Monday, May 12, 2008

A Pilgrimage Special: Good Morning, Varanasi

Varanasi has been listed as one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world and is also regarded as a holy city by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Our guide told us that the city had in ancient time been destroyed by the Muslims but somehow, it stood up against the marauders and regained its vigour. Neither intruders nor flood could destroy Varanasi, I suppose. Flood, I heard, happens during the rainy season and could easily submerge some of the buildings on the bank. Personally, I find the city more Hindu than anything else. Closely associated with the Ganges, there are not just many Hindu temples along its banks, but there are so many devout Hindus taking a holy dip in the river from morn to dusk. During my first trip here, I remember the railway station was packed with Hindu pilgrims and when I visited the Ganges in the afternoon, there were many Hindus taking a dip there. This time around, we visited the Ganges in the wee, wee morning. We were supposed to catch the sunrise there but the mist hid the sun from us and probably spoiled what could be a very spiritual experience, releasing lighted flower lamps into the holy Ganges...


Varanasi in the wee, wee morning...


Lamps floating on the great Ganga...


An old palace on the bank of the Ganges...



Alleys in Varanasi...


Varanasi...

No comments:

Have another serving of Travel Pangs!