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Introduction:

Varanasi also known as Kashi is one of the ancient cities of this living World. This city is considered as the cultural capital of India situated on the bank of holy Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, India. People from all walks of life comes to experience this divine city “the abode of Lord Shiva.” The ancient temples and Beautiful ghats enhances the beauty of this city and Daily Ganga Aarti on the Ghats of Varanasi makes it more exquisite. Kashi is not only famous for its ghats and temples, but it is famous for producing people with great skills. In this blog we will focus on the famous People of Varanasi.

varanasi

 Famous People of Varanasi:

1.Lal Bahadur Shastri

2.Ravi Shankar

3.Pandit Kishan Maharaj

4.Tulsidas

5.Kabirdas

6.Birju Maharaj

7.Rani Laxmibai

8.Munshi Prem Chand

9.Ustad Bismillah Khan

10.Ravidas

 

Lal Bahadur Shastri (2nd Oct 1904 – 11th Jan 1966):

Lal Bahadur Shastri was born on second oct 1904 in Ramnagar, Varanasi. He was the 2nd Prime Minister of the Republic of India. Before taking the responsibility of Prime Minister of India he has served in a few departments such as home ministry and Railway Ministry of India, He was one of the most loved political leaders of all times. Some of his slogans became very famous “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965. Lal Bahadur Shastri was the first person to awarded India's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna.


 

Ravi Shankar (7th April 1920 – 11th Dec 2012):

Ravi Shankar also known as Ravi Shankar Chaudhari was born on 7th April 1920 in Varanasi. He is one of the most prolific and influential music maestros of the 20th century. After completing his study in 1944, He learnt Sitar under the guidance of Allauddin khan. He is one of the most influential messengers of Indian music in all around the world. He had been awarded with the highest civilian award in India, Bharat Ratna, his life has always been an immense source of inspiration for budding musicians throughout the world.

 

Pandit Kishan Maharaj (1923-2004):

He was named as Kishan because he was born at midnight on Krishna Janmashtami, 3rd September 1923. He was the famous Tabla player of India who belonged to the classical Hindu family of Kashi. He was born in Kabir Chaura, Banaras. He got the knowledge of classical music under the guidance of his father Kabir Maharaj. He was awarded with Padma Vibhushan in 2002.

Tulsidas 11th Aug – 30th July 1623)

The full name of Tulsidas was Ram bola Dubey. He was born on 11th Aug in a Vaishnav Hindu Family, His father’s name was aatmaram Dubey and Mother’s name was Hulse. He was renowned for his devotion to the deity Ram. He was famous for his popular book Ramcharitamanas. Tulsidas spent most of his life in the city of Varanasi. Tulsi ghat and Tulsi Manas Temple was named on the name of this famous poet and saint Tulsidas.

 

Kabir Das (1398-1518):

Kabir Das a well-known Indian poet was born in 1398 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. He is one of the most revered and widely quoted figures in the Bhakti movement, which emphasized devotion to a personal god as the path to salvation. Kabir's poetry transcends religious boundaries and has been influential in both Hinduism and Islam. Kabir's exact date of birth and death are not known, but he is believed to have lived in the 15th century, from 1440 to 1518. He was born in Varanasi (Benares), India. Kabir's teachings are recorded in his poetic compositions known as "Doha’s" (couplets) and "Sakhis" (witness-verses).

 

Birju Maharaj:

Birju Maharaj a renowned Indian classical dancer and one of the leading exponents of the Kathak dance form is also known as Brijmohan Mishra. He was Born on February 4, 1938, in Varanasi, India. He belongs from a family with a rich tradition in classical music and dance. He belongs to the Lucknow Gharana, a school of Kathak that has produced many prominent artists. He received his early training in Kathak from his father, Acchan Maharaj. Birju Maharaj's dance performances are marked by their grace, expressiveness, and intricate footwork. Birju Maharaj has received numerous awards and honours for his contributions to the field of dance, including the Sangeet Natak Academy Award, Padma Vibhushan (India's second-highest civilian award), and the Kalidas Samman. His dedication to preserving and promoting the traditional art of Kathak has made him a revered figure in the world of Indian classical dance.

 

Rani Laxmibai (19 November 1828 — 18 June 1858) 

Lakshmibai, the Queen of Jhansi was born into a Karhada Brahmin family in Banares on 19th November 1828. She was the queen in Maratha Empire from 1843 to 1853 by marriage to Maharaja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar. Lakshmibai married the Maharaja of Jhansi, Gangadhar Rao, in 1842. After the death of her husband in 1853, Rani Lakshmibai became deeply involved in the political affairs of Jhansi. When the Doctrine of Lapse was applied by the British East India Company, denying her adopted son Damodar Rao the right to the throne, it led to a significant conflict. Rani Lakshmibai refused to surrender Jhansi to the British and became a prominent leader in the uprising against British rule in 1857. Rani Lakshmibai's military leadership and bravery during the Siege of Jhansi are particularly noteworthy. She fought valiantly to defend her kingdom and became a symbol of resistance against British oppression. Unfortunately, she lost her life in the Battle of Gwalior on June 17, 1858.

 

Munshi Prem Chand (31st July 1880- 8th Oct 1936)

Dhanpat Rai Srivastava later known as Munshi Prem Chand was born on July 31, 1880, He was one of the most prominent and influential writers of modern Hindi. He is often referred to as the "Upanyas Samrat" (Emperor of Novels) for his prolific and impactful contributions to the world of fiction in India. He faced financial struggles a lot in his earlier life, but his passion for literature led him to write extensively. He began his literary career under the pen name "Nawab Rai" and later adopted the name Munshi Prem Chand. His works primarily focused on social issues, portraying the lives and struggles of the common people in rural India. Some of Prem Chand’s most celebrated works include novels such as "Godan," "Gaban," and "Nirmala," along with numerous short stories like "Idgah" and "Shatranj ke Khiladi." His writing delved into themes such as poverty, social injustice, communalism, and the complex relationships within Indian society. Premchand passed away on October 8, 1936, but his legacy endures through his literary masterpieces, which continue to be widely read and appreciated.

 

Ustaad Bismillah Khan (21st March 1916-21st august, 2006)

Ustad Bismillah Khan was born on March 21, 1916, in Dumraon, Bihar, India. He was one of the most renowned and celebrated classical musicians in India. He was a shehnai maestro and is often referred to as the "Shehnai Nawaz" or "Ustad Bismillah Khan." Bismillah Khan belonged from a family of traditional musicians and was introduced to the shehnai, a traditional Indian wind instrument, at an early age. His talent and dedication to his craft propelled him to great heights, earning him recognition both nationally and internationally. Ustad Bismillah Khan played a crucial role in popularizing the shehnai as a classical instrument and elevated its status in Indian classical music. He performed at the Red Fort on the eve of India's Independence on August 15, 1947. Ustad Bismillah Khan received numerous awards during his lifetime, including the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in 2001. Ustad Bismillah Khan passed away on August 21, 2006, but his legacy lives on through his music and the inspiration he continues to provide to aspiring musicians.

 

Ravidas (1267-1335)

Ravidas was a prominent North Indian saint, mystic poet, and social reformer who lived during the 15th and 16th centuries. His exact birth and death dates are uncertain, but he is believed to have been born around 1450 in the Varanasi region, in present-day Uttar Pradesh, India. Ravidas belonged to a family of cobblers and, according to tradition, faced social discrimination due to his lower caste. Despite his humble background, he rose to prominence as a spiritual leader and emphasized the unity of all beings under the divine. His teachings were characterized by devotion to God, rejection of caste distinctions, and the importance of living a righteous and ethical life. Ravidas expressed his spiritual insights through devotional poetry, composing hymns and verses that conveyed messages of love, equality, and the pursuit of a personal relationship with the divine. His compositions are collected in the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhism, and are also revered by followers of the Bhakti movement. Several places associated with Ravidas, including his birthplace and the Guru Ravidas Temple in Varanasi, have become pilgrimage sites for his followers.


Conclusion :

Varanasi is considered to be the cultural heritage of India and this city has given many gems to India, apart from these people, there are some other famous people of Varanasi like Bhartendu Harishchandra, Pandit Gudai Maharaj, Girija Devi, Jaishankar, Prasad, Baba Keenaram, Tailang Swami etc.


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