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Sun IconVaranasiVaranasi

Varanasi also commonly known as Benares or Banaras.This city is situated on the banks of the River Ganges in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, 320 kilometres (199 mi) southeast of state capital Lucknow. It is regarded as a holy city by Buddhists and Jains, Hindus. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and probably the oldest in India.

The Kashi Naresh (Maharaja of Kashi) is the chief cultural patron of Varanasi and an essential part of all religious celebrations. The culture of Varanasi is closely associated with the River Ganges and the river's religious importance. The city has been a cultural and religious centre in North India for several thousand years.

Varanasi is home to four universities: Banaras Hindu University, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies and Sampurnanand Sanskrit University. Residents mainly speak Hindi and Kashika Bhojpuri, which is closely related to the Hindi language. People often refer to Varanasi as "the city of temples", "the holy city of India", "the religious capital of India", "the city of lights", and "the city of learning".

Sun IconHistory

Etymology
The name Varanasi has its origin possibly from the names of the two rivers Varuna and Assi, for it lies at the confluence of the Varuna, with the Ganges being to its north, and the Assi, with the Ganges being to its south.Through the ages, Varanasi was variously known as Avimuktaka, Anandakanana, Mahasmasana, Surandhana, Brahma Vardha, Sudarsana, Ramya, and Kasi.

Legendary
According to legend, the city was founded by the Hindu deity, Lord Shiva, around 5,000 years ago, thus making it one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the country. It is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus. Many Hindu scriptures, including the Rigveda, Skanda Purana, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata, mention the city.Varanasi is generally believed to be about 3,000 years old.

Sun IconGeography & Climate

The city of Varanasi is located in the middle Ganges valley of North India, in the Eastern part of the state of Uttar Pradesh, along the left crescent-shaped bank of the Ganges river. It has the headquarters of Varanasi district. The "Varanasi Urban Agglomeration" — an agglomeration of seven urban sub-units — covers an area of 112.26 km2 (approximately 43 mi²). The urban agglomeration is stretched between 82° 56’E - 83° 03’E and 25° 14’N - 25° 23.5’N. Being located in the Indo-Gangetic Plains of North India, the land is very fertile because low level floods in the Ganges continually replenish the soil. It is located on a higher ground between rivers Ganges and Varuna, the mean elevation being 80.71 m.

Varanasi experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cwa) with large variations between summer and winter temperatures. Summers are long, from early April to October, with intervening monsoon seasons and are also extremely hot, even by South Asian standards. The temperature ranges between 32°C – 46 °C (90°F – 115 °F) in the summers. Winters in Varanasi see very large diurnal variations, with warm days and downright cold nights. Cold waves from the Himalayan region cause temperatures to dip across the city in the winter from December to February and temperatures below 5 °C are not uncommon. The average annual rainfall is 1,110 mm (44 in). Fog is common in the winters, while hot dry winds, called loo, blow in the summers.

Sun IconTourist Attraction :Varanasi

Probably due to its unique culture, Varanasi is a major tourist destination for foreign tourists in India. A number of hotels are present in the city, as well as more efficient housing for Western student researchers.

Varanasi is a noted centre for Banarasi silk weaving and brassware. Fine silks and brocaded fabrics, exquisite saris, brassware, jewellery, woodcraft, carpets, wall hangings, lamp shades and masks of Hindu and Buddhist deities are some of Varanasi's shopping attractions. The main shopping areas include the Chowk, Godaulia, Vishwanath Lane, Lahurabir and Thatheri Bazaar. Assi Ghat, a midway point between Godaulia in the heart of downtown and youth culture of Benares Hindu University, is the district where most young, foreign, long-term residents stay.