Varanasi is a holy city of India, which is also known as Benaras. Regarded by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains, it is a pilgrimage place for Hindus. This cultural capital of India has different shades. It is the city where you find such vivacious blend at a single place. This city of temples is also a beacon of culture & spirituality.
The present name Varanasi has its origin in the two tributaries of the Ganges – Varuna and Asi, which flank its northern and southern borders. Banaras or Benaras, as it is popularly known, is only a corruption of the name Varanasi.
The original name of the city was Kashi. The word derived from ‘Kasha’, which means brightness. It is the site of the sacred place of Lord Kashi Vishwanath, which is one of the tweleve revered Jyotirlingas of the Lord Shiva. Ruled by Aryans and Muslims for years, Varanasi finally became an independent kingdom in the 18th century. Ramnagar was the capital of the city at that time. After India got independence, Varanasi finally became a part of Uttar Pradesh.
Bharat Mata Temple
Located in Kashi Vidhyapeeth campus, this temple is 1 km away from the city railway station. This famous temple is dedicated to Mother India who is the human manifestation of Indian nation. There is a marble statue of Bharat Mata inside the temple. It is a replica of united nation in three dimension with plains, mountains and oceans.
Tulsi Manas Mandir
This temple holds historical and cultural importance for India. According to the legends, this is the place where Ramayana was composed. Built in 1964, the temple is dedicated to Lord Ram. The temple is named after Tulsi Das, the great saint poet. The temple construction follows Shikhara style of architecture. Adorned with many inscriptions that display the stories from Ram Charit Manas, the temple is a must visit spot.
Banaras Hindu University
Founded by Pandit Madan Mohan, the university is amongst the oldest educational centres of India. He established it in 1917 for the study of Sanskrit and Indian culture, art and music. Extending over five sq km, the university campus also houses Bharat Kala Bhavan. It houses a wonderful collection of miniature paintings and sculptures, dating back to 15th centuries. The premises of the campus also houses the New Vishwanatha Temple.
The ghats of Ganga river in Varanasi represent the divinity of the city. The beauty of the ghats can be best seen during sunrise and sunset. Most wonderful scene of these ghats is Ganga Arti. There are 84 ghats, out of which, five ghats are more important. Legends say that God Vishnu first put his holy feet in the city and these five ghats symbolize the bodily parts of Him. Assi is the head, Dasaswamedh is the chest, Manikarnika is the naval, Panchganga is the thighs and Adi Kesava is the feet.
Also, consider a Nepal Culture tour!