Divinity and Spirituality binds the holy city of Varanasi. An air of different beliefs and religious practises surrounds this surreal city. Chaotic yet beautiful, Varanasi is imbued with powerful ancient assumptions, blissful temples, mesmerizing ghats never leaving the sight of numerous followers and tourists, lamps floating in water and auspicious bells ringing in the praise of God.
The city portrays the cycle of life and death and conveys that we emerge from the earth and also collapses into the same. Look forward to the following things as you set foot in the beautiful city.
Dev Deepavali (‘Diwali of Gods’ or ‘Festivals of Lights of Gods’)
A sight to behold of the millions of shimmering earthen lamps scattered in the serene waters of the holy Ganga and the glimmer of the flame from the lamps in the ‘aarti thali’ getting reflected on the countenance of people that have accumulated in masses to offer their prayers. The city becomes a reflection of light itself on the occasion of Dev Deepavali that falls on full moon day of Kartika month (November- December) and all the auspicious rituals are carried out.
Riverfront steps leading to the banks of the River Ganges and the steps of each ghat are laid with history incarnated in them. Around 80 splendid ghats spread all across Varanasi, these are employed for the use of bathing ceremonies, cremations, other holy ceremonies and at other times to observe the rising sun and contemplate it’s reflection in the blissful waters.
Some of the famous ghats are Assi Ghat, Dashashwamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Panchganga Ghat and Adi Keshav Ghat.
Also known as the ‘city of temples’, Varanasi has thousands of temples nestled within and are an integral part of Hindu Mythology as well as have been crucial in the development of Buddhism. Many are situated at the Ghats and have a history that dates back to the medieval period.
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Some of the infamous temples are Vishwanath Temple, Sarnath, Durga Temple, Sankat Mochan Temple, Nepali Temple, Bharat Mata Temple, Kaal Bhairav Temple, Tulsi Manas Temple and Kardameshwara Mahadeva Temple.
The Sunrise & Sunset
As the sun rises, the otherwise mesmerizing blue skies manifests a dramatic amber façade in the backdrop as the sun brilliantly glows and exudes warmth and light to the divine city. Look forward to a boat ride in the morning to delve into the beauty of the sunrise.
In the evening, as you struggle your way through the throng, observe the placid sun leaving behind a trail of yellow-blushing clouds.
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As the rudder disrupting the tranquil waters moves the boat further, it unfolds a lot of stories. One can sit back and observe in peace the serene Ganges being worshipped alongside the Ghats, people drinking and bathing in it, ascetic meditating and practising yoga and plethora of people in a chaotic ramble. Also, get acquainted with the placid Ganga waters. Try to take a ride between 5-9 pm.
Gather among the assemblage to witness the grand Agni Pooja that will hold you captive in an air of holiness. Bells ringing in the backdrop and priests chanting Vedic hymns as they blow off of the conch shells pulls you into a trance.
The majestic lamps of about 4.5 kgs by which the pooja is performed and the ones floating in the majestic Ganga, the spectacle and the elation simply overwhelms you. Evening 5 to 7 everyday, priests perform the aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat.
Ascetics draped in saffron and chanting with prayer beads in hands, some locals chewing paan and spitting it out, sadhu’s smoking weed, amiable locals, enthusiastic tourists socializing with the locals, numerous and vivacious kids running through the innumerable lanes and alleys will all treat you like Gods as in India it’s often said that ‘Guests are like Gods’.
These are not just any sarees. A lot of hard work is put in to create the stunning pieces. It takes around 15 days to one month and sometimes six months to weave those finest pieces. The village of Sarai Mohana is well known for weaving these Silk Sarees that are appreciated throughout the world.
Learn about life and how beautiful it is in this mesmerizing city and give your soul the remedy and peace it needs.