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A Look into the History and Antiquity of the Ancient City Varanasi

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“Kasi or Varanasi is among the worlds oldest living cities, which is rightly termed as the religious capital of India. Situated between two small streams, Varuna and Asi that flow into the river Ganges, the city derived its name from these two streams only. The city can be best described in words of Mark Twain, who said “”Banaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together””. This Hindu pilgrim centers is located in the south eastern part of the state of Uttar Pradesh and it rests on the left bank of the holy river Ganga.

One of the seven sacred spots for Hindus, every devout Hindu wishes to visit Varanasi at least once in his/her life. Taking a holy dip at the renowned ghats of Ganga and walking the pious Panchakosi road is the desire that every Hindu has in the heart and wishes to fulfill in life. It is firmly believed by the Hindus that who die on the land of Varanasi attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. The abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati, Varanasi has a special sanctity, as it is believed that Lord Shiva and Parvati stood at this city, when time started ticking first.

For every visitor, the experience and essence of visiting Varanasi is different, as the city is not only a place for pilgrimage but also holds great significance as a center of learning and is a place renowned for its heritage, music, literature, art and craft. The city is often identified with holy river Ganga, array of shrines, meandering alleys, innumerable temples, palaces found at waters edge, the chanting of mantras, parasols of palm and cane and the devotional hymns, as these are the distinguished features of this ancient and renowned city.

The city has also gained prominence of being a renowned learning centre of spiritualism, philosophy, literature, mysticism and other branches of learning. The city has produced innumerable prestigious and eminent scholars and intellectuals such as Panini, the author of Ashtadhyayi, Sankaracharya, the religious reformer of Hindu school, Ramanujacharya, Madhavaacharya and the legendary Gorakshnatha of the Adinath tradition of Saivism. Besides eminent scholars the city also has many noted academic institutions like Banaras Hindu University, Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Kashi Vidyapeeth etc. It is also a significant centre of music, craft and silk weaving.

Visitors who really wish to get a sense of real Varanasi and to obtain unique and mystifying experience can plan a trip of this religious and cultural city with Maharajas Express. Maharajas Express, undoubtedly World’s top luxury train, takes guests on the tour of this oldest living city in their The Indian Panorama tour. The guests of the train visit Sarnath museum and ruins, enjoy boat ride and evening aarti of Ganga River to have a glimpse of the rich cultural and heritage delight of the city.”