Varanasi / Benares
Varanasi, the mythical Kashi, city of light, is as ancient a city as Beijing, Athens and Jerusalem. Varanasi is as holy to Hindu as Rome is to Christians and Mecca to Muslims.
Every year hundreds of thousands of pilgrims walk down the ghats, the stairs to the Ganges, to take a holy bath in the river. People who die here go straight to Nirwana.
The city´s location is splendid, built as it is on the high left riverbank, floating in the shimmering light of the North India Plain.
The British renamed the city Benares; at India’s independence the original name was reinstated.