Featured image: Google Images
Call it Varanasi, Kashi or Banaras – exploring one of the oldest living cities in the world is truly an experience of a lifetime. Located on the banks of river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, with chaos in every corner, Varanasi has a way of consuming everyone in its trance. The incomparable vibe, the crowds, the Ganga aarti, the ghats, it is all part and parcel of daily life in Varanasi but nothing prepares you for the craziness you experience once you’re there. Regarded as the cultural capital of India, the city draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the river’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites. Along the city’s winding streets are some 2,000 temples, including the most popular Kashi Vishwanath, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The culturally rich city of Varanasi has various facets to it – there’s the flavoursome cuisine of north India, replete with delicious street food in every corner; there are bylanes of Banaras dotted with ancient temples; and Ganga ghats with their morning and evening ceremonies that are quite surreal in their essence. If there’s one thing you must experience in Varanasi, it is the sunrise boat ride, which is dreamy and exhilarating in equal measure.