Varanasi

Michael B.

Location

Varanasi is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India. It is on the banks on the Ganges River.
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Description

Varanasi, which is also called Benares or Kashi, is located on the left bank of the holy Ganges river and is one of the seven sacred cites of the religion Hinduism. It is the spiritual capital of India which attracts Hinduism followers to travel to this city frequently. Millions of people visit this city every year. It is also one of the world's oldest living cities.

History

Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. It has been the pilgrimage spot for Hindus for many years. The city is a place where learning and civilization has thrived for over 3000 years. The city has been famous for the trade of silk, gold, and silver since the early days. It is a spiritual city known for mysticism, the Sanskrit language, yoga, and Hindi language.

The city was the capital in the Kashi dynasty at the time of the Buddha. In this city he gave his first sermon (or preaching). The city started to diminish in 1194. At this time, Varanasi was under a Muslim rule which resulted in many Hindu temples getting destroyed, and many Hindu teachers ran out of the city. After experiencing minor setbacks for about 700 more years, Varanasi became an independent kingdom in the 18th century which sparked a new improvement in the city. Finally in 1910 the British officially made Varanasi an Indian state. In 1947 the city became part of the state of Uttar Pradesh which is the present state of the city.

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Religion

The religion that considers this place sacred is Hinduism. Hinduism is noticed as the world's oldest organized religion. 68 percent of Varanasi's population follows Hinduism. Every Hindu travels to this city at least once in their lifetime. Hindus travel here at all ages from when they are a newborn baby to when they are nearing the end of their life.
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Why is it Sacred

Since the Ganges river is on the bank of Varanasi it is believed to be auspicious which means promising success and favored by fortune. Many pilgrims flock the Ghats (Which are a flight of steps leading down to a river) for spiritual rewards like the release from sin and obtaining Nirvana. They believe that if you die on the banks of the Ganges then you will have heavenly bliss. This is why many Hindus travel here at the end of their lives. The city also have many holy and ancient temples that symbolize different things in their religion.

Facts

  • The city has the Bananas Hindu university, which is the largest university in Asia.
  • Urbanized area has a population of 1,435,113
  • Smells bad because of public cremation
  • Location for the shooting of countless films
  • Frog marriage

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“Varanasi Tourism.” Varanasi City. Varanasi City, n.d. Web. 4 Feb. 2016. <http://www.varanasicity.com/>.