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Varanasi also commonly known as Benares or Banaras
is a city situated on the left (west) bank of the River Ganga (Ganges)
in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, regarded as holy by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains,
and one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world.
The culture of Varanasi is closely associated with the River Ganges and
the river's religious importance.
The city has been a cultural and religious centre in northern India
for several thousand years.
The Benares Gharana form Indian classical music developed in Varanasi,
and many prominent Indian philosophers, poets, writers, and musicians resided
or reside in Varanasi, which includes Kabir, Ravi Das, Munshi Premchand,
Jaishankar Prasad, Acharya Ram Chandra Shukla, Pandit Ravi Shankar,
Hariprasad Chaurasia, and Ustad Bismillah Khan.
Tulsidas wrote his Ramacharitamanas there, and Gautama Buddha gave his
first sermon at Sarnath near Kashi.
Ayurveda is said to have originated at Varanasi.
Varanasi is home to the Banaras Hindu University.
Residents mainly speak Kashika Bhojpuri, which is closely related to the
People often refer to Varanasi as "the city of temples", "the holy city of India",
"the religious capital of India", "the city of lights", "the city of learning" and the
"culture capital of India".
American writer Mark Twain wrote, " Benares is older than history,
older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as
old as all of them put together."
read full wikipedia reference about Varanasi, India
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