrityunjaya Temple, Daranagar to Kashi Vishwanath Temple via Chowk. . NAG NATHAIYA LEELA

In a performance, Lord Krishana jumps into Ganga for Nag Nathan at the local Tulsi Ghat. It is famous as Nag Nathaiya Leela . Many people congregate to see this event, held during the months of Nov.-Dec. PANCH KOSHI PARIKRAMA It has a special importance in the ancient Parikrama of India, starting and finishing at ManiKarnika Ghat. Each Parikrama passes through five places: Kardmeshwar, Bhimchandi, Rameshwar, Shivpur & Kapil Dhara.

HANUMAN JAYANTI Jannotsav of Lord Hanuman is celebrated at Sankat Mochan Temple for five days with cultural & musical programmes by renowned artistes from all over India. GANGA MAHOTSAV Ganga Mahotsav, the tourism festival of Varanasi is celebrated every year from Prabodhani Ekadashi to

Kartik Purnima in the month of Oct.-Nov. The festival celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Varanasi. Apart from the excelent cultural programmes and country boat race, displaying of marital arts also takes place. The concluding day coincides with the unique traditional festival of Dev Deepavali (light festivel of Gods), when more than a million erthen lamps (Diyas) are lit on the Ghats of Ganga.

GHATS OF VARANASI GANGA & GHATS

Varanasi, Kashi or Banaras, is older than traditions. The divine grace of this city lies is unique combination of physical, metaphysical and supernatural elements. Ghats of Varanasi are natural supplement to the concept of divinity. It is a city witch liberate soul from human body to ultimate. The much quoted Sanskrit Skloka Proclame Kasyam maranam mukti (death in Kashi is Liberation). In fact the extension of this belief could be visualised in early concept of Pancha Trirtha symbolically identified with the human body it is explicitly equated with the fire elements (Panch Tattva) of witch body is composed interesting people now defining as all the Ghats are points on the divine cosmic road ( 12th Zodiacs X 7cakras of body thus 98 ) represents its manifest transcendential dimension. That is how this frame shows a cosmic order and harmonic relationship between micro cosmos (divine order) and micro cosmos (human order)through the interlink of mesocosmos ( the physical order of ghats). The Gahadvala inscriptions ( c.12th cent) mention only five ghats . A mid 17th cent. Source of Information:-Department of Culture, Varanasi

IMPORTANT TEMPLES OF VARANASI THE KASHI VISHWANATH TEMPLE ANNAPURNA TEMPLE SANKATHA TEMPLE KALBHAIRAV TEMPLE MRITUNJAY MAHADEV TEMPLE NEW VISHWANATH TEMPLE DURGA TEMPLE TULSI MANAS TEMPLE SANKATMOCHAN TEMPLE BHARAT MATA TEMPLE

THE KASHI VISHWANATH TEMPLE

Also known as the Golden Temple, it is dedicated to Lord shiva, the presiding deity of the city. Varanasi is Said to be

the point at which the first jyotirlinga, the fiery pillar of light by which shiva manifested has supremacy over others gods, broke through the Earths crust and flared towards the heavens. More than the Gaths and even the Ganga, the Shivalinga installed in the temple remains the devotional focus of Varanasi. ANNAPURNA TEMPLE

Near the Kashi Vishwanath temple, there is a nice temple of Devi Annapurna , believed as the "Godess of Fooding". SANKATHA TEMPLE Near the Sindhia Ghat , there is a important temple of "Godess of Remedy" Devi Sankatha. Inside its premises there is a huge statue of a Lion. Also there is nine temples of nine planets nearby to this temple. KALBHAIRAV TEMPLE

It is the ancient temple of Varanasi near the Head Post Office, VishesharGanj. God KalBhairav is believed as "Kotwal Of Varanasi" , without his permission no one can stay in Kashi. MRITUNJAY MAHADEV TEMPLE On the route of Daranagar to Kalbhairav temple this temple of Lord Shiva is situated . Just besides this temple there is a Well of much religious importance , whose water is said to be mixture of several underground streams and good for eliminating several diseases. NEW VISHWANATH TEMPLE

Situated in the premises of Banaras Hindu University, a modern place of worship planned by Pandit Malviya and built by the Birlas. Open to all, irrespective of caste or creed. TULSI MANAS TEMPLE Constructed by family of Varanasi, this modern temple is dedicated to Lord Rama. It is situated at the place Where Tulisdas, the great medieval seer, lived and wrote the epic "Shri Ramcharitmanas", which narrates the life of Lord Rama, the hero of the Ramayana. Verses from Tulidass epic are

inscribed on the walls. is just nearby to Durga Temple.

It

SANKATMOCHAN TEMPLE Besides the Assi river stream, on the way of Durga Temple to Banaras Hindu Temple this well known temple of Lord Hanuman is situated. Lord Hanuman is also known as "Sankatmochan" the god who protects from the troubles. This temple is founded by Goswami Tulsidas. This temple is also known as "Monkey" temple, as lot of monkeys are there inside the premises. DURGA TEMPLE

Commonly called the Monkey temple, it was built in the 18th century. Although it is one of the best-known temple. There is nice stonework done of the temple , it is the nice example of NAGRA Shilp. Godess DURGA is believed as the symbol of Strength and Power which govern the entire world. There is a pond adjacent to the temple called "Durgakund".

BHARAT MATA TEMPLE

This Temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936 and houses one perfect relief maps of India carved out of marble.The Temple was gifted by the nationalists Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta (Barat Ratana ) and shri Durga Prasad Khatri, leading numismatists and antiquarians.

SUBAH-E-BANARAS

Subah-E-Banaras (Morning of Varanasi) and Shaam-E-Awadh (Evening of Lucknow) are supposed to be two of the best attractive scene of the world. If you want to see the beauty of the morning no place other than Varanasi will please you. The Sun appears in the sky in crimson color and the devotees take dips in the Ganges River with the reverberation Har Har Gange. One to all the temples sends out the different types of mantras and sound of the bell. Even large number of foreigners also come on the ghat and enjoys the rising sun. The devotees, after bathing in the Ganga River, are seem under the wooden umbrella of pandas for roli, chandan and rakshasutra (a components of worship). This is the seen of Subah-E-Banaras. This seen is rare in the world. Perhaps this is the reason, even the foreigners are seen on the ghat capturing the scene.

Shaam-E-Awadh

Kashi(Varanasi) on the Trident of Lord Shiva

Varanasi is also very popular for Buddhist pilgrimages. The Founder of Buddhism Lord Buddha has given his first sermon at Sarnath in Varanasi.Parshvanath (One of the Tirthankars of Jainism) and Patanjali(Author of Yaga Vashistha) also belong to Varanasi. Varanasi is linked with many centuries of history and yet dynamic with its association with river Ganga.Varanasi city is also known as the city of Kabir, Tulsi, Raidas and Munshi Prem Chand (great Hindi poet and Novelist).It is associated with its oldest root customs and culture. There are many places of interest in and around Varanasi. Excursions around Varanasi include Sarnath, Chunar fort, Vindhyachal, Kaushambi, Jaunpur etc. Varanasi : Excursions in Varanasi There are a number of historical and religious places and towns around Varanasi that are worth visiting. Some of the

important and famous are Sarnath, Chunar, Jaunpur, Kaushambi, Kushinagar and Vindhaychal. Sarnath is about 10 km from Varanasi and is famous for being the place where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon after getting enlightenment. Sarnath is an important pilgrimage place for the Buddhists as it was here that the wheel of dharma was set in motion. Sarnath also boasts of a number of monuments and edifices ranging from the Ashokan period to the 12th century. Chunar is about 40 km from Varanasi and is known for the Chunar fort. The Chunar fort looks beautiful upon the Kaimur Hills that provides a fantastic view of the meandering Ganga River. This is the same 'Churnargarh', on which the famous Hindi classical novelist Devinandan Khatri based his renowned work 'Chandrakanta'. Another important and historical place around Varanasi is Jaunpur. The Tughlaq ruler, Feroz Shah built Jaunpur in 1360. It was built to guard the eastern frontier of the kingdom. The town still has some of the beautiful monuments of that period. Vindhyachal is about 90 km from Varanasi and is one of the several Shaktipeeths in India, which is believed to be the abode of Goddess Durga. Besides these cities and towns, one may also visit the Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary spread over an area of 500 sq km and the Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary. Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Chandauli district and has rich flora and fauna. Kushinagar is yet another important excursion point around Varanasi. Lord Buddha breathed his last at kushinagar.

Sarnath

Sarnath, about 10 km from the holy city of Varanasi, is the place where Buddha chose to deliver his first sermon. The celebrated Mantra, 'Buddham Sharanam Gachhami', owes its origin to Sarnath. On the day before his death Buddha included Sarnath along with Lumbini, Bodh Gaya and Kushinagar as the four places he thought to be sacred to his followers. It makes Sarnath one of the most venerated Buddhist places. Besides Buddhism, Sarnath is also connected with Jainism. There are many Buddhist monuments and edifices in Sarnath. Some of the important Buddhist monuments at Sarnath are the Dhamekha stupa, the Chaukhandi stupa and monasteries and temples of different schools of Buddhism from Japan, China, Thailand, Burma and others. The Indian Buddhist society called Mahabodhi Society maintains a park around the Buddha temple. The Mahabodhi Temple within the park has a tooth relic of the Buddha. There is also a vast expanse of ancient ruins at Sarnath. Several Buddhist structures were raised at Sarnath between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, and today it presents the most expansive ruins amongst places on the

Buddhist trail. The Ashoka pillar of Sarnath is the National

emblem of India.

Ashoka Lion Capital


The Ashoka Lion capital or the Sarnath lion capital is the national symbol of India. The Sarnath pillar bears one of the Edicts of Ashoka, an inscription against division within the Buddhist community, which reads, "No one shall cause division in the order of monks". The Sarnath pillar is a column surmounted by a capital, which consists of a canopy representing an inverted bell-shaped lotus flower, a short cylindrical abacus with four 24-spoked Dharma wheels with four animals (an elephant, a bull, a horse, a lion). The four animals in the Sarnath capital are believed to symbolize different steps of Lord Buddha's life. The Elephant represents the Buddha's idea in reference to the dream of Queen Maya of a white elephant entering her womb. The Bull represents desire during the life of the Buddha as a prince. The Horse represents Buddha's departure from palatial life. The Lion represents the accomplishment of Buddha hood.

Besides the religious interpretations, there are some nonreligious interpretations also about the symbolism of the Ashoka capital pillar at Sarnath. According to them, the four lions symbolize Ashoka's rule over the four directions, the wheels as symbols of his enlightened rule (Chakravartin) and the four animals as symbols of four adjoining territories of India. Chunar

40 Km. Chunar has an immense fort overlooking the Ganga. This place has been the scene of battles since 1540, when Sher Shah took it from Humayun. Akbar recaptured it in 1575. In the mid - 18th century it was appropriated by Awadh and subsequently, the British. The fort has a sun - dial and a huge well, and affords a splendid view of the Ganga.

Chandraprabha Wildlife Sanctuary

70 km from Varanasi are the forests of Chandraprabha, within which are the Rajdari and Deodari Waterfalls. A beautiful secluded spot for a picnic.

Vindhyachal

75 km. The famous temple of Vindhyavasini Devi, Ashtabhuja Devi and Kalikhoh are the major attractions.

Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary

130 km. Spread over an area of 500 sq. km, the sanctuary has a variety of wildlife. The Mukha waterfall is a tourist attraction. Other excursions include Jaunpur ( 58 km, See Index), Allahabad (128 km, see Index) and the Vindham and Chachai falls. Rock Paintings in Mirzapur

The Vindhya and the Kaimur ranges have at least 250 rock art sites spread across them. The cave paintings range from the Mesolithic to the chalcolithic ages. Among important cave painting sites found in the region are - the Panchmukhi caves (8 km from Robertsganj), Kauva Khoh rock shelters (near Churk) Lakhania caves (22 km, from Robertsganj) Lakhma caves (near Mau Kalan village).

Fossil Park, Salkhan, Sonbhadra

15 Kms from Robertsganj on Chopan Road this is the oldest botanical fossils found in the world. The tree fossils, which are covering 25 hectares or park, date back to MesoProterozoic period. They are said to be about 1400 million years old. The types of fossils found in the area are algee and Stromotolities. The park is three times larger than the Yellow Stone Park of America.

FAIR & FESTIVALS Bharat Milap at Varanasi | Buddha Purnima | Dev Deepavali |

Hanuman Jayanti | Mahashivaratri in Varanasi | Nag Nathaiya of Varanasi | Nakkatayya of Varanasi | Ram Leela of Varanasi..

Ganga Mahotsav in Varanasi Varanasi or Kashi, i.e. the City of Spiritual Light is considered to be one of the oldest living cities in the world. The glorious traditions and mythological legacy of this shining city are virtually unrivalled. Varanasi is a multifaceted city, that is why it offers a breathtaking experience to every visitor. The rays of the dawn shimmering across the mother Ganga.the high banks, the temples and shrinessoul steering hymns and mantras along with the fragrance of incense filling the air the refreshing dip in the holy water gently splashing at the magnificent Ghats and a rich tapestry of music, arts, crafts & education truly this is the city where experience and discovery reach the ultimate bliss. This city is also reputed for its schools of dance & music, arts, silk and carpet industries and handicrafts. A row of ghats, temples and the revered neighbourhood of Sarnath have added manifold glory to this city. Keeping in view the importance of Varanasi, the Department of Tourism, Uttar Pradesh organises Ganga Mahotsav here every year. Ganga Mahotsav Ganga mahotsav..a festival only once of its kind, certainly doubles the attraction of this city of temples, Ghats and

traditions. As classical music fills the atmosphere, a mystique seems to envelop the environs awating a mood both celestial and soulful. The classical music rendered by maestros indeed imparts an unforgettable flavour. The attraction of the fiveday-long Ganga Mahotsav is its message of faith and culture, that increase with the daily Shilp Mela and the unique Dev Deepawali with innumerable Diyas or earthen lamps in chain, lit by devotees and which floating down the river on the full moon night of Kartik, a spectacle both mystical and heart winning. Boudh Mahotsav One of the greatest spiritual teachers of mankind which India has produced is undoubtedly, Buddha. Edwin Arnold has fittingly called him the "Light of Asia". Buddha's message has traveled far and wide and captured the hearts and minds of billions of people outside India also. This festival celebrates the birth of bird of Lord Buddha with traditional religious fervor. A large fair is held at Sarnath and the relice of the Buddha are taken out for public display in a procession on this day in the month of May. The beauty of this event is amplified by millions of earthen lamps "Diyas" placed dottedly in Mulgand Kuti Vihar and two days Cultural Programmer organized by U.P. Tourism adds the magnificence to the event. Kajari Mahotsav (Mirzapur) It is among the famous festivals of Mirzapur. Respected all over India, kajali took birth here. King Kantit Naresh's daughter Kajali loved her husband very much and sang songs in the moment of separation from her husband, although she

could not meet her husband throughout her life and died, yet she remains alive through these deep sad-love songs. Her voice and songs impress Mirzapur locals very much, so they remember her through this festival paying homage to her. Kajari, derived from the Hindi word Kajra, or Kohl, is a genre of Hindustani classical music singing, popular in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. It is often used to describe the hanging in the summer skies, and the style is notably sung during the rainy season. It comes in the series of season songs, like Chaiti, Hori and Sawani, and is traditionally sung in the villages and towns of Uttar Pradesh: around Banaras, Mirzapur, Mathura, Allahabad and the Bhojpur regions of Bihar. UP Tourism along with District Administration organizes a two days cultural Programme at Govt. Inter College in Mirzapur as a tribute to this exclusive musical art form of Mirzapur in the month of August or Akshay Tritiya of Bhado Month of Indian Calendar. Ganga Water Varanasi) Rally (Allahabad-Mirzapur-Chunar-

Exploring scenic beauty along with river Ganga with historical ghats on its bank, Ganga water rally develops adventure tourism in India. It is an event of complete adventure and fun. The Boat Club Allahabad patronizes this event and the participants coming from all the corners of India and abroad use kayaks, canoes or row boats in this nomadic sport. Occurring in the month of November Ganga Water Rally is the first major water sporting events of its kind in the state. Here, the adventurous persons would be taken on a nerve rattling sojourn down the Ganga from Allahabad to Varanasi through Mirzapur and Chunar.

festive magic never comes to an end in Varanasi! Festival All Round, Excitement All Round Important festivals celebrated in Varanasi between year 2010 to 2015.
Festivals/Events Ganga Mahotsav Dev Deepawali Dhrupad Mela Budhh Poornima Ramleela Ram Nagar Sankat Mochan Music Festival Nag Nathaiya 2012 24-27 Nov 28 Nov 18-20 Feb 6 May 29 Sep-29 Oct 10-14 Apr 17 Nov 2013 13-16 Nov 17 Nov 8-10 Mar 25 May 18 Sep-18 Oct 29 Apr-3 May 7 Nov 2014 3-5 Nov 6 Nov 2015 22-24 Nov 25 Nov

26-28 Feb 15-17 Feb 14 May 4 May

8 Sep-8 27 Sep-27 Oct Oct 19-23 Apr 8-12 Apr 27 Oct 15 Nov

ACCOMMODATION

UP Tourism Accommodation Rahi Tourist Bungalow, Parade Kothi, Opp. Cantt Railway Station. Ph : (0542) 2208545 Fax : (0542) 2208413 E-mail: rahitbvaranasi@up-tourism.com

VARANASI ACCOMMODATION

S. Name of Address of Hotel and E- Tel. No. of Star Name of Hotel No. Distt. mail Address of Hotel Hotel Category 1 Varanasi Hotel Gateways Nadesar 2503001-18 5 (Deluxe) the Ganges 2 Varanasi Hotel Meraden Grand Patel Nagar 2509952-8 4

3 Varanasi

Hotel India

Patel Nagar

2507593-98

4 Varanasi

Hotel Vaibhav

Patel Nagar

2501359-62

5 Varanasi

Hotel Pradeep

Jagaiganj

2204594. 2205963 2393012-15

6 Varanasi

Hotel Pailvi International Hotel Sidharth

Hathua Market

Hentage

7 Varanasi

Sigra

2221961

8 Varanasi

Hotel Ramada

The Mail

2510000

9 Varanasi

Hotel Clarks

The Mail

2501011-20

10 Varanasi

Hotel Ideal Tower The Mail

2503391-95

11 Varanasi

Hotel Hindustan International

Maldhaya

2411484-89

12 Varanasi

Hotel Radisson

The Mail

2501511-15

13 Varanasi

Hotel Malti

Vidyapeeth Road

22238782222895 2314304-5

14 Varanasi

Hotel Palace Ganges

Assi

VARANASI SHOPPER'S PARADISE

Shopping in Varanasi is a different experience in itself. Varanasi is famous for its Sarees, carpets and handicrafts. Varanasi has, since times immemorial, been hailed as a premier centre for some of the finest handicrafts. The most renowned craft of the city is its silk weaving.

"Banarsi Sarees" produced by local craftsmen are among the most preferred, not only in India but across the world. Brassware, copperware, ivory ware, glass bangles, wood and clay toys and exquisite gold jewelry are some of the other crafts the city is famous for.

BANARASI SARI AND BROCADES BROCADE BANARAS SILK JAMDANI JANGLA SAREE

JAMAWAR TANCHOI SARI TISSU SAREE CUTWORK SAREE BUTIDAR SAREE DIVERSIFICATION OF TRADITIONAL PRODUCT MANUFACTURERS & DEALERS OF BANARASI SAREE BANARASI SARI AND BROCADES Bhadohi carpets and musical instruments are among the other shopping attractions. Main Shopping Centres The Chowk, Vishwanath Gali, Gyanvapi, Thatheri Bazar, Lahurabir, Godoulia, Dashaswamedh and Golghar. Varanasi is also famous for its mango fruit - Langda Aam (Summers) and delicious sweets. Souvenier Shops

The city has a number of Souvenir shops approved by the Government.

OTHER EMPORIA UPICA, Nadesar * U.P.Handlooms, Lahurabir & Nichibagh Tantuj- Bengal Emporium, Dasaswamedh Road Handloom House, Sigra Souvenir Shops and Malls M/s Mehrotra Silk Factory, S. C. - 21/72, Englishia Line, Varanasi. M/s J. R. Ivory, Arts & Curios, D-20, Vishvanath Gali, Varanasi. M/s Baba Black Sheep , Bhelupur , Varanasi. M/s Bhagwan Leela Sports, 41-Sindhu Nagar Colony, Sigra, Varanasi.. M/s Mohan Silk Store, D-5/154, Vishvanath Gali, Varanasi. M/s Bhagwan Store, D-10/3, Vishvanath Gali, Varanasi. M/s Chaudhari Brothers, Thatheri Bazar, Varanasi M/s Mahalaxmi Sari House, 10, Chandrika Colony, Sigra, Varanasi. M/s Bhagwan Silks, S-10/86, Sarnath, Varanasi.

IP Mall , Sigra Varanasi JHV , The Mall , Cantt. Modern Reception Centre, Sarnath Shivansh Handicraft, 9335640006 Pandey Ghat, Varanasi, Mob.

Five Star Hotels in Varanasi:

The Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi Hotel Clarks Varanasi Hotel Radission Varanasi Hotel Ramada Plaza Varanasi

Four Star Hotels in Varanasi:

Hotel Hindushtan International, Varanasi Meraden Grand Hotel, Varanasi Hotel Ideal Tower Varanasi Three Star Hotels in Varanasi:

Hotel Varanasi Ashok A Palace On River Hotel Hotel Pradeep Diamond Hotel Hotel India Varanasi Hotel Palace On Steps Hotel Siddharth Two Star Hotels in Varanasi:

Padmini International Hotel Hotel Siddharth Hotel Samrat Hotel M.M.continental

Budget Hotels:

Hotel Surya Varanasi Hotel River View Situated on the bank of the River Ganga K 20/133-134, Rajmandir, Panchgangaghat), Varanasi Bramhaghat(Near

Ph: +91-542-2437525, 9415697507, 9453965001 E-Mail: hotel_riverview@hotmail.com Hotel Sahu Dashashwamedh Road, Varanasi Ph: +91-542-2455411, 2451424, 94158121132 Hotel Neel Gagan Mr. Vishnu Gupta Pared Kothi, Cantt Railways Station, Varanasi Phone: +91-9450543051, 542-2202460

Hotel Buddha International Mr. Sanjay Srivastava Ph: +91-9838632685, 9415273646, 542-3208989 Sha.10/85,Baraipur,Sarnath,varanasi

E-mail: guddu_sri85@yahoo.in

Hotel Atithi Satkar Mr. Dilip Jaiswal D 47/200 B, Luxa Road, (In front of Nidan Kendra), Gaudowlia, Varanasi Ph: +91-542-3245911 Fax: +91-542-2455331

Hotel Plaza Inn Pared Kothi, Varanasi Tel: 2347505 Hotel Pradeep Jagatganj, Varanasi Tel: 2204594 Hotel Pushpanjali Lahurabir, Varanasi Tel: 2203776 Hotel Relax Pared Kothi, Varanasi Tel: 2343503

Hotel Siddhartha Sigra, Varanasi Tel: 2221961 Hotel Chandra Sonia, Sigra, Varanasi Tel: 2231518 Hotel Ganges View Assi Ghat, Varanasi Tel: 2313218 Hotel Gaurav Lajpat Nagar, Varanasi Tel: 2356223 Hotel Varuna Gulab Bagh, Sigra, Varanasi Tel: 2358524

Caution for Tourists:

Beware of touts that pose as 'Pundits' on the Ghats to extract money from the devotees to perform religious ceremonies.

Check for fare and the route before hiring a rickshaw and auto to move around in the city. Beware of agents between the buyers and sellers of handicraft items. Incidents of snatching and pick pocketing have been heard in the temples so take care that you keep your valuables in hotel itself. Arms and ammunitions are not allowed inside the temples for security reasons, especially in the Kashi Viswanath temple or Gyanvapi Mosque.

Art & Culture of Varanasi

The art and culture of Varanasi is unique. It is the rich cultural tradition of Varanasi that makes it the cultural capital of India. A combination of archaeology, mythology, geography, art and history makes Varanasi a great center of Indian culture. Though Varanasi is associated mainly with Hinduism and Buddhism but one can find glimpse of many religious beliefs, types of worship and religious institutions at Varanasi. It is amazing to see the primitive worship cults being practiced at Varanasi.

Varanasi presents a complete museum of Indian art and culture. At Varanasi one can feel the changing patterns and

movements in course of history. It has a rich and unique style of art forms and folk art. For centuries, Varanasi has produced master craftsmen and earned name and fame for its beautiful Sarees, handicrafts, textiles, toys, ornaments, metal work, clay and woodwork and other crafts.

Astrology at Varanasi Being a great center of education and learning, Varanasi is associated with the study and promotion of Vedic astrology (jyotish) since ancient times. Varanasi is a center of education and learning for centuries and is aptly called as the cultural capital of India. Scholars, intellectuals, philosophers, mystics and saints from all over the world have been coming to Varanasi, the capital of education. In earlier times, Varanasi was more famous for Vedic education and astrology (jyotish). Students and scholars from different parts came to the holy city to study and learn philosophy and astrology.

Thus, there developed a great tradition of learning of Vedic astrology or "jyotish shastra" at Varanasi. The system of Vedic astrology continues to even this day in Varanasi. It is very much evident in the "Guru Shishya parampara" of Kashi. In ancient and medieval period, jyotish was taught at "Ashrams" and "Gurukuls" and it continues to be taught at many of the present educational institutions at Varanasi. There are separate faculties Meditation and Astrology in B.H.U. and Sampurnanand Sanskrit University. Following are main center for meditation and astrology.

B.H.U. Man Mandir Bhring Sanhita Kendra, Bhadaini Center For Yoga and Meditation, Nirala Nagar Pragya Yoga Institute, Jagat Ganj S.S.U. Gayan Pravah Kashi Yoga Sangh, Sankat Mochan International Yoga and Meditation Centre, Nagawa. Kashi Yatra

Since Kashi or Varanasi is the center of Hindu religion, many Yatras or Parikramas take place during different parts of the year. For many Hindus, Kashi Yatra is one of the sacred rituals of Hindu religion and is thought to help in salvation. Here is a compilation of Kashi Yatras. Panchkrosi Parikarma Jal Tirth Yatra 1st Tirth Yatra 2nd Tirth Yatra 3rd Tirth Yatra 4th Tirth Yatra 5th Tirth Yatra 6th Tirth Yatra

Shivayatan Yatra 1st Shivayatan Yatra 2nd Shivayatan Yatra 3rd Shivayatan Yatra 4th Shivayatan Yatra 5th Shivayatan Yatra 6th Shivayatan Yatra 8th Shivayatan Yatra 11th Shivayatan Yatra 14th Shivayatan Yatra Anta Grihi Yatra Vishweshwar Yatra Kedareshwar Yatra Omkareshwar Yatra 12th Jyotirlinga Yatra. Muths & Ashrams at Varanasi

For centuries, Varanasi has been home to Indian philosophy, mysticism and spiritualism. Varanasi, therefore, has numerous Muths and Ashrams. At Varanasi different religious outfits have their own Muths and Ashrams. Many of these Muths and Ashrams have survived for centuries and are centers of spiritualism and religious activities. Some of the noted Muths and Ashrams of Varanasi are listed below: Dharm Sangh Nirajani Akhanra Satua Baba Ashram Shankaracharya Math Jangambari Math

Sadhu Bela Ashram Mata Anandmai Ashram Radha Swami Bag Kabir Math Karpatri Ji Math Dandi Swami Math RamKrishna Mission Sevashram Kinaram Math Sanatan Gaudiya Math ShriMath, Panchganga Ghat Tailang Swami Math Gadwa Ghat Ashram Gopal Math Bhinagaraj Dandi Sevashram

Educational Institutes in Varanasi

For centuries, Varanasi, also known as "Sarva Vidya Ki Rajdhani" (capital of knowledge), is reputed as a great centre of education and learning. Its because since the ancient times, people from all parts of the world have been coming to Varanasi to learn philosophy, Sanskrit, astrology, modern

sciences and social science. The first step in the direction of establishing formal educational institute in Varanasi goes back to 1791, when a Sanskrit college was started to train the servants of the East India Company. Mrs. Annie Besant established the Central Hindu School in the last quarter of the 19th century with the aim of imparting modern as well traditional education. The Central Hindu School later formed the core of the prestigious Banaras Hindu University which, at present, is among the leading universities in the world and includes the Institute of Technology, Faculty of Management Studies, Institute of Agricultural Sciences and Institute of Medical Sciences. Other educational institutions of repute in Varanasi are the Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Imania Arabic College (Jamia-e-Imania), Udai Pratap College, Institute of Integrated Management and Technology and Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies.

Varanasi Attractions Nearby: Agra - Varanasi, India, IN Being that Agra is in relative proximity, you simply have to leave time to pay a visit to this glorious city, and of course, India's most wonderful tourist attraction, Agra's very famous Taj Mahal, which boast incredibly detailed marble architecture at its very finest. Agra is also home to the Red Fort, the Persian-style Chini Ka Rauza and Itmad-UdDaulah's Tomb, amongst other historical landmarks, and if that's not enough to convince you, then come in February and

enjoy the festivities at the Taj Food Festival, and the processions during the crowded Taj Mahotsav carnival.

Varanasi Attractions Nearby: Allahabad - Varanasi, India, IN Located approximately 130 km / 81 miles to the west of Varanasi, the city of Allahabad resides at the meeting point of two incredibly important Indian rivers, the Yamuna River and also the River Ganges (Ganga). Allahabad seems to have found itself a little of the tourist trail, which is a shame, since there are a number of quality attractions situated here. These include Allahabad's grand Mughal fort and tombs, its holy Sangam area and is impressive Raj-era structures. And if you are a little hungry when you arrive, you will find that the city's Indian bakeries and ice-cream parlours are quite outstanding.

Varanasi Attractions Nearby: Gorakhpur- Varanasi, India, IN Gorakhpur is a busy transport hub frequented by many visitors travelling to Kushinagar, Nepal or Sunauli. Whilst there are not really any attractions of any note within Gorakhpur, if you are stopping off here, you may well be pleased to fill your time by paying a visit to the Buddhist Museum, which is located on the southerly outskirts and close to the city's lake. There are also a huge number of shopping opportunities within Gorakhpur city centre.

Varanasi Attractions Nearby: Kushinagar - Varanasi, India, IN A peaceful and rather verdant town, Kushinagar is the place to come if you crave a little respite, away from central Varanasi. Most people come to Kushinagar, since this reputedly the place where the great Buddha breathed his last breath, and has understandably become a major Buddhist pilgrimage site. There are a large number of Buddhist temples spread around Kushinagar, with the main sights lining the street known as the Buddha Marg. In particular, look out for the Mahasukhamdadachan Thargyi Pagoda, the Mahaparinirvana Temple, the Mathakuar Temple, the Buddha

Museum, the Wat Thai complex, and the famous Ramabhar Stupa, where it is said that Buddha was actually cremated.

Varanasi Attractions Nearby: Patna - Varanasi, India, IN Patna is a large and busy city, with a population of more than 1.3 million residents. The city lies on the southern side of the River Ganges, where it stretches for around 15 km / 9 miles. Those looking for attractions within Patna will find that the majority of the historic sites lie within the Chowk area, on the eastern side of the city, while to the west you will find hotels, shops and the train station. The Patna museum is always popular, as is the Qila House (Jalan Museum), the Golghat Granary, the holy Sikh shrines of Har Mandir Takht, and the historical ruins of Pataliputra.

Varanasi Attractions Nearby: Sarnath - Varanasi, India, IN It is worth coming here to compare the different styles of these modern Buddhist temples, which were built by Buddhists from Burma, China, Japan, Thailand and Tibet. Within a peaceful parkland setting, the 5th-century Dhanekh Stupa monuments marks the very spot where Lord Buddha preached his very first sermon. Also from the same era is the Chaukhandi Stupa, while Sarnath's more modern Mulgandha Kuti Vihar Temple and Deer Park may also be of interest.

KASHI Vishwanath Mandir -The history of Vishwanath Temple that is also called Golden Temple at times is full of ups and downs. The temple and city has always been on the receiving end of the invaders be it Afghans, Turks, Rohila or Marathas. The temple has been built and razed to the ground several times in the history. It was first destroyed by Bakhtiyar Khilji in the 13th century and was later rebuild. Emperor Akbar donated several acres of villages to the trust that was later cut down substantially by Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb was a fundamentalist who hated every possible religion and sects in India including Sufi and Shiite order among the Muslims. Rani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore built the present temple that stands in Varanasi, in the year 1776. Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore donated the 800-kilogram Gold-plating of the towers that gives the temple its colloquial name

Durga Temple - The Durga temple is considered one of the most important temples in Varanasi. Built in 18th century the Durga temple is stained in Red with ochre. Though the temple might have Bangla influence spiritually, it is built exclusively on the North Indian pattern called Nagara. Multi-tired spires that decrease in diameter in horizontal pattern mark this style. Actually separate spires are clubbed together one over another to give this feel. Though this style looks less attractive than the South-Indian Gopuram pattern, it has a feel of its own. Lately, people have started calling it Monkey Temple due to the menace created by the monkeys that inhabit the campus of this Temple. At the time of Navaratri there are very mush crowd for the worship

Tulsi Manas Temple - Tulsi Manas Temple has a very historical as well as cultural importance for not only Varanasi but also for the whole of India. This is precisely because the place is connected to an event that still rules the Indian Psyche. The famous Hindu Epic of Ramayana was composed at this very place. Goswami Tulsi Das was the man who composed Ramayana in Hindi in the form of "Ram Charit Manas". Prior to that, Ramayana was only available in Sanskrit and that is why it was out of the reach of general masses.

New Vishwanath Mandir - Situated in the premises of Banaras Hindu University, a modern place of worship planned by Pandit Malviya and built by the Birlas. Open to all, irrespective of caste or creed.

Bharat Mata Temple - The Bharat Mata temple at Varanasi is the only temple dedicated to Mother India. It is located in the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth campus near railway station. The Bharat Mata temple was built by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupt and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936. The statute of Bharat Mata is built in marble and is a model of undivided India, depicting the mountains, plains and oceans. The most peculiar thing about the Bharat Mata Temple is that instead of the customary gods and goddesses, it houses a relief map of India, carved out of marble.

Sankat Mochan Temple -Sankat Mochan Mandir do not have much historical significance but is a good place to visit at least once. No body knows who established this temple. It was actually very small in its early phase. In the due course various 'Mahants' collected funds to upgrade the structure and today it boasts off a fairly large complex. The temple has every possible facility for the devotees. There is an inn too where devotees can stay overnight. The must attend religious function of this temple is the famous "Pratah Aarti" or dawn offering that takes place at 5 AM in the morning. The "Sandhya Aarti" or the evening offering is performed to Lord

Sankat Mochan at around 8:30 in the night. "The Rathri Aarti" is performed at around 10 PM after which the gates are closed.

Gyanvapi Mosque -Gyanvapi Mosque This mosque was built by Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. The foundation and the rear part of the mosque are the remains of a temple. One of its minarets which dominated the skyline of the holy city, collapsed in the1948 floods

GHATS -The city's life revolves around its seven km long sweep of about 100 bathing ghats that skirt the west bank of the Ganges. Most of them are used for bathing. Some are used for cremating bodies. The most sacred ghats are the Assi,

Dasashwamedh Ghat, Manikarnika and Panchganga. Pilgrims who bathe in each one consecutively believe their prayers will be fulfilled. A short boat trip from Manikarnika Ghat can be an interesting introduction to the river. It is believed that cremation at Manikarnika ghat ensures a safe place in Heaven, as the cremators of this ghat are believed to have the patronage of Shiva. The furthermost upstream ghat is Assi Ghat, which marks the confluence of the Ganges and the Assi rivers. Nearby is the Tulsi Ghat, where Goswami Tulsidas lived till his death in 1623A.D. Dashashvamedh Ghat, Varanasi's liveliest bathing place was constructed by Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao. It's name indicates that Brahma sacrificed (medh) 10 (das) horses (aswa) here. It's one of the most important ghats and is conveniently central. Nearby is the grand Man Mandir Ghat (1637) and an observatory both built by Sawai Raja Jai Singh of Jaipur in 1710.

BHU -BHU is the largest residential university in Asia. It has been developed as a center for education in Indian art, music, culture and philosophy and for the study of Sanskrit. The campus also houses the Bharat Kala Bhawan that has a fine collection of miniature paintings and sculptures that dates from 1st to 15th centuries. The 5-square kilometers campus of BHU, houses as many as 55 hostels. The campus has other

attractions too such as the Birla Mandir that is popularly called VT. Close by is an airstrip and a flying club. The central library named Sayajirao Gaekwad Library is also worth a visit. Apart from various manuscripts and periodicals, it houses as many as 14 lacks or 1.4 million separate volumes. There is a 1000 bedded hospital too. It is called Sir Sunder Lal Hospital. Apart from concrete buildings, the campus features open spaces, greenery and peacocks, the national bird of India, which are found roaming around almost every part of the university

Sarnath - 10 km. from Varanasi is the site where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon "Maha- Dharma-Chakra Pravartan" (in Buddhist terminology, turned the wheel of the law) after his enlightenment. Sarnath is one of the richest in Buddhist antiquities ranging in date from the times of Ashoka downto the 12th century A.D Ashoka built here the Dharmarajika Stupa and near it erected a pillar surmounted by the magnificent capital of four adorsed Lions, which today forms the national emblem of India.Among other structures at Sarnath are the ruins of the brick temple representing the Mula- Gandha Kuti, ruins of stupas and monasteries. Among the more imposing ones is the Dhamekh Stupa, adorned with delicate floral carvings in the lower part, the Chaukhandi

Stupa and Mahabodhi Society's Mulgandha Kuti Vihar Temple. Sarnath has also yielded an extremely rich collection of Buddhist sculptures comprising of numerous Buddha and Bodhisatva images which can be seen at Archaeological Museum, Sarnath.

Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum -Bharat Kala Bhavan is an art and architecture museum situated inside the BHU campus. Here, one can find a large number ofBuddhist and Hindu sculptures, paintings and other materials of archaeological relevance.This Bhavan was founded in 1920 A.D. In its main hall, there is a figure of a man standing on one leg, holding one hand on his hip and lifting a mass of stone above his head with the other hand. It is believed that this figure is of Lord Krishna lifting Mount Govardhana. Most of the images in this Bhavan ascertain the presence of Krishna cult in Kashi during the 15th and 16th century.

Ashoka Pillar -Ashoka Pillar It is at Saranath, 10km north of Varanasi. Sarnath, the place where Buddha gave his first sermon is a popular Buddhist pilgrimage centre. The Ashoka pillar stands in front of the main stupa where Ashoka sat and meditated. The Sarnath Archaeological Museum at Ashoka Marg, houses a copy of Ashoka's lion pillar and some sculptures.

Manikarnika Ghat -This is one of the more famous of the Varanasi ghats where Hindus bring their dead for cremation. There is a fire here thats been burning for the 4 centuries, it is claimed and is never allowed to die out. Burning logs from this fire is used to light the funeral pyre. It's not for everyone but there is something about the place that leaves a deep impact.

Buddhist Temples in Sarnath -Visitors to Sarnath usually wind up their visit by going through the main stupas and the museum at Sarnath. But beyond the main excavation site in the narrow lanes are some exquisite Buddhist temples set up and run by followers from countries like Japan, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, China etc It is a treat to visit these temples. There are amazing artifacts and ancient maps that trace the spread of Buddhism.

Sukrit Valley -Sukrit is a small town that lies on the VaranasiRobertsganj national highway around 55 kms away from the city. The place is extremely rich in natural beauty. Small tribal villages dot the landscape around a meandering river

and the way of life has remained more or less untouched by the curse of civilization. On the way is Lakhania Dari which is home to some ancient rock painting, caves and a beautiful waterfall. A Place only for those who are avid nature lovers and hate the crowds..

Shopping in Varanasi A general information by Hotel New Temples Town, Varanasi. The shopping hotspots in Varanasi are Chowk, Gyan Vapi, Vishwanath Gali, Thatheri Bazar, Lahurabir, Godoulia or Dashswamedh Gali and Golghar. Besides the illustrious and fine silks and brocaded fabrics, one can also buy shawls, carpets, wall hangings, Zari work; stone inlay work, glass beads and bangles, masks of Hindu and Buddhist deities and lampshades. However, one has to be on watch while buying silk saris and beware of the imitations that are much cheaper than the real silk ones but are not so easy to distinguish. Silk weaving is perhaps the most popular art of Varanasi and Banarasi silk sarees form an indispensable part of an Indian bride's trousseau. The world-famous gold and silver brocades and richly worked saris are known to have passed on from generations to generations much like family jewels without loosing their charm. Besides Banarasi saris and brocades, you

may look for wonderful pieces of brassware, copperware, wooden and clay toys and antique designs of heavy gold jewellery in Varanasi. Other shopping attractions of Varanasi include the handknotted carpets of Mirzapur, musical instruments, the 'khattameetha' (sweet 'n' sour) 'Langda Aam', a popular variety of mangoes available during summer season and the famous betel leaf that is considered a specialty of the place. Benarasi people can be seen chewing betel leaves as a part of their cultural upbringing and they even welcome their guests by offering them the famous betel leaves.