The contemporary city

Varanasi, also called Banaras, or Kashi, city,It is located on the left bank of the Ganges river and is one of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism.Varanasi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Varanasi was a seat of Aryan religion and philosophy and was also a commercial and industrial centre famous for its muslin and silk fabrics.

Varanasi was the capital of the kingdom of Kashi during the time of the Buddha. (6th century BCE), who gave his first sermon nearby at Sarnath. The city remained a centre of religious, educational, and artistic activities as attested by the celebrated Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang, visited it in about 635 CE.

The city’s religious and cultural activities.Varanasi became an independent kingdom in the 18th century, and under subsequent British rule it remained a commercial and religious centre.

The sacred city is bounded by a road known as Panchakosi; devout Hindus hope to walk that road and visit the city once in a lifetime and, if possible, to die there in old age. The site receives more than a million pilgrims each year. In addition, thousands of domestic and foreign tourists flock to the city annually, and tourism-related activities constitute a significant component of the local economy.

Among the city’s numerous temples, the most venerated are those of Vishvanatha, Sankatmochana, Durga and The Great Mosque of Aurangzeb is another prominent religious building.

At Sarnath, a few km north of Varanasi, there are ruins of ancient Buddhist monasteries and temples as well as temples built by the Chinese, Burmese, and Tibetan Buddhists.

The city is a centre of arts and crafts and of music and dance. Varanasi is famous for its production of Silks, brocades, jacquard, jamdani with gold and silver threadwork.

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SA 22/79 B1 Puranapul Sarnath,
Varanasi, U.P. India 221007

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