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Banaras: The Ancient City With A Twist

A sense of historic relevance floats around Banaras and you will found it everywhere you go

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Banaras has a heritage which is more than 3000 years old. Wikimedia Commons
Banaras has a heritage which is more than 3000 years old. Wikimedia Commons
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By Ruchika Verma 

  • Banaras is one of the oldest cities in the world
  • It is a historic, cultural and religious hub
  • The ancient city is full of fascinating places and stories

Banaras or Varanasi is considered one of the oldest cities in the world. It is situated in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is a city on the banks of the river Ganga and is one of the seven sacred cities of India.

Banaras is undoubtedly one of the most interesting cities in India. It is a historical, religious and political hub. The city combines all the major aspects of India beautifully in one place. One side, where there are religious ghats, on the other, there are streets full of political discussions. It is one colourful city, in all aspects possible.

Banaras – A city with a rich culture and history 

In Banaras, there are stories everywhere you look. Stories and myths about gods, royalties, politicians, there is nothing which you won’t hear here.

There is also a story behind the city’s famous other name, Varanasi. It starts with the two rivers, Varuna and Assi, which meet in this city, hence the name, ‘Varanasi’. During the Mughal rule, they changed the name to ‘Banaras’.

Banaras has a rich historic and religious heritage. Wikimedia Commons
Banaras has a rich historic and religious heritage. Wikimedia Commons

A sense of historic relevance floats around the city and you will found it everywhere you go. Whether it is, you’ll find traces of history and culture in every nook of Banaras.

 Famous Places in Banaras 

Banaras is full of places which will interest not only a travel enthusiast but also, any normal person. Whereas, Sarnath will acquaint you with the birthplace of Buddha. Ramnagar Fort will acquaint yo with a impressive vintage cars, clocks, and pictures. And who can miss the famous ‘Aarti’ on the banks of river Ganga, it is one of the most enchanting experiences one could have.

Also Read: The land that has conserved the essence Hinduism for over 3000 years 

And also, the famous hindu temple, Kashi Vishwanath. It is one of the greatest Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Also, the Banaras Hindu University or BHU, which is a dream college for many and the political hub for its students. The markets are also very colourful and full of great deals.

the famous Banaras Hindu University is one of the most premium institutes in India, Wikimedia Commons
the famous Banaras Hindu University is one of the most premium institutes in India, Wikimedia Commons

The city of Varanasi has you covered for food too. The ‘Chaats’ are a must try. And the ‘Kulhaad Chai’ is another quintessential  delicacy you can find in the ancient city.

Banaras is undoubtedly is a small but a great city which is ancient, but with a twist of modernity.

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BHU’s Founder: Facts About Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya

Even though a Congress leader, today even the BJP sees him as an inspiration, just like Vallabhbhai Patel

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BHU's founder, Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was notable for his role in the Indian independence movement. Wikimedia Commons
BHU's founder, Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was notable for his role in the Indian independence movement. Wikimedia Commons

Banaras Hindu University (BHU) was established by Madan Mohan Malaviya in 1916. It is a public central university located in Varanasi. BHU has 12,000 students residing on its campus, it is the largest residential university in Asia. 6 institutes, 14 streams, and about 140 departments form the BHU. It has students coming in from 48 countries.

BHU’s founder, Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was notable for his role in the Indian independence movement.

ALSO READ: Banaras Hindu University (BHU) to Promote Development Activities in 100 Villages under ‘Samarth Gram Abhiyan’

BHU has 12,000 students residing on its campus, it is the largest residential university in Asia. Wikimedia Commons
BHU has 12,000 students residing on its campus, it is the largest residential university in Asia. Wikimedia Commons

Here are some facts about the founder of BHU, Madan Mohan Malaviya: 

1. Satyameva Jayete

Madan Mohan Malaviya has been credited with popularising ‘Satyameva Jayate’- India’s national motto. Panditji did not coin the term.

2. BHU

He worked hard to make Banaras Hindu University (BHU) a reality. When he was denied funding by the Nizam, he supposedly auctioned his slipper at a market. The same Nizam bid for the chappal and bought it at a massive price.

3. Politics

Even though a Congress leader, today even the BJP sees him as an inspiration, just like Vallabhbhai Patel. He was president of the Indian National Congress for four times.

4. Hindu-Muslim Unity

Malaviya is often described as a Hindu nationalist, but he always strived for Hindu-Muslim unity.Here is an excerpt from his presidential address at the INC’s Calcutta session in 1933.

ALSO READ: Learning Through the Indian Scriptures : Banaras Hindu University (BHU) to Offer Lessons on Ancient Indian Texts and Literature

“I implore all Hindus and Mussalmans, Sikhs, Christians and Parsees and all other countrymen to sink all communal differences and to establish political unity among all sections of the people. In the midst of much darkness, I see a clear vision that the clouds which have long been hanging over our heads are lifting. Let every son and daughter do his or her duty to expedite the advent of dawn of the day of freedom and happiness. Truth is on our side. Justice is with us. God will help us. We are sure to win. Vande Mataram.”

5. Chauri Chaura

Panditji used to practice law at Allahabad High Court. He was the one to defend most the accused in 1922 Chauri Chaura riots. He is said to have saved 153 accused of getting the death penalty.