Varanasi – a city as old as time.
In the words of Mark Twain, "Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together." Every word of the quote is spot-on, as the city has almost stood still in time and watched the world and its ways change over the centuries. It’s more than just the spiritual capital of India. It’s a melting pot that thrives as life and death come together. It’s the kind of city that you need to visit just once for it to stay etched in your mind forever.
Varanasi is known to be a popular Hindu Pilgrimage destination, and the old part of the city, which is situated on the banks of the Ganga River, is the heart of the city, even today, with thousands of people flocking to these holy waters in search of salvation and purification. No matter what the crowd and chaos is like here, it all comes to a grinding halt, as soon as the Ganga Aarti takes place in the evening. The pandits line up to perform rituals which are carried out with immense grandeur and opulence, making the aarti a treat for the soul and the senses.
There’s a certain organised chaos that flows through the city. Narrow lanes and by-lanes garner curiosity while the street art adorning the stretch alongside the ghats are a great example of artistic expression of the community. Varanasi is also blessed with marvellous architectural heritage, that can be seen in the numerous temples spread around the city.
It really doesn’t matter if you’re religious or not – Varanasi has something for everyone, be it the chaos and colour to finding serenity at the banks of the Ganges. Join us and visit the city that has stood still for thousands of years, and will stay still for a thousand more, we’re sure.
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