BANARAS - THE CITY OF GOD

RASHMI SINGH By RASHMI SINGH, 11th Apr 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/28j_m7t1/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Asia>India>Uttar Pradesh

The page is about the holy city of India ,Banaras or Varanasi as it is called now - the aarti that is held daily on the ghats of Banaras that thousands come to watch, the temples in the city, the famous sarees of Banaras that are a must in the wardrobe of every indian woman, the mouthwatering delicacies of Banaras and most importantly the spirituality that permeates every little part of this city.

A place of God and Learning

No trip to India is complete without visiting the mystical city of Banaras.It is a city of learning,of spirituality and of history. Many have come to Banaras over the centuries to discover God and to discover themselves. Some go back having attained what they set out to find and some never leave entranced by the mystical wonder that is Banaras.
The ghats of the river Ganga offer a majestic tribute to God every evening when the Maha Artii is performed at the Dashashwamedh ghat under colorful umbrellas with flowers, chants and lamps by a group of priest offering prayers to Lord Shiva, Surya, the sun god and the holy river Ganga.It is said that this ghat was built by Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe as per hindu mythology, made this ghat to welcome Lord Shiva . People come from all over the world to watch the aarti and there are many boats waiting at the ghats to take the people a little way off into the river so that they can watch the aarti.The price for a ticket in these boats starts with as much as 1500 rupees but with a little bargaining can come down to fifty rupees, just as long as the mallah, the boat owner, doesn't know that you are not a local.
Many legends are associated with the many ghats on the banks of Ganga. One of the more famous ones is that the Manikarnika ghat where bodies are cremated so that they attain nirvana as per hindu beliefs is the place where goddess parvati, Lord Shiva's consort hid her earrings(manikarnika) and told him they had been lost here so that lord Shiva, instead of travelling with his devotees would stay here and search for the earrings. It is said whenever a body is cremated here Lord Shiva asks its soul whether it has seen the earrings.mAny of these ghats have been built over the years by various kings and queens.Man Singh of Amber built the man-sarover ghat while the Maharaja of Darbhanga built the Darbhanga ghat. The Lalita ghat wasbuilt by the late king of Nepal and Tulsi ghat is where Tulsi Das wrote the ancient hindu epic Ramcharitramanas.
Near the banks is located the Vishvanath Temple, one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, devoted to Lord Shiva. Though the temple has been built and destroyed several times in the past, the present temple was built by Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in 1780.Every year thousands of devotees come to this temple to offer prayers from all over India. Other famous temples of Banaras are the Sankat Mochan Hanuman temple and the Durga mandir which is painted red to depict the red colour of Goddess Durga
Though most that come here ,do so because it is a holy city with the river Ganga purifying the sin of all who take a dip in it, as is believed by the Hindus of India, it is not just a place of worship. Banaras is also for its centre for learning The Banaras Hindu University found by Mohan Malviya Pandit Madan in 1916.The university was established on land donated by Kashi Naresh the ruler of Kashi( as Banaras was earlier called).It is said that when Pandit Malviya asked him for the land the Kashi Naresh told him that all the land he could cover walking in one day would be his and so Pandit Malviya walked the entire day and thus was formed BHU one of the largest residential universities of Asia.

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A centre for arts and crafts

Banaras is also famous for its ivory work , wooden toys and perfumes . But the most famous work of Banaras is its Banarasi sarees which are a work of art. They are considered the finest in India with a single sari taking anywhere from a month to six months to complete depending upon the intricaciy of design.With their heavy gold and silver brocade or zari work and intricate designs on the finest of silks these sarees are highly sought after and can be very expensive .These sarees are sent all over the world and are something every indian bride must possess.

Kashi as Banaras was earlier called, means the luminous one and the city was called thus because of its status as a centre for learning, art and culture. The more one sees it , the more there is to discover.
Th oldest living city in the world is a world in itself, one that constantly surprises and awes.

Tags

Ghats, God, Holy City, India Holidays, Spirituality And Everyday Life

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author avatar RASHMI SINGH
HAPPY,BUSY AND SOMEWHAT LAZZZZZZZZZZY! which explains the busy part.:)......................I'm gonna be writing about whatever i feel like actually!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
14th Apr 2013 (#)

Beautifully written, Rashmi, covering all relevant details - siva

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author avatar RASHMI SINGH
14th Apr 2013 (#)

thank you:)

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