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What are the other names Varanasi is called by?

"Kasi" is famous - but is "Rudrabhumi" another name of Varanasi? Are there any others?

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  • Avimukta, Anandavana, Anandakanana (synonym)
    – Adiyarkku
    Aug 14, 2023 at 14:13

1 Answer 1

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Kashi

16-17. Taking a vow accordingly, they quickly reached the city of Vārāṇasī. Just as one, howsoever clever he may be, gets deluded the very moment he sees the tricks of a juggler, so were Śaṅkukarṇa and Mahākāla enamoured as soon as they saw Kāśī.
[Skanda Purana 2.53]

Rudravana

  1. Those in whose mouth there is Vārāṇasī, those in whose ears there is the story of Viśveśvara—only they are the Liṅgas of Kāśī worthy of being worshipped as I am.

  2. Yama will not overpower them from whose mouths these clear words—Vārāṇasī, Kāśī and Rudravāsa—come out.
    [Skanda Purana 2.55]

Avimukta

  1. Oh! The reason has been comprehended. The wise utterance about Kāśī, sung as a song by sages who know the truth, is remembered.
  1. "Avimukta should not be abandoned at all by those who yearn for liberation. But there shall be obstacles for the good people who dwell in Kāśī"

[Skanda Purana 1.5]

Anandavana

  1. It is the place where the Glory of Salvation is invariably easy of access to a person traversing Ānandavana. What to speak of lesser desires!

50-54. Kindly tell me, who will take me there to the city of Śaṃbhu? How should I go?

On hearing these words full of faith, that ascetic said: “Come. I shall take you. I too am desirous of going there. After obtaining human birth, if Kāśī is not resorted to, where is human birth once again? Where is Kāśī, the cause of welfare, the destroyer of the bondage of Karmas?
[Skanda Purana 2.86]

It is clear from context that Andandavana and Kashi are one and the same. As discussed in this answer, Kashi is one of the moksha-granting cities.

Nirvanasri

6-9. Īśāna reached the glorious Ānandakānana (‘the forest of bliss’), the holy spot of Nirvāṇaśrī (glory of Mokṣa).
[Skanda Purana 1.33]

Mahasmashāna

103-104. The word Śma means ‘dead body’. Śāna means ‘lying down’. O sage, those who are skilful in the use of words and their meanings explain the derivation of the word Śmaśāna thus. Kāśī is called ‘Mahāśmaśāna’ because the great Bhūtas (elements) lie down here like corpses. Hence it is a great Śmaśāna (cremation ground).
[Skanda Purana 1.30]

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  • good answer - could you add Kasi and Rudrabhumi for completeness?
    – S K
    Aug 14, 2023 at 14:33
  • @SK - added Kasi, couldn't find anything for Rudrabhumi in scripture, though it means the same as Mahasmashana.
    – CDR
    Aug 14, 2023 at 14:38

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