Varanasi, Benaras, Banaras, Kashi - this city on the banks of river Ganga (nullGanges) has been known by all these names through its three millennia long history. A history that is all the more remarkable as its great contemporaries - Athens, Jerusalem and Beijing â have long moved away from their ancient way of life.
Any attempt to encapsulate the essence of Varanasi is to touch the very core of Indian Spiritual Thought. Much of India's inclusive ethos stems from here. A place where mosques built on sacred temples are protected by law; a place where Bismillah Khan, a pious Shi'ite Muslim musician, and a devotee of Hindu Goddess Saraswati, played shehnai at the portals of Vishwanath Temple, remains India's pre-eminent place for spiritual quest.>