Here every day thousands of pilgrims pour in from all parts of the country to have a purifying dip in the holy Ganga and to have a darshan (glimpse) of Sri Vishwanatha (Lord of the Universe),the chief deity of the city, and of Mother Annapurna, His Divine Consort.
Through the centuries, countless saints, sages and savants, philosophers, scholars and reformers, poets, writers and musicians have either lived in or visited the city. To name a few - Maharshi Veda Vyasa, Patanjali, Shankara, Ramanuja, Vallabha, Ramananda, Kabir, Ravidas, Tulsidas, Chaitanya, Guru Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Dayananda Saraswathi, Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi, Subrahmanya Bharathiyar, Annie Besant, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (founder of Banaras Hindu University) and Ustad Bismillah Khan.
Many reputed gharanas or schools of music developed in Kashi. It is famous for its silk and muslin fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, brassware, gold and silver ornaments and wooden toys.