Photo Essay

Varanasi

Varanasi 2013 - 11

It is holiest of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism and Jainism. Hindus believe that death at Varanasi brings salvation.It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the oldest in India. Many of its temples were plundered and destroyed by Mohammad Ghauri in the 12th century. The temples and religious institutions in the city now are dated to the 18th century. The Kashi Naresh (Maharaja of Kashi) is the chief cultural patron of Varanasi, and an essential part of all religious celebrations. The culture of Varanasi is closely associated with the Ganges. The city has been a cultural center of North India for several thousand years, and has a history that is older than most of the major world religions. The Benares Gharana form of Hindustani classical music was developed in Varanasi, and many prominent Indian philosophers, poets, writers, and musicians live or have lived in Varanasi. Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath located near Varanasi.

Varanasi is the spiritual capital of India. Scholarly books have been written in the city, including the Ramcharitmanas of Tulsidas. Today there is a temple of his namesake in the city, the Tulsi Manas Mandir. One of the largest residential universities of Asia the Banaras Hindu University is located here. Varanasi is often referred to as "the city of temples", "the holy city of India", "the religious capital of India", "the city of lights", "the city of learning", and "the oldest living city on earth."

VOTE: Do you like this story?

Tell a friend about this story!

Tell a friend about this story!

  1. or
Preview

Hi there!

thought you might like this story!

http://jpgmag.com/stories/19546

Thanks,
—The JPG team

1 response

  • Harsh Wardhan

    Harsh Wardhan said (20 Oct 2013):

    amazing city
    nice pictures & text

Want to leave a comment? Log in or sign up!