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Varanasi Tours Travel Guide Offers : - Online information about famous Hindu pilgrimage destinations Varanasi, places to see in varanasi, history of varanasi, ghats info of varanasi, varanasi discounted travel packages info, varanasi tour packages info and online package tours bookings to varanasi temple, ganges tours.
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Varanasi Travel Guide
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Named after the confluence of two rivers, Varuna and Asi, the city is centered on the ghats that line the waterfront, each honoring Shiva in the form of a linga - the rounded phallic-like shaft of stone found on every ghat.

Cruise the waterfront at dawn and you will witness the most surreal scenes, when devotees come to bathe, meditate, and perform ancient rituals to greet the sun. Or even come at sunset, when pundits (priests) at Dashswamedh Ghat perform arti with complicated fire rituals, and pilgrims light candles to float along the sacred water of Ganga.

The festive magic never ends in Varanasi. If Poornima cleanses, Maha Shivratri blesses. If Holika-Dahan is a celebration, Dhrupad Mela is a revelation. One does not require making his itinerary according to the dates and months of the festivals. One can come and enjoy the festive season anytime of the year here.

Situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges, the city has been a center of learning and civilization for over 2000 years. Varanasi's principal attraction is the long string of ghats, which line the west bank of the Ganges. Ghats are the steps which lead down to the river.

There are around 100 ghats in Varanasi, each with its own significance. Most Indians believe that anyone dying on the banks of the river, in Varanasi, attains instant 'moksha' or enlightenment.

History Of Varanasi : -
Varanasi is also known by the name of Kasi or Banaras. 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 Chinese travellers. Fa-Hsien and Huien Tsang visited it in the 4th and 7th century a.d., respectively. 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.

Ghats of Varanasi : -
  • The Asi River meets the Ganga at Asi Ghat. There is a lingam under a peepal tree and a marble temple of Asisangameshwara (lord of the confluence of Asi). An ancient tank dedicated to sun worship, the Lolarka Kund (pool) lies 15 metres below the ground and is approached by a steep flight of steps.

    The Tulsi ghat, dedicated to the 16th century poet saint Tulsidas is crumbling. Further north is the Harishchandra ghat, one of the two important cremation grounds in Varanasi. Named after the king Harishchandra, it is considered the most sacred cremation ground. The Kedar ghat has links with the Kedarnath shrine located in the upper reaches of the Himalayas. The dhobi ghat is a washerman's area, while the Chausathi (64) ghat has a shrine dedicated to Chausath Yoginis, the multiple manifestations of the female force Durga.

    The Dashashwamedha ghat is the busiest bathing ghat in Varanasi. The ancient king Divodasa was said to have performed the Dashashwamedha Yajnya (ten horse sacrifice) here. This pleased Brahma, the creator, so much that he established the Brahmeshwara lingam. Boats can be hired at this ghat for a tour of the riverfront. It is also the most popular site for Hindus to perform ancestor worship rituals, and the entire ghat is lined with umbrella covered stalls where Brahmin priests undertake pujas (worship).

    The Man Mandir ghat, built in 1600 by Maharaja Man Singh of Amer, has a very interesting observatory. Built in 1710 by the kings of Jaipur, it is similar to the ones in Jaipur and Delhi. There are numerous instruments used for astronomical calculations and is open to visitors from 09:30 am till 05:30 pm. The Dom Raja's house is next door, with painted tigers flanking the terrace. Doms are the untouchables, who handle the corpses at cremation grounds. Though the Doms belong to a lower caste, their services are invaluable for the dead to be released from their physical bonds and so the leader of the doms is given the title of `Raja' or king.
Museum : -
Located in Sarnath at about 10 km from Varanasi, the Archaeological Museum houses the capital from the Ashokan pillar, the symbol of which has been adopted as the state emblem of the modern India. The museum also has the figures and the sculptures from the Mauryan, Kushana and Gupta periods discovered during the excavations at Sarnath.You can have a look at the earliest Buddha image found at Sarnath and many images of Hindu Gods dating from the 9th to 12th centuries.

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. The local silk weavers produce the silk which are in demand not only in India but across the world these silk items are in great demand. The Bhadohi carpets can match the delicacy of weaving in any part of the world. Banaras has been famous for the 'Gharanas' in the Classical Music and Singing. These styles of singing and music have been amply supported by the musical instruments which are manufactured in Varanasi.

Temples in Varanasi : -
  • Durga Temple
    It is rumoured that there are more than one thousand temples in Varanasi. One of the most beautiful multicoloured temples is the Durga Temple, situated 8 km away in Osy. This temple dedicated to Goddess Durga, built by Rani Bhabani in the 18th century, on the model of the Nagara architecture stands apart in a class of its own. The temple has been built in such a way that the five apexes have merged into one another, signifying the fact that the five vital elements namely, earth, water heat, air and atmosphere or space have merged with the Creator (Hraluna) becoming one. This place is infested with monkeys which are a menace, creating a lot of problems for visitors. And so this temple is also known as Monkey Temple. Adjoining the temple there is a sacred kunda for bathing for the pilgrims.
  • Tulsi Manas Temple : -
    The Tulsi Manas Temple built in 1964, in memory of the creator of the Ram Charit Manas is another spot attracting pilgrims from far and wide. Tulsi das used to live here while composing the immortal Ram Charit Manas in Hindi. The whole script of the Ram Charit Manas has been engraved on marble here. In the 1st floor of the temple, the various stories of the Ramayan are exhibited through movable dolls. It is really very interesting. This temple is open for every body.
  • Bharatmata Temple : -
    The Bharatmata Temple on Vidyapith Road, is really something different. This temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1936. The speciality of this temple is that in place of idols of the gods and goddesses, the relief map of India is engraved on marble and'it is open to visitors of all kinds. The Bhairavnath temple, a few yards away near the town hall is like a guard to Kashi. Adjoining this temple is the Dandyapani temple and Kamrup. It is rumoured that anyone who cannot see his or her reflection in the waters of the well is destined to die. There are also the temples of Sri Ganesh, Annapurna, Sukreswar, Sanaischar.There is a saying that those coming to Kashi should inform the Lord Ganesh before leaving Kashi.
Climate ( Best time To Visit Varanasi ) : -
Varanasi has a extreme type of climate. Located besides the Ganges Varanasi can be difficult place to visit during the summers. Summers are very hot and temperatures shoot upto 46 degrees and winter can be cold with mercury dipping down to 5 degrees. This place can be a really bad during the rainy seasons and is advisable not to visit Varanasi during monsoons. The best season to visit Varanasi during September to March.

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