Dictionary Of Hindu Religion | Locations
It is one of the seven holy cities - Ayodhyaa (UP), Mathuraa (UP), Haridwaar (Uttaraakhand), Kaashee or Vaaraanasee or Banaaras (UP), Kaanchee (Tamil Naadu), Avantee or Ujjain (MP), Dwaarakaa (Gujaraat). In the eastern side of UP, situated on the Western bank of Gangaa River - India's most sacred city. It was an important town by the 7th century BC when Babylon and Nineveh were at the peak of their power. Buddha came here in 500 BC; and it is mentioned in both Raamaayan and Mahaabhaarat. Vaaraanasee derives its name from two streams, the Varunaa and Assee - a small trickle on the Southern Banaaras (corrupted name of Vaaraanasee). It is also called Kaashee (the City of Light). It is believed that Vaaraanasee will not be destroyed even by Pralaya (Great Deluge), Shiv will lift it up on his Trishool (trident) at that time. There is a temple of Shiv, Vishwanaath Temple, in Kaashee; it is one of the 12 Jyotirling.
--Bharat's wife Sunandaa was from Kaashee.
There are 3 main Kaashee in Bhaarat Varsh. Whatever region has these features
is called Vaaraanasee - for example, region of Cuttack was named by king
Purushottam Dev in 16th century as Abhinav-Vaaraanasee. It also has same
features as Kaashee.
(2) Vaaraanasee - Similarly in Cuttack region, as Vaaraanasee region, is surrounded by 2 branches of Mahaanadee - Mahaanadee itself and Kathajodee as its delta starts from there. At their center is the fort Dwaaraavatee (called Baaraabatee now) with the temple of Gadha-Chandee. Thus, it is also known as Vaaraanasee.
(3) Uttar Kaashee -
Moksh is by knowledge only, and not by rituals only as clarified by Shankaraachaarya. All Kaashee were places of learning and Saadhanaa. However, real Gyaan is within mind and its center is also called Kailaash or Tri-koot. All knowledge is obtained by link (talk) between two hemispheres of brain called 2 Hans. All Aagam texts start as talk between Shiv and Paarvatee on Kailaash which is inside human mind also. Both Kailaash or Kaashee give Moksh by Gyaan leading to Samaadhi.
(4) Gupt Kasshee -
The ancient name of Bhaarat was Ajanaabh Varsh, as it was given to Naabhi by Swaayambhuv Manu. Aja = Brahma or Vishnu, his Naabhi (navel) has Manipura Chakra in human body. From that Manipur lotus Brahmaa was born. Geographically, Manipur borders Brahma Desh, now called Myammar (Maha-amar = Brahmaa).
In space, creation was from Hiranya Garbh = primordial fireball. That gave rise to 5 Mahaa Bhoot from which life started with plants. Its image is Kalash worship from which all our Poojaa starts. Kalash has all the 5 Mahaa Bhoot, and as a symbol of Hiranya Garbh, a copper coin is put into it, as a substitute of Hiranya = gold. The Mantra from Rig Ved is = Hiranya Garbh appeared first who was the single source (Pati) of all Bhoot (5 Mahaa Bhoot + living beings). He held the earth and sky and we worship that creator form of Brahm.
As Ajanaabh, India was the center of civilization. Its centre was places of
Bhoot Naath (Shiv) called Kaashee (bright which also means Hiranyagarbh).
There are 3 Kaashee in 3 parts of Bhaarat -
Kaashee, or Banaaras, or Vaaraanasee (UP)
According to a legend, the city was founded by the Hindu deity Shiv around 5,000 years ago, thus making it one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the country. It is one of the seven sacred cities of Hindu. Many Hindu scriptures, including Rig Ved, Skand Puraan, Raamaayan, and Mahaabhaarat, describe this city.
Otherwise Vaaraanasee is generally believed to be about 3,000 years old. Vaaraanasee was a commercial and industrial center famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture. During the time of Gautam Buddha (born circa 567 BC), Vaaraanasee was the capital of the Kingdom of Kaashee. The celebrated Chinese traveler, Xuanzang, attested that the city was a center of religious, educational, and artistic activities, and that it extended for about 5 km along the western bank of the Ganges. The city can be scorching hot in the summer months, if possible time your visit to fall between October and March, and bring something warm to wear for chilly days and nights. Vaaraanasee is not a city with distinct tourist destinations as such: instead, the experience is in watching the spectacle of life and death on the river and meandering through the alleys of the old city.Places to See
There is one Shiv Jyotirling here - Vishwanaath Temple, also known as the Golden Temple. security is tight making entrance difficult and sometimes completely off limits to foreigners. No bags, cell phones or pens are allowed. They can be deposited in the shops by the temple entrance.
Nepaalee Hindu Temple - A small golden temple, built in Nepaalee architecture, near Lalitaa Ghaat
Man Mandir Observatory
Tulasee Maanas Temple
Banaaras Hindu University - a very green and peaceful campus. Few actually know that this University was built during Indian freedom struggle and is known as Oxford of the East. This is the largest residential university of Asia, having approximately 124 independent departments. You also visit Bharat Kala Bhavan, a museum of Art and Archeology inside university.
There is also a Vishwanaath Temple built by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya.
Ram Nagar Fort - the fort of the King of Kaashee
Assee Ghaat - a popular place to stay with many hotels, restaurants and internet cafes
By foot is the only way to see the waterfront and the ghats but be ready to be hot, sweaty, and lost - locals are usually happy to point you in the right direction. The names of Ghaat and signs pointing to restaurants and hotels are often painted on the walls in Roman letters.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 04/06/13