Varanasi View


One of the oldest living inhabitations of the world, the sacred city of Varanasi or Benaras, nestled on the banks of the holy Ganges river, has been attracting pilgrims for centuries. Believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva, Varanasi is among the seven sacred cities in the country. Centuries of history, art and tradition have conflated to add colourful layers to Varanasi's aura, which is most spectacularly evident at its ghats


Varanasi is also one of the holiest sites of Buddhism, as it was in Sarnath, which is located merely 12 km away, that Lord Buddha preached his first sermon. Jain literature, too, refers to Kashi as a holy city, as it is the birthplace of four Jain tirthankaras (saints). It is said that Kabir, a 15th-century mystic poet and saint, was also born in this city.

Famous melody-makers, from Mughal court musicians to present-day personages like iconic sitar player Ravi Shankar, shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan and late vocalist Girija Devi have called Varanasi home. Their influence on classical and contemporary music is so strong that Varanasi also features among the ‘Cities of Music’, which has been established by UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network.



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