Varanasi, the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city has a lot to offer to tourists, travelers, spirituality seekers, explorers and people from all walks of life. The city offers a unique experience to each individual. The city gets its name from two rivers along which most of the old temples and places of religious and historical importance are based. The rivers “Varuna” and “Assi” are two old rivers which are now reduced to streams through most parts, run through the city and finally merge into the Ganga. These rivers give the name to the city which it currently has. The perspectives on life and death, history and tradition, religion and culture etc are varied across the city with something to offer to each that turns up here. Chaos, colors and the feeling of stepping back in time are the perfect introduction to the city.
Varanasi, Benaras, Kashi among others are the most popular names for the city. One of the pillars of the Hindu philosophy, the city is deep rooted in mythology and history alike. Walking past temples which are centuries and some even millenniums old is extremely common, there are more shivlingas in kashi than one can count. However, there are identified temples where devotees flock to offer their prayers and gifts. Some of these temples are Kashi Vishwanath Mandir, the gold plated pagoda of the temple has also earned it a nickname of Kashi Golden Temple; Sankat Mochan Mandir dedicated to Hanuman is where Tulsidas had his first vision of the mighty god. Similarly, Durgakund Mandir (dedicated to goddess Durga), Vishalakshi Temple. Annapurna Devi Mandir and Kal Bhairav Mandir are must visit when travelling to Varanasi.
Varanasi also has a reputation for its small, thin and tightly jammed web of lanes. These lanes are more than a thousand years old and people still live there. The famous markets of Varanasi are located in these lanes where you can see all kinds of souvenirs, puja related products and in some shops you can find Banarasi Silk artwork on sarees and other apparels. This handiwork is globally known and one of the best examples of artwork and craftsmanship. The silk work is the basis for a global identity of Varanasi after its roots to religion and history.
The real experience of Kashi and its history is on the ghats (banks of river Ganga). The ghats have a captivating effect for the first time visitors. It’s a tour through history with countless stories and rich architecture. Everywhere you turn your eye is a photo opportunity. The ghats are divided as northern and southern. Kedar ghat which is one of the most appropriate and pious for river bathing is located at a walking distance from the hotel. The hotel is centrally located between Dashashwamedh ghat; which has great mythological and historical reference and considered to be the most important ghats of all and Assi ghat, on the confluence of river Assi and Ganga. Assi ghat is one of the newly renovated ghats and boasts huge stairs which serve as an amphitheatre for a variety of programs and events in the morning and the evening. Initiatives such as Subah-e-benaras along with various poetry, music and dance concerts organized by the local community bring life to these ghats on every evening. The evening boat ride along these ghats and finally witnessing the ganga aarti is mesmerizing. As we dive into the history and culture, we learn that valuable land as ghats was given to various kingdoms from Nepal, Benagl, and Bihar (previously known as Magadh) to the kingdoms of south and the west as gifts or as prizes after invading and winning the war. Each built their beautiful forts and added the charm to these ghats that today invites millions to reminisce.
As far as the culture of the city goes, two things deserve special mention; the unique collection of street food and the beautiful colors of Sarees and scarves that reflect a millennium old craftsmanship. Across the old town, one can see street vendors around the day serving scrumptious breakfast to chaats in the evening. The Banarasi Kachori along with Jalebi serves the famous breakfast and a selection of chaats is again a delicacy local to this city. Lassi is a sweetened curd, sold across the city at probably more than a thousand outlets. These are just a few things that one must try. For you have to live benaras when in benaras.
Ramnagar hosts the Qilla (Fort) that serves as the residence of Kashinaresh (King/Lord of Kashi). Shiva is regarded as the true king of kashi and therefore the royal family that ruled and looked after the well being of Kashi is titled as Naresh. The fort is built in Ramnagar, which is across the river as two Rulers (Shiva and Naresh) couldn’t have possibly resided on the same part of land. The fort is built in Mughal style and was completed in 1750. The fort houses a Veda Vyasa Temple, a south facing Hanuman Temple, a museum and the king’s residence.
Sarnath which is located at an hour’s drive from the hotel has great religious importance in both Buddhism and Jainism. It bears great importance in our history and national identity. It is located at the confluence of Ganga and Varuna. Sarnath is where Buddha first preached dhamma. It is also the birthplace of Shreyansanath, the eleventh tirthankara of Jainism.
Unfortunately, the city also has a notorious reputation for cheating and unreliable service providers through the city. Since tourism is the major driver of the local economy, service providers in the unorganized sector participate in ethical dealings and end up spoiling the memories of a perfect vacation. Therefore, we operate on a policy of complete transparency and ensure delight to our customers. We exist to serve the customer with our deepest regard and warmth and to ensure an amazing holiday with us. Overtime we have worked extremely hard to build our own network of service providers who are reliable and as committed to ensuring a great experience to the travelling community as we are. We involve ourselves in transparent and upfront dealing with our guests.