“Varanasi” is also known as Banaras. It is situated on banks of Ganaga River in Uttar Pradesh. The city is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is the spiritual capital of India. It is the holiest of seven sacred cities in Hinduism and Jainism and played an immortal role in development of the Buddhism. This soil belongs to many spiritual personalities like Adi Shankara, Goswami Tulsidas, Kabir, Ravidas, Guru Nanak Dev, and epic heroes Pandavas of Mahabharata. Adi Shankara established Lord Shiva here. Goswami Tulsidas has written epic poems about Lord Rama called Ram Charit Manas in Varanasi. The city was under the Mughal rulers, despite that it always remains Hindu religious. Mughal Emperor Akbar also established Lord Shiva and Vishnu temple. It is a believe that death in the city will brings moksha.
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The “Ganga” is the most spiritual river of Hindus. It is worshipped as goddess Ganga. It is a trans- boundary river of Asia, which flows through the nation of India and Bangladesh. According to Hindu culture and mythology Bhagirath is considered as the true source to bring Ganga to the earth. So, it is also called Bhagirathi. It is a sacred river of Hindus along every fragment of its length. All along its course, Hindus bathe in its waters, paying homage to their ancestors and to their gods by cupping the water in their hands, lifting it and letting it fall back into the river; they offer flowers and rose petals and float shallow clay dishes filled with oil and lit with wicks (diyas).On the journey back home from the Ganga, they carry small quantities of river water with them for use in rituals (ganga jal, literally water of the Ganga).] When a loved one dies, Hindus bring the ashes of the deceased person to the Ganga River.
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The city is world widely famous for its Ghats Dashashwamedh Ghat, the Panchganga Ghat, the Manikarnika Ghat and the Harishchandra Ghat. The Dashashwamedh Ghat is the main ghat in Varanasi on the Ganga River. It is located near the Vishwanath temple. Two Hindu legends are associated with it, one Lord Brahma created it to welcome Lord Shiva and another, Lord Brahma sacrificed ten horses during Dasa –Ashwamedha Yagya. This may be the reason as it named to be. A group of priests daily in the evening at this ghat performs Agni Pooja dedicated to Lord Shiva, river Ganga, Sun, and the whole universe. Manikarnika ghat is most known for being a place Hindu cremation. It is a mythological believe that when Raja Daksh Prajapati (Mata Sati’s father) was trying to humiliating Lord Shiva in yagya practiced by himself at that time Mata Sati (Adi Shakti Mata) sacrificed her life and set her body to ablaze. Lord Shiva took her burning body to the Himalayas. While to go to the Himalayas Mata Sati’s body parts were falling down on the earth, and Mata sati’s ear rings was fallen on this place. Lord Shiva established Shakti peeth where Sati’s body part were fallen. Mani refers as ‘jewel’ and karnika refers as ‘ear rings’, thus the name is “Manikarnika”. This is a place where each and every day three to four thousand cremations are held.
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Situated at the confluence of Ganga and Assi rivers, Assi Ghat is the southernmost Ghat in Varanasi, where pilgrims bathe before paying their homage to Lord Shiva in the form of huge lingam situated under a peepal tree. Assi Ghat also constitutes the southern end of conventional city. Another lingam worshipped here is the Asisangameshwar lingam representing the lord of the confluence of the Asi, enshrined in a small marble temple near the Assi Ghat. It was at the Assi Ghat where the famous Indian poet saint, Tulsi Das had written the much-celebrated Ramcharitmanas. According legends, Goddess Durga had thrown her sword after slaying the demon, Shumbha- Nishumbha. The place, where the sword had fallen resulted in a big stream, known as Assi River. Assi Ghat is located at the confluence of River Ganga and Assi River.
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The city also belongs to Buddhism. It has Dhameka stupa, Chaukahandi Stupa. The city is also known for its museum, Sarnath Museum, Ramnagar Fort which was established in Mughal style architecture and history. Gyanpavi Mosque constructed by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1664 CE after destroy Hindu temple, it is believe the destroy temple was the original Kashi Vishwnath Temple. Nepali Mandir also known as Kanthwala Mandir and Mini Khajuraho. It was constructed in 19 century by the king of Nepal. It is a replica of PashupatiNath temple of Kathmandu in Nepal
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When you visit to Varanasi one thing you must do, to attend “Arti” in the evening on the ghat. It will pleased you with so peaceful mind and echo of the ringing bells of Arti will bring you to divine spirits what make feel something what you describe in words with a divine.