Varanasi is one of the 72 districts of Indian state Uttar Pradesh. Varanasi is also known as Banaras or Kashi. Majority of people speak kashida Bhojpuri language which is similar to Hindi. It is considered among religious cities in India. Banaras is treated as religious hub mainly for Hinduism and Jainism. Varanasi is situated on the bank of river Ganga hence it is also noted as one of the best pilgrimage places in India. It is the birthplace of development of Buddhism and Ravidassia. Varanasi lies onwards national highway 2 which hook up with Kolkata, Kanpur, Agra and Delhi. Its history justifies it as holy land on earth.
There are few books which are considered as a legend, a war between two supreme gods (Lord Shiva and Brahma) was held. At that time, it was ruled that winning member carry opponent’s head hanging down his hand.
Lord Shiva performed this act with Brahma, he was walking down the roads and suddenly on the bank of river Ganga head fell down from his hand and disappeared, this place was named as Varanasi and considered as the holiest place. The Pandavas, main characters of Hindu epic Mahabharata visited Varanasi in search of Lord Shiva to apologize for their sin of killing their own cousins in Kurukshetra war. It is observed as one of the seven holiest cities in India known as saptapuri.
However, Varanasi is also an industrial center, well known for its muslin, silk fabric, ivory works and sculpture. A Chinese traveler Xuan Zang was also known as Hiuen Tsiang toured Varanasi in 635 CE and stated that Varanasi can be the hub for artists and religious leaders.
In the medieval period, Varanasi maintains it’s positioned as an intermediary for intellectuals and scholars in middle ages. Several celebrities of that time, such as Kabir, Ravidas where born here in the 15th century and lived in Varanasi they were considered as the socio-religious reformer, poet, traveler, scholars and employees of tannery industry.
Modern history includes many scholar visitors who contributed to Indian culture. Guru Nanak visited Varanasi for the celebration of Maha Shivratri in the 15th century which played a huge role in establishing a base of Sikhism. Varanasi observed renaissance of Hindu culture in the ear of Mughal emperor Akbar who built mighty temples of Lord Shiva and Vishnu.
In the 16th century, tourist began to arrive in the city. The French traveler, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier portrayed the architectural beauty of Vindu Madhava temple. In the 17th century, the city was harmed by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb as he ordered to destroy every temple and build mosques in the city. The city was reconstructed in the 18th century after the death of Aurangzeb.
Author Mark Twain wrote in 1897 of Varanasi, “Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” Britishers in 1910 made Varanasi as a state with Ramnagar as its capital there was no jurisdiction implemented in the city as it was headed by religious leaders known as Kashi Naresh, they had they’re headquartered at Ramnagar Fort.