Varanasi - The City of Holy River Ganga

 

   
 

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As the sacred river Ganga flows the snow-clad Himalayas into the vast plains, half way between Delhi and Calcutta it curves into a gentle crescent and along the crescent lies Varanasi. According to legend, it said to be the first city to be created on the Earth ! Varanasi is the city which enshrines the very essence of Hinduism.

Also known as Kashi and Banaras, this is the oldest living city in the world. Home to some of the most ancient and revered monasteries in the world, this is the place where scholars still come to to learn the ancient knowledge of the Vedas and debate on the nature of God. This is also the city where many Hindus come to die ! Hindus believe that by being cremated at Mani-Karnika Ghat at Varanasi, they will immediately attain liberation from the continuous cycle of birth and death.

Apart from its religious significance, it is also the hub of many traditional industries and is world famous for its silks - in particular, its silk brocades. The town does a roaring trade with pilgrims and tourists alike. Being the cultural centre of India, it is home to many musicians and is the home town of Pundit Ravi Shankar, the world famous sitar maestro.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Area : 73.89 sq.km.

Altitude : 80.71 mts.

Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max. 46, Min. 32; Winter- Max. 15.5, Min. 5.

Rainfall : 11.1 cm. (June to September).

Clothing's : Summer- Light cottons, Winter- Woolens.

Languages spoken : Hindi, Bengali, English.

Best Season : Throughout the year, but preferably October to March.

STD Code : 0542.

EP (European Plan) : Only Lodging.

AP (American Plan) : Including lodging & three full meals.

HOW TO REACH

Air : Indian Airlines connect Varanasi to Bhubaneshwar, Lucknow, Agra & Delhi, where the above places are directly connected by flights with Calcutta.

Fare: Calcutta-Bhubaneshwar-Varanasi Rs.4711 (J), Rs.3400 (Y).

Rail: Varanasi is connected by rail with all the major cities in India.

Fare (approx): Calcutta-Varanasi Rs.740 (AC-2A), Rs.550 (I), Rs.175 (II)

Road: Good bus service connects Varanasi with most of the important places of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Some of the road distances are:- Agra 610 km's, Allahabad 127 km's, Bodh Gaya 240 km's, Gorakhpur 215 km's, Khajuraho 406 km's, Kushinagar 260 km's, Lucknow 320 km's, Lumbini 320 km's, Patna 270 km's Calcutta 681 km's, Bombay 1550 km's, Delhi 710 km's etc.

CONDUCTED TOURS

Tour & Itinerary Timings Fares Operator
1.River Trip Temples Summer: 0530 - 1145 hrs. Rs.75 U.P. State Road Benares Hindu Winter: 0600 - 1215 hrs. Transport Corporation University Tel: 63233.
2.Sarnath Summer: 1430 - 1825 hrs. Rs.100 Ramnagar Fort Winter: 1400 - 1755 hrs. Starting Point: U.P.Tourism Development Corpn, Tourist Bungalow, Parade Kothi. Joining Point : Government of India Tourist Office, The Mall. (Tickets are sold in the bus only).

PLACES OF INTEREST
(Distances given are from Govt of India Tourist Office)

River Front 5 km's, Alamgir Mosque 8 km's, Bharat Mata Temple 3 km's, Tulsi Manas Temple 8 km's, Gyanvapi Mosque 5 km's, Vishwanath Temple (Golden Temple) 5 km's, Vishwanath Temple (Benaras Hindu University) 12 km's, Durga Temple 8 km's, Sarnath 10 km's, Archaeological Museum, Sarnath (1000-1700 hrs. Friday Closed), Fort Museum, Ramnagar (0900-1200 & 1400-1700 hrs), Bharat Kala Bhavan Hindu University (0800-1200 hrs. Summer & 0900-1630 hrs Winter). Closed on Sundays & University holidays.

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