My recent visit recalled the first encounter with this place. At that time I only knew anything about Banaras was BHU- a popular university. This was for the first time I was encountering this city or coming out of my shell. Crossing that crowded lanes, I can remember Mark Twain lines “Banaras which is older than history, older than tradition, older than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.”
An auto ride of 25 minutes takes her to Banaras Hindu University, as she recalls that this is where Gandhi had given one of his most important speeches at the laying of the foundation stone of the college in 1916. Walking inside the campus, under the heavy shadow of the trees, feels like a whole new city in itself. Bustling with activity, the campus gives her a view of how cosmopolitan this ancient city is; and is thrilled to the bone as she spots people from different origins and cultures. Cold-coffee with ice-cream is something that she has a tough time resisting at the Vishwanath Temple inside the campus. It is the tastiest that she'd had. Upon asking around, she gets to know that that's one of the most famous places for hangout of the college crowd.
Final day of the trip, we went to BHU - one of the most prestigious institute of our country. The campus is beautiful and youngsters add more life to this place. It has a Vishwanath temple inside, with a peaceful garden. I spotted students studying in its premises. The outlets right at the entrance of this temple serve delicious cold coffee and mango shake! We also visited other famous local temples close to the campus - 'Sankat Mochan' Hanuman mandir, Durga Mata mandir and Manas mandir. I was amazed to see the entire 'Ramayana' engraved on the walls of Manas temple! Do not miss to have 'Banarasi Meetha paan'. Also, do have the famous sweet 'Launglata' and lassi at the store - 'Pehelvaan launglata and lassi wale' in Lanka. The smell and taste of mud oozed out of a 'kulhad' tantalizes ones taste buds. Foodgasm at its peak! ;) My Varanasi diary comes to an end here. Enjoy mystical Banaras!