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Varanasi Travel


Banaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend" said renowned Novelist Mark Twain for Varanasi. Located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi is one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage centers in India. This ancient city is situated on the banks of the holy river, Ganga. Varanasi also known as Kashi or Banaras got its name from the union of the names of two mighty rivers, Varuna and Assi. Varanasi is one of the oldest living cities in the country and contains a civilization of over 2000 year where tourists can purchase silk brocades and beautiful silk saris known the world over.

Facts and figures
Location from major metros Delhi ( 780 km), Mumbai ( 1593 km), Chennai ( 1813 km), Kolkata (680 km).
Known for:Varanasi is famous for handicrafts like Banarasi silk, Banarasi jari, wooden toys, Carpets.

Climate and the best time to visit
Varanasi has an extreme type of climate. During summers the maximum temperature goes to 46 C and the minimum temperature touches 32 C. on the other hand during winters the maximum temperature goes to 15 C and the minimum temperature touches 5 C. The best time to visit Varanasi is between October and March.

Banaras Hindu University
The Banaras Hindu University popularly known as BHU was established in 1916 by the efforts of Nationalist leader, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya. Today BHU is counted amongst the biggest and the most respected universities of India.

Barat Kala Bhawan, B.H.U
Bharat Kala Bhawan started in 1950 as a university museum and is known for its unique collection of miniature paintings. It has a rich collection of Rajasthani paintings, Pichhawai's, pahari painting, Nepalese & Tibetan Thankas, Company paintings as well as paintings of contemporary artists, illustrated Mrigavati, Kalpa Sutra, Chora-Panchasika, Laura-Chanda, Shah-nama and some pages of Humza-nama are the proud possessions of this museum.

Maharaja Banaras Vidya Mandir Museum, Ramnager
This ancient fort of Ramnager was originally built by Maharaja Balwant Singh between 1740-70 AD. This splendid fort houses the Banaras Vidya Mandir Museum which owns a rare collection mainly consisting of textiles, pieces of decorative arts, arms & armours, utilitarian objects, means of transport-old bagghis, palkis & haudasivories, furniture & manuscripts.

Varanasi Tours Kashi Vidya Peeth
Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta established the Kashi Vidyapeeth in 1920 so as to provide an alternate education system as he was against the British education system. The new organisation gradually became popular and soon developed as the centre of national education with Hindi as the medium of instruction. Luminaries of the time namely Acharya Narendradev, Babu Sampurnanand, Babu Sriprakash & many have been associated with this institute.

River Front (Ghats)
he enchanting 4 km stretch of the Ghats is a mesmerising sight which is best viewed at dawn, in that "soft first light" when the river and Ghats have a timeless appeal. The Ghats are best approached by Dashashwamedha ghat, where boats are available on hire. Devotees gather here daily to offer their prayers to the sacred river, Ganga and the number of the devotees goes up to thousands during auspicious days.

Shri Kashi Vishwanath Mandir It is devoted to Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of the temple and is also called as the "Golden temple". More than the Gaths and even the Ganga, the Shivalinga installed in the temple is revered more and is the devotional centre of Varanasi.

Other places to visit

located at a distance of14 km. from Varanasi, Ramnager owns a museum exhibiting the Royal collection which includes vintage Cars, Royal palkies, an armoury of swords and old guns, ivory work and antique clocks. The Durga Temple and Chhinnamastika Temple are also Located at Ramnagar.

Situated 80 km away from Varanasi, Vindhyachal is one of the shakitipeeths where Vindhyavasini Devi Temple, Ashtabhuja and Kalikhoh are the prime source of attraction.

It is located at a distance of 10 km. from Varanasi and is the site where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon "Maha- Dharma-Chakra Pravartan" (in Buddhist terminology, 'turned the wheel of the law') after his enlightenment. Sarnath is one of the richest in Buddhist antiquities ranging in date from the times of Ashoka down to the 12th century A.D.
Emperor Ashoka built a Dharmarajika Stupa here in the vicinity of which stands a pillar surmounted by the magnificent capital of four adorsed Lions, which today is the national emblem of India.

Among other structures at Sarnath are the ruins of the brick temple representing the Mula- gandha kuti, ruins of stupas and monasteries. Among the more imposing ones is the Dhamekh Stupa, adorned with delicate floral carvings in the lower part, the Chaukhandi Stupa and Mahabodhi Society's Mulgandha Kuti Vihar Temple. Sarnath has also yielded an extremely rich collection of Buddhist sculptures comprising of numerous Buddha and Bodhisatva images which can be seen at Archaeological Museum, Sarnath.

Chunar Fort
The Chunar fort situated 40 km. from Varanasi is where Saint Bhartrihari took live Samadhi. This historical fort is attributed to one of the greatest warrior - rulers, Sher Shah Suri. This magnificent fort houses Sonwa Mandap, Sun clock and a huge well which comprise the major attractions inside the fort. Above all the fort offers a splendid view of the river Ganga and has a PWD Rest House as well to provide an overnight stay to the visitors.

This anicent city is ascribed to the Pandav brother of Mahabharat and is located 185 km. from Varanasi. The city hold within its confines an old gigantic fort which are testimony to the city's antiquity. Lord Buddha visited Kaushambi in the 6th and 9th year after his enlightenment, giving several sermons and discourses and thus elevated it to a renowned centre of Buddhism.

Chandraprabha Wildlife Sanctuary
70 km from Varanasi are the dense and isolated forests of Chandraprabha which nestle within the Rajdari and Devdari waterfalls. This mesmerising forest provides a relaxed outing or a picnic.

How to reach By Air

Varanasi airport or Babatpur airport is 22 Kms from the city and connects it with all the major cities in India. Recently, there has been a proposal to initiate UP Air which will connect the city with other places in the state.

By Rail : Cant railway station is the main railway station at Varanasi which is a major railway junction and connects the city with major places in India. The nearby Mughal Sarai railway Junction is one of the major railway junction in the region with almost all the trains from the East, North East and some trains for South and Western region crossing the station.

By Road : Varanasi is on the national highway number 2 from Calcutta to Delhi. Thus, the place is well connected by roads to all the corners of the nation. The distance between varanasi and the important cities are Delhi ( 780 km), Gaya (250 km), Dhanbad (408 km), Jhansi (511km), Kanpur (320 km), and Lucknow ( 300 km).

Air: Gujarat has 10 domestic airports, apart from an international airport at Ahmedabad. there are daily flights to Mumbai, Delhi, and other major cities from Ahmedabad. Other airports are at Vadodara, Bhavnagar, Bhuj, Surat, Jamnagar, Kandla, Keshab, Porbander and Rajkot. Most of the domestic airlines operate out of Ahmedabad connecting it to the rest of India.