In between I travelled to a lot of places but Banaras has always been very special and close to my heart. The cultural capital of India is famous not only for its food, lanes, Ghats, Temples, and Museums but also for its rich contribution in the fields of music, art, dance and education.
It is not unusual to wake up at an unearthly hour to the sounds of bells ringing on one side and the azaan on the other.
Banaras envelopes the tourists in a visually marvelous atmosphere. The Ganga Aarti is the most famous ritual, performed every evening here. Being crowded with more photographers than worshippers it becomes the most recorded sights of Banaras but every time I came here it transcended all my previous experiences. The whole city looks absolutely spectacular ignited with lamps, the fragrance of incense and candle-lit flower bowls floating in the Ganges.
I always loved spending time along the ghats and in the lanes to dive headlong into this city. People say that Banaras has more than 80 ghats and there is one famous ghat named “Assi”. Other major ghats are Dashashwamedh, Munshi, Kedar Ghat and Manikarnika, needless to say, is the most famous amongst all.
Manikarnika the bigger of two cremation ground where corpses are cremated on the banks of Ganga is always a major attraction for tourists and photographers. I personally do not prefer clicking a crematorium.
Last time I missed the boat ride but this time, ‘Ratan-the Kewat’ became the story teller and he spoke about the history of these ghats and royals associated with them.
In winters, the flock of migratory Siberian birds make it more beautiful.
The extensive stretches of ghats enhance the river front with the number of shrines, temples and palaces built along.
Banaras is a foodie’s delight, with chaat, snacks and a million flavours on offer in pushcarts, street-side eateries. Do not forget to savour your taste buds with these during your stay:
I personally feel that a stay in Banaras is a journey towards discovering the eternal bliss of mind and soul.