It is situated along the west bank of the Ganges. It is one of the most important pilgrimage centers in India for Hindus. It is also a major tourist attraction. It has been a centre of learning and civilisation for over 2,000 years. It is also known as Banaras. Ten km Away from here, is Sarnath where the Buddha first preached his message of enlightenment 2,400 years ago. Tulsi Das, the famous poet who wrote Ramayan in Hindi, belonged to this city. Even today, Varanasi is the centre of learning for Sanskrit scholars.
Hindus consider it auspicious to meet their end here. It is believed that one will attain salvation if one's life ends here.The string of bathing ghats on the west bank of the Ganges is the principal attraction of Varanasi. There are over 100 ghats here. The bathing ghats and the burning ghats are separately situated. It is believed that a dip in the bathing ghats here, cleanses one of all sins. At the burning ghats, bodies are cremated. Some of these ghats are owned by former princely rulers. The ghats here are divided castewise. The Dasaswamedh Ghat is one of the important ghats here. It is said that Lord Brahma sacrificed 10 horses here.