Kashi is also known as Varanasi the final pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Kashi is the oldest living city in the world. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Kashi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. Ganges in Kashi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals.Kashi has been a symbol of Hindu rebirth. Knowledge, philosophy, culture, devotion to Gods, Indian arts and crafts have all flourished here for centuries. Also a pilgrimage place for Jains, Kashi is believed to be the birthplace of Parsvanath, the twenty-third Tirthankar.Kashi is also famous for its trade and commerce, especially for the finest silks and gold and silver brocades, since the early days.Kashi has also been a great center of learning for ages. Kashi is associated with promotion of spiritualism, mysticism, Sanskrit, yoga and Hindi language and honored authors such as the ever-famous novelist Prem Chand and Tulsi Das, the famous saint-poet who wrote Ram Charit Manas. Kashi has provided the right platform for all cultural activities to flourish. Many exponents of dance and music have come from Varanasi. Ravi Shankar, the internationally renowned Sitar maestro and Ustad Bismillah Khan, (the famous Shehnai player) are all sons of the blessed city or have lived here for major part of their lives.