Tuesday, 13 September 2016

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Oldest surviving city in the world – Varanasi

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Varanasi, as per records, is the world’s oldest surviving city. This means that it has deep historical roots. Here’s a brief history of the city.

Vedic Era

According to the Hindu mythology, Varanasi was founded by Lord Shiva. No wonder is it mostly called ‘The City of Shiva’; in the city, the devotion for Shiva is seen abundantly. Kashi has witnessed the Vedic religion flourishing with its own windows. Reference to Banaras is frequently found in old Hind scriptures like the Vedas, Puranas and Upnishadas. Banaras has an important and divine status ever since the start of the history of Hinduism. The city was referred as being very holy in the Upanishadas. The city has an ancient charm which is still felt in hotel India Varanasi

Buddhist Era 

Banaras kept its status of significance in the Buddhist Era too. The city has been abundantly referred in Buddhist texts. Gautam Buddha, the Buddhist priest, gave his first sermon near Banaras, the exact place is called Sarnath. Some scholars believe that Buddha commenced the life of Buddhism in Varanasias it held significant importance and power in India back then.  in short, it was important enough to stir the religious belief of the country. According to Chinese traveler named HiouenThsang, who traveled to the city in 645 AD, described it as a prosperous and rich place. The city was important for Buddhism and Hinduism both; and both these coexisted peacefully, while back then the peaceful coexistence of two religions was pretty rare. 

Muslim Invasion Era

Muslim kings loved the city. Loved for looting, attacking, and demolishing to be honest, especially the heritage Hindu buildings. in 1994 Qutb-ud-din Aibak, in 1376 Feroz Shah Tuglaq in 1376, and in 1946 Sikander Lodi destroyed old temples in Varanasi. For centuries the city lived in the period of suppression and declination and it lost hundreds of its temples. This continued under the Mughal dynasty. In the year 1565, Akbar became the emperor. Though he belonged to a Muslim dynasty, he was secular. He constructed Hindu temples in Varanasi once again, and during his reign, Hinduism once again began to flourish. However, his descendants did not continue his traditions; and went back to the routine oftheir ancestors. Aurangzeb was particularly very fierce against the Hindus; and during his rule, Banaras again suffered major blows.

British Invasion Era

After Aurangzeb’s death, the Mughal dynasty considerably weakened. Many Hindu landlords then began standing against Muslims. Thus the establishment of a king for the Hindus who could pay allegiance to the Mughal emperor had been made. This resulted in ‘the Benares State’ which lasted till Indian Independence. You can see British leftovers in some of the best hotel in Varanasi

Post Independence Era 

With the country’s independence, Banaras too gained its freedom from all outer bodies and is now one of the most sought after Hindu places of pilgrimage.

So, visit this beautiful city with a beautiful past to relive all of its many eras. Varanasi promises a nice vacation!


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