Ancient Kashi

Kashi is an ancient name of this mystical city given by ancient Hindu’s nobody knows how old this archaic city is .. another name of Kashi is “Varanasi” which is linked with two Ganges tributaries forming the city’s borders : Varuna and assi . Varuna still flowing in northern Varanasi ,and assi today a small stream in southern part of the city near famous Assi Ghat.

another famous name of Kashi is “Banaras” which is modified version of Varanasi by the locals ,some says it is named after a king named “Bannar” , Banaras is newest yet most famous name of Kashi among locals “Banaras” means The one full of”Rasa” or juice of life ,which refers Kashi as city full of”NAV”rasa’s , navrasas are the nine emotions which makes human life full of experiences . According to Ayurveda ‘Navrasa’ are 9 states which emotionally empower us as human beings.

Apart from these three popular names Kashi is also called “anandvan” in Hindu scriptures (anandvan means a forest full of bliss ) ,Avimukta (means land which liberates ) ,rudravasa (A place where “Rudra” lord Shiva resides.)

Kashi is also famous for its silk weaving industry and gives employment to significant number of locals. In 8th century Adi shankaracharya established the worship of Shiva as an official sect of Varanasi. Though major figures of bhakti movement mainly Krishna or Rama devotees like Saint Tulsidas who wrote his Awadhi language Epic ,the Ramcharitmanas ,a bhakti movement reworking of the Sanskrit Ramayana , in Varanasi . Also sant Kabir and Ravidas who became nation wide sensation of Bhakti movement were born and flourished in this historical city Varanasi.

kashi also known as varanasi or banaras is a ancient city which is not only spiritual hub of India (Bharat) but also city full of art , culture, music, ancient heritage sites and mysticism which can not be expressed by mear word’s,one has to expirence it by getting lost into its mesmerizing presence..
According to Hindu scriptures, Kashi was founded by lord Shiva himself and he considered Kashi as his favourite abode . In skanda purana ,Mahadev says , “the three world’s from one city of mine , and Kashi is my royal palace therein.”

Kashi is the only place where life and death both dances together. On one hand Kashi so full of colours and one can see so much life all around whether it is colourful ghat’s and so many things happening on the ghats or Enchanting lanes narrow streets of Varanasi where one can see all the colours of Bharat and it’s diversity. On other hand Kashi is also famous for death where “maha smashan” manikarnika celebrats death in its full glory , mahasmashan where you see hundreds of dead bodies creamating everyday which humbles you by bringing you face to face with death.

Kashi is also famous for Kashi Vishwanath which is one , among the 12 jyotirlinga’s in the country, where lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of Linga ,Kashi Vishwanath temple holds great significance in the spiritual and also cultural history of India . This glorious temple was demolished by Muslim inveders couple of times & rebuilted by various kings and queens from different parts of India. Current temple structure is 15.5 metre -high gold spire and gold onion dome . There are three domes each made up of pure gold , donated by maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1835. The temple was reconstructed by maharani ahilyabai Holkar (Maratha queen & ardent Shiva devotee of her time) after Muslim invaders called Mughals demolished the temple and constructed mosque over ancient Kashi Vishwanath temple building named “gyanvapi “mosque , the mosque was named gyanvapi due to small well which was present there at Kashi Vishwanath temple known as “Gyan vapi kuva

Kashi , Varanasi or Banaras was also hub of culture,art , music and spirituality. Many great saints such as sant Kabir das (famous poet Saint)sant Ravi das (a shoemaker who performed many miracles and wrote thousands of poem’s in devotion of lord Rama ), aghori kinnaram baba (man who re-established aghora path),Lahari mahasaya (disiple of great imortal yogi “mahaavtar babaji” , saint tulsidas who wrote “Shree Ram charit manas (one of the most popular religious book on lord Rama’s eventful life ) ,trailang swami (known as walking Shiva of Varanasi who lived extra ordinary life span of 330 years & showed his yogic powers infront of thousands of people) ,list of great saints & Yogi’s of Varanasi can be so long & not possible to mention them all here .Kashi has also produced great musicians like ,Sitara Devi (Padma Shri awardee) , Girija Devi (singer and Padma Vibhushan awardee , Bismillah Khan, the great shehnai player who was honoured with Bharat Ratna ,Padma Vibhushan by Indian government. ,Birju Maharaj (the great kathak guru & also padma vibhusan . , Aashutosh bhattacharya ( the great tabla player) , Kishan Maharaj (tabla player & also Padma Vibhushan awardee) pandit ravi shankar ( Bharat Ratna awardee which is highest honour in India) ,etc the list is so long .

Varanasi has also produced great poets and writers such as famous Hindi writer of all time Premchand ,jaishankar Prasad ,Baldev Upadhyay (Padma Vibhushan awardee) ,shiv Prasad misra again list is ever lasting.

Kashi is also famous for its mesmerizing Ganga Aarti which is site to see. A group of young priests dressed up with silky saffron & white robes conduct this mesmerizing ceremony every evening at different ghat’s.

The holiest of all Rivers the Ganges known as Ganga ji flows here in her full glory and beautiful vibrations of Ganga ji can only be expirenced can’t be expressed in words . Boating in the mystical environment of Kashi in the lap of ma Ganga is an spectacular experience by itself. Watching famous Ganga Aarti in the evening while Boating in Ganga ji or witnessing ancient & mesmerizing ghat’s from the boat is an unforgettable experience for the visitors.

– one of the most unique feature of Kashi is “maha smashan” known as “manikarnika” which is the oldest creamation ground in the world and it was established by God of death lord shiva himself. Where thousands of dead bodies are cremated every year. For Hindus , dying in varanasi is considered a great blessing, as it is believed that those who die here are freed from the cycle of birth and death and attain moksha or liberation from the cycle of suffering.

Tourist Attractions

Kashi Vishvanath Temple

Kashi Vishwanath temple is one of the most famous Hindu temple in the country and it is dedicated to lord Shiva, who is worshipped here as “Kashi Vishwanath” or ruler of Kashi & universe. This temple comes under the twelve jyotirlinga’s, twelve holiest Shiva temples in the world.

Kaal Bhairav Mandir

Kaal Bhairav Mandir Is Dedicated To Fierce, Protector Form Of Shiva Known As Bhairav (kaal Bhairav), it Is Believed That Without Visiting Kal Bhairava Who Is Protector Of Kashi, Kashi Yatra Is Unfinished, The Word “Kaal” Means Both “Death” And “Fate”. It is believed that Even Death is Afraid of Kaal Bhairav.

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple

The Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple of Varanasi is Said to have been established by the renowned saint Goswami Tulsidas and reconstructed by pt. Madan Mohan Malviya in the early 20th Century. it is Believed that Lord Hanuman Himself Appeared infront of Saint Tulsidas & Promised Him to Stay Here Forever in the Form of idol Which Was Made out of Mud by Saint Tulsidas Himself.

Annapurna Devi Mandir

Annapurna Devi Mandir Is One Of The Most Famouse Hindu Temple In The Holy City Of Varanasi. This Temple Has Great Religious Importance In Hinduism. And Is Dedicated To The Goddess Annapurna. Annapurna Is The Hindu Goddess For Nourishment And Is A Form Of The Goddess Parvati. Also Known As Annapurna (anna Means Food And Purna Means Complete Or Full) Is A Goddess Of Varanasi City Also Know As (kashi Puradishwari) Queen Of Kashi City and Consort of Kashi Vishwanath the Main Residing Deity of Kashi.


Vishalakshi Temple

“Vishalakshi means godess with large & beautiful eye’s. An aspect of godess Parvati (Gauri). Vishalakshi temple is the only shaktipith of kashi where it is believed that eye of godess sati have fallen here which makes this temple one of the most profound Shakti or Devi temple of the country which comes among 51 Shakti pitha’s where 51 part’s of Devi’s body Have fallen & 51 Shakti pitha’s established in various parts of India.


Mysctical Samadhi’s & Ashrams of Kashi

Kashi being spiritual capital of Bharat (India) has attracted Yogi’s & devotees from all parts of India, also Varanasi has produced hundreds of spiritual masters who were born here in Kashi. Such as famous poet
Saint Kabir, sant Ravidas, aghori kinnaram baba (who re-established aghora path), trailang swami (the walking Shiva of Varanasi who lived more then 330 year’s & performed many miracles infront of thousands of people), Shree Lahari mahasaya the famous kriya yogi who met immortal mahaavtar babaji, also kashi is the only city where four Jain tirthankar’s were born,kashi is also a place where Buddha gave his first teaching at Sarnath.


Delicious Street Food Of Varanasi

Varanasi is renowned for its street food, which includes various kinds of chat’s (spicy snacks), all kinds of lassi (yogurt drink), maliyo (famous butter of Banaras),diffrent kinds of sweets such as barfi, peda, ras malai, etc also after delicious treat, Kashi people likes to eat “Banarasi pan” (flavoured betal leaf) which is world famous.


Exploring The Enchanting Lanes Of Varanasi

Kashi is a city of ghat’s & narrow streets which is full of colours of Bharat (India). Being the oldest inhabited city in the world Varanasi streets are full of history, culture and ancient structures. Walking around Benaras streets and getting lost in those narrow gali’s (lanes) is an unforgettable experience itself.


Durga Kund Temple

Durga kund temple is one of the ancient “Shakti” temple in the country where divine feminine is worshipped in the form of “Durga”, devi is worshipped here in the form of yantra, on the right side of temple there is a pond which is known as Durga kund it is believed that Devi Durga rested inside of this mystical pond after killing demon Mahishasura.


Beauty Of Ghat’s

In varanasi in banks of river ganges there are around 80 ancient ghats. Dashashwamedh ghat is one of the famous amongst all but each & every ghat has its own beauty & stories which can only be explored by visiting them.


Ganga Aarti

Ganga Aarti is one of the most popular tourist attraction of Varanasi which is performed here with full grandeur and lot of enthusiasm everyday. A group of young priests dressed up with silky saffron & white robes conduct this mesmerizing ceremony every evening at different ghat’s.


The Ultimate Cremation Ground Manikarnika Ghat

Manikarnika ghat is one of the ancient & holiest ghat (riverfront) of varanasi. It is believed that this creamation ground was established by lord shiva (the god of death) himself & a holy fire called “Bhairav dhuni” was lit up by shiva many thousands of years ago which is still burning here in “masan nath temple”. According to Hindu belief lord shiva utters “Tarak mantra” in the ear’s of departed soul and gives mukti or salvation to dead’s soul.