Benares, the name of a Hindostan town and district in the North West Provinces of British India. The district is bounded on the N. by Jaunpur, on the E. Ghazipur and Shahabad, and on the S. and W. by Mirzapore. It covers an area of 996 square miles. It is in the main fertile and yields the various grain crops besides tobacco, opium, sugarcane, etc. It is watered by the Ganges and other rivers, the former being navigable all the year round. Through it passes the East Indian Railway. The city of Benares is on the left bank of the Ganges, and is one of the most ancient cities in the world, its traditions making it coeval with creation. It is also the chief centre of Hindooism and a place of pilgrimage for the members of that religion. Its trade is considerable, embracing all the produce of the district, and European and American goods. The manufactures are in silks, shawls, gold embroidery, gold filigree work, etc. It is the headquarters of the commissioners of the district. The chief English institution is Queen's College, which is conducted by a staff from England. There are also Christian missions of various denominations, a hospital and dispensaries for gratuitous relief, and public gardens.