Varanasi – one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world with more than three thousand years of documented history. Also known as Kasi or Benares, this city is perhaps as old as civilization itself. Awestruck by the legend of this city, the great English author Mark Twain himself once remarked, ‘Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.’
Apart from being known for its long past, the city occupies a significant and in fact a central position in Hindu religion. It is one of the seven most sacred cities in Hindu mythology. Scores of pilgrims descend upon the hundred odd ghats that line up the river Ganges to take a holy dip which they believe would wash away a lifetime of sins. Hinduism believes in a repetitive cycle of life and death. It is believed that dying here would liberate a person from this cycle and provide him salvation. Every day, at dusk, a ritual known as the Ganga Arti is performed by a group of priests in honor of supreme Hindu God Lord Shiva, River Ganges, the Sun God (Surya), The Fire God (Agni) and the entire Universe. Moreover, the most rigorous rites and rituals pertaining to life and death are performed on banks of the river every day. It is no wonder Varanasi is called the spiritual capital of India.
For a first-timer, the experience is likely to be overwhelming. It is easy to become perplexed by the huge maze of narrow alleys, the unrelenting flow of people, the ceaseless chaos and not to mention the annoying touts. However, despite all these hardships, a visit to this city would certainly be a deeply enriching experience. It is no exaggeration to state that Varanasi is a unique ecosystem and the memories of this ancient Indian habitat would linger in your minds even long after you have bid adieu
Omalaya organizes two exceptional tours to Varanasi namely ‘Journey to the heart of Indian wisdom’ and ‘Buddha’s Path’.
To know more about our Journey to the heart of Indian wisdom, please click here.
To know more about our Buddha’s Path, please click here.Tags: India, Religion, Spirituality, Hinduism