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13th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Travel
Stairway to Heaven

The land of Varanasi has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Often referred to as Benares, Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. These few lines by Mark Twain say it all: "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together". Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 12.2013
Date Uploaded: 11.2015
Photo Location: Varanasi, India, India
Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV
Copyright: © ARCHNA SINGH