Banaras....Bold and Beautiful

8th Dec 2013
Photo of Banaras....Bold and Beautiful 1/1 by Ankita Misra

If you know how to find your peace in the middle of a crowded street and feel the symphony in reverberations of everything and anything, then Banaras is the place for you to see.

Because I had relatives in the city, stay was not at all a problem.

Day 1

Start your day with some heavy breakfast in narrow Gali's of Vishweshar Ganj. Some brown crispy Kachori with Sabji and Jalebi will be the perfect way to start a Benarasi Day. While you are there, it is highly recommended to take a guide along or probably someone who knows the city fairly well. Head to the famous Sankat Mochan temple, Durga-kund and Tulsi Manas Temple. After taking some rest, we tour around the Benaras Hindu University which is less of a campus and more of a little township i itself. You get to go boating inside the campus and pray in their own version of Vishwanath Temple. By evening, we head to Assi Ghat from where we take a ferry to see the very famous Ganga Aarti. Its only when you witness it by yourself that you believe why people come from across the globe to see this Aarti. After the aarti, we decide to take dinner in a restaurant by the Ghat; Pizzeria. 

Day 2:

Head to Vishwanath Temple through very narrow lanes and long queue of people chanting under their breath and otherwise. After waiting for three hours, we get to get darshan of the Holy Baba Vishwanath. On our way out of the lane, we shopped for Pure Rudraksh Beads, Benarasi Silk Saree and some souvenirs. Rest of the day was spent lazing around and some fine dining at Saanjha Choolha on the Airport Road.

Day 3:

Visited Sarnath,a Deer Park and the place where Gautam Buddha after enlightenment and gave his first sermons. It also holds importance for Jainism. Further, we take a tour around the city, savor the spicy tangy flavors of street food at Dina Chat Bhandaar until we head back to our accommodation for train late at night.

It maybe 5 in the morning but never too early to have these tempting poori-kachori sabzi on leaf-plates.
Photo of Kachori Gali, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Ankita Misra
If not only for the Deity worshiping rituals, you will remember this place with alot of monkeys around and the tasty 'prasaad' of laddoo and roasted chanaa. Evening are peaceful here with soulful bhajan and kirtans going on.
One of the main temples in Varanasi devoted to Goddess Durga.
Photo of Durgakund Temple, Sankat Mochan Road, Birdopur, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Ankita Misra
Photo of TULSI MANAS MANDIR, Anandbagh, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Ankita Misra
One of the largest university campuses in the whole of Asia, BHU has a name of its own. With sprawling lush green campus of botanical garden, rose garden etc, it has everything that sets benaras hindu university apart from the rest of the city.
Photo of BHU, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Road, Benares, Uttar Pradesh, India by Ankita Misra
You may seat by the river have some light spicy snacks, offer to Goddess Ganga or go boating on a clearing day. Assi ghat is a world in itself. Take a boat ride from assi ghat to the other end of the stretch and relate to the cycle of life.
Photo of Assi Ghat, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Ankita Misra
if you visit Varanasi and don't take out time for Vishwanath Temple, there will be a lot you will miss out on. One of the 12 shiv-linga situated in different parts of the country, Vishwanath Temple holds an important place in the journey of hindu pilgrim.
Photo of Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Ankita Misra
Sarnath has something to offer to everyone. There's a deer park that one can easily tour around. After the Bouddha attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya he came to sarnath to deliver his very first sermon.
Photo of Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Ankita Misra
For foodies with strong guts, this one is a MUST-VISIT!! Serving Indian Street Food; paani puri, aloo chat etc, in the most authentic manner. Don't forget to end your meal without Gulab Jamun or Kulfi Faluda
Photo of Deena Chat House, Chowk Godowlia Road, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Ankita Misra