Whether we wander around the narrow alleys of Vishwanath Gali or stroll at the Ganga ghats, Varanasi always remains and an interesting and intriguing place for us. This ancient city of India also said to older than history itself is frequented by people from all over the world seeking spiritual answers. It is in the ghats of Varanasi that you can see the cycle of life and death being repeated everyday! Love it hate it, but you cannot ignore Varanasi. So here are a few quotes on Banaras or Varanasi that will give you a feel of the city.

Varanasi is also known as Banaras and Kashi. This ancient city has been referred to as Kashi (Kāśi) in Rig Veda, one of the most ancient Hindu sacred texts. Kashi is derived from the words Kaś that means ‘to shine’. Kashi is thus also known as the ‘city of light’. The name Varanasi came from the two river tributaries of Ganga that border the city. Varuna flows in the northern part and Assi flows in the southern part near the Assi Ghat. Benaras is probably the modified or corrupted version of Varanasi. Some blame it on the colonizers who had changed the name to suit their accent.

Quotes on Banaras: Varanasi Quotes

  1. Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together. – Mark Twain

Varanasi quotes by Mark Twain

  1. Many people think they cannot have knowledge or understanding of God without reading books. But hearing is better than reading, and seeing is better than hearing. Hearing about Benares is different from reading about it; but seeing Benares is different from either hearing or reading. – The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Banaras quotes by Sri Ramkrishna

  1. The three worlds form one city of mine, and Kashi is my royal palace therein. – Skanda Purana

Quotes on Kashi - Skanda Puran

  1. Brahma once weighed the heavens against Kashi. And Kashi, being heavier, sank while the skies, despite all the gods who lived there, rose upwards. – Adi Shankara, Manikarnikastotram

Kashi quotes - by Adi Shankara

  1. The city illumines truth and reveals reality. It does not bring new wonders into the scope of vision but enables one to see what is already there. Where this eternal light intersects the earth, it is known as Kashi. – Diana L. Eck

Quotes on Banaras

  1. Enlightenment, and the death which comes before it, is the primary business of Varanasi. – Tahir Shah

Quotes on Banaras by Tahir Shah

  1. Here religious feeling reigns supreme, and no sensual thought ever seems to assail these beauteous mingled forms. They come into unconscious contact with each other but only heed the river, the sun, and the splendour of the morning in a dream of ecstasy. – Pierre Loti

Varanasi quotes

  1. An image can never be the real thing. Varanasi is where the Ganga flows, where I can play the Shehnai for Lord Balaji. I shall be at home, nowhere else but in India. – Ustad Bismillah Khan

Varanasi quotes by Ustad Bismilllah Khan

  1. I love to live near Varanasi since they are such holy spots for Hinduism. – Julia Roberts

Quotes on Banaras by Julia Roberts

  1. It is the headquarters of the Brahmin faith… But it is not an overstock, for they have all India as a prey. All India flocks thither on pilgrimage and pours its savings into the pockets of the priests in a generous stream, which never fails. – Mark Twain

Varansi Quotes by Mark Twain

  1. My first intellectual challenge was to try to understand this incredible city of Banaras (also called Varanasi) in India and its meaning for Hindus. That was the place I lived for the first year I was in India and I’ve been back many times. It’s a kind of home to me. – Diana L. Eck

Quotes on Banaras

  1. Early in the morning we crossed the ghat, where fires were still smouldering, and gazed, with our Western minds, into the Ganges. – Mary Oliver

Quotes on Varanasi by Mary Oliver

  1. It is a strange city where you can feel like a dweller and an alien at the same time. It is ancient, modern progressive, and sometimes regressive, all at once. – Richa Chadda

Varanasi quote by Richa Chaddha

  1. Varanasi sits above the earth as a ‘crossing place’ or tirtha between this world and the ‘far shore’ of the transcendent Brahmin. – Diana L Eck

Banaras quotes

  1. I found Varanasi absolutely staggering. I have never seen anything like it before. The city just spills into the river Ganges… It’s really, really extraordinary! – Brad Pitt

Quotes on Varanasi by Brad Pitt