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.
Pune is said to be the cultural capital of Maharashtra. The place, which has been in existence since 847 AD, is famous for its magnificent land and forts. This cultural city was actually the capital city of Shivaji. Today this city takes pride in its traditional Marathi culture, education and theatre. Pune city attracts a lot of tourists for its old world charm. The weather is warm and pleasant in this place because it is surrounded by hills and mountains.
Budget Hotels in Pune
There are good budget hotels in Pune. 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 Pune is Marathi. The other languages spoken include Hindi and English.
Events in Pune
Some famous festivals and events of Pune include the Ganapati (Ganesha) Festival (August/September), Shaniwarwada Dance Festival and Sawai Gandharva Music Festival
Places to See in Pune
There are several places of tourist attraction in Pune. Some of the places include Aga Khan Palace (7kms from bus stand), David Synagogue (12kms from Railway station), Shinde Chatri (5km from Pune) and Pataleshwar Cave Temple (2Km from bus stand)
How to Get There
Pune Airport is located on the north-east of Pune. The airport has domestic and international flights. Two international flights Lufthansa and Air India Express provide Air transport services to Frankfurt and Dubai.
Pune railway station is the main railway station of Pune. It’s railway station is connected to the Mumbai and Chennai railway line. This railway junction is well connected to some of the major cities in the country.
Pune Bus Stand is the one of the busiest bus stations in Pune city. Buses from major cities and states operate from this city. Some of the best bus operators that offer good experience for passengers include Neeta Pragati Volvo, AR Tours and Travels and Natraj Travels. Avoid standing in queues in bus counters and go for online bus ticket booking facility instead.