Varanasi Travel Guide
Distance : 765km from Delhi, 122km from
Population : 1,279,000
Alttitude : 81m
¤ Varanasi - The Most Sacred
City of HindusMajor Circuits
Varanasi also known as Kashi, the city has been mentioned in almost
all the ancient sacred texts of the Hindus and Buddhists.
It is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus and home to the
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, the holiest of the Hindu shrines.
Legend has it that Ananda, one of the chief disciples of the Buddha,
had wished that the Buddha had died in Varanasi instead of in
Kushinagara. This indicates the importance of the city in the 5th
century b.c.Sarnath, a renowned Buddhist site, is near Varanasi. It is
at Sarnath that the Buddha preached his first sermon, which is known
as Dhammachakkapavattana (setting in motion the Wheel of the Law)
in Buddhism. Through the centuries, the place has attracted people who
came here in search of spiritual perfection, and it continues to do so
¤ Varanasi Saris
Religiosity apart, Varanasi is also noted for its saris. Banarasi
saris are some of the most sought-after ones throughout India because
of their extraordinary weave and texture. The place is also famous for
silk weaving, embroidery and metalwork.
Varanasi is supposed to be the oldest city in the world, and had the
distinction of being an ancient city even at the time of the Buddha.
On the eve of the rise of Buddhism in the 6th century b.c., the
kingdom of Kashi was one of the 16 Janapadas (great nations) that
occupied the territory from the Kabul valley to the banks of the
Godavari. This placefeatured in the itinerary of almost all the
Fa-Hsien and Huien Tsang visited it in the 4th and 7th century a.d.,
Varanasi was the capital of the Gahadavala king, Jaichand, who,
according to contemporary Muslim historians, was the most powerful
Indian king just before the establishment of the Muslim rule in India.
Under the Mughals, it formed part of the province of Oudh.
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