After getting the sneak peaks about my Trip to Varanasi, through Spotlight of the Week and The Speaking Eye, curiosity was running through my veins to let you know about the trip in complete detail. So, here is Girl At The Window Seat giving you the complete insight about her escapade.
The Internet is full of Varanasi blogs, travelers giving their day to day extravaganza, things to do in Varanasi, and what not! What was left for me? Brainstorming and loads of scribbling I came to the conclusion of defining to you Varanasi in a certain different way. How? Scroll down to fetch the answers.
Varanasi: The Oldest City in India, has several stories to tell, numerous folks to narrate, and “enlightenment” preaching to deliver. I have spent almost half of my life in Varanasi, yes, it wasn’t my first trip to Varanasi, yet the blog so late? Calm down, take a deep breath, and go with the flow.
My mom is from Varanasi, therefore, every vacation during my childhood, I was sent to Varanasi. Like any other child, my Nanaji and Naniji are my favorite human beings on this planet and I am to them! *Fingers Crossed* Going to Varanasi was a routine and it might sound hard to believe but each time I visited the city it told to be a different story. This time I decided to write a completely different chapter of Varanasi in my life. I decided to visit the city like a traveler and not a half local!
I had my checklist ready, my bags “lightly” packed, and my camera organized.
On my checklist was to witness the Sunrise at the Ghat. I had visited the ghat just once in my lifetime, last year. That was during the night time during the Ganga Arti. I had always fantasized to marvel the religious city as I sailed through the Ganges. So, this time when I reached Varanasi, my days were planned. I woke up in the morning at 5 am (Well, you can easily judge the enthusiasm with my morning alarm), and then began my Ghat Journey.
Varanasi has many gullies and ghats and not everyone can drive here. Since the roads are not wide enough to let traffic go smooth but if you are a localite you know the shortcut to every place as “One gully connects you to another” and you reach your destination without any traffic disturbances. I reached the Assi Ghat – one of the 88 ghats, each ghat has its individual significance.
After mesmerizing the ghat in the chilly breeze and shivers, I looked for a boat to sail on.
Note: Whenever you are booking a boat, the person would always ask you for 600 or 800 rupees, NEVER settle for it. The price for crossing the Assi Ghat to the Dashashwamedha Ghat is not more than 400 rupees. Always bargain half the price and if you pay a 100 more, that’s a great deal.
After an intense discussion with the owner of the boat, we sailed. Between the two ghats, there are several ghats, to name a few of them is the Manikarnika Ghat – where the fire of the pyre does not calm down, the Jain Ghat, the Pandey Ghat, and many more. Sailing through the ghats, I could see pilgrims so devoted that in the chilly winter mornings they took the holy dip in the Ganges and joined their hands to the rising sun. As we were reached towards the Dashashwamedha Ghat, we witness he Siberian guests who added jewels to the Ganges. Reaching the ghat, we were hungry as we have had nothing in the morning and were craving for tea. When at the ghat, definitely try out the Masala Tea – refreshing and energizing. After a few hot sips and a few more clicks, we went to our boat and it was our time to return to the Assi Ghat.
On my return, I saw the different versions of the Ghats. The washerman was washing clothes and made it their Dhobi Ghat, there was fisherman catching the fish, and devotees taking the holy dip. One Ganges serves so many lives and in numerous ways. I do not know was it just to me or even other feel this, that the water in the Ganges was warm. It felt soothing when I put my hands in the water during the boat ride, it wasn’t cold.
After our “Sunset” trip it was our time to have something. The street food here is amazing. One should definitely try out the “Kachori-Sabzi” and the “Dahi-Jalebi”, also a special mention to “Malhaiyu”- whipped cream served in Kulhadd. Varanasi is no more the only religious city but has transformed immensely as it has many themed cafes and restaurants for the people.
I have visited the Sarnath many times before, so had to skip this time, due to lack of time. Sarnath has its own significance, Lord Buddha got enlightenment here. There are several other places like the “Sita Ji ki Rasoi”, “Sankat Mochan” and many another place where travelers can make a visit to.
P.S.: If you are thinking Varanasi is a religious city, therefore, a quiet and peaceful one, it is time to burst the bubble. The city is very noisy and full of chaos yet a magnificent and must visit.
With this I end up my Varanasi Travel Story. I hope you all enjoyed reading my travel stories on my Blog!