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.
Ernakulum is the most urban part of Kochi city. Considered to be the commercial hub of Kerala, Ernakulum is a cosmopolitan compared to the other cities in Kerala. This city is known for its well developed Airport and International port.
Budget Hotels in Ernakulam
There are good budget hotels in Ernakulum. Some of them are Hotel Pearl Continental, (Tariff – Rs.1512), The North Pride Hotel (Tariff – Rs.1,600), Hotel Castle Rock (Tariff – Rs.1911) and Hotel Maple Regency, (Tariff – Rs.950).
The official language of Ernakulum is Malayalam. The other languages spoken include English and Hindi.
Events in Ernakulam
Some famous festivals and events of Ernakulum include the Pineapple Fest Festival (January), Athachamayam and Ernakulam Shiva Temple Festival (January ).
Places to See in Ernakulam
There are several places of tourist attraction in Ernakulam. Some of the places include Santa Cruz Cathedral (16kms from Ernakulam Town Railway Station), Cherai Beach, Kochi (25kms from Kochi), Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary (3 Km from Ernakulam Junction)
How to Get There
Cochin Airport is said to be the first airport that established the public private partnership. A lot of NRIs from 30 countries have invested on the airport. The Airport is located on the National Highway- 47 (NH-47) at Athany and NH-17 at Angamaly. This airport handles 9 domestic flight and 17 international flights.
Ernakulam railway station is the busiest railway station. Located at Kochi it is well connected to major cities in India. It is said to be the largest railway station among the other two stations in the city which are Ernakulam North and Aluva railway station. The other large railway station in Kochi city is the Ernakulam Town Railway Station.
Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) provides interstate, intercity and local bus services. Some of the bus stands are Kaloor Private Bus Terminal, Eloor North Bus Stand, Thripunitura Old Bus Stand, Murickens bus stop and Cheranalloor Ferry Bus Stand. Online bus ticket booking is one of the easiest ways of booking your tickets.