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Old 17-07-2014, 09:13 PM   #225
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Cool Don't Lucknow

Varanasi is an Indian city on the banks of the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, 320 kilometres (200 mi) south-east of the state capital, Lucknow. It is the holiest of the se7en sacred cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism, Ravidassia religion and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism. Some Hindus believe that death at Varanasi brings salvation.. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Varanasi is also known as the favourite city of the Hindu deity Lord Shiva as it has been mentioned in the Rigveda that this city in older times was known as Kashi or "Shiv ki Nagri"..According to legend, Varanasi was founded by the God Shiva.. The Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata are also stated to have visited the city in search of Shiva to atone for their sins of fratricide and Brāhmanahatya that they had committed during the climactic Kurukshetra war.. It is regarded as one of seven holy cities which can provide Moksha..Varanasi grew as an important industrial centre, famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture.. During the time of Gautama Buddha (born circa 567 BC), Varanasi was the capital of the Kingdom of Kashi.. Buddha is believed to have founded Buddhism here around 528 BC when he gave his first sermon, "Turning the Wheel of Law", at nearby Sarnath..Verily, a polluted stream is man.. One must be a sea to be able to receive a polluted stream without becoming unclean...

Several major figures of the Bhakti movement were born in Varanasi, including Kabir who was born here in 1389 and hailed as "the most outstanding of the saint-poets of Bhakti cult (devotion) and mysticism of 15th-Century India"; and Ravidas, a 15th-century socio-religious reformer, mystic, poet, traveller, and spiritual figure, who was born and lived in the city and employed in the tannery industry..In 1897, Mark Twain, the renowned Indophile, said of Varanasi, "Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.A massacre by British troops, of the Indian troops stationed here and of the population of the city, took place during the early stages of the Indian Rebellion of 1857.. Annie Besant worked in Varanasi to promote theosophy and founded the Central Hindu College which later became a foundation for the creation of Banaras Hindu University as a secular university in 1916.. Her purpose in founding the Central Hindu College in Varanasi was that she "wanted to bring men of all religions together under the ideal of brotherhood in order to promote Indian cultural values and to remove ill-will among different sections of the Indian population"..The urban portion of Varanasi District had an infant mortality rate of 70 per 1,000 live births in 2010–2011..Due to the high population density and increasing number of tourists, the state government and international NGOs and institutions have expressed grave concern for the pollution and pressures on infrastructure in the city, mainly the sewage, sanitation and drainage components..Tourism is Varanasi's second most important industry.. Over 3 million domestic and 200,000 foreign tourists visit annually (in 2005 and 2010, respectively), most commonly for religious reasons...

Among the estimated 23,000) temples in Varanasi, the most worshiped are: the Kashi Vishwanath Temple of Shiva; the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple; and the Durga Temple known for the band of monkeys that reside in the large trees nearby..Varanasi has an own culture of fine art and literature. Renowned Indian writers have lived in the city..Interwoven within one million Hindus are two hundred and fifty thousand Muslims who have made Varanasi their home since the time of Islamic empires. In 2001, Muslims made up approximately 16% of the population of Varanasi District..Sarnath, a suburb of Varanasi, is a place of Buddhist pilgrimage. It is the site of the deer park where Siddhartha Gautama of Nepal is said to have given his first sermon about the basic principles of Buddhism.. The Dhamek Stupa is one of the few pre-Ashokan stupas still in existence, though only its foundation remains.. Also remaining is the Chaukhandi Stupa commemorating the spot where Buddha met his first disciples in the 5th century.. An octagonal tower was built later there..Dhrupad Mela is a 5-day musical festival devoted to dhrupad style held at Tulsi Ghat in February–March..Starting in 1923, the temple organizes a 5-day classical music and dance concert festival titled Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh in this period, when iconic artists from all parts of India are invited to perform..Bharat Milap celebrates the meeting of Rama and his younger brother Bharata after the return of the former after 14 years of exile..Music in Varanasi is linked to the Pauranic legends. Lord Shiva who is reported to have established this city was credited with evolving music and dance forms. In the historical medieval times, when Vaishnava Bhakthi movement was a rage in the country, literature of the times attest to the fact that Kashi was then a famous centre of music..Auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are the most widely available forms of public transport in old city..In the Rigveda, the city is referred to as Kāśī or Kashi, the luminous city as an eminent seat of learning..The name Kāśī is also mentioned in the Skanda Purana. In one verse, Shiva says, "The three worlds form one city of mine, and Kāśī is my royal palace
therein".. The name Kashi may be translated as "City of Light"...

The Siege of Lucknow was the prolonged defence of the ResidencyI within the city of Lucknow during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. After two successive relief attempts had reached the city, the defenders and civilians were evacuated from the Residency, which was then abandoned..Lucknow was the capital of the former state of Awadh. The prolonged defence there by the British proved to be one of the key episodes in this uprising. Mainly there were issues of prestige and morale involved, but Lucknow also became the point at which the main forces of both the British and rebels were concentrated...The flashpoint of the rebellion was the introduction of the Enfield rifle; the cartridges for this weapon were believed to be greased with a mixture of beef and pork fat, which was felt would defile both Hindu and Muslim Indian soldiers. On 1 May, the 7th Oudh Irregular Infantry refused to bite the cartridge and on 3 May they were disarmed by other regiments..On 23 May, Lawrence began fortifying the Residency and laying in supplies for a siege; large numbers of British civilians made their way there from outlying districts. On 30 May (the Muslim festival of Eid ul-Fitr), most of the Oudh and Bengal troops at Lucknow broke into open rebellion. In addition to his locally recruited pensioners, Lawrence also had the bulk of the British .32nd Regiment of Foot available, and they were able to drive the rebels away from the city.., ein schmutziger Strom ist der Mensch. Man muß schon ein Meer sein, um einen schmutzigen Strom aufnehmen zu können, ohne unrein zu werden...
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