A DAY SPENT IN VARANASI
I have been brought up in a typical Hindu family where the religion is taken to be one’s way of living and the sacred art of prayers and worshipping God is a daily ritual. As I stood next to the door, I quietly watched my family discussing over different places for our next trip. My younger brother was reluctantly quiet too (he doesn’t even know where we live: P).My mother was particularly adamant about our trip to Varanasi. Varanasi? Is she serious? I thought my vacation trip is ruined. Hell, man, I wish I was a Christian at least I would have a chance of place like goes. Nevertheless, Since I have
Been living in Delhi since my childhood, I thought I followed the same policy “grab anything that comes your way “. But then I thought of having a try over my place of interest so I argued with her (only to let her win, who can win an argument with mum? NO one). So within two days of the decision which was less democratic in nature was acted upon. We made an overnight journey from Delhi to Varanasi by a train. It was 7:30 a.m. and I woke to my senses that we had arrived.
The first place we decided to visit was The Kashi Vishwanath Temple and spent some morning time in the temple premises. This temple is one of the most popular temples in India (I WAS TOLD). It is also called the Golden Temple and is devoted to Lord Shiva. It was beautiful and mesmerizing.It was 10:00 in the morning and since we were all hungry we had the famous Banarasi breakfast, Sabzi, Kachori and Jalebi.After we were done with our food thing we headed towards Ramnagar Fort which is situated across the river beyond the Assi Ghat which was built in 17 the century. The fort though in ruins took me to a historical journey as the palace still retains its charm.
Varanasi: A fully decorated Ghat with flowers is seen on the bank of the river Ganges.
Late noon. We also visited the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in the BHU campus which was grand enough to make you go awe. By evening we were at the Ganga Ghat and took an amazing boat ride along the Sacred river .the scenic beauty gave me some serious photography goals. We visited all the Ghats and the boatman kept us busy with the stories (which were annoying at the onset). I watched the sunset and was filled with joy. By 6:30 in the evening, we moved to Dashashwamedh Ghat for the famous Ganga Aarti.
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The ringing bells and huge lamps held by seven pujaris with their reflection in the river was a moment of ecstasy. We all were spellbound by the crowd and the Pujaris themselves singing hymns and worshipping the river with Lord Shiva (I never thought they can influence me that much). It was a great experience.
The Pandits and Gurus have formed a way of living here. I had fallen in love with these Ghats. The energy around here was so great that I felt as if I was in some other world. There are hundreds of people who visit these Ghats daily and I used to think why they visit such places regularly are they unemployed or something? ( I am kid if you remember) But now I know why they do. The Bhaktshere are nurtured by the city’s culture.
The culture here is so fluid that when the old city does finishes and new starts no one can ever tell. Banaras as I prefer calling it now, gave me a new meaning to devotion and its power. Why had Meera devoted herself so much towards Lord Krishna? The answer lies in her belief and her unconditional devotional love towards her God (I was told). Banaras as a city is more than a place to live. It’s a land where people as they say attain Moksha. The belief they have has given them the strength to fight their problems.
The love is unconditional. The trip was one amazing experience that I wish could have lasted for a bit longer but then, just then I realized maybe Goa could be even better ( I hope you didn’t forget!!? I am still a teenager :P)