Varanasi, India


Varanasi is as old as human civilization is. The ancient city nestled at the banks of River Ganges is located in Uttar Pradesh. One of the seven holy cities in India, Varanasi was also known as Benares and Kashi. From birth to death, every aspect of earthy existence and some say even salvation is achieved only in the year old city. The experience of the city cannot be limited to words. Two worlds come together in Varanasi and each one spectacular in their own way. The beating heart of Hindu culture, pilgrims believe that the city offers moksha liberation from the cycle of birth and death. And then there are overtures of modernity in activities such as the evening arti which is a spectacle on grand scale. Boat Ride in Ganges River Source The holy Ganges River supplies Varanasi with a spiritual charm with Rowing boat rides during the dawn is perhaps one of the best things to do in Varanasi.

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Varanasi On a Budget Varanasi, India Known to be one of India’s holiest cities, many come to Varanasi on a spiritual pilgrimage looking to bathe in the sacred waters of the Ganges River. Dating back to the 11th Century BC, it is also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Centuries old temples make up the backdrop, as many come and come again to perform their holy rights at the edge of the historic river.

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Allahabad, India Allahabad, also known as Prayag is a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and the administrative headquarters of Allahabad District, the most populous district in the state. As of , Allahabad is the seventh most populous city in the state, fifteenth in the Northern India and thirty-sixth in India, with an estimated population of 1.

In it was ranked the world’s th fastest-growing city. Allahabad, in , was ranked the third most liveable city in the state after Noida and Lucknow and twenty-ninth in the country. It is roughly two miles from the Akbar r. Situated over forty acres and shaped as a quadrangle it includes the tombs of Shah Begum born Manbhawati Bai d. It is listed as an Indian Site of National Importance.

Allahabad Fort Allahabad Fort Hindi: The fort stands on the banks of the Yamuna near its confluence with the river Ganges. It is recognised by the Archaeological Survey of India as a monument of national importance. While it is one of the few extant pillars that carry his edicts, it is particularly notable for containing later inscriptions attributed to the Gupta emperor, Samudragupta 4th century CE.

Also engraved on the stone are inscriptions by the Mughal emperor, Jahangir, from the 17th century. Established in , it is known for its rich collection and unique objects of art, and is funded by Ministry of Culture.

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But for the most part, at least in my experience, most Indian Embassies and Consulates will issue tourist visas. Of course, given that this is India we are talking about, getting a visa is often not the most straightforward of processes. There are usually several types of visas available 3-month, 6-month and for US Citizens only, a 5-year and year tourist visa and they usually cost different amounts depending on your nationality. Also, if you are a citizen of the USA, Canada, UK or Australia, and you are applying for an Indian visa while in your home country, you must apply for that visa through the official visa outsourcing company that the local Indian Embassy or Consulate has contracted with.

But again, prices differ for all nationalities. Second, for most nationalities these days, once you leave India, you cannot return for two months.


Welcome to India’s capital city! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in. Here, ancient alleyways are lined with quaint shops selling all sorts of goods and souvenirs-from silver and saris to spices and electronics.

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I had always wanted to explore and travel Varanasi! Varanasi has thousands of temples and home of the Ganges River which runs along side the city. It plays an important roll to the Hindu community as it believed to come straight from heaven to earth. The architecture alongside the river is incredible, there is evidence of Muslim, Christian and Hindu influence.

Once you start moving away from the river the calm becomes rippled with a busy city life. Many of the rituals take place in public. Sometimes bodies are burned in open ceremonies, however its important to keep an open mind and realize that these practices have been around for centuries. Even if it means getting up in the freezing cold in January The sunrise often draws lots of tourist.

While I travelled Varanasi I also noticed a few Sadhus these holy men are fascinating! Sadhus renounce all their material possessions in search for spiritual liberation. They are wanderers layered in orange cloth and prayer beads. Hindus see Sadhus as gods representatives, which makes them well respected.

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Oldest City of India The holy city of Varanasi Banaras once that draws millions to its famous ghats every year to take a dip in the Ganges is as old as the Indus Valley civilization. The origin of the name of Varansai is behind the names of two rivers, the Varun and the Assi. The God Shiva says, in the ancient, Varanasi city was found by the Hindu deity the Lord himself which makes it one of the most important and old pilgrimage destinations in the India. The name of the city is mentioned in many Hindu scriptures such as the Rigveda, Skanda Purana, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata.

Festivals — Holi, Diwali, Mahashivratri The festival of colors paints the city in different hues giving its ghats and alleyways a renewed look. No wonder many foreigners throng the city during Holi capture its beauty and get drenched in a sea of colors.

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Goa Gajah dates back to the 11th century, built as a spiritual place for meditation. The main grounds are down a flight of steps from the roadside and parking area, which is lined with various art and souvenir shops and refreshment kiosks. The pool, excavated in , features five out of supposedly seven statues depicting Hindu angels holding vases that act as waterspouts. Various structures reveal Hindu influences dating back to the 10th century, and some relics feature elements of Buddhism dating even earlier to the 8th century.

The cave is shallow; inside are three stone idols each wrapped in red, yellow and black cloths. Several indentations show where meditating priests once sat. At the southern end are beautiful rice fields and small streams that lead to the Petanu River — another natural site entwined in local legends. Various motifs depicting the forest and animals are carved out of the outer rock face. When to visit The complex is open daily As with any temple in Bali, women during their periods are forbidden entrance and wearing a sarong and waist sash is a must.

These are available for rent at the entrance. Goa Gajah temple celebrates its ‘piodalan’ temple anniversary on an ‘Anggara Kasih Prangbakat’ Tuesday on the Balinese day Pawukon calendar, corresponding to different dates on the Gregorian calendar each year consult a local. Entry tickets are 15, rupiah for adults and 7, for children. Goa Gajah Opening Hours:

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Boat Ride Hindus believe that they have three mothers- the mother who has given them birth, Mother India and Mother Ganga. The River Ganga is as important as blood in the human body to Varanasi and Hindus living all over the world. The river is believed to have quality of washing off ones sin and providing them liberation just by taking a bath in it. Hindus from all over the world come to Varanasi to take a holy dip in the river.

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Gallery The land of Varanasi Kashi has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Often referred to as Benares, Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. These few lines by Mark Twain say it all: Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. Abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the origins of Varanasi are yet unknown. Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals.

Ganges is said to have its origins in the tresses of Lord Shiva and in Varanasi, it expands to the mighty river that we know of. The city is a center of learning and civilization for over years. With Sarnath, the place where Buddha preached his first sermon after enlightenment, just 10 km away, Varanasi has been a symbol of Hindu renaissance. Knowledge, philosophy, culture, devotion to Gods, Indian arts and crafts have all flourished here for centuries.

Also a pilgrimage place for Jains, Varanasi is believed to be the birthplace of Parsvanath, the twenty-third Tirthankar. Vaishnavism and Shaivism have co-existed in Varanasi harmoniously. With a number of temples, Mrs.

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Located at the heart of the city, this iconic hotel from is reminiscent of the British Raj in India. The luxury hotel evokes heritage colonial elegance and exudes world-class style and luxury. This afternoon is for you to relax and settle in with your new abode. If you may like to explore the town, then we are just a call away and your chaffeur will be present for your assistance.

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The word yoga was first mentioned in the oldest sacred texts, the Rig Veda. The Vedas were a collection of texts containing songs, mantras and rituals to be used by Brahmans, the Vedic priests. Yoga was slowly refined and developed by the Brahmans and Rishis mystic seers who documented their practices and beliefs in the Upanishads, a huge work containing over scriptures. The Upanishads took the idea of ritual sacrifice from the Vedas and internalized it, teaching the sacrifice of the ego through self-knowledge, action karma yoga and wisdom jnana yoga.

Classical Yoga In the pre-classical stage, yoga was a mishmash of various ideas, beliefs and techniques that often conflicted and contradicted each other. Written some time in the second century, this text describes the path of Raja Yoga, often called “classical yoga”. Patanjali organized the practice of yoga into an “eight limbed path” containing the steps and stages towards obtaining Samadhi or enlightenment.

Post-Classical Yoga A few centuries after Patanjali, yoga masters created a system of practices designed to rejuvenate the body and prolong life. They rejected the teachings of the ancient Vedas and embraced the physical body as the means to achieve enlightenment. They developed Tantra Yoga, with radical techniques to cleanse the body and mind to break the knots that bind us to our physical existence.

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Where does the Varanasi to Allahabad train arrive?

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This is the most famous site for the performance of Hindu religious rituals for the dearly departed and ancestors. It is said that having the cremated ashes of the deceased immersed in the Ganges attains salvation for the soul and freedom from rebirths. It is the place where Hindus have been traveling for ages for its religious importance and historical sites. The city is most well-known for the performance of the Hindu religious ritual for the dearly departed called Asthi Visarjan.

In Varanasi is found what is known as the holiest of Indian rivers, the holy river Ganga or the Ganges River. According to Hindu sacred scriptures and religious epics, anyone who bathes in a holy river, or have the ashes of the departed immersed in the waters, achieves moksha or salvation. Moksha also means freedom from the cycle of rebirths. Varanasi or Kashi is known to be the holy abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati.

The Ganges in Varanasi is said to have its origin from the tresses of Lord Shiva and is, thus, immersed in the religious fervor of Lord Shiva. The city showcases one of the ancient centers of civilization in India, dating back to more than 3, years.

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Varuna , still flowing in northern Varanasi, and Assi, today a small stream in the southern part of the city, near Assi Ghat. The old city is located on the north shores of the Ganges , bounded by Varuna and Assi. A bridle was also put into the mouth. Shiva thus dishonored Brahma’s head, and kept it with him at all times. When he came to the city of Varanasi in this state, the hanging head of Brahma dropped from Shiva’s hand and disappeared in the ground.

The land of Varanasi is therefore considered an extremely holy religious site. Several major figures of the Bhakti movement were born in Varanasi, including Kabir who was born here in , [22] and Ravidas , a 15th-century socio-religious reformer, mystic, poet, traveller, and spiritual figure, who was born and lived in the city and employed in the tannery industry. Guru Nanak visited Varanasi for Maha Shivaratri in , a trip that played a large role in the founding of Sikhism.

The road infrastructure was also improved during this period. In , Emperor Aurangzeb ordered the destruction of many temples and the building of mosques, causing the city to experience a temporary setback. Much of modern Varanasi was built during this time, especially during the 18th century by the Maratha and Bhumihar Brahmin.

Varanasi from the Ganges

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