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a city in SE Uttar Pradesh, in NE India, on the Ganges River: Hindu holy city.
Contemporary Examples

As I write, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi has sold out here at the festival, with more copies being sent from Delhi.
Geoff in Jaipur Olivia Cole January 22, 2010

How many Venice Biennales have you been to, and which inspired the events in the first half of Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi?
The Ghost of Biennales Past Taylor Antrim June 1, 2009

Journalist and novelist Geoff Dyer’s latest work on Venice and Varanasi has won him acclaim.
Geoff in Jaipur Olivia Cole January 22, 2010

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi is a novel of two distinct parts.
Geoff in Jaipur Olivia Cole January 22, 2010

But students spend the bulk of their time in Varanasi, the City of Light.
College Can Wait…And Wait Kathleen Kingsbury April 29, 2009

I’m not going to Varanasi again on this trip and I’m quite relieved.
India’s Literary Magic Olivia Cole January 19, 2010

Historical Examples

Then a great Rishi brought Varanasi back to his capital with his Celestial bride.
Indian Myth and Legend Donald Alexander Mackenzie

From Varanasi (the travellers) went back east to Pataliputtra.
Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms Fa-Hsien

The princes eat off silver and gold, and are clothed in silk of Varanasi.
The History of Antiquity, Volume IV (of 6) Max Duncker

Ere long he returned with Tapas, the sun god having declared that Varanasi would be a worthy husband for his daughter.
Indian Myth and Legend Donald Alexander Mackenzie

a city in NE India, in SE Uttar Pradesh on the River Ganges: probably dates from the 13th century bc; an early centre of Aryan philosophy and religion; a major place of pilgrimage for Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists, with many ghats along the Ganges; seat of the Banaras Hindu University (1916), India’s leading university, and the Sanskrit University (1957). Pop: 1 100 748 (2001) Former names Benares, Banaras


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