Not only Suraj is capable to accept Couchsurfing requests to stay, he also helps the guest to wander around the city well. He has very good knowledge about the culture, history and prople of this holy city, it was a great fun to explore the city with him. Firstly, we took an auto and moved towards the New Kashi Vishwanath Temple which was made just 35 years ago. The ancient Baba Vishwanath Temple is somewhat difficult to visit due to a lot of rush on the way.
Finally saying Good Bye!
After that, we witnessed the Ganga Arti ceremony on the Ashwamegh Ghat. All the tour was fully guided by Mr Suraj and as it was also an occasion of Kartik Purnima and Dev Diwali, there was more rush on the streets than normal days, without a local guide like Suraj, it would have been much difficult for me to explore well.
The second and last day in Varanasi, we went to the ghats again. At Asi Ghat, we decided to enjoy a boat trip and cross the river and see the sand dunes on the other side looking just like a desert. So, we called it the "Jaisalmer of Benaras". Suraj efficiently negotiated with the boatman at Rs 600 only for this tour. We enjoyed a lot, Suraj told me a lot of things about the city in the meantime. Upon arrival at the other bank of river, it was really looking like a mini Jaisalmer, even camels could be seen. If you want to ride them, you can do. Local Benarasi street foods were easily available on the sand dunes. In the 2nd half of the day, we moved towards Sarnath- one of the famous Buddha monuments.
Later, in the evening, we visited some small temples, specially the Sankat Mochan Temple. But today was the occasion of Dev Diwali as Diwali is celebrated thrice in Varanasi. We were once again at the ghats in the night after crossing though the tremendous rush along the streets. It is estimated that more than 25 Lakh lights or Diyas are lighted on this day. The sky is also fired with crackers. The whole atmosphere is full of joy and enthusiasm. But all the ghats cannot be seen from a single place comfortably, it is a nice idea to take a boat ride and watch the full scene from the river. We again hired a boat and witnessed the real plethora of this Dev Diwali.
Next day was the day of going back home. We had a great funtime in Varanasi. If ever I come again, I would like to meet him again. One thing I forgot to say, Mr Suraj is also a great cook, he will not let you leave his home without tasting his recepies.