Varanasi alias Banaras

Varanasi alias Banaras or Kashi, the pilgrim city

Varanasi alias Banaras or Benares or Kashi (Image Courtesy : Wikimedia).

Varanasi alias Banaras, is one of the most famous pilgrimage places for Hindus,Buddhists and Jains in India. Varanani is situated in the state of Utter Pradesh in North India.

Varanasi is the most sacred and holy city for Hindus and Jains. Kashi Vishwanath temple is the most famous Hindu temple in Varanasi. Varanasi has played a major role in the development of Buddhism. Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon,”Turning the Wheel of Law”, at a nearby place, Saranath, in 528 B.C.

Varanasi is the oldest continuously inhabited city in India and is one among such other cities of the world. Varanasi is called the ‘city of temples’. Varanasi or Banaras is considered as the religious and spiritual capital of India. Varanasi is situated on the banks of the holy river Ganga, one of the largest rivers in India.

Varanasi is believed to be founded by the Lord Shiva. Archaeological evidence suggests the city to be inhabited by humans in the 11th or 12th century B.C. However, “Atharvaveda”, the oldest known text, suggests human existence even earlier. Mark Twain has said , “Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” The famous Chinese travelers of the 6 th and 7 th century, Xuanzang and Hiuen Tsiang, describes Banaras as “centre of religious and artistic activities” extended over 5 kilimeters along the Western banks of river Ganga or Ganges with 30 temples and 30 monks.

Adi Shankara or Sankarachra, the Great Hindu Philosopher, and the one who consolidated the doctrine of ‘Advaita Vedanta’, has visited Varanasi in the 8th century.

Hindus believes that, death at Banaras brings salvation.

Banaras Hindu University, one of the largest residential universities of Asia, is situated here.

Banaras Silk Sarees from Varanasi alias Banaras

Weaving of silk sarees is a major industry here at Banaras or Benares . Banaras is home to the Geographically Identified Banaras Silk Sarees or Banarasi silk sarees, the finest and most sought after saree in the world (check serial number 100 and 193 under “Registered GIs” at the above site). Banaras hand-loom silk industry employs around 12 lack people.

How Do I Go to Varanasi Alias Banaras or Baneras or Kashi ?

Varanasi alias Banaras or Baneras or Kashi is at a distance of around 800 kilometers from the Indian capital city of New Delhi.

Lucknow , the capital of Utter Pradesh state is at 320 kilometers distance and Allahabad is at 121 kilometers distance.


Are you interested in going to Varanasi alias Banaras or Kashi as a pilgrim? Are you looking for other pilgrimage sites in India? Please leave your comments.