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The Vedic City of India.

Varanasi, Benares / Banaras, Kashi - no matter how you call it - is one of the oldest and the holiest cities in India and worldwide. Most devout Indians dream of making the pilgrimage to this city at least once in their lifetime (as Muslins to the Mecca or Christians to Jerusalem).

Varanasi gets crowded with thousands of people visiting it. But the holy city manages to welcome them all – nationals and tourists alike - and despite its extremely narrow lanes, the sense is that of triumph of devotion.There are innumerable temples that help to create an atmosphere of a unique combination of physical, metaphysical and supernatural elements.Banaras has a religious and cultural identity of its own, unaffected by time and tide. There are plenty of places to visit in Varanasi where you can relax and have a good time. Whether one takes a walk through the famous lanes of Varanasi, which give the city its most commonly known epithet – “galiyon ka sheher“,

However, the city in itself doesn't seem to offer any of the mystic charm it is supposed to exude. The magic is in its ghats (steps leading to the banks of the Ganges riverfront)! There are numerous ghats, known for their landmark temples & shrines or particular religious practices like cremation, marriage, worship of deities. But the city is not characterized by one special ghat. It is all of them together what gives the feeling of purity, continuity, procreation and ramifications. The ghats are undoubtedly the most valuable assets of Varanasi. Each of them holds some special significance. A walk through them allows you to see people consulting astrologers, selling silk cloths and brass wares, doing exercise, or puja (a religious ritual performed by Hindus as an offering to various deities). Every ghat has its own uniqueness, its own history. Just a stroll from one end to the other will give you the feeling that your visit to this place has been worth already...

Most guides recommend visiting the ghats in Varanasi in the evening. However, the same ghats have a different charm altogether early in the morning. The rising sun light gives the place a mystical feel. What do people do in the ghats? They go there to just see, to take part in the ancient rituals (performed since immemorial times), to make offerings to the river (the ancientness of all this is what surprises the unprepared Westerner). Some of the ghats are: Dashashwamedh, Manikarnika, Panchganga and Harishchandra. Most of them are bathing ghats, others are used as cremation sites. Morning boat ride on the Ganges across the ghats is a popular visitors’ attraction.

In Hindu mythology, the city of Varanasi has the power to liberate the soul from the body to the ultimate. And the Ganga Ghats are the ones that complement the concept of divinity. The holy Ganges, in its turn, is believed to absolve one from all sins. So, for Hinduism if someone dies in Varanasi he/she achieves Nirvana (kind of going to Heaven). However, life is so enjoyable at Varanasi that speaking of Death seems a contradiction! Yes, life and death come together, hand in hand at the Ganges and its ghats.

A word of warning: avoid photos in the cremation ghats. One must remember people are saying goodbye to their beloved ones so one has to be respectful of the situation and of the others’ pain. Enjoy the sights without hurting their feelings. Evening aarti: a ceremony that takes place on the bank of Mother Ganga (Ganges River). It may be witnessed from the bank itself (free of charge). An alternative is to view it from a hired boat. Not to be missed! The Epitome of Heritage indeed, where visitors, pilgrims, devotees and tourists alike mix with awe and reverence to pay respect to Incredible India!

Banaras lanes is a young and dynamic organization dedicated to bring the real taste of Banaras to the visitors. Started after quiting lucrative job of corporate sector it is driven by passion , zest and innovation to bring the best from Banaras and deliver it to the visitors.


Contact Address

    S-3/1 A-G-2, Vishwanath Puri Colony, Nawalpur, Basehi, Varanasi, 221003
    +91 8953869353
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