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Holy River Ganges in
Varanasi- Wonders of
The Ganges, is the largest
river in the Indian subcontinent by discharge. The 2,510 km river rises in the western Himalayas in the Uttarakhand. It has long
been considered the holiest of all rivers by Hindus and worshiped as
the goddess Ganga in Hinduism. It has also been important
historically: many former provincial or imperial capitals (such as Patliputra, Kannauj, Kara, Allahabad, Murshidabad, Baharampur and
Kolkata) have been located on its banks. The Ganges Basin drains
1,000,000-square-kilometre (390,000 sq mi) and supports one of the
world's highest density of humans. The average depth of the river is
52 feet (16 m), and the maximum depth, 100 feet (30 m). The river has
been declared as India's "National River". The many symbolic meanings
of the river on the Indian subcontinent were spoken to in 1946 by
Jawaharlal Nehru in his Discovery of India.
The Ganges, above all is
the river of India, which has held India's heart captive and drawn
uncounted millions to her banks since the dawn of history. The story
of the Ganges, from her source to the sea, from old times to new, is
the story of India's civilization and culture, of the rise and fall of
empires, of great and proud cities, of adventures of man.
Ganges in Varanasi is
believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals. The land of Varanasi
(Kashi) has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages.
Often referred to as Benares, Varanasi is the oldest living city in
the world. These few lines by Mark Twain say it all: "Benaras is older
than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks
twice as old as all of them put together". 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. Abode of Lord Shiva and
Parvati, the origins of Varanasi are yet unknown.
Ganges & Its Ghats
Varanasi or Kashi is older than traditions. Varanasi presents a unique
combination of physical, metaphysical and supernatural elements.
According to the Hindu mythology, Varanasi liberates soul from human
body to the ultimate. It is the Ganga Ghats of Varanasi that
complement the concept of divinity. Ghats of Ganga are perhaps the
holiest spots of Varanasi. The Ganga Ghats at Varanasi are full of
pilgrims who flock to the place to take a dip in the holy Ganges,
which is believed to absolve one from all sins.
Art & Culture of Varanasi
The art and culture of Varanasi is unique. It is the rich cultural
tradition of Varanasi that makes it the cultural capital of India. A
combination of archaeology, mythology, geography, art and history
makes Varanasi a great center of Indian culture. Though Varanasi is
associated mainly with Hinduism and Buddhism but one can find glimpse
of many religious beliefs, types of worship and religious institutions
at Varanasi. It is amazing to see the primitive worship cults being
practiced at Varanasi. Varanasi presents a complete museum of Indian.