ll   VARANASI ...the city   ll

 ll  The City  ll  The Geography  ll  The Climate  ll  The People  ll  The Culture  ll  The Lifestyle  ll  The Festivals  ll  The Handicrafts  ll  The Art and Architecture  ll  The Music and Dance  ll  The Famous Folks  ll  The Economy  ll  The Shopping  ll  How to get there  ll  The Ganga  ll  Places Of Interest   ll 

Being the holiest city of Hinduism, the impact of the religion is found everywhere in the city - the clanging bells and the monotonous, but oddly soothing, chant of Sanskrit hymns, in the fragrant flower offerings, and the coloured powders that are sold in a myriad roadside shops which decorate the foreheads of the devout, in the tens of thousands of worshippers and the thousands who offer them salvation or service. The secret of Varanasi's enduring attraction is probably hidden in Sir Maurice Gwyer's description of the city: "...(to whom) so many generations of men have looked for inspiration, at whose shrines they have quickened their faith; in whose stone-paved alleys the old and the new are forever playing hide and seek; where the atmosphere and environment seem equally to encourage all pursuits, from the spiritual to the commercial; where one lives with legends and superstition and the romance and beauty of ritual, and yet with the fullest awareness of reality - such is Varanasi, eternal and ageless, bright and beautiful and intensely vital."