Varanasi is considered the holiest of India’s seven holy cities. It is the capital of Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the oldest ion India. Varanasi is referred by many sobriquets including, “the city of light” and “the city of learning”. Gautama Buddha is believed to have delivered his first sermon in Varanasi. It is sometimes called Benaras or Kashi.
Places to Stay
Many hotels in Varanasi are suitable for budget travellers which include the City Inn (Rs 900), Hotel River Place (Rs 700) and Hotel Padmini International (Rs 1200)
Dhrupad Mela, celebrated every year in February-March is one of the major events in Varanasi. Mahashivrathri held in February is one of the major festivals celebrated here.
Hindi is the local language spoken in Varanasi. English and Urdu are commonly used languages.
Places to Visit
The interesting places to visit in Varanasi are Ramnagar Dashashwamedh Ghat, Annapurna Temple all located within 15 kms.
How to Get There
Varanasi is served by Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, which is approximately 26 km from the city centre in Babatpur. Domestic flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and other cities are available here.
Varanasi Junction, commonly known as Varanasi Cantt Railway Station, is the city's largest train station. It is one of the busiest train stations with over 200 hundred passing through each day.
NH2, NH7 and NH56 run through Varanasi connecting it to major centers such Delhi, Kanpur, Kolkata and Agra as well as Lucknow. The best bus operators that offer quality service include UPSTRC, Online bus ticket booking facility can save you a lot of time and energy.
Bangalore, also known as Bengaluru, is often referred to as the ‘Garden City’ because of the numerous parks and gardens that dot the localities of the city. It is also considered as a major information technology (IT) hub of the country and thus called the ‘Silicon Valley of India’. Kempe Gowda, a feudal ruler affiliated to the Vijayanagara kingdom, first established a mud fort, which turned out to be the foundation of the present day city. The city passed through a myriad of rulers ranging from the Marathas, Mughals and Mysore rulers before becoming a part of independent India.
Budget Hotels in Bangalore
There are a couple of good budget hotels in the city. Some of the options which are worth a try are Suntrupthi Residency (Tariff – Rs. 950), Citizen Lodge (Tariff – Rs. 850), The Royal Nest (Tariff – Rs. 900), Vijaya Residency (Tariff – Rs. 900) and others.
The official language of Bangalore is Kannada. Hindi, English, Telugu and Tamil are also understood and widely spoken.
Events in Bangalore
The important festivals of the area are Pongal in January, Karaga in April, Ganesh Chathurthi in August-September, Diwali in October-November, the fasting month of Ramadan, the two Eid(s), Easter and Christmas.
Places to See in Bangalore
Some of the places worth trying out in Bangalore are Bangalore Palace, Lal Bagh, Cubbon Park, Bannerghatta National Park,Vidhana Soudha, Seshadari Iyer Memorial, Tipu Sultan’s Palace, Bull Temple, ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple, Meenakshi Sundaram Temple, Holy Trinity Church and St. Mary’s Basilica. Wonderla Amusement Park at a distance of 28 km is popular with youngsters and children looking for a break on weekends.
How to Get There
The nearest airport is the Kempegowda International Airport at a distance of 36 km.
Bangalore City Junction Railway Station is the major railway station in the city.
There is bus service running from almost everywhere in south India to Bangalore city. State transport buses as well as private operators ply their buses to and fro the city. SRS Travels, Kallada Travels and SRM, Travels are some of the major operators in the city as well as the region. Do away with standing in ticket counters and opt for online bus reservation facility instead.