The holy city of Banaras or Varanasi is located in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the ?Sapta Puri? or seven holy cities where one can attain ?Moksha.? It is believed that Lord Shiva was the founder of this city that dwells on the banks of the holy Ganga. Hindu pilgrims perform ceremonies, ritualistic ablutions as well as cremation and last rites in the river ghats which are embankments made of stone slabs. The Dashashwamedh Ghat is the most spectacular one that attracts a lot of tourists to see the beautiful evening rituals. Numerous devotees and tourists from all over the world flock to Varanasi every year to visit the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple among several others. There are several mosques and Jan temples in and around the city as well. Tourism boosts the city?s economy, along with certain medium and small-scale industries and agricultural produce. The fertile Ganges plains help the farmers cultivate crops like wheat, maize and sorghum. Copper and brass goods are also manufactured in this city apart from the small-scale industries that produce rugs, carpets, clay toys and other handicrafts. All of these contribute to the city?s economy. Varanasi is also well known for its perfumes, silk and muslin fabrics, jewelry designs, sculptures and ivory crafts. This ancient city is indeed rich in its culture and traditions.
In 2000, Indian Overseas Bank engaged in an initial public offering (IPO) that brought the governments share in the banks equity down to 75%. In 2001, the IOB acquired the Mumbai-based Adarsha Janata Sahakari Bank. Then in 2009, the bank took over Shree Suvarna Sahakari Bank, which was founded in 1969 and had its head office in Pune. Since 2006, Shree Suvarna Sahakari Bank had been in administration. It had nine offices in Pune, 2 in Mumbai and 1 in Shirpur. The total strength of employees was estimated to be more than 100. On 29 August 2003, the Indian Overseas Bank has opened an extension counter at New Kathiresan Temple complex, Bambalapitiya, Ceylon. The IOB opened a representative office in Guangzhou, China in 2005 followed which the bank opened another representative office in Kuala Lumpur and 2009 in Dubai, UAE. In the new millennium, international expansion started once again. The bank took over Bharat Overseas Bank in 2007. After three years, Malaysia granted a commercial banking license to a local bank jointly owned by BOB, IOB, and the Andhra Bank. The new bank named, India International Bank ( IIB Malaysia), began its business in 2012 in Kuala Lumpur and had a large population of Indians. The Andhra Bank holds a 25% stake in its joint-venture, BOB owns 40%, and remaining 35% is with IOB. On 31 August 2013, the Indian Overseas Bank has opened an offshore banking unit in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The bank also converted its existing Extension Counter at Ceylon into a full-fledged branch.