A Day in Varanasi.

Where do I go? What do I see? I had one day at my disposal when I went to Varanasi last year during the Kumbh Mela in Prayag (Allahabad).

So the day went on. Our driver who was smitten by Bhojpuri songs (lyrics centred around a man who got his niece married) took us to the Vishwanath temple inside the BHU campus. At first we were surprised seeing it largely empty being the Kumbh Mela season. Seconds later, locals told us it was only a memorial temple – a replica for the original one.

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Then after our Banarasi snacks, we went to Saranath where Buddhism as a religion made its mark in its early days. It is remarkable how Banaras being called the most dirty city has a place such as Saranath which is pious and clean beyond words. The discipline of this place amazed me. There were Buddhists from Srilanka and Thailand also there.

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Gradually, it became evening (Arathi) time. This being the most ceremonious of all the celebrations done in Banaras every day, had to be witnessed, so we went to the Dashaswamedha Ghat. One out of nearly 100 ghats in Varanasi. The puja had started. It is commendable how the puja goes which goes on for a long time emanates a different feeling not just for the Indians but also the foreigners who were there.

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In the end, all that would remain of this city would be, how amidst chaos this city has lived and has played the role of genesis for all the epics this great country has witnessed. Be it Ramayana, Mahabharath, the atrocities of Ghauri or the greatest musicians like Bismillah Khan. This will be one place I would like to go back and experience over and over again! This last picture would sum it all for me.

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