The history of Varanasi

Varanasi is a very ancient city which has a continuous history since 1000 B.C. This is one of the holiest city of India which is a seat of learning, art and culture. The name Varanasi, according to the Vamon Purana, is located in between two rivers, the Varuna in the North and the Assi in the South on the bank of Ganga-and from the combination of the names of the two streams Varanasi was derived. Such statements are also seen in "Kashi Mahatmya" in Padma Purana and in the Skand Purana also. The oldest name of Varanasi was Kashi deriving from its inhabitants known as Kashis which were the first Aryen settlers about 5000 years ago. Regarding this a statement meaning Varanasi city of the Kashis, can be seen in Das Kumar Charito. In Vayu Purana and in other great epic like Ramayan and Mahabharat some what similar statements and references are also found. In the fifth century A.D., Fa-Hian, a Chinese traveller, who visited India made similar statements in his visiting report to India. The name Kashi is derived from the King Kasa, the seventh King of Manu dynesty and is a reputed seat of Aryen Philisophy and religion. About 650 B.C. Kashi was, however, annexed to the kingdom of Kosala and Rhys. Dravids mentions Kashi-Kosala as one of the 16th political division which was extended in India before the arival of Budha. Both Kashi as well as Kosala fell victim of the Magadh power at the instance of Chandr Gupta Maurya.

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