Amarnath Yatra


The venerable and ancient city Varanasi is the religious centre of the world for Hindus. It is a magnificent city, with myriad attractions, both as an exalted place of pilgrimage and a microcosmic centre of faith. Thousands of pilgrims visit the city from all parts of India and from across the world. Varanasi is a unique city where the past and present, eternity and continuity live side by side.

The city rises from the high northern bank on the outside curve of Ganga, the holiest of all Indian rivers, to form a magnificent panorama of buildings in many varieties of Indian architecture. The unique relationship between the sacred river and the city is the essence of Varanasi - the land of sacred light. The Ganga is believed to have flown from the heaven to wash away the worldly sins of the humankind. Thus, to be in Varanasi is an out of this world experience, and experience of self-discovery, a journey through the present and the past in search of immortality.

Varansi - The Land of Holy River Ganga

The life and activities in the city revolves around the holy river. Life on the banks of the Ganga begins before dawn when thousands of pilgrims -men, women and children, come down to the river to wait for the rising sun. Some come in groups, some alone, all absorbed in their intense thoughts of salvation, waiting for the moment when immersion in the sacred river will cleanse them of their mundane sufferings and wash their sins away. Gradually the sun rises, and the river mists slowly lift to reveal the magnificent buildings that have a solemnity unmatched by any city in the world.

Soon after the sunrise, the city's great amphitheatre of ghats burst into activity. In the charged holistic atmosphere of the morning venerable Brahmins (known as Pandas) recite passages from sacred texts, priests dispense holy ashed to pilgrims to mark their foreheads in veneration of the gods. Boatmen, flower seller, shrill- voiced sellers selling sweetmenats and knick knacks, sacred bulls and cows roam around.

Varansi - The City of Inspiration Varanasi inspires one to reflect about life, to ponder about creation and the insignificance of temporal wealth in the face of death. Along the watre's edge, there are the burning ghats. The most sacred one is Manikarnika, associated with Hoddess Parvati. Lord Shiva's wife.


According to the historians, the city was founded some ten centuries before the birth of Christ. Situated between the two tirbutaries of the Gangas- Varuna to the north and Asi to the south - it has attained immortality. The city is mentioned in holy scriptures like ' Vamana Purana' , Buddhist texts and in the epic 'Mahabharata'.

Location : National Highway No. 2 On Delhi-Calcutta Route (Uttar Pradesh)
Also Known As : Kashi
Main Attraction : The Ghats, Benaras Hindu University
Best Season : September-March

Pilgrimage Attractions of Varansi

Vishwanath Temple

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is the most sacred shrine in Varanasi. The original Temple was destoryed by the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, which was later, restored by Rani Ahilyabai of Indore in the 18th century. The Gold plating of the dome was done during the 19th century by maharaja Ranjit Singhj of Punjab. Foreiners entry restricted.

Durga Temple

Dedicated to Goddess Durga, consort of Lord Shiva, the temple is worth visiting.

Bharat Mata Temple

This temple is dedicated to Mother India. Just one kmfrom the Varanasi station. The temple is built in the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, which was built by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupt. Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated this temple in 1936 so that the citizens could respect Mother India in statue form. The statute is built in marble. The statue is a replica of undivided India in three dimension, which has the mountains, plains, and oceans in right proportion.

Tulsi Manas Temple

This temple is dedicated to Lord Rama. The temple is built in the place where Goswami Tulsidas composed the epic 'Ramacharitramanas' which provides us with detailed description of the history and deeds of Lord Rama. A philanthropist family constructed Tulsi Manas Temple in 1964.


About 10 km away, This fabled place bears testimony to its great past where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon to his disciples expounding the principles of Buddhism. There are remains dating as far back as the 3rd century B.C. when Emperor Ashoka founded various institutions, stupas, monasteries and pillar edicts. The runs at Sarnath and the art collection in the Archaeological Museum are representations/ examples of the glorious past of Sarnath. Archaeological remains are open from Sunrise to Sunset.


From their vantage point at the northern extremity of the Kaimur hills, the impressive sandstone battlements of Chunar command a meander in the Ganga before the river curves north to Varansi 22km. away. Evidence of the earliest occupation of the site dates it to Vikaramaditya of Ujjain in 56 B.C. Chunar sandstone has been used for centuries, most famously in Ashokan pillars - highly polished for sheen and longevity- and is still quarried, leaving the surrounding hills looking ravaged in places.

The almost impregnable citadel, protected by massive Mughal ramparts, looks down onto the river, graced by a beautiful beach of silver sand during the dry season; the views of the sunset are stunning. Akbar stormed the fortress in 1575. And it was presided over by Nawabs of Avadh until the British took it in 1764.


Jaunpur, 65 km northwest of Varanasi. And founded by Feroz Shah in 1360 to guard the eastern flank of the Delhi Sultanate. The river Gomti, which bisects Jaunpur, is spanned by the massive sixteenth- century Akbari Bridge. Designed by an Afghan architect, the stone structure's fifteen arches have withstood floods and earthquakes; at its southern end, a large sculpture of a lion tussling with and elephant doubles as a provincial milestone.

Damekh Stupa

This 34 metre high Stupa dominates the site and is believed to mark the spot where the Buddha preached his famous sermon. In its present form it dates from around 500AD but was probably rebuilt a number of times. The geometrical and floral patterns on the Stupa are typical of the Gupta period, but excavations have revealed brickwork form the Mauryan period around 200BC. Originally there was a second Stupa, Dharmarajika Stupa, but his was reduced to rubble by 19the- century treasure seekers.