Kashi, the ultimate place to attain Moksha – liberation from the cycle of rebirth, the divine destination for salvation. This ancient city has been the silent observer of the happiness and sorrow of its residents for ages. Countless such stories are probably etched on the walls of these old buildings, on the stones of the narrow lanes and on the stairs of the Ghats. The Ghats stood as the visual testimonial of affluents while the Ganges, without any discrimination, washed away every sin and every associated story. In this way, time and the river flowed by and the city matured into what it stands today with newness engulfed in the tight embrace of the powerful old arms.
Banaras is unique in its way – unkempt yet holy, crowded yet still, murky yet vibrant, sultry yet pleasant, devout yet sceptic and plain yet appealing. These contrasting qualities make Varanasi a one-of-a-kind destination for many. While most people travel here for religious purposes and some do for their eternal journey.
There are various ashrams that operate even to this day being homes to several elderly who are awaiting death and subsequent cremation by the Ganges to achieve Moksha. Though I would not cover this remorse part of life in my story and rather focus on the lively part of life here in Varanasi.
On my recent visit to the city, I focused mainly on food while the Ghats and the Galiyans (lanes), being an integral part came along with it. On our brief visit to Varanasi, we explored food and definitely the Ghats on the boat and the Galiyans to reach from one place to another.
My story today will be through my pictures. Read about my previous visit to Varanasi.
On my every visit to Varanasi, I watch this well-synchronised musical Ganga Aarti programme in the Dashaswamedh Ghat.
I also don’t miss the early morning boating.
The performers have different dress codes for every ghat.
The Dashaswamedh Ghat was built by Peshwa Baji Rao. The other two ghats in the picture above also were built by the rulers of Maharashtra. Being from Pune these ghats definitely grabbed more of my attention a bit more than the others.
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple has been recently renovated and so was its adjoining ghat.
Now coming to some food experience in Varanasi. We walked through the maze of lanes to reach the Blue Lassi Shop to have its much-hyped Lassi.
We also had lunch at Bati Chokha, known for its Litti-Chokha and Kachori thalis. To me, it is more of an acquired taste but the village-themed restaurant and its ambience are worth a mention. We also watched the ladies preparing the gram flour in hand mills.
When in Banaras what can be better after-meal than a Banarasi Pan? So did we.
Our very short trip did not give us the time to have the famous chats as we were already full. But we did not miss the famous Kachori and Jalebi in the morning from the Ram Bhandar.
We could not explore more of the food that we had on our list due to lack of time. Banaras is also famous for its sweet, juicy, delicious mangoes in the summer and Makhan Malaiyo (a dessert) in the winter.
Here are some more images from the Ghat life in Banaras.
Read more about the Ghats of Varanasi.
Read more about the lanes of Varanasi.
5 thoughts on “A Photo Journey Through Varanasi”
Thank you Rohan!
Beautiful pictures especially the night pictures of Aarti. Just curious, what equipment do you use for photography.
Thank you very much Arv. I am so glad you liked them. I use my humble Nikon D7200 with variable lens depending upon the distance.
That’s a proven model.