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India Tourism » Agra Travel Guide » Cities Near Agra » Varanasi
Varanasi is one of the oldest living cities in the world and the ultimate pilgrimage for Hindus, who believe that to die in the city is to attain instant salvation. Varanasi is the tract of holy land lying between the Ganga and the Assi rivers.
The Assi river also flows into Ganga. Varanasi is also known as Kashi, the city of light since one of the twelve 'Jyortinglinga's is installed here. Varanasi has been a great cultural centre, especially in the fields of music, learning and the craft of silk weaving.
Varanasi is one of the most important pilgrimage in India and also a major tourist attraction. Situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges, Varanasi has been a center of learning and civilisation for over 2000 years. 25 centuries ago Lord Buddha preached his message of enlightment for the first time in Sarnath which is just 10kms away from Varanasi.
Later Varanasi became a great Hindu center, but was looted a number of times by Muslim invaders from the 11th century on. These destructive visits climaxed with that of the Mughal emperor, Aurangazeb, who destroyed almost all the temples and converted the most famous one into a mosque. aranasi has also been known as Kashi and Benares, but its present name is restoration of an ancient name meaning the city between two rivers - the Varuna and Asi.
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