Varanasi is a world famous historic city in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. It is situated on the banks, where the two rivers Varuna and Asi meet. It is one of the oldest cities of the world. It is shaped in the form of a half circle and has about 52 banks along an eight kilometer area and is considered as one of the holy pilgrimage place for Hindus. In olden days it was called as Kashi. It is also said that it rests on the trident of Lord Shiva. In Vedas, this place is known as the resident of Goddesses. It has flourished for thousands of years. It is the synopsis of entire country of India.
At the break of dawn, the entire city is found along the bank of the river. One can hear chants like ‘Jai gange’, ‘Kashi vishwanath’ and people bathing in the holy water of Ganga. It is believed that on the bank of manirkamik, king Harishchandra had to make his wife pay the tax for their son Rohit’s corpse, at the behest of Domraj. Even today people talk about this incident.
One can find India’s tradition and culture still very much alive in this city. Out of the twelve known Shivlings, the one of Baba Vishwanath is very well known and worshipped here by millions of devotees. Even Lord Buddha gave his first sermon in this town.
Even though Banaras have many different banks. Few of the well known banks are Manikarna, Harishchandra, Dashashvamadh, Panchganga, keshav, Meer, Brhamaghat. One can find these banks very crowded and hear the sound of bongs that is pleasant to the ears.
One can visit this town several times and still find it very interesting every time. The river banks are very historical and culturally known. In olden days this city would host a festival of six to seven days , where in they displayed music and dance known as ‘Budwa Mangal’. This took place during the Holi festival.
This town is renowned for Arts, literature and Music. In the field of Music, this city has given topnotch musicians like Omkarnath thakkur, Kanthey maharaj, Godai maharaj, Kishan Maharaj, Anokheylal and Sarangi player Gopalji Mishra, Singer Girjadevi and Dancer Sitara devi are still well known. It is said that the Shenai player Ustad Bismillah Khan, who originally resided in Sasaram in Bihar and later called Kashi its home.
Many prolific Hindi writers, poets like Jaishankar Prasad, Premchand, Bhartindu Harishchandra, Acharya Hajariprasad Dwivedi, Acharya Ramchandra shukla, Acharya shantipriya Dwivedi, Acharya Shyamsundardas etc. came from this town. Who is not familiar with Pt. Madanmohan Malviya from Kashi Hindu University.
Sarnath is known for Buddha’s temple and Buddhist stupas, taking one back to Buddhist times. The Buddhist monks can be found around the idol of Bhagwan Tathagath and they read books of Buddhist teachings. This town is also known for astrologers, workers, Tantra shashtra and people following Tantra shashtra.