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Ramnagar, culturally alive like the olden days, seats the Ramnagar Fort, which is the residence of the King of Kashi (Kashi Naresh). The city exudes the nostalgic silence of the glorious past through the stunning architecture of the renowned Fort. Ramnagar colorfully adorns on major festival days; Ramlila being the most prominent. The Fort houses a museum which has a stunning collection of artifacts that portrays the cultural richness of the region. The place also has a few temples like Vyasa Temple, Durga Temple and Chinmastika Temple. A few restaurants also can be seen around the area. A famous delicacy from the region is the 'Ramnagar Lassi' (A Sweet Preparation of Yoghurt) which is served in earthen cups - Shiv-Prasad Lassi Bhandar is recommended to try. Do visit Ramnagar for a dose of history and culture.
A multi-storied complex located within the Banaras Hindu University campus, the Swatantrata Bhavan is a popular venue for cultural activities as well as major conferences and seminars. The complex comprises of a spacious foyer area, a senate hall and a committee room, and a mammoth auditorium with a capacity of close to 2000. Owing to its versatility, the Swatantrata Bhavan is a popular choice for major events. For further details regarding the venue, check the website or call the number provided.
Built by the revered Maha Bodhi Society in 1931, Mulgandha Kuti Vihar is a stunning deep brown temple whose architectural elements have to be seen to believed. Standing proudly amid the ruins of Sarnath, this temple sports a number of vibrant frescoes and murals specially created by the Japanese artist Kosetsu Nosu. A life-size golden statue of Buddha welcomes visitors into this holy enclave while a bell donated by the Japanese kings guards the entrance.
The Deer Park in Sarnath was where Lord Buddha gave his first discourse while sitting amongst the Brahmins of Kapilavastu. Not much seems to have changed even now in these tranquil confines where one can spot the occasional deer frolicking in the foliage, blissfully unaware of the world outside. Reminiscent of the days gone by, one is almost taken back to the history class text book chapter, 'Sermon in the Deer Park'. The word Sarnath actually comes from Saranganath which means 'Lord of the Deer', a nickname given to Buddha.
The Nichigai Suzan Horinji Temple is commonly referred to as 'Japanese Temple' by local guides and tourists. This one is in walking distance of the world-famous Dhamek Stupa, and is very reminiscent of the aesthetically pleasing Japanese temples in Kyoto. The interiors are beautiful, inviting and serene, and worshipers gaze with love at a huge wooden statue of the Buddha in reclining pose. As expected, Japanese tourists are often spotted laying prostrate upon the ground in complete devotion.
The Chinese Buddhist Temple is not a very intricate and glamorous affair like one would imagine but this one actually beckons passersby into its sacred confines because of its simplicity and grace. A simple yellow structure flanked by red wide steps sports a typically Chinese roof with curvatures at the ends. Pilgrims of all religions and backgrounds from India as well as Buddhist practitioners from South East Asia are spotted here taking in the surreal sanctity of the complex.