|Varanasi, known to the devout
as Kashi, is said to have been founded by Shiva, Lord of the
Universe. One of the oldest living cities in the world, as also
one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India, Varanasi
is a major tourist attraction. Situated on the banks of the
sacred Ganges, the city has been a centre of learning and civilisation
for over 2000 years.
Ghats, Varanasi's principal attraction is the long string of
ghats, which line the west bank of the Ganges. Ghats are the
steps which lead down to the river. There are around 100 ghats
in Varanasi, each with its own significance.
Durga Temple, commonly known as the Monkey Temple, was built
in the 18th century by a Bengali Maharani, and is stained
red with ochre.
Ramnagar Fort & Museum - The residence of Kashi Naresh
(Former Maharaja of Varanasi) across the Ganga at Ramnagar
houses a museum comprising exhibits like palanquins, costumes,
swords, sabres etc.
Access by Air:
Varanasi is on several Indian Airlines routes, including the
popular daily tourist shuttle Delhi/Agra/Khajuraho/Varanasi
and back. There are flights from Lucknow, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar
and Kathmandu also. The airport is about 22 km away from the
city, and the Indian Airlines shuttle bus service runs from
there to the city.
Access by Rail:
There are not many trains running from Delhi or Calcutta to
Varanasi, but most Delhi-Calcutta trains do pass through Mughalsarai,
12 km south of Varanasi. Varanasi is connected by train to
Mumbai, Allahabad, Patna, Jaipur, Gorakhpur and Khajuraho.
Access by Road:
There are buses running from Varanasi to Jaunpur, Allahabad,
Lucknow, Faizabad, and Gorakhpur. No direct buses run to Khajuraho.
Click here for Varanasi City Tour