India > Uttar Pradesh > Varanasi City

Varanasi City, the hindu religious site

Varanasi or Benaras is located on the bank of the middle Ganges valley of North India about 321 km away from state capital Lucknow. The Urban agglomeration of the city covers an area of 113 sq km. According to the Hindu mythology, Varanasi was founded by the Hindu Lord Shiva and this story making it most popular Hindu pilgrimage destination in India. The city is also referred to as the city of temples or the religious capital of India. Benaras took a significant role to spread Buddhism. Goutama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism gave his first sermon at Sarnath which is close to this city.

A Ganga Ghat in the city of Benaras

(A Ganga Ghat in the city of Benaras, a Hindu religious site in Uttar Pradesh

From the ancient age of Indian history to 18th century, Varanasi was under the Kashi kingdom. After that, it became a self governing Kingdom with alliance of Ramanagar region during the colonial rule under the Kashi Naresh Balwant Singh. At the beginning of 20th century, in 1910, the city was considered as a new Indian state by British with Ramanagar as its headquarters. Today, Varanasi is a city of the state of Uttar Pradesh in India but there have still a traditional royal family who resides in the Ramanagar Fort and now Anant Narayan Singh is the present king of Varanasi.

Climate of the city of Varanasi

The temperature of Varanasi remains very hot in summer and little cold in winter. Winter season during October to March is the best season for tourist when temperature remains cool and pleasant.

Summers season in Varanasi: This season persists for long terms at the city from April to late October when temperature ranges varies between 23°C to 46°C.

Winters season in Varanasi: This season continue from late December to February when the temperature may drop below 5°C. The average temperature during winter is 15°C.

Monsoon in Varanasi: This season continue from July to September with a heavy rainy weather. During this time some thunder storms hit the city. The average annual rainfall is 111 cm.

Religious History of Varanasi

History of Hinduism in Varanasi
Hinduism is the predominant religion in Benaras and they believe that the city was founded by the Hindu God Shiva. The river Ganges is respected as a goddess by Hindus and they gather here from every corner of India to take a holy bath to remit sins and they believe that if some one dying in Kashi ensures release of a person's soul to the heaven.

Adjoining place of Varanasi, Kashi regard as one of the Shakti Peethas of 51 by Hindus and a famous temple named, Vishalakshi stands on the spot where Goddess Sati's earrings fell during the time of Sati’s dead when lord Shiva manifested as the Avatar of Virbhadra.

History of Buddhism and Jainism in Varanasi
There have four holiest places in the world for Buddhist namely, Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya, Lumbini and Sarnath. Among these Saranath is located at Varanasi city. There was a deer park at Sarnath from where Gautama Buddha is said to have given his first sermon about the basic principles of Buddhism.

The city is also a pilgrimage site for Jain religion followers. Benaras is the birthplace of three Jain Tirthankars namely Suparshvanath (7th), Shreyansanath (11th) and Parshvanath (23rd). Shree Parshvanath Digambar Jain Tirth Kshetra (a Temple) is situated at Bhelupur which have a great religious importance to Jains.

Tour spots in Varanasi

Varanasi Ghats: Benaras has about 101 ghats on the river of Ganga. Most of these Ganga Ghats were constructed during the Maratha rule. Some of these Ghats are stand on the public ownership, as an example the Shivala or Kali ghat is owned by the Kashi king. These Ghats are considered as the most holy place for Hindus. You also found here lots of temples on the bank of the Ganga River in Varanasi. And the Hindus believed that if some one prays to gods to these temples after taking a holy bath from these Ghats then he/she remits the sins of their life. Some most popular Ganga Ghats of Varanasi are the Dasaswamedh, Manikarnika, Harischandra, Kabir and Assi Ghat.

Jantar Mantar was constructed by Jai Singh, the king of Jaipur in 1737. It was used to measure the local time, the Sun's declination and the declination of stars and planets of solar system. Still, it works properly today and you will find lots of instruments inside the monument like the Krantivritta Yantra, Digansha Yantra, Samrat Yantra, Prakash Yantra, Ram Yantra, Disha Yantra and Dhruva Yantra.

Archaeological museum is a government construction during 1904 at Sarnath. This museum contains a rich collection of sculptures, artifacts and edifices comprising numerous Buddha and Bodhisattva images and other ancient remains. The main attractions of the Museum are the superb Ashokan Pillar and a sculpture of the Buddha of 5th century.

Bharat Kala Bhavan was established in January 1920 by Rai Krishnadasa. R. N. Tagore was the first chairman of it. You will find here a record of about 100001 collections. The collection includes archaeological materials, paintings, textiles and costumes, decorative art, Indian philately and literary and archival materials.

Ramnagar Fort was constructed by Balwant Singh during 18th century about 14 km from Varanasi on bank of Ganges River. The fort is red sandstone building constructed with the Mughal architectural style. There have also a temple and a museum within the fort grounds. The Kashi of Kashi and his family still resides in this fort.

Temples in Benaras

There have lots of Hindu temples in Varanasi, some most popular are Kashi Bhishwanath temple, Durga temple, Varat mata, Tulsi manas, etc.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva which was a very rich temple about a ton of gold was donated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh but, invader destroyed it and it reconstructed by Ahilyabai in 1776.

Durga Temple or Monkey Temple is a construction of 8th century built by a Bengali Maharani in Nagara Style. It is also another famous temple of the city. During the festival of Navratri the temple take a festive look.

Bharat Mata Temple is dedicated to Varat Mata situated in Vidyapeeth. The temple was constructed by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupt in 1936.

Tulsi Manas Temple is dedicated to Lord Rama built in 1964 with white marble by a philanthropist family. It is located near the Durga temple.

Nepali Temple was constructed by a Nepali king on Lalita Ghat of Ganga. The temple is popularly known as Kathwala temple due to its superb woodwork.

How to reach Varanasi?

Travel by Airways
If you planned to Varanasi by airways then the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport would be the suitable destination to you which is located about 20 km away from Varanasi Cant Railway Station. Most of the major cities of India are connected to this airport by daily flights. Several international flights also received by the airport. After reaching to the airport you have to travel by some local transports to your destination.

Travel by Railways
Varanasi Cantonment is the main Railway Station in Varanasi which generated highest revenue respect to other Indian stations. Varanasi city raiway nework is under the administrative control of Lucknow Division of the Northern Railway Zone. Mughal Sarai is another important station located about 9 km away from Benaras City center. Some other major railway stations of Varanasi City are Manduadih, Kashi, Sarnath, Shibpur, Bhulanpur and Babatpur.

Travel by Roadways
The Grand trunk (G.T. Road), at present called as NH-2 extended from Kolkata via Varanasi to Lahore (now in Pakistan). This National Highway connects Varanasi to Allahabd, Kanpur, Aligarh cities. NH-56 connects Varanasi to Lucknow, Junpur, Sultaanpur; and NH-29 connects Varanasi to Gorakhpur, Ghazipur. NH-7 connects Varanasi with to Jabalpur, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Salem, Maduraai and Kanyaakumari. State Highway 87 links Varanasi to Bhadohi and State Highway 5A connects Varanasi to Shaktinagar.

Hotels in the Varanasi City

Hotel Hindustan International
Maldahya, Varanasi-221002
Phone: 0542-2411484
Ramda Palza
Varanasi Cant-221002
Phone: 0542-2510000
The Clark
Mall, Cant, Varanasi-221002
Phone: 0542-2501011
Hotel Raddisson
Mall Cant, Varanasi-221002
Phone: 0542-2501515
Hotel Alka
Meer Ghat, Varanasi-221001
Phone: 0542-2398445
Diamond Hotel
Bhelupur, Varanasi-221010
Phone: 0542-2276696
Hotel Taj Ganga, Varanasi
Nadesar Palace Grounds
Phone: 0542-6660002
Hotel Idle Tower
Mall Cant, Varanasi-221002
Phone: 0542-2503391
Hotel Barahdari
Maidagin, Varanasi-221001
Phone: 0542-330040
Hotel Meradan Grand
Patel Nagar, Varanasi-221002
Phone: 0542-2509952
Hotel Gautama
Parade Kothi, Varanasi-221002
Phone: 0542-2208288
Hotel De Paris
Mall Cant, Varanasi-221002
Phone: 0542-2346601
Pallavi International Hotel
Hathawa Place, Varanasi 
Phone: 0542-2393012
Hotel Idle Tops
The Mall, Varanasi-221002
Phone: 0542- 2348091
Hotel Plaza Inn
Parade Kothi, Varanasi
Phone: 0542-2205505
Hotel Malti
Kasi Vidyapith Rd, Varanasi 
Phone: 0542-2223878
Hotel Siddharth
Sigra, Varanasi-221010
Phone: 0542-2221961
Hotel Sonmony
Harischandra Ghat, Varanasi
Phone: 0542-3339611
Hotel Varuna
Sigra, Vishwanath Vila
Phone: 0542-2418524
Palace on Ganges
Ashi Ghat, Varanasi-221001
Phone: 0542-2315050

Information about Varanasi City

Country India
State Uttar Pradesh
STD Code 0542
ISD Code 0091542
Landmark On the bank of Ganga River, Uttar Pradesh.
Languages Hindi (main language), Urdu, English, etc.
Climate Winter average 12°C, Summer average 36°C
Best season to visit October to March
Attractions It is a Hindu religious site include many temples and Ganga Ghats
Targeted Railway Station Varanasi Cantt.
Airport Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport