Varanasi has long been revered as an epicenter of art and culture. Renowned for its beautiful sarees, handicrafts, textiles and handlooms – Varanasi has also long been considered an epicenter for cultural events and exhibitions.
An 82-year-old Indian man, sitting idly by on the banks of Varanasi’s holy Ganges river in northern India’s Varanasi city, awaits death as he hopes to break free from rebirth and find ultimate freedom and salvation.
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Varanasi district court has rendered a substantial victory to Hindus in the case of Gyanvapi mosque near Kashi Vishwanath Temple by authorizing an ASI survey team to conduct their scientific survey based on petition filed by four women worshippers who claim that an object described as both “Shivling” and fountain was discovered within its premises.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his trip to Uttar Pradesh today inaugurated the initial phase of a Rs 645 crore ropeway project linking Varanasi with Dashashwamedh Ghat and Kashi Vishwanath Temple, making travel between these three points easier for tourists. The ropeway project should make visiting Varanasi more convenient.
This project forms part of the Centre’s flagship ‘Dev Deepawali’ initiative, celebrating and making more accessible the festival of lights across India and making it more inclusive to people of all backgrounds. Furthermore, this will contribute to developing tourist circuits around two ghats.
Varanasi offers several stalls offering fresh vegetables with Geographical Indication (GI) tags, denoting that the products come from specific regions and thus hold added value. But customers are advised to be wary as purchasing from unapproved vendors could increase costs beyond their original value.
Archaeological Survey of India
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is the government agency charged with protecting India’s heritage. Additionally, museums showcase our rich cultural legacy. ASI officials work diligently to preserve ancient sites and monuments listed as World Heritage sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Archaeological Survey of India has had a turbulent past since its creation. Established initially by Alexander Cunningham’s proposal in 1848 to the British government for creating a central department dedicated to dealing with archaeological ruins and sites, Lord Canning accepted Cunningham’s idea and the Archaeological Survey of India was officially inaugurated on December 30, 1861.
One of the ASI’s greatest challenges lies in its responsibility of conserving India’s ancient heritage. At present, 50 per cent of centrally protected monuments require repairs or preservation efforts.
As part of its effort to preserve India’s cultural legacy, ASI has unveiled an online portal which will showcase outstanding Indian monuments and sites. This portal will include those listed by UNESCO as World heritage sites as well as those that stand out for their arts, architecture, planning or human achievement in history. As new discoveries are made it will be updated accordingly – providing students, researchers and the general public a valuable resource.
Gyanvapi mosque case
The Supreme Court of India has reserved judgment on a civil revision petition filed by Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board and Anjuman Intezamia Mosque Varanasi Committee challenging a district court order authorising an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) team to conduct a survey at their mosque complex. Their management alleged that this exercise violates their right to free worship as well as section 4 of the Places of Worship Act.
The court ordered ASI to conduct a scientific survey of the complex, with particular attention paid to areas in which structures resembling Shivalingas had been discovered. Furthermore, authorities must open all locks within its walls and file FIRs against anyone trying to impede or interfere with this survey process.
After five Hindu women from Delhi filed a lawsuit requesting permission to pray in a mosque shrine they claim is home for their deities, they also requested instructions that idols of Ganesha, Hanuman and Nandi be protected. The lower court transferred this case in April to a district judge at Varanasi due to being complex and sensitive in its nature.
Vegetable sellers in Varanasi
India can’t imagine life without tomatoes as the vegetable has long been part of everyday meals. Following an increase in tomato prices, one vegetable vendor in Varanasi took innovative steps to secure his product: hiring bouncers to prevent violence or theft at his stall. Ajay Fauji, also an SP worker, deployed two bouncers at his Lanka area shop of Varanasi.
Video footage showing bouncers guarding a vegetable seller’s shop went viral on social media. Specifically, it showed him wearing a white shirt and red bandana bearing the words: ‘Payment first, tomatoes later.
Vishvas News reached out to Pramod Yadav, senior correspondent of Dainik Jagran Varanasi edition, for clarification and verification of events at Rajnarayan’s shop in Varanasi. According to Pramod, Ajay Yadav had been arrested but Fauji remains at large.
Krish, a French tourist visiting Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi city from France, is actively advocating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Clear Ganga” campaign and strives to cleanse it of impurities as part of his mission for “purifying India’s holy river”. As part of the Clean Ganga initiative, he has spread this message throughout rural regions as well.