Why Kashi is called Banaras

“Kashi” is one of the world’s oldest and continuously inhabited cities. It is a cultural hub widely admired and highly regarded for its spiritual significance in Hinduism. But many people get confused with its name. The city is recognised from various names like Kashi, Varanasi, Banaras, Benares, and many more. However, each name of this city has its own history. Many people get confused why the city has different names. So, today in this blog we will get you to know why Kashi is called as Banaras.

How Kashi changed to Banaras?

Kashi is the oldest name of the city that we can find in books and other written records about its past. The word “Kashi” comes from the word “Kasha,” which means “brightness.” Kashi means “city of light” or “shining city” in English. After years, the city flourished and undergone several changes. People got richer, trade grew, and the city developed to meet the needs of high population. Slowly, the city grew towards the Ganges, Assi, and Varuna, rivers. There, the city got its second name, Varanasi, which comes from the land between the rivers Varuna and Assi.

In the early 1600s, when the Mughal emperor Akbar was in charge, the name Banaras became more well-known. Akbar changed the name of the city to Banaras, which in Sanskrit means “the city of light.” After then, British people arrived. And the name Benares came along with them. It is said that this name comes from a variety of sources. In Pali, the name of the city of Varanasi was spelled Baranasi, which eventually led to the creation of the name Banaras. Some people believe that the name Benares derives from the name of one of the city’s kings, who was known as King Banara. Also some people believe that it is nothing more than an altered version of Varanasi.