“Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together”, said Mark Twain, the famous English author.

Gear up to witness the oldest living city of the world- Varanasi, believed to be originated at the beginning of time itself. Brimming with people, their relentless chaos, colorful banter, persistent traditions and steep beliefs, Varanasi is a melting pot of culture and civilization.

Also known as “Banaras” or “Kashi” – the City of Life, it boasts of everything life offers and the after-life too (belief that death at Varanasi brings salvation)! Situated on the banks of river Ganga, Varanasi offers a soulful self-discovery where people gain oneness with their body and soul; experience mysticism and seek moksha. The hub of Hinduism, it is a city of religion, ancient myths, glorified legends and traditional ethos, which is believed to be blessed and graced by Lord Shiva and Parvati. A dip in the holy waters of Ganga not just refreshes the body and soul; it cleanses away a lifetime’s sins.

Varanasi attracts millions of tourists from across the world that come here to seek discovery, bliss, knowledge and also solace for the departed souls of their loved ones. Ghats bathed in the first rays of sun, chanting of mantras and hymns, incensed air, rituals of life and death are common sights that Varanasi offers. Dashmeshwar ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Harishchandra ghat, Panchganga ghat are associated with legends and religious philosophy. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple and Durga Temple are some of the famous and oldest temples in the area.

A major tourist attraction is the Ramnagar Fort situated in the heart of the Old City. The Jantar Mantar observatory built in 18th century is also worth a visit. Varanasi is the land of knowledge where Ramcharitmanas was written by Tulsidas, Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath and the present-day Banaras Hindu University stands, which is home to hundreds of students across various nationalities. It is the largest residential university of India.

Renowned for its soul-enriching and blissful experience at Ghats and temples, Varanasi is equally famous for its Silk and Brocade Sarees and Classical music. The most leading and prevailing occupation is silk weaving. Intricate gold and silver thread work on brocade and finely woven silk sarees are coveted by people across the world. The Hindustani Classical music’s Banaras Gharana is named after the city where it developed and the musicians prospered.

You can stroll along the Ghats, get lost in the galis and be back to the same place, witness the Ganga aarti, or satiate your soul with the sounds of mantras, blend with the people of the old city or simply devour the city from the peaceful cantonment area. It sure leaves you with a soul stirring experience.