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Introducing Varanasi

Best time to visit : October to March
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Varanasi, also known as Banaras, Benaras or Kashi, is a holy city situated on the banks of River Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, India. There are seven sacred places for Hindus and Varanasi tops the list of those seven places. It is believed that if a person dies at this holy city, he directly attains salvation (gets freed from the cycle of birth and death). Large number of pilgrims and worshippers travel to this holy city throughout the year.

Facts

Varanasi owes its name to the two tributaries of Ganga flowing through the city: Varuna and Asi. Varanasi is referred to as the spiritual and religious capital of India. Though it is the topmost pilgrim site in India and is considered to be a pious place, but you will find lots of touts and thugs who will try to befool you to earn handsome amount of money. Beware of such people when you are in Varanasi.

Benaras is famous for its special paan or beetle leaf all over India. Do try it once when you are in Benaras. Other local food to enjoy includes the spicy chaat and paani puri. Benarasi dum aaloo is also a famous dish of the city.

Varanasi is famous for its exotic artwork of silk weaving. Banarasi silk sarees and silk brocades are famous all over the world. So, when you are in Banaras, do purchase a Banarasi saree as a remembrance.

Nearby Places:
  • Sarnath (about 10 km.): It is the place where Lord Gautam Buddha preached the first lesson of 'Dharma'. Sarnath is famous for its Chaukhandi Stupa and the Ashoka (Sarnath) Pillar, which is now in ruins.
  • Mirzapur (about 62 km.): Famous for the ghats of River Ganga and a number of temples, along with other attractions like Chunar Fort, Ojhala Bridge and Clock Tower.
  • Jaunpur (about 63 km.): Popular for a number of holy sites and monuments like Atala Masjid, Lal Darwaza Masjid, Sadbhavana Bridge, Shahi Bridge and Jaunpur Fort.
  • Allahabad (about 125 km.): The city is famous for its Kumbh Mela and the holy Triveni Sangam, which is the confluence point of three holy rives: Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati.
  • Sonbhadra (about 137 km.): Home to the tourist places like Salkhan Fossil Fuel, Vijaygarh Fort, Lakhania Caves, Lorika Rock and Shiv Dwar.

Other popular places near Varanasi include Gorakhpur, Pratapgarh, Kaushambi and Ayodhya (the birthplace of Lord Ram).

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