Kashi or Varanasi is one of the most ancient, famous and holiest of the pilgrim centers. It is situated between two small streams that flow into the river Ganges, Varana on its northern border and Asi (or Assi) on its southern border, from whom it derives its name Varanasi. The name Kasi is derived from either its original founder or a dynasty that ruled it or the kingdom with which it was associated. According to another theory the place might have got its name from a grass named Kusa that grew wildly in the region where the city was built.
Tourist destinations to visit in Varanasi
Most attractive tourist destinations of Varanasi are its religious and cultural heritage sites which includes famous ancient temples like Kashi Vishwanth Temple, Durgakund temple, kaalbhairav temple, adikeshav temple, Sankat Mochan temple, New Vishwanath temple BHU , Sheetlamata temple and several other Jain Temples and Buddhist Temples in Sarnath and Varanasi.
Some Ghats of Varanasi like Dashashwamedh Ghat, Tulsi Ghat, Assi Ghat, Harishchandra Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Raj ghat are famous sites for social gatherings, religious and death rituals on famous festivals like Holi, MahaShivaratri, RaamNavami, Ganga Dussehra, Diwali, devdeepawali and chhat puja.
Cultural traditions of Varanasi include festivals and cultural extravaganza like Ganga Aarti on River Ganges, Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh,and fairs.
Religion and Hindu practices in Varanasi , death rituals and secrets of practices like aghorsadhna or power worship cult, Silk and craft traditions of Varanasi, villages of Varanasi and Buddhist pilgrimage in Sarnath Varanasi.
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. The Benares Gharana form of Indian classical music developed in Varanasi, and many prominent Indian philosophers, poets, writers, and musicians resided or reside in Varanasi, including Kabir, Satguru Ravidass ji, Trailanga Swami, Munshi Premchand, Jaishankar Prasad, Acharya Shukla, Ravi Shankar, Girija Devi, Hariprasad Chaurasia, and Bismillah Khan. Tulsidas wrote Ramacharitamanas here, and Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath located near Varanasi (Kashi).