Situated in India’s federal state of Uttar Pradesh and with a population of several million, the former ‘Banaras’ is the most important of the seven holy cities of the Hindu faith.
10 kilometres northeast is the village of Sarnath, which for Buddhists, is as important as Banaras is for the Hindus and is often referred to as the birthplace of Buddhism. It is believed that Buddha delivered his first sermon there following his Enlightenment.
In Banaras, the fascinating hustle and bustle on the Ganga, which is what the Indian people call the River Ganges, begins at dawn. Masses of pilgrims from all over India travel to the Ghats, the holy bathing places of the Hindus, where they wash their sins away with the waters of the Ganges, which for six kilometres is flanked by more than ninety ghats, temples and various other religious buildings.
Banaras, India’s holy city, is today not only a symbol of religious faith but also the home of many colorful and atmospheric Hindu rituals.
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