A Day In Varanasi!

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Photo of A Day In Varanasi! by SONIA DAVID

When life gives you a cake with a cherry on top, but somehow takes the cake back and leaves you only with a cherry, be grateful anyway! Something very similar happened with me when I went to Varanasi (also known as Banaras or Kashi) off lately for 5 days, out of which 4 days were occupied with work and I was just left with 1 day to experience the holiness in the land of Gods!

The city is located on the banks of river Ganges and is widely known for its sunrises. I woke up at 4am only to witness the magical sunrise. The view blew me away. I felt I was just few blocks away from the sun yet felt a soothing warmth in the air. The sun hung large and low in the blue sky, shining brightly, casting a deep glow over the Ganges river.

Photo of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by SONIA DAVID
Photo of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by SONIA DAVID

The ghats in Varanasi are world renowned where pilgrims perform rituals and the city has around 84 ghats. A morning boat ride on the river Ganga across the ghat is a popular attraction. I enjoyed every minute spent on our boat ride! The locals will ask you to take a dip in the river as the usual way of seeking her blessing, but if it isn’t possible for you, you can just take a handful of holy water and sprinkle on yourself, or even drink it!

Photo of A Day In Varanasi! by SONIA DAVID

A lot of tourist visit this place to catch a glimpse of Naga babas (naked monks) who attract a lot of attention due to their physical appearance of ash covered bodies and deadly dreadlocks. I couldn’t see any!

The Dashashwamedh ghat is the main and the oldest ghat of Varanasi. It is believed that Brahma created this ghat to welcome Shiva. A special Aarti (prayer ceremony of chanting hymns)happens at this ghat. A very famous temple called ‘Sankat mochan’ shouldn’t be missed, but do prepare yourself to stand a long que of devotees.

Photo of A Day In Varanasi! by SONIA DAVID
Photo of A Day In Varanasi! by SONIA DAVID
Photo of A Day In Varanasi! by SONIA DAVID

We then went inside the narrow lanes (galiyan) which is the best way to soak in the vibes of Varanasi. I highly recommend to go along with a local, because the busy lanes are like maze, a never ending maze, where once lost, is hard to find. There a lot of tour operators who offer ‘walking tours’, you might as well book one of them. There is quaint little cafe called, Shiva cafe and German bakery. It’s quiet a popular place where you can sing and eat along with people from different nationalities.

Photo of A Day In Varanasi! by SONIA DAVID
Photo of A Day In Varanasi! by SONIA DAVID

Strolling around the city and having guilt-free street food, is one of the relaxing way to unwind at a place, where God has your back! I had an evening flight to board and thus I had to rush, but I am not done yet with the spiritual capital of India. No one will ever get done with this oldest living city!

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