The city of Varanasi is located in North India on the banks of the river Ganges. It has a long history of being a religious, industrial and cultural centre of Northern India.
According to myths, the holy city of Varanasi was founded by Hindu deity Shiva, making it one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the country. It is one of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism. It is also an important city for Buddhism, as Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon nearby.
was a commercial and industrial centre famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture. During the time of Gautama Buddha (born circa 567 BCE), Varanasi was the capital of the kingdom of Kashi. Lord Buddha gave his first sermon at the nearby town of Sarnath. The city remained a centre of religious, educational, and artistic activities as attested by the celebrated Chinese traveller Xuanzang.
boasts its own style of classical Hindustani music, and has produced many prominent musicians, philosophers, poets and writers. The language spoken in the city is Bhojpuri, a dialect of Hindi.