Varanasi, commonly known as the ancient Banaras or Kashi, is the second greatest pilgrimage centre for the Hindus in India. Owing to the immense religious important associated with the city, it is also referred to by some people as the religious capital of the country. The city attracts pilgrims in hundreds almost every month of the year. It is a beautiful merge of ghats, temples and ancient universities. Given the unprecedented tourist flow in the country, even the number of hotels in Varanasi had to be increased.
Here a few amazing facts about the city:
Considered as a very holy city, laying on the banks of the Holy River Ganges, Varanasi has proved to be the oldest surviving city in all the world. According to the Hindu mythology, God Shiva and his wife lived here for many years after the marriage. The Hindu community firmly believes that a death in this city means salvation assured.
For over 40,000 years, Kashi has been a major centre of civilizations. It was once described as being older than history also. You can feel the old age charm when you visit Varanasi.
The city has more temples than any other place in the country. Most of these serve as important places of worship for the Vaishnavite and Shivaite. These Hindu communities are abundant in Varanasi, and they harmoniously do exist without any conflicts. India also has people from the Jain community in large numbers, and they often visit Varanasi because Parsavnath, a Jain guru, was born here.
Most people in India consider Banaras as an important pilgrimage centre. And there is no denying in that. But some people are not aware of the city’s influence on arts and learning.
Banaras Hindu University, which is a topmost university in the country, operates here. Trade and commerce has also flourished here. Banarsi silk is exported elsewhere in large quantities. Silver and gold brocades are also exclusive to the city.
Another reason that Varanasi should be proud is producing geniuses like Prem Chand and Tulsi Das at this place. MaharashiPatanjali is the founder of the science of yoga and ayurveda in India. He has a connection with Varanasi through with the city has become an important centre of yoga and ayurveda.
The city is also the home place of many celebrated icons such as Ustad Bismillah Khan and Pandit Ravi Shankar.
Bollywood too has not been able to resist the charm of the city and has this shot several films here. The recent Sonam Kapoor movie Ranjhana is one of those. Also, global travel shows focus on the tourism of Varanasi time and again.
Many of you may not have heard of the custom of frog marriages, which is a common custom in Varanasi, seen being practiced at the popular AshwamedhaGhat during the monsoons. A priest is called upon to perform the marriage rituals between a male and female frog. After the ceremonies are over, the frog couple is let alone in the water.
The 5 star hotels in Varanasi are a great choice if you want to visit the city.