Also known as Banarasi and Vanarasi is the colourful and energetic spiritual capital of India, on the banks of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh. It is the holiest of the seven sacred cities for Hindus and Jains and has played an important role in the development of Buddhism.
Silk weaving is the dominant manufacturing industry and Benares silk is well known. The fabric is a high quality, very finely woven, gossamer-like silk, that has been woven here since 500 BC, in patterns ranging from small repeated motifs to large scale elaborate flora and fauna designs–including creeping vines, mango and boteh, and sometimes copying late 19thC European designs.
Today,muslim weavers in Benares also make the maroon cloth used by Tibetan monks.