Varanasi has a rich cultural heritage assimilating many diversities of India into its fold. Culture of Varanasi has been kept alive by the flow of perennial River Ganges called Mother Ganges.
Kashi was changed to Benaras in colonial periods as English were quite unfamiliar to the pronunciation of Banaras or Varanasi.
The ancient city has unique settlement with meandering lanes and streets which renewal pose a big challenge to Municipal Corporation and governments.
Tour package includes visits to 85 ancient ghats of Varanasi City along River Ganges, some of which older than Varanasi itself.
Other things of importance are various ancient temples like Kashi Vishwanath, Kaal Bhairav,
Durga Temple and Maha mritunjay temple which make Varanasi famed as City of Temples.
For her past, dances, architecture, festivities, languages, beliefs, customs and styles of life, India is one of the most vibrant and culturally the richest countries in the world.
Language of the country distinguish people of different regions. Eighteen languages are recognized by the Constitution of India. But in all, more than 1,600 languages and dialects have been identified. Although Hindi is the official and national language, English is also used and is the official language of the judiciary and the administration.
The origin of Indian classical music is reflected in beliefs of its people, its tradition dating back to the Neolithic. According to Indian mythology, it is through music that Brahma created the universe. First feature: Indian music is not written. Indeed in the past, it had to be transmitted to the disciples, and stored in memory, not on paper. Indian classical music is therefore based largely on improvisation around ragas (musical diagram). Another major difference, India's range is divided into 22 intervals when the West has only 12.
India offers a number of classical dances related to religion, like music. We find different schools for each regional style. Thus, one can see Kathakali of Kerala that combines theater, music and dance to tell the great episodes of mythology. The dance forms are diverse: the dances of the temples such as Bharatnatyam, Odissi and Mohiniyattam symbolize the victory of good over evil. Kathak and Kuchipudi represent religious and mythological tales to the accompaniment of music, mime and dance. Finally, the Manipuri Raas Dandiya and happy love story of Radha and Krishna.
India is cornucopia of craft & craftsmanship. Every area and region has its own specialties, styles and genres. Talented Indian craftsmen are engaged in different areas, often attached to a region. The textile industry is famous in the country that offers silk, cotton and high quality wool. Indian silk is manufactured 90% in the south. Muradabad for brassware, Rampur for knives, Agra for marble products, Varanasi for sarees, Mirzapur for carpets, Jaipur for jewelry & printed sarees etc are some India is cornucopia of crafts & craftsmanship. Every area and region has its own specialties, styles and genres. Talented Indian craftsmen are engaged in different areas, often attached to a region. The textile industry is famous in the country that offers silk, cotton and high quality wool. Indian silk is manufactured 90% in the south. Muradabad for brassware, Rampur for knives, Agra for marble products, Varanasi for sarees, Mirzapur for carpets, Jaipur for jewelry & printed sarees etc are some famous centers of handicraft craftsmanship. One can also explore the precious jewels from the Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Finally, in the field of leather, each region has its own specialty.
India has many traditions and customs that differ according to region & religion. Among the Hindu customs include vegetarianism for the sake of respect for all life and the importance of marriage, which is a leading cause of family debt. The use of the left hand is reserved for unclean tasks. The Muslims kept separate customs: wearing certain clothing and headdresses, non-vegetarian food, Parda (sailing and confinement imposed on women) very strict in the upper class, etc. Finally, in Sikhism classes are abolished, meat consumption is permitted, but not smoking. Sikhs are supposed to carry with them the 5K (Panch Kakaar). Uncut beards and hair, comb, loose trousers, a steel bracelet and a sword.
There are many festivals of different origins in the Indian calendar. There are indeed national festivities along with local, regional, religious, seasonal and social. All are characterized by color, gaiety and enthusiasm. One can quote among others the harvest festival (Pongal Festival), the Ganesh festival in Mumbai, and Diwali (the festival of light) in honor of Lakshmi. One of the most popular Hindu festivals is certainly Holi, the spring festival.
Thousands of years of continuum of Indian culture and civilization with abundance of diversity has resulted in present variety of Indian cuisine. Today, this rich and varied cuisine is the opulence of Indian culture. The strict vegetarian diet is one of the Brahmins. Countless spices create an infinite variety of flavors: ginger, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, etc. The pepper was introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The original Persian cuisine is also widespread after the Muslim invasions: biryani, kababs, chicken tandoori (chicken in the oven), etc.