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A visit to Varanasi, formerly known as Benaras or Benares, or as Kashi (meaning "resplendent with light"), is an experience unlike any other. This is the epitome of a holy city, inundated with religious pilgrims and sacred cows, yet it is also a city firmly grounded in the commerce and reality of day-to-day existence. A visit here is thrilling but exhausting, and never boring.
the left bank of the Ganges, a river believed by Hindus to hold the power of salvation in every drop, Varanasi is one of the most sacred places in the world, considered by many to be the spiritual heart of India. Every year the city welcomes millions of pilgrims for whom the water—physically fouled by the pollution of humans both living and dead—remains spiritually pristine enough to cleanse the soul.