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Varanasi Travel Guide

VARANASI - Situated between the rivers Varuna and Assi as they join the Ganges, Varanasi takes its name from its location. It is often referred to as the oldest living city in the world.

It is also known as Kashi, the city of light, but the British, in an endeavor to simplify matters, had coined their own name for the place- Benaras. Varanasi is the city of a thousand temples. Its Prominence in Hindu mythology is virtually unrivaled.

According to Hindu belief, Varanasi is the cosmic center of the Universe. The renowned American novelist Mark Twain once wrote: "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together."

The 3,000-year-old Varanasi, also known as Benaras or Kashi, on the banks of the sacred river Ganga is also the abode of Lord Shiva. An Indian Journey takes you across its famed ghats and temples and introduces you to its illustrious tradition of literature, music, and dance as well as the art of weaving shimmering silks and glittering brocades.

Varanasi Aarti Varanasi, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, is one of the top-most destinations of India. There are many descriptions of Varanasi, 'The city of temples', 'The holy city of India', 'The city of lights', 'The city of learning' and the 'cultural capital of India'. Since time immemorial, it has been renowned for its silks, ghats, temples, art, literature and music. It is the most popular pilgrimage for Hindus as it is believed that those who are cremated here, are liberated from the cycle of births and re-births. Thus, a visit to Varanasi often tops the list of many tourists coming to India.

Daily domestic flights operated by Indian Airlines, Kingfisher, Jet Airways and Spice Jet ply between Varanasi and a number of cities. Varanasi Airport is about 25km from the city center and it takes an hour or more to reach there depending on traffic. Taxis charge around Rs 200-250, while auto-rickshaws charge about Rs 125 from the airport to the city center. There are two railway stations in Varanasi, the Kashi Junction and the Varanasi Junction (also known as Varanasi Cantonment). Alternatively, one can also catch trains from Mughal Sarai, just 10km south of Varanasi. Frequent public and private buses also run between major towns of Uttar Pradesh and nearby areas. Keeping the popularity of the destination in mind, An Indian Journey chalks out your itinerary for 36 hours in Varanasi.