Varanasi is a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh dating to the 11th century B.C. Regarded as the spiritual capital of India, the city draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites. Along the city’s winding streets are some 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, the “Golden Temple,” dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. 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. The Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
Its early history is that of the first Aryan settlement in the middle Ganges valley. By the 2nd millennium BCE, Varanasi was a seat of Aryan religion and philosophy and was also a commercial and industrial centre famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture. A combination of archaeology, mythology, geography, art and history makes Varanasi a great centre of Indian culture. Though Varanasi is associated mainly with Hinduism and Buddhism but one can find a glimpse of many religious beliefs, types of worship and religious institutions at Varanasi. Hinduism is the majority religion in Varanasi city with 70.11 % followers. Islam is the second most popular religion in city of Varanasi with approximately 28.82 % following it. In Varanasi city, Christianity is followed by 0.34 %, Jainism by 0.12 %, Sikhism by 0.22 % and Buddhism by 0.22 %.
Brief City History
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. The Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals.
The Ganges is said to have its origins in the tresses of Lord Shiva and in Varanasi, it expands to the mighty river that we know of. The city is a center of learning and civilization for over 3000 years. With Sarnath, the place where Buddha preached his first sermon after enlightenment, just 10 km away, Varanasi has been a symbol of Hindu renaissance. Knowledge, philosophy, culture, devotion to Gods, Indian arts and crafts have all flourished here for centuries. Also a pilgrimage place for Jains, Varanasi is believed to be the birthplace of Parsvanath, the twenty-third Tirthankar. Vaishnavism and Shaivism have co-existed in Varanasi harmoniously. With a number of temples, Mrs Annie Besant chose Varanasi as the home for her ‘Theosophical Society’ and Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, to institute ‘Benares Hindu University, the biggest University in Asia. Ayurveda is said to be originated at Varanasi and is believed to be the basis of modern medical sciences such as Plastic surgery, Cataract and Calculus operations. Maharshi Patanjali, the preceptor of Ayurveda and Yoga, was also affiliated with Varanasi, the holy city. Varanasi is also famous for its trade and commerce, especially for the finest silks and gold and silver brocades, since the early days. Varanasi has also been a great centre of learning for ages. Varanasi is associated with the promotion of spiritualism, mysticism, Sanskrit, yoga and Hindi language and honoured authors such as the ever-famous novelist Prem Chand and Tulsi Das, the famous saint-poet who wrote Ram Charit Manas. Aptly called as the cultural capital of India, Varanasi has provided the right platform for all cultural activities to flourish. Many exponents of dance and music have come from Varanasi. Ravi Shankar, the internationally renowned Sitar maestro and Ustad Bismillah Khan, (the famous Shehnai player) are all sons of the blessed city or have lived here for major part of their lives.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
Bhojpuri and Hindi are spoken in Varanasi and written in Devanagari scripts. Urdu is written in the Nastaliq style of the Persian alphabet.
Important Types of Commerce in Varanasi
Varanasi is an important industrial centre famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory work and sculpture. Varanasi is a world-famous centre of handloom woven, embroidered textiles, the main products are zari embroidery and brocade work on silk sarees.
Language Services US and others will provide working with Varanasi
Doing business with Varanasi requires an understanding of their local language which is Hindi. An individual or business is required to have a Hindi interpreter accompanying them in Varanasi for an exhibition, business negotiations, training, conference, medical support or for an excursion to bridge the language gap. Moreover, they also require Hindi Translation services for translation of important business documents such as sales and marketing literature, copyright, trademark and patent applications, partnership and employment agreements, mergers, acquisitions and incorporations, trusts and wills flawlessly.
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