Varanasi also known as Benares, Banaras or Kashi. It is the oldest living city in the world. It is a city on the banks of the Ganges in the Uttar Pradesh state of North India. The land of Varanasi has been the pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. People in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals.
Varanasi grew as an important industrial centre, famous for its silk fabrics, ivory works muslin and sculpture.
The city’s religious importance continued to grow in the 8th century, when Adi Shankara established the worship of Shiva as an official sect of Varanasi. The city continued as an important centre of Hindu devotion, mysticism, pilgrimage and poetry. Tulsidas wrote his epic poem on Rama’s life called “Ram Charit Manas” in Varanasi. The city is known worldwide for its many ghats. Varanasi has at least 84 ghats, most of which are used for bathing by pilgrims and spiritually significant Hindu puja ceremony.