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Varanasi Information
STD Code 0542
Geographical Location
Longitude 83.0
Latitude 25.20
Area 1535 square KM
Height 77 m from sea level
Rivers Ganga, Varuna
Capital Lucknow
Climates Winter 4° - 32° C
  Summer 22° - 45° C
Humidity Max. 93%, Min. 62%
Best Time to Visit: October to March

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 in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals.

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 center of learning for ages. Varanasi is associated with promotion of spiritualism, mysticism, Sanskrit, yoga and Hindi language and honored 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

Kashi on the Trident of Lord Shiva

It is believed that Varanasi is situated on the trident of Lord Shiva. Varanasi (Visheshvara) existson the middle fork of trident of Lord Shiva, Omkareshvara on the north fork and Kedareshvara on south fork oftrident of Lord Shiva (Omkareshvara,Visheshvara, Kedareshvara). Lord Shiva always lives here invisibly and flow the energy from his hair in the form of Ganga River. Varanasi is the oldest city in the world and older than history. Varanasi has destroyed four times by Muslim invaders between 11th to 17th centuries but it has re-built. In the Varanasi, there are over 3000 Hindu temples, 1400 Mosque, 12 Churches, 3 Jain temples, 9 Buddhist temple and 3 sikh temples. Varanasi is denoted by various names such as Varanasi, Kashi, Banaras, Mahasmashana, Avimukta, Anandvan, Rudravasa etc.

Kashi: The word Kashi is taken from Atharva Ved which means 'concentration of cosmic light’. Kashi gives Moksha (liberation) to everybody. Kashi is originated from name of Kasha who was seventh king of Kashi. Devout Hindu of the city called it Kashi because the rays of the sun in morning spread across the river and strike high banked face of the city.

Varanasi city enjoys all three types of seasons: cold, hot and rainy. Varanasi city enjoy the Cold from November to February, hot from March to June and Rainy from July to September.  October to March is the best to visit the Varanasi.

Varanasi Ghats

The Ghats of Varanasi are the cemented stairs on the western bank of the Ganges leading to the holy water of the river. There may be more than a hundred Ghats in the city. Many are as old as the city of Varanasi itself and some are new constructions by certain communities, sects or even individuals. The river Ganga is believed to have the power of cleansing your sins with a dip. Worshippers and believers visit the Ghats for that holy dip and offering their prayers to the holy waters. The city of Varanasi is associated with Nirvana or deliverance from the cycle of birth and death. The Ghats of Varanasi are the Bathing Ghats and the Burning Ghats. Varanasi, the aged Kashi, is a city of pundits in orange shawls and wooden sandals; a city where the smoky haze of funeral pyres blends with the sound of temple bells. For Varanasi is ground zero for Hindus who come here to die in the hope of breaking out of the cycle of karma and re-birth. Carved out along the banks of river Ganges at precisely the only place along its course where the river flows from the South to the North (in Hindu mythology towards the abode of the Gods and hence the sanctity of the place). If Varanasi is the mortal frame of salvation, then undoubtedly the

Dasaswamedh Ghat

stepped Ghats, nestling along the shimmering waters of Ganges, are its soul. People define all the Ghats on the holy river as points on the divine cosmic road guiding to a hallowed destination. The spectacular 4 km sweep of the Ghats is a unique sight, best viewed at dawn, in the soft first light, when the river drenching the feet of these solitary stairs have a timeless appeal.

There are number of temples on the bank of the Ganga river in Varanasi. It is believed that people are cleansed physically, mentally and spiritually at Ganga Ghats. It is at the Ganga Ghats where we see life and death together. For thousands of years people have been thronging these Ghats to offer their morning prayers to the rising sun. There are more than 80 ghats along side Ganga in Varanasi. 

Some of the prominent and popular Ghats at Varanasi are the Dasaswamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Harischandra Ghat, Kabir Ghat and Assi Ghat.

Dasaswamedh Ghat :-
Dasaswamedh Ghat has a scenic location and presents a picturesque view of the vastness of the river. It is believed that ten horses were sacrificed at this Ghat, also the literal translation of the word Dasaswamedh. It is a must visit Ghat especially during evening when prayers are performed. The prayers end with the Ganges flooded with thousands of floating lamps, a divine sight. Dasaswamedh Ghat is one of the most important Ghats of Varanasi.

Assi Ghat

Dasaswamedh literally means the Ghat (river front) of ten sacrificed horses. According to legends ten horses were sacrificed by Lord Brahma to allow Lord Shiva to return from a period of banishment. In spite of the fact that Dasaswamedh is one of the oldest Ghats of Varanasi, dating back to many thousand years, the Ghat has remained unspoilt and clean. Dasaswamedh provides a beautiful and colorful riverfront view. 

A large number of Sadhus can be seen performing religious rites on this Ghat. Devotees must not miss the opportunity of visiting the Dasaswamedh Ghat in the evening when after Aarti, thousands of earthen lamps are immersed in the waters of the holy Ganges and the floating lamps give a divine look to the river at dusk. Dasaswamedh Ghat falls second in line of the Panch-Tirtha Yatra. When you start moving from Assi towards North then falls past the plain, flat-roofed building that houses the shrine of Shitala. 

The name of Dasaswamedh Ghat indicates that Brahma sacrificed (medh) 10 horses here. 

Conveniently central, it's one of the most important and busiest ghats and therefore is a good place to linger and soak up the atmosphere. Dasaswamedh is an extremely popular pilgrimage. Even in the rainy season when Ganges is on spate, people can be seen visiting the temple on boats.

Assi Ghat :-
Situated at the confluence of Ganga and Asi rivers, Assi Ghat is the southernmost Ghat in Varanasi, where pilgrims bathe before paying their homage to Lord Shiva in the form of huge lingam situated under a peepal tree. Assi Ghat also constitutes the southern end of conventional city. Another lingam

Manikarnika Ghat

worshipped here is the Asisangameshwar lingam representing the lord of confluence of the Asi, enshrined in a small marble temple near the Assi Ghat. It was at the Assi Ghat where the famous Indian poet saint, Tulsi Das had written the much-celebrated Ramcharitmanas.

Manikarnika Ghat :-
Manikarnika Ghat one of most sacred and oldest Ghat is the main burning Ghat in Varanasi. It is believed to be situated at the place where the creator and the destroyer are together. A sacred well Manikarnika Kund believed to be dug by the creator Lord Vishnu is also located here.

Manikarnika Ghat is the main cremation Ghat of Varanasi. Manikarnika Ghat is one of the oldest and most sacred Ghats in Benaras. According to the Hindu mythology, being burned here provides an instant gateway to liberation from the cycle of births and rebirths. Lying at the center of the five tirthas, Manikarnika Ghat symbolizes both creation and destruction. At Manikarnika Ghat, the mortal remains are consigned to flames with the prayers that the souls rest in eternal peace. There is a sacred well at the Manikarnika Ghat, called the Manikarnika Kund. Manikarnika Kund is said to be dug by Lord Vishnu at the time of creation while the hot ashes of the burnt bodies makes one remember the inevitable destruction of everything in the world. The philosophical aspect of Manikarnika lies in the fact that this Ghat is an optimal malgamation of both life as well

Harish Chandra Ghat

as death. Manikarnika that lies at the center of the Panch-Tirtha symbolizes both creation and destruction, epitomized by the juxtaposition of the sacred well of Manikarnika Kund and Manikarnika Ghat.

Harish Chandra Ghat :-
Harish Chandra Ghat is one of the oldest Ghats of Varanasi. Harish Chandra Ghat is name after a mythological King Harish Chandra, who once worked at the cremation ground here for the perseverance of truth and charity. It is believed that the Gods rewarded him for his resolve, charity and truthfulness and restored his lost throne and his dead son to him. Harish Chandra Ghat is one of the two cremation Ghats (the other being Manikarnika Ghat) and is some times referred as Adi Manikarnika (the original creation ground). Hindus from distant places bring the dead bodies of their near and dear ones to the Harish Chandra Ghat for cremation. In Hindu mythology it is believed that if a person is cremated at the Harish Chandra Ghat, that person gets salvation or "moksha". The Harish Chandra Ghat was somewhat modernized in late 1980's, when an electric crematorium was opened here.

Varanasi Temples

Golden Temple :-
Kashi Vishwanath TempleThe Kashi Vishwanath temple is located in the heart of the cultural capital of India, Varanasi. It stands on the western bank of India's holiest river Ganges. The Kashi Vishwanath temple is the center of faithfor millions of Hindus. The Jyotirlinga of Shiva, Vishweshwara or Vishwanatha, is enshrined in the Kashi Vishwanath temple, considered as one of the holiest temples of India. In Hindu religion it is believed that a simple glimpse of the Jyotirlinga is a soul-cleansing experience that transforms life and puts it on the path of knowledge and Bhakti (devotion). A single darshan of Vishweshwara Jyotirlinga is considered to merit more than the darshan of other jyotirlingas, scattered in various parts of India. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple has been a living picture of the timeless cultural traditions and highest spiritual values. 

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple attracts Hindu devotees and other visitors not only from India but also the world over. Lord Vishwanath is considered the supreme repository of the spiritual truth and strengthens the bonds of universal brotherhood. Late Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore built the temple in the present shape, way back in 1780. In the year 1785, a Naubatkhana was built up in front of the Temple at the instance of Governor General, Warren Hastings. In 1839, two domes of the Temple were covered by gold, donated by Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, the ruler of Punjab. The management of the Kashi Vishwanath temple rests with a trust.

The Vishwanath temple opens daily at 2.30 A.M. for Mangala Aarti and between 3 to 4 A.M. ticket holders are permitted to join. The timing of general Darshan is from 4 to 11 A.M. The timing for midday Bhog Aarti is from11.30 to 12 A.M. Between 12 noon to 7 P.M., general devotees are free to have Darshan. From 7 to 8.30 P.M. the Sapta Rishi Aarati is held after which Darshan is possible again till 9 P.M. At 9 P.M. the Shringar/Bhog Aarati starts and after that Darshan is possible only from outside. Shayana Aarti starts at 10.30 P.M. and the temple closes at 11 P.M. Most of the offerings at the Kashi Vishwanath temple are given to poor.

B.H.U. (Banaras Hindu University) :-
The Banaras Hindu University or BHU is an internationally reputed University and is situated in Varanasi. The great nationalist leader, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, founded the Banaras Hindu Universityinthe year 1916. Dr Annie Besant also played an important role in the formation of the BHU. The Banaras Hindu University played an important role in the Indian independence movement. Over a period of time, it has developed into one of the greatest centers of learning in India. The BHU has produced many great freedom fighters and Nation builders. 

New Vishwanath Temple BHU

It has immensely contributed to the progress of the nation through a large number of renowned scholars, artists and scientists. The Banaras Hindu University has a sprawling campus, spanning across 1300 acres. It has well maintained roads (crossing each other at right angle), extensive greenery, a temple, an airstrip and buildings, which are an architectural delight. There is another campus of the Banaras Hindu University at Barkachha, in Mirzapur district, covering an area of 2700 acres. The BHU comprises of 3 Institutes, 14 Faculties, 124 Departments, 4 Interdisciplinary Centers and 3 Constituent Schools, spanning a vast rang of subjects pertaining to all branches of humanities, social sciences, science, technology, medicine, fine arts and performing arts.

New Vishwanath Temple :-
New Vishwanath temple of Varanasi is located in the premises of the Banaras Hindu University(BHU). It is also called the Birla temple as the famous industrialist family of India, the Birlas, constructed it. The New Vishwanath Temple is dedicated to lord Shiva and is a replica of the original Vishwanath temple. The temple is built in white marbles, and was planned by Madan Mohan Malviya, the founder of the Banaras Hindu University. The most important characteristic of the new Vishwanath temple is that it is open to people from all castes and religions. The huge campus of New Vishwanath Temple is a delight to the eyes of visitor. The interior has a Siva lingam and verses from Hindu scriptures are inscribed on the walls.

Durga Temple :-
Durga Temple Varanasi UPLocated 2 km from Varanasi, the 18th century Durga temple is one of the most important temples in Varanasi. The 8th century Durga temple is built in Nagara Style and is one of the most important temples of the city. The 'shikhara' of the temple consists of several small spires layered one on top of the other. Durga temple, also known as the "monkey temple" is one of the important temples of Varanasi. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga. The Durga temple was built in the eighteenth century. A Bengali Maharani built the Durga temple in Nagara Style (the North Indian style of temple architecture). It is stained red with ochre and has a multi-tiered shikhara (spire). The Durga temple is situated on a rectangular tank, called the Durga Kund. According to the Puranas, Goddess Durga has kept this place for many centuries and protects the holy city, Varanasi, from the South. According to legends, the present statue of Goddess Durga was not made by man but appeared on its own in the temple. In Hinduism, Durga is represented as the embodiment of shakti or female power, clad in red, riding a tiger and fully armed with Shiva's trident, Vishnu's discus and a sword. Non-Hindus can enter the courtyard of the Durga temple but not the inner sanctum. Thousands of Hindu devotees visit the Durga temple during Navratri and other auspicious occasions. Durga is the 'terrible' form of Shiva's consort Parvati, so at festivals there are often sacrifices of goats. Non-Hindus can enter the courtyard but not the inner sanctum. It is commonly known as Monkey Temple due to many frisky monkey that have made it their home.

Sankat Mochan Temple :-
Sankat Mochan Temple VaranasiSankat Mochan Hanuman Temple was founded by Tulsidas who wrote the famous Hindu epic Ramayana or Ramayan. This is the common belief among millions of people in India and abroad that if someone visits this holy Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple or offer Holy Puja or Pooja regularly, then his wishes and desires get fulfilled. Besides the Assi river stream, on the way of Durga Temple to Banaras Hindu Temple this well known temple of Lord Hanuman is situated. Lord Hanuman is also known as "Sankatmochan" the god who protects from the troubles. This temple is founded by Goswami Tulsidas. This temple is also known as "Monkey" temple, as lot of monkeys are there inside the premises. Bi-Weekly ceremonies are held every Tuesdays and Saturdays when "Akant nama sangeerthanam, especially "Kishkindha" and "Sundera Kand" are recited. On the day of Kartik Krishna Chathurdhashi special prayers at dawn are held. On "Chitra Full-moon day, the annual festival of the temple is held. The chief attractions of this festival are the vivid tableaus that are taken out in the procession. Various discourses based on Ramayana and otherwise are organized to provide solace to the disturbed souls. Thousands of devotees queue up in front of the Sankat Mochan temple to offer prayers to Lord Hanuman. According to Vedic Astrology, Hanuman protects human beings from the anger of planet Saturn and those who have ill placed Saturn in their horoscope visit the Sankat Mochan temple to get remedy. People put "Sindoor" on the statue and offer "laddoos" to Lord Hanuman. The "Sindoor", from the statue of Lord Hanuman is put on the foreheads of devotees.

Tulsi Manas Temple :-
Tulsi Manas Temple VaranasiTulsi Manas temple is one of the most famous temples of Varanasi. It is also an important tourist attraction of the holy city. The Tulsi Manas temple is located near the famous Durga temple. It was built in white marble in the year 1964. The temple has been made more charming by the magnificent landscaping around it. The Tulsi Manas temple is dedicated to lord Ram. It is believed to be built at the same place where Tulsidas wrote the famous Indian epic, Ramcharitamanasa. The walls of the Tulsi Manas temple are engraved with verses and scenes from the Ramcharitammanasa, the Hindi version of the Ramayana. The temple is open from 5.30 AM to noon and 3.30 to 9 PM.

Bharat Mata Temple :-
The Bharat Mata temple at Varanasi is the only temple dedicated to Mother India. It is located in the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth campus. The Bharat Mata temple was built by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupt and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936. The statute of Bharat Mata is built in marble and is a model of undivided India, depicting the mountains, plains and oceans. The most peculiar thing about the Bharat Mata Temple is that instead of the customary gods and goddesses, it houses a relief map of India, carved out of marble.

Ramnagar Fort

Ramnagar Fort VaranasiThe Ramnagar fort lies about 14 km. from Varanasi and is situated on the opposite bank of river Ganga. It is the ancestral home of the Maharaja of Banaras. Maharaja Balwant Singh built this fort-palace in the eighteenth century. The fort is built in red sandstone. The Ramnagar fort has a temple and a museum within the grounds and the temple is dedicated to Ved Vyasa, who wrote Mahabharata, the great Indian epic. Legends have it that Ved Vyasa stayed here for a brief period.

The Ramnagar fort houses a museum displaying the Royal collection which includes vintage Cars, Royal palkies, an armory of swords and old guns, ivory work and antique clocks. The Durga Temple and Chhinnamastika Temple are also Located at Ramnagar. A temple of Dakshin Mukhi Hanuman is there. Inside the giant walls of the Ramnagar fort-palace, there is a big clock. This clock not only displays year, month, week and day but also astronomical facts about the sun, moon and constellation of stars. An interesting array of ornate palanquins, gold-plated howdahs and weapons are some of the artifacts on display in the Ramnagar fort-palace museum.

Sarnath

Sarnath, located just 12 km from the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, is the site of the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma after his enlightenment. Sarnath is one of four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha himself for pilgrimage. The other three sites are: Lumbini (birth); Bodh Gaya (enlightenment); and Kushinagar (death).

Sarnath has previously been known as Mrigadava, "deer park," and Isipatana, meaning the place where holy men (Pali: isi) fell to earth. The latter name is based in the legend that when the Buddha was born, devas came down to announce it to 500 holy men. The holy men all rose into the air and disappeared and their relics fell to the ground.

The current name Sarnath, from Saranganath, means "Lord of the Deer" and relates to another old Buddhist story in which the Bodhisattva is a deer and offers his life to a king instead of the doe he is planning to kill. The king is so moved that he creates the park as a sanctuary for deer.

History : -

After his enlightenment in Bodhgaya, the Buddha went to Sarnath seeking his five former companions. He found them, taught them what he had learned, and they also became enlightened. This event is referred to as "the turning of the wheel of the Dharma" and also marks the founding of the Sangha, or the community of monks.

Buddha's first discourse, delivered here at Sarnath, is known in Pali as the Dhammacakkhapavathana Sutta. Other Suttas include the Anattalakhana Suttaand the Saccavibhanga Sutta. The Buddha's central teaching after his enlightenment centered around the Four Noble Truths (concerning the meaning of life) and the Noble Eightfold Path (concerning the right way to live).

The Buddha spent the next rainy season in Sarnath at the Mulagandhakuti vihara. The Sangha having grown to 60 in number, the Buddha sent them out to teach the Dharma to others.

Buddhism flourished in Sarnath in part because of the support of kings and wealthy merchants based in nearby Varanasi. By the 3rd century Sarnath had become an important center for the arts, which reached its zenith during the Gupta period (4th-6th century AD). When Hsuan Tsang visited from China in the 7th century, he found 30 monasteries and 3000 monks living at Sarnath.

Sarnath became a major center of the Sammatiya school of Buddhism, one of the Nikaya or Hinayana schools. The presence of images of Heruka and Tara indicate that Vajrayana Buddhism was also practiced here.

At the end of the 12th century, Sarnath was sacked by Turkish Muslims. The site was subsequently plundered for building materials and has remained in ruins until the present day. The site was entirely deserted until 1836, when the British began excavations and restoration.

What to See

All of the ancient buildings and structures at Sarnath were damaged or destroyed by the Turks. However, amongst the ruins the Dharmekh Stupa is impressive at 128 feet high, and 93 in diameter. This dates from around 200 BC and is the spot where the Buddha is said to have preached his first sermon.

Only the foundations remain of the Dharmarajika Stupa, but it is notable as a rare pre-Ashokan stupa.

The decaying ruins of the Mulagandhakuti Vihara mark the place where the Buddha spent his first rainy season in meditation. In the 7th century, a writer described it as 200 feet high and containing 100 niches containing a Buddha carving along each wall. A life-sized statue shows the Buddha turning the wheel of the law.

To the east is the modern Mulagandhakuti Vihara with its beautiful wall paintings; behind it is the Deer Park, which is maintained as an open animal park and still attracts deer.

The Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath survived the Turkish invasion but was broken during excavations. The base still stands in its original spot and has some interesting carvings.

The splendid lion capital that topped the pillar, which thankfully survived its 45 foot drop to the ground is on display at the Sarnath Archeological Museum. The museum also houses some of the greatest treasures of Indian Buddhist art, including almost 300 images.

There is also a Bodhi tree planted by Anagarika Dharmapala which was grown from a cutting of the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya. It is located next to a Sri Lankan monastery.

Six national temples have been built by various Asian communities at Sarnath since the site's restoration, including a Tibetan temple and Sri Lankan temple.

Shopping

ShoppingVaranasi is famous for its silk weaving, and Banarasi silks are a part of every girl’s wedding trousseau. Banaras Brocades are prized the world over. Brassware, copperware, wooden and clay toys and exquisite gold jewellery are some of the other craft the city is famous for. The hand - knotted carpets of Mirzapur and musical instruments are among the other shopping attractions. Banaras is also famous for its ‘ Langda Aam’, a variety of mangoes available in the summer. Betel leaf is also a specialty. The main shopping areas are Chowk, Vishwanath Gali, Thatheri bazaar, Lahurabir, Godoulia , Dashswamedh Gali and Golghar.

With hustlers and rickshaw drivers keen to drag tourists into shops offering commission, shopping in Varanasi can be a nightmare but its worth seeking out the city's rich Silk weaving and brasswork. The best areas to browse are the Thatheri Bazaar (for brass), Jnana Vapi and the Vishwanatha Gall with its Temple Bazaar (for silk brocade and jewellery). State run emporia in Godaulia, lahurabir and the Chowk - the three Handlooms outlets at Lahurabir, Nadesar and Neechi Bag, and Mahatex in Godaulia - of fixed prices and assured quality. Housed in a former palace opposite the Taj Hotel, Cantt, the CIE has a large and impressive selection but, despite its official-sounding name, is outrageously expensive Kashmiri-run chain aimed exclusively at the fivestar market.

Sales pitches tend to become more aggressive when it comes to silk, and you need be wary of the hard-sell. Qazi Sadullahpura, near Chhavi Mahal Cinema, lies at the heart of a fascinating Muslim neighbourhood devoted to the production of silk. Upica, the government-run emporium has the advantage of fixed prices, with outlets at Godaulia opposite the Taj Hotel, Cantt. Handloom House, D64/132K Sigra, another government sponsored chain, is the best and safest place to buy silk with a modern showroom although the sales staff appear disorganized. For tailoring, try Paraslakshmi Exports, Chandrika Colony Sigra (ph: 361496), a silk business providing a good and prompt service; they'll deliver to your hotel, and also offer ready-made waistcoats and boxer shorts.

URBAN HAAT
Keeping the preferences of tourists in mind the city has developed an Urban Haat where artisans (State and National Awarded) from various states are brought together to showcase the handicrafts of India daily on roster basis of 15 Days. So that the excitement of up coming crafts remains the same. The Compound of Haat is provided with all basic public amenities accolade the Indian music, art, craft and culture spiced with exclusive food plazas.

Venue : Urban Haat, Sanskritik Sankul, Maqbool Alam Road, Chowka Ghat, Varanasi.

Entry Ticket `2/-; Timing: Daily 9:00 am to 10:00 pm.

 Souvenir Shops and Malls

  1. M/s Baba Black Sheep , Bhelupur , Varanasi.
  2. M/s Mehrotra Silk Factory, S. C. - 21/72, Englishia Line, Varanasi.
  3. M/s J. R. Ivory, Arts & Curios, D-20, Vishvanath Gali, Varanasi.
  4. M/s Bhagwan Leela Sports, 41-Sindhu Nagar Colony, Sigra, Varanasi..
  5. M/s Mohan Silk Store, D-5/154, Vishvanath Gali, Varanasi.
  6. M/s Bhagwan Store, D-10/3, Vishvanath Gali, Varanasi.
  7. M/s Chaudhari Brothers, Thatheri Bazar, Varanasi
  8. M/s Mahalaxmi Sari House, 10, Chandrika Colony, Sigra, Varanasi.
  9. M/s Bhagwan Silks, S-10/86, Sarnath, Varanasi.
  10. IP Mall , Sigra Varanasi
  11. JHV , The Mall , Cantt.
  12. Modern Reception Centre, Sarnath
  13. Shivansh Handicraft, Pandey Ghat, Varanasi.