Known with different names at different times, from Kashi to Banaras, Varanasi is the cultural capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh. Believed to be founded by Lord Shiva about 5000 year ago, this revered city is one of the oldest living cities of the world. This pious city is peacefully sited on the banks of holy River Ganges. Varanasi or Kashi, finds its mention in Hindu scriptures including Rig Veda, the Ramayana, Skanda Purana, the Mahabharata and in the Jataka tales of Buddhism. With so much religious significance, the city has been entitled with different names such as the ‘The City of Temples’, ‘The Holy City of India’, ‘The City of Lights’ and ‘the City of Learning’. In the following write-up, we have listed the most unique and charming things about this enduring city of India.
Peacefully laced on the banks of holy rive Ganga (or Ganges), Varanasi boasts of a huge number (around 84) of holy ghats which have been present here since ages. These Ghats are not only a major attraction for pilgrims and tourists from India, but all over the world. These Ghats hold great religious significance in many occasions for Hindu devotees. Some popular Ghats of Varanasi which you must pay a visit to during your India tour are, Dashawshwamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat (the most pious cremation Ghat for Hindus), Assi Ghat, Harish Chandra Ghat and Tulsi Ghat luxury homes in miami..
Being a popular pilgrim place in Hindu religion, Varanasi boasts of an array of Hindu temples in every nook and corner. For the same reason, it is often referred to as the city of temples. This pious city houses as many as around 2000 temples, which are visited by devotees coming from different part of the country and world. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Annapurna Temple, Sankatha Temple, Kalbhairav Temple, Mrityunjay Mahadev temple, New Vishwanath Temple, Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Temple, Sankatmochan Temple and Bharat Mata Temple are some popular temples of this holy city.
Mesmerizing Ganga Aarti (Worship)
When you are at Ganga ghat (other than Manikarnika) you must try to stay there till evening to attend the Ganga Aarti performed by the Pandas (pundits). The most mesmerizing Ganga aarti is performed at holy Dasaswamedh Ghat, near Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Unlike the aartis at Haridwar and Rishikesh, the aarti ceremony at Dasaswamedh Ghat is a highly choreographed ceremony. It commences with the holy sound of conch shell (blown by pandits draped in saffron colored robes), following the lighting of lamps and incense sticks in honor of Mata Ganga. Though, this magnificent aarti can be seen at every morning and evening, but the most spectacular sight of Maha Aarti can be seeen near the end of each year during Kartik Purnima.