Welcome to Varanasi (Benares) !!
The antiquity of Varanasi is veiled in immortal
time. An ‘eternal’ city, it abounds with a rich
and vibrant past. Varanasi is another holy dot
on the life giving Mother Ganges. As a
religious centre, it is beyond compare. It is
one of the foremost ‘tirthas’ (place of
pilgrimage). Varanasi, as the legend goes
was created by Shiva, the cosmic lord.
Varanasi has been a great centre for learning and civilization and in sacred to the Hindus. It
has an endearing universal mystique which has to be experienced to be understood.
Varanasi’s original name Kashi, is said to have been derived from the word ‘Kashi’. meaning
bright which defines its significance as the ‘city of light’ or its spiritual luminance. The
present name is believed to be a combination of Varuna and Asi, the two rivers on its
northern and southern periphery. Banaras, as it is popularly known, is only a corruption of
the name by an ever changing culture.
Situated on the west Bank of the Ganges, Varanasi extends back from the riverbank ghats
to a winding maze of picturesque alleys overlooking tall houses alongside, dotted with
temples. It is a fascinating area to wander around. Varanasi’s principal attraction is a long
string of bathing ghats which line the river. Pilgrims of all castes and creeds make their sin
cleansing dip in atonement.
The best time to visit the Ghats is at dawn, where pilgrims
come for their early morning dip. The city comes alive with magical lights, the keen scent of
spices, incence, aromatic oils and crushed flowers. The air reverberates with chanting of
mantras and jangling bells alongwith cries of vendors.
Tourist Information :
Government of India Tourist Office
15B The Mall
Tel : (542)43744.
(Monday-Saturday, 9.00 a.m. - 17.30 p.m.)
near Hotel de-Paris and Clarks.
Government of India Tourist Information Counter
Tel : (542)43472
(open during the flight timings).
UP Government Tourist Office
Near Varanasi Cantt.
Tel : (542)43413.
UP Government Tourist Information Counter
Near Railway Station,
Tel : (542)46370.
Bihar Government Tourist Office
Opp. Cantt. Station
Tel : (542)43821.
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Courtesy : www.allindia.com