Also called Banaras or Kashi, Varanasi is situated on the banks of the River Ganga in Uttar Pradesh. One of the oldest living cities in the world, it is a major religious hub in India. The city is deemed to be the holiest of the seven sacred cities (the seven tirthas or pilgrimage centres) in the country. There is a common belief amongst the Hindus that death in the city helps one attain Moksha (liberation of the body from the cycle of birth and death). Exuding a rare old-world charm, Varanasi continues to be held sacred by Indians and people from all across the globe. It is famous for its Ghats, that have steps carved out in stone, leading to the holy waters of the Ganga. Locals and pilgrims can be spotted bathing in the waters, in a bid to achieve salvation from their sins. Varanasi is well-connected to most cities of the country via the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport. The closest railway station is the Varanasi Junction Railway Station. If you are travelling to the city by road, Varanasi lies along National Highway 2, that connects it to Kanpur, Delhi, Kolkata, and Agra. Having been a popular pilgrimage site, Varanasi attracts multitudes of pilgrims all around the year, who visit the city to soak in its sanctity. 3-star hotels in Varanasi offer rather spacious and comfortable rooms and are usually located in the vicinity of major tourist attractions in the city. These hotels often provide an on-site parking space, whereas some even have a medium-sized restaurant and a swimming pool. These hotels are perfect for you if you are travelling with your friends or family on a vacation. The city is an embodiment of spirituality for Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. Other than that, Varanasi is known for its quintessential Banarasi silk sarees and antique gold jewellery. Additionally, the Ghats of Varanasi are wonderful for an evening stroll. Dashashwamedh Ghat is the most popular one here, while the others include Mata Anandamai Ghat, Assi Ghat, Munshi Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Tulsi Ghat, Raj Ghat, and Scindia Ghat. You can attend the evening aarti ceremony at the Ganga here. For shopping, go to Thatheri Bazaar, Vishwanath Lane, Chowk, and Godowlia. Do not forget to try out the famous Banarasi Paan when here. It is one of the most famous delicacies of this city.
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