Varanasi is adorned with crimson colored flags, the aroma of incense burning and beautiful ghats (stairways into the Ganges). It is one of the few cities in the world that has been inhabited from the dawn of civilization. The water of the Ganges flows gracefully through this city. Many Hindus consider Varanasi to be holy. To understand the true essence of the city, you need to feel the energy pulsing through the streets.
Getting around Varanasi can be a headache. Pilgrims from around the country head to the city and it can get extremely busy. Also, moving through the narrow gullies can be tricky. Thus, it is best to walk around and enjoy the environment of the city on foot. Autos and Rickshaws are available, but they are often stuck in traffic just like cars and cabs.
Sacred and Holy
Varanasi does not have specific destinations you can visit. However, the river which winds through the city has temples dotted along its shores which are pilgrimage sites. Dashaswamedh Ghat is where you can see the flamboyant ceremony of Aarti.
During the ceremony, a huge plate or a lit lamp is used to worship a specific deity. Kedar Ghat is where you can try your best hand at photography. The early morning sun washes the ghats in an orange tinge. Also, many pilgrims bathe in the water before starting their day, which is a sight to behold.
Assi Ghat has hotels and cafes which can act as your home base for traveling around the state. Manikarnika Ghat is where you will see the corpses burning to ashes. This is a sacred site often used for cremation, so do not break the rules by clicking pictures.
Not only Hindus but also Buddhists have a holy site here. Sarnath, where Buddha first gave his sermon, is in this region. Ramnagar Fort is evidence of Mughal (Mogul) influence on Indian architecture. Banaras Hindu University is worth a look, as it is the largest residential university on the continent. May it be strolling through the cluttered alleyways or floating on the water of the Ganges, Varanasi has a sacred charm which will take you to another world.
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November 27, 2016 4:21 pm
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