Varanasi (Hindustani pronunciation or Kashi, is a city on the banks of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, North India, 320 kilometres (200 mi) south-east of the state capital, Lucknow, and 121 kilometres (75 mi) east of Allahabad. The spiritual capital of India, it is the holiest of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism. Varanasi lies along National Highway 2, which connects it to Kolkata, Kanpur, Agra, and Delhi, and is served by Varanasi Junction and Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport.
According to legend, Varanasi was founded by the god Shiva. The Pandavas, the mythic heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, are said to have visited the city in search of Shiva to atone for their sin of fratricide and Brāhmanahatya that they had committed during the climactic Kurukshetra War. It is regarded as one of seven holy cities (Sapta Puri) which can provide Moksha; Ayodhyā, Mathurā, Gayā, Kāśi, Kañchi, Avantikā, and Dvāravatī are the seven cities known as the givers of liberation.
Archaeological evidence of the earliest known settlements around Varanasi in the Ganges valley suggest that they began in the 20th century BC, placing it among the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities according to Kenneth Fletcher. These archaeological remains suggest that the Varanasi area was populated by Vedic people. However, the oldest known text referencing the city, the Atharvaveda, which dates to approximately the same period, suggests that the area was populated by indigenous tribes. It is possible that archaeological evidence of these previous inhabitants has yet to be discovered. Recent excavations at Aktha and Ramnagar, two sites very near to Varanasi, show them to be from 1800 BC, suggesting Varanasi was also inhabited by this time
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Varanasi Railway station or Airport|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please arrive by 9 AM for a prompt departure at 10 AM.|
|RETURN TIME||Approximately 6:30 PM.|
|WEAR||Traditional clothes or ethnic Clothes|
|NOT INCLUDED|| |