Varanasi, also known by the name of Kashi and Benaras, is the holy city of India situated on the banks of the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh state of India. Varanasi is believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth. The city derived its name from two rivers – Varuna and Assi – which meet here.
Varanasi is also one the Shakti Peethas and one of the twelve Jyotir Linga sites in India. The Kashi Vishwanath temple and is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, the holiest of pilgrimages dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is a place where many choose to spend their last days. In Hinduism it is believed that those who die and are cremated here get an instant gateway to liberation from the cycle of births and re-births. It is a place where many choose to spend their last days.
According to legend, Varanasi was founded by the God Shiva himself. This place finds mention in the epic sagas of ‘Ramayana’ and the ‘Mahabharata’. The Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata are also stated to have visited the city in search of Shiva to atone for their sins.
Best time to visit Varanasi
The best time to visit Varanasi is during the month October to March.
How to reach Varanasi
Varanasi by Air
The nearest airport is Babatpur, 22 km from Varanasi and 30 Km from Sarnath. Direct flights for Varanasi are available from Delhi, Agra, Calcutta, Mumbai, Lucknow and Bhuvaneshwar.
Varanasi by Rail
Varanasi and Mughal Sarai are the important rail junctions, with train connections to all major cities of India.
Varanasi by Road
Varanasi is situated on NH 2 from Calcutta to Delhi, NH 7 to Kanya Kumari and NH 29 to Gorakhpur is well connected to the rest of the country