Varanasi is one of the world’s oldest cities. Varanasi is regarded as one of the seven holy cities of India which can provide Moksha. The earliest known archaeological evidence suggests that settlement around Varanasi in the Ganga valley began in the 11th or 12th century BC. Varanasi grew as an important industrial center, famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture. Varanasi was also home to Parshva, the 23rd Jain Tirthankara and the earliest.
Varanasi or Banaras is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is situated on the bank of river Ganga spreading over 1535 sq.km area in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located between the confluences of river Ganga and Varuna and river Ganga and Assi rivulet. the urban agglomeration is stretched between 82° 56’E – 83° 03’E and 25° 14’N – 25° 23.5’N. The Varanasi city is geographically located at 25000’ to 25016’ N Latitude and 82050’ to 83010’ E Longitude. The topography of the city is averaging between 50 feet (15 m) and 70 feet (21 m) above the river. The Ganga River flows from South to North having the world-famous Ghats on its left bank. averaging between 50 feet (15 m) and 70 feet (21 m) above the river. It is located at 25.282°N latitude 82.9563°E longitude.
Varanasi experiences a humid subtropical climate with large variations between summer and winter temperatures. The dry summer starts in April and lasts until June, followed by the monsoon season from July to October. The temperature ranges between 22 and 46 °C (72 and 115 °F) in the summers. Winters in Varanasi see very large diurnal variations, with warm days and downright cold nights
The annual average rainfall in the basin varies between 39 cm to 200 cm, with an average of 110 cm. Eighty percent of the rainfall occurs during the monsoon months i.e. from June to October. Because of large temporal variations in precipitation over the year, there is wide fluctuation in the flow characteristics of the river.
In Varanasi monsoons normally begin from late June. The annual rainfall varies from 680 mm to 1,500 mm with large proportion of its occurring during the months of June to September. The month of October receives about 5 % of rainfall, and only 8 % of the rain occurs in remaining seven months from November to May.
Commercial aspects & Industrial activities
Silk weaving is the dominant manufacturing industry in Varanasi. Weaving is typically done within the household, and most weavers are Momin Ansari Muslims. Varanasi is known throughout India for its production of very fine silk and Banarasi saris, brocades with gold and silver thread work, which are often used for weddings and special occasions.
In the metal manufacturing sector, Diesel Locomotive Works is a major employer. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, a large power equipment manufacturer, also runs a heavy equipment repair plant. Other major commodities manufactured and traded in Varanasi include hand-knotted Mirzapur carpets, rugs, brassware, copperware, wooden and clay toys, handicrafts, gold jewelry, and musical instruments.
Tourism is Varanasi’s second most important industry. Over 3 million domestic and 200,000 foreign tourists visit annually most commonly for religious reasons. Most domestic tourists are from Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh; most foreign tourists are from Sri Lanka and Japan.
The prominent malls and multiplexes in Varanasi are IP Mall in Sigra, IP Vijaya Mall in Bhelupur, PDR in Luxa and JHV Mall in the Varanasi Cantonment area. The city has several banks, including the State Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Andhra Bank, Allahabad Bank, and the Central Bank of India.
The Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi is an Institute of National Importance in Varanasi. Other colleges and universities in Varanasi include Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Imania Arabic College, Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (at Sarnath), Kashi Institute of Technology, Varanasi (Kashi IT), Institute of Integrated Management and Technology (IIMT), Udai Pratap Autonomous College, Nav Sadhana Kala Kendra, Harischandra P.G. College, Agrasen Kanya P.G. collage and numerous others.
Cultural and Religious activities
Varanasi is a hub for arts and culture. City is famous for its banarasi sarees, hand woven carpets, handmade wooden toys, perfumes, handcrafts etc. Many famous Hindi writers like Tulsidas, Munshi Premchand, Hazari Prasad Dwivedi are from the City
Varanasi is a city of temples. Some of popular temples are Kashi Vishwanath temple, Durga temple, Sankat Mochan, Bharat Mata and Tulsi manas temple. Tilbhandeshwar temple is also one of the oldest temples in Varanasi. Chaurassikosi yatra, Panchkroshi yatra, Nagar Pradakshina, Avimukta yatra and Antargraha Yatra etc. along the river front are the most famous Pilgrimage Routes.
Socio –Economic status
Approximately 29% of Varanasi’s population is employed. Approximately 40% of those employed work in manufacturing, 26% work in trade and commerce, 19% work in other services, 8% work in transport and communication, 4% work in agriculture, 2% work in construction, and 2% are marginal workers (working for less than half of the year).
Among manufacturing workers, 51% work in spinning and weaving, 15% work in metal, 6% work in printing and publishing, 5% work in electrical machinery, and the rest work in a wide variety of industry sectors. Varanasi’s manufacturing industry is not well developed.
Water supply and sewerage system
There are 91 wards in the Varanasi City under Varanasi Nagar Nigam. Total wad area is 76.78 sq.km with a projected population of 2,794,580, 4,102,974, 5,750,697 for the year 2020, 2035 & 2050. Total available water supply system capacity for the city is 310 MLD and per capita demand is 150 LPCD. Main source of water supply is river Ganga and ground water sources.
Varanasi City is divided into 3 sewerage districts. District 1 is Central city including the core old city. District 2 is sub divided into zone 2A (Cis Varuna) and Zone 2B & 2C are Trans Varuna area. District 3 is BHU/ Assi district. Total capacity of the sewage treatment (existing and under execution) is 410 MLD as against the estimated capacity of 390 MLD for the year 2035. The map indicating the location of various sewage treatment plant is depicted below.
Apart from the above concentrated effort to clean up the river Ganga ensuring both Aviral Dhara and Nirmal Dhara, NMCG has already taken steps to clean 84 Ghats across the Varanasi city as part of river front development works.