Varanasi, or Benaras, (also known as Kashi) is one of the oldest living cities in the world. Varanasi`s prominence in Hindu mythology is incomprehensibly vast. This city has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages, and the center of learning and civilization for thousands of years. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth.
Aptly called as the cultural capital of India, Varanasi has provided the right platform for all cultural activities to flourish. Many exponents of dance, music, spiritualism, mysticism, and yoga have originated in Varanasi, and thrive in their full glory even today.
Sketch of Old Varanasi by James Princep
Cultural extravaganza runs in the very veins of this city. It is said that a festival falls every second day in Varanasi. This cultural density mainly comes from the multitude of ethnic groups living in Varanasi. Bengali, Marathi, Kannad, Punjabi, Gujarati - there is not a single community that you cannot spot living in full style in this city.
The major festivals of the city are namely, Holi, Deepawali, Maha Shivratri, Dussehra, Makar Sankranti, Dev Deepawali, Rathyatra Mela, Buddh Mahotsav, Rangbhari Ekadashi, Ram Leela, Shravan Maah, Chatth & Ganga Dussehra