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Lord shiva holds rudra veena in his hand, it is believed that it was in Kashi that he developed music in tune with the cosmic energy for humanity

Uttar Pradesh Ka Itihaas, The Oldest Civilisation Of The World

Uttar pradesh, a state which carries the soul of the oldest civilisation of the world. From an undefeated city of ayodhya to the kashi of mahadev, from buddha’s last sermon at kushinagar to sarnath’s confluence of buddhism, jainism and hinduism, uttar pradesh has it all from ocean of itihas which is now guiding the fastest growing state economically, spiritually, socially and politically.

ITIHAAS

KASHI (AS OLD AS TIME – CRADLE OF CIVILIZATIONS)

According to Brahma purana, one should reside in Varanasi ( between rivers Varuna and Assi ), the home of shiva.

Geologically, Kashi is blessed to have been the centre of peace and has witnessed the creation of human life.

KASHI (AS OLD AS TIME - CRADLE OF CIVILIZATIONS)

Abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the origins of Varanasi are yet unknown. Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth.

Ganges is said to have its origins in the tresses of Lord Shiva and in Varanasi, it expands to the mighty river that we know of. The city has been a center of learning and civilization for over 3000 years. Ganges is said to have its origins in the tresses of Lord Shiva and in Varanasi, it expands to the mighty river that we know of. With Sarnath, the place where Buddha preached his first sermon after enlightenment, just 10 km away, Varanasi has been a symbol of Hindu renaissance. Knowledge, philosophy, culture, devotion to Gods, Indian arts and crafts have all flourished here for centuries. Also a pilgrimage place for Jains, Varanasi is believed to be the birthplace of Parsvanath, the twenty-third Tirthankar. Vaishnavism and Shaivism have co-existed in Varanasi harmoniously.

Varanasi has also been a great center of learning for ages. Varanasi is associated with promotion of spiritualism, mysticism, Sanskrit, yoga and Hindi language and honored authors such as the ever-famous novelist Prem Chand and Tulsi Das, the famous saint-poet who wrote Ram Charit Manas.

Aptly called as the cultural capital of India, Varanasi has provided the right platform for all cultural activities to flourish. Many exponents of dance and music have come from Varanasi. Ravi Shankar, the internationally renowned Sitar maestro and Ustad Bismillah Khan, (the famous Shehnai player) are all sons of the blessed city or have lived here for major part of their lives.

With Sarnath, the place where Buddha preached his first sermon after enlightenment, just 10 km away, Varanasi has been a symbol of bharat renaissance. Knowledge, philosophy, culture, devotion to Gods, Indian arts and crafts have all flourished here for centuries. Also a pilgrimage place for Jains, Varanasi is believed to be the birthplace of Parsvanath, the twenty-third Tirthankar. Vaishnavism and Shaivism have co-existed in Varanasi harmoniously.

Ayurveda is said to have originated at Varanasi and is believed to be the basis of modern medical sciences such as Plastic surgery, Cataract and Calculus operations. Maharshi Patanjali, the preceptor of Ayurveda and Yoga, was also affiliated with Varanasi, the holy city. Varanasi is also famous for its trade and commerce, especially for the finest silks and gold and silver brocades, since the early days.

 

ARCHAEOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY, GEOGRAPHY, AND HISTORY OF BANARAS

Its unique situation on Ganges, and its journey through the history of India, and quest to know what makes it oldest living city.

Religious Varanasi- Many religions, place and types of worship, a religious place and institutions. You will find that even Primitive worship cults are still practiced in this city. Discover the city of Buddha, Jain Tirthankars, Shaiva and Vaishnava saints or Devoted saints like Kabir and Tulsi.

  • Arts, Crafts and Architecture of Banaras: You will be amused to see that Varanasi is a Museum architectural designs. It presents changing patterns and movements in course of It has a rich and original variety of paintings and sculptor styles and equally rich treasures of folk art. During the ages Varanasi has produced master craftsmen and Varanasi has earned name and fame for its Sarees, handicrafts, textiles, Toys, ornaments, metal work, clay and wood work, leaf and fibre crafts. With ancient crafts, Banaras has not lagged behind in Modern Industries.
  • Discover Ganga- the holiest of the holy river- its mythology, geography, socio- economic aspects, its monumental ghats and their story and the present condition of  pollution.

The Capital of all knowledge– Discover the most ancient seat of education in India World the famous scholars and their `Shastrarthas’, the great scholars, universities, college, schools, Madarsas and Pathshalas and Guru Shishya traditions, the epics, famous literary works, languages and dialects, journalistic traditions- newspapers and magazine, and famous libraries.

Discover the social and cultural fabric- Organisation of sacred complex and social spaces, the cultural pluristic, linguistic and ethnic groups. Discover the city of affluence, intellectuals, oral traditions, castes and customs, personalities, professions, communal harmony . Discover the rural Varanasi. And finally (and with deep insight) peep into the pleasure of Pans, Thandai, Gamcha, Bahri Alang and Mauj Masti.

The City of Music and Drama and Entertainment: Banaras has been famous for its Music both vocal instrumental, it has its own dance tradition. Add to this a very rich stock of folk Music and drama (esp. Ramlila), the traditional Musical soirees, fairs and festivals, the rich tradition of Akharas, games and sports. Add to this classical Banaras Transport vehicles like Ekka and Modern Traffic Jam.

Industrial City: Discover the fast developing city of heavy, light and cottage industries, local handicrafts and other small scale industrial units. ( DLW, BHEL, Electric, Cycle,Pumps, Paper, Glass, Fertilizer etc.)

Medical World of Varanasi: Discover the ancient College of Plastic Surgery, Sushruta, Dhanvantri (God of Medicine), Divodas, and practice of all the ancient and modern systems of medicine in action.

The Unseen Banaras: Discover the spots around Varanasi, institutions, story of freedom struggle and the martyrs, history of Kashiraj, history of Sarnath, history of Bhadohi (Carpet town), of Mirzapur, of Ghazipur, know about the famous travelers and tourists, of the `Nijam’. And finally having seen the Panorama of Banaras, its continuity of culture, discover the identity of Banaras.

 

DHANVANTARI IN HISTORY OF AYURVEDA

Lord Dhanvantari is an outstanding personality in the history of Ayurveda. He was the physician of the Gods (in both the Vedas and Puranas) and an excellent surgeon. In Hinduism, worshipers pray to Dhanvantari seeking his blessings for sound healing.

In his incarnation as king of Kashi, Divodasa, he was approached by a group of sages (including Susruta, the great Indian surgeon) with the request to teach them the science of Ayurveda.

Dhanvantari stated that Brahma composed the Ayurveda even before he created mankind, forming one of the upangas of the Atharvaveda in 100,000 verses arranged in 1,000 chapters, which was not easy for the restricted intelligence of men to learn within their short life spans. So Dhanvantari complied with the sages’ request, recast Brahma’s Ayurveda into 8 divisions (shalya, shalakya, kayachikitsa, bhutavidya, kaumarabhrtya, agadatantra, rasayanatantra, vajikaranatantra) and began teaching within the framework of pratyaksa (perception), agama (authoritative scripture), anumana (inference) and upamana (analogy).

Kasi (Kashi) was an ancient kingdom during the times of both Ramayana and Mahabharata. The capital of Kasi was Kasipura (Varanasi). Sumitra, the mother of Lakshmana and Shatrugna was from this kingdom. During Mahabharata this kingdom was part of Southern Central Kosala kingdom. Kasi was a really holy place where worship of Shiva was prominent. Some tirthas in Kasi include Kasiswara and Matri. The Kasis were rivals of the Haihayas.

 

KASI ROYAL FAMILY IN MAHABHARATA

Kasi was ruled by an Asura named Kshemaka, who was defeated by Panchala prince Dividosa. Dividosa then became the king of Kasi. The next rulers were Haryasva and Sudeva. Kasi then started being ruled by Kuru kings. Soon after king Senabindu came to power in Kasi. He was also called DharmaAmbara. DharmaAmbara was married to Swargandhini. She was the daughter of Hotravahan, the king of the Srinjaya tribe of Panchala. He had three daughters named Amba, Ambika and Ambalika. In their swayamvara Bhishma kidnapped them and took them to Kuru kingdom. There Ambika and Ambalika married Vichitravirya, but Amba refused since she was supposed to marry Salwa king. She then commited suicide and was reborn as Shikandi.

DharmaAmbara was attacked by Pandu in his military campaign. Pandu defeated DharmaAmbara, but then gave his kingdom back to him. Senabindu (DharmaAmbara) also had a son named Senabindu. His daughter Gandini married Vrishni prince Svaphalka. His other daughters married Brihadratha of Maghada and Vrishnis. His only son named Kasiraja became the next king.

Kasiraja had two sons, Sudhanva and Subahu. Sudhanva was a supporter of Jarasandha. On the other hand, Subahu did not like Jarasandha. Because of this, Subahu left the kingdom and went to Hastinapura. After staying in Hastinapura for a while, Subahu went to do penance on the Himalayas. Meanwhile at Hastinapura, when Yudhistira was initiated as crown prince of Hastinapura, he sent Arjuna to defeat Kasi. Arjuna successfully defeated the Kasi army and Sudhanva and Kasiraja. A part of Kasi became under the control of Hastinapura. When Subahu returned, this portion was given to him.

Soon, Subahu’s daughters were born. His oldest daughter was married to Duryodhana. She died in childbirth but gave Duryodhana a daughter. Duyodhana then married Subahu’s second daughter. The third daughter of Subahu was named Jalandharaa. She also died in childbirth. Soon after, Bhima married Jalandharaa. Subahu also had two sons named Abhibhu and Jalandhar. Abhibhu married Soma Dutta S daughter.

Back at Kashi, Sudhanva was chasing a princess with his forces. The princess chanced upon Dhristadyumna. When she told Dhristadyumna what was happening, he destroyed a huge part of the Kasi army. Dhristadyumna then married the princess.

Kashiraja and Sudhanva decided to join Paundraka Vasudeva and his son Sudakshina in an attack against Krishna. In the following war, Krishna, Pradyumna and Dhristadyumna eliminated the entire armies of Paundraka and Kashiraja. Krishna beheaded Kashiraja. Sudhanva sent a kritya to destroy Dwarka. Krishna sent a Sudarshana chakra at the kritya. The kritya was killed. Also during the attack, the city of Kasipura got burnt. Sudhanva and Sudakshina were also killed.

Later, the daughter of Sudhanva, Suvarna married Dhaumya, the royal priest of the Pandavas. Subahu then took control of Kasi. He re-built Kashipura. Bhima then defeated him during his eastern military campaign for Yudhistira’s Rajasuya yagna.

A few days before the Kurukshetra war, Subahu died of old age. Abhibhu, with his two sons named Prakant and Vibhu led the Kasi army in the war. They sided with the Pandavas. All three of them died. After the war, Bhima and Jalandharaa’s son Sarvaga ruled Kasi. He also ruled Mithila (Videha) and Kosala since those kingdoms had no king. After some time, he gave Mithila to Prativindhya’s son. He gave Kosala to Bhima’s daughter Visala’s husband who was a Kosala prince. Sarvaga’s son Suvarnasena became the king after Sarvaga. Suvarna Cena’s daughter named Vapusthama married Janamjeya and they had two sons named Satanika Chandrapida and Suryapida (Sahasranika).

GEOGRAPHY

Kasi was located on the banks of the Ganga river. To the direct north of Kasi was Eastern Kosala. To the south was the kingdom of Suparshva. To the west was the Vatsa kingdom, which was controlled by Maghada and Kuru at different times. The powerful kingdom of Magadha was located to the West of Kashi. To the northwest was one of the Nishada kingdoms and to the southwest was Vatsa. To the northeast was Eastern Kosala and to the southeast were Magadha territories.

 

KASI IN THE KURUKSHETRA WAR

Abhibhu and his two sons Prankant and Vibhu joined the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra war. Prakanta was killed by Govisaneya of Sivi. Abhibhu was killed by Vasudana’s son. Vibhu was also killed.

 

KASI IN RAMAYANA

Sumitra, one of the wives of Dasaratha and mother to Lakshmana and Shatrugna was from Kasi kingdom.

 

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