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Introduction:

Varanasi also known as Banaras is one of the oldest living cities in the world. Situated along the banks of the sacred river Ganges in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi is a confluence of spirituality, history, and tradition. Over the centuries, it has attracted seekers, scholars, and travellers from all over world. But it is a topic of debate, โ€œHow old is Varanasi.โ€ In this article, we will know the historical records and archaeological evidence to explore the age and origins of Varanasi.An English Author, Mark Twain writes about Varanasi โ€œBenaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.โ€ Varanasi is one of the most favourite places of Hindus as they believe if they die on the ground of Kashi, they will attain the salvation (Moksha) and liberation from the cycle of rebirth. Varanasi is a center of learning and civilization for over three thousand years. In Varanasi there is a place called Sarnath, the place where Buddha preached his first sermon after enlightenment. Varanasi is believed to be the birthplace of Parsvanath, the twenty-third Tirthankar of Buddha religion.

How old is Varanasi


How Old is Varanasi:

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva founded this city Kashi himself, making it one of the holiest cities for Hindus. The ancient Indian texts, including the Rigveda and the Puranas, mention the city as Kashi, and its significance is extolled in various religious scriptures. The archaeological evidence in Varanasi points to a rich and continuous history. Ancient potteries, coins, and structures have been unearthed, providing valuable insights into the city's early days.


The Mauryan and Gupta Eras:

The historical significance of Varanasi grew during the Mauryan and Gupta periods between 4th century to 6th century. Emperors like Ashoka and his successors patronized the city, contributing to its growth as a center of learning and spirituality. The famed Chinese traveller, Xuan Zang, who visited India during the 7th century, recorded Varanasi's prominence as a thriving cultural and religious hub.


Medieval Times:

During the medieval time, Varanasi faced several invasions. Muslim rulers, including the Delhi Sultanate and later the Mughals, tried to destroy this city multiple times. Despite these upheavals, Varanasi retained its essence as a place of spiritual significance and cultural heritage.

Monk in Varanasi

Colonial Influence:

When European colonial powers came into India, Varanasi, like many other ancient cities, came under British influence. During this time, the city underwent infrastructural changes and faced the challenges of modernization. Varanasi played a significant role during India's struggle for independence. It became a center of activism and a platform for leaders like Mahatma Gandhi to advocate non-violent resistance against British rule.


Conclusion:

Varanasi has a rich history. According to Hindu Mythology, the city's age, though difficult to precisely pinpoint, undoubtedly stretches back thousands of years. Timeless charm lies in its ability to preserve its ancient traditions while adapting to the ever-changing world. Today, at this time of revolution of Modernization Varanasi remains a vital cultural and religious center in India, attracting pilgrims, tourists, and scholars from all corners of the world. As visitors come to experience narrow alleys, divine vibe and mysterious places. They immerse themselves in its sacred rituals, and witness the divine Ganga Aarti, they are drawn into an exquisite experience that connects them to the essence of human history.


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