Varanasi is important to Hindus because it is believed to have been founded by the Hindu god Shiva. The city is a major pilgrimage site and one of the holiest cities in Hinduism, with approximately 2.5 million people visiting it each year.
Varanasi, often nicknamed the "city of lights," is India's oldest city, and it is one of the oldest continuously populated cities on Earth. The city is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh in North India, which is on the banks of the holy Ganges River. Hindus believe that Shiva and his wife, Parvati, walked through Varanasi at the beginning of time after he released the Ganges from a knot in his hair.