Varanasi is a holy city located in the southeastern Uttar Pradesh. It is also known as Kashi, Benares or Banaras. The city is located on the bank of the holy river Ganga. It is one of the 7 sacred cities of Hinduism. Kashi isn’t just the oldest in India but happens to be the oldest colonized cities universally. It is referred to as the city of temples. It is one of the most fascinating and colorful places on earth.
In the 6th century BC, King of Kashi declared Varanasi as the capital city of their kingdom. Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon at Sarnath during this time. In the 18th century, the British declared Varanasi as a new Indian state, with Ramnagar as its capital. After India's independence, Varanasi became part of Uttar Pradesh.
The geographic coordinates of Varanasi are 25.3176° north latitude and 82.9739° east longitude. Average elevation is 81 meters above sea level and the total area is 1550 km2. It is located in the center of Ganges valley in northern part of India.
The climate of Varanasi is humid subtropical. Summer starts in April and lasts until June while winter starts in December and lasts until February. Average precipitation is 1110 mm with August being the wettest month.
The economy of Varanasi is industry based. It is based on the sectors like tourism, handicraft, educational, hospitality handloom, and government sector. Tourism controls approximately 50% of the city’s economy. Tourism helped popularise Varanasi sarees, handicrafts, carpets and other products in different parts of the world.
Some of the famous tourist attractions in the city are Banaras Ghats, Ganga Aarti at Rajendra Ghat, Sarnath, Vishwanath Temple, Banaras Hindu University, New Vishwanath Temple at BHU, Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, Dhamek Stupa, Archeological Museum, Tibetan Temple, Ramnagar Fort, Thai Temple, Chaukhandi Stupa and Garden of Spiritual Wisdom.
Major localities in Varanasi are Godoulia, Lanka, Sigra, Nadesar, Pandeypur, Maldahiya, Rohaniya, Shivpur, Chowk, Kachnar, Kaithi, Mahmoorganj, Chitaipur, Danapur, Ramnagar, Durgakund, Kabirchaura, Nati-Imli and Bhagwanpur.
Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport is the local airport located 23 kilometers from the main city center. Varanasi Junction, locally known as Cantt railway station is the major railway station in the city. It connects the city with Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune along with other major destination in and outside the state. Varanasi is well connected with other major cities by National Highway 7, 44 and 233.
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