Varanasi, also known as Banaras or Benares, is a large Hindu city that stretches along the Ganges River.  

Thousands of pilgrims and locals travel to its waterfront to perform  daily ritual cleansing ceremonies, and its waterfront is dominated by  long flights of stone ghats.  

One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world is  Varanasi, also referred to by devotees as Kashi, the Luminous, or the  City of Light, founded by Shiva.  

It is the center of the Hindu universe and the geographic center of a  religious geography that extends from the Himalayan cave of Amarnath in  Kashmir to Kanyakumari. 

One of the holiest of all tirthas, or “crossing places,” that give the  devotee access to the divine and allow gods and goddesses to descend to  earth. 

Kashi was the original name of Varanasi in the Vedic era. Benaras, which  is thought to be a variant of Varanasi, was the name used prior to 1956  when Varanasi became the official name.  

The spiritual capital of India is Varanasi, the oldest continuously  inhabited city in the world, also referred to as Kashi (City of Life)  and Benaras.  

Varanasi is regarded as an lucky place to pass away because it is  thought to bring moksha, or freedom from the cycle of life and death. 

Things To Do

- Go to the Ghats - Try some of the regional specialties  - Wander through the winding alleyways  - Travel the Ganges by boat  - Take a Spiritual Walking Retreat