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Varanasi: The city that enchants!

Varanasi and its many unique details…learn more…

Wednesday, 21st April 2021

The mystic land of Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh is set along the banks of the Ganges and is an extremely holy city for the Hindus. The city presents an intriguing fusion of history, art, culture, and spirituality and is believed to be one of the most ancient continuously inhabited cities in the whole of the world. In this context, celebrated author and traveler Mark Twain says, “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.”

The city with myriad hues continues to delight the tourists as well as foodies alike.

The old-world charm of the city is captivating. The labyrinth lanes and innumerable ghats along the banks of the Ganga can give you a real magical experience. For spiritual seekers, the city offers enough food for the soul and the spiritual mind. For travelers, the sights and sounds of the city are truly inviting. On each of the lanes and alleys of Varanasi, there’s a temple and the sound of chanting and ringing of bells make you feel pious and pure. The evenings of Varanasi are filled with the attraction of the splendid Ganga Aarti. The ritualistic aarti featuring resplendent torches and lamps being lifted up by the priests in honor of Goddess Ganga and the coordinated and rhythmic movements they perform during the ritual will give you goosebumps indeed!

Each street of Varanasi represents a distinct flavor, history, and folklore that’s enchanting to every visitor to the city.

A stroll around the ghats or simply a boat ride on the River Ganges in the early hours of the morning could give you a surreal experience that’s never to be forgotten.

Also Read: ASI will begin renovation and conservation work for Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and Fatehpur Sikri in the midst of lockdown.

Since time immemorial, the city of Varanasi has aptly seduced both the kings and the commoners, the historians and the ascetics, the pilgrims and the tourists alike. Very recently actor Soundarya Sharma who had come to the city for a movie shoot was tempted by the city to the very core.“The city is mesmerizing, cannot be explained in words. It is a world of its own and takes one to another energy level. The purity and the tranquility activate your chakras automatically,” wrote the actor.


The city presents a happy fusion of culture and has been home to some great personalities of the yesteryears as well as of the contemporary times. Kabir Das, Tulsidas, Gopal Mishra, Omkarnath Thakur, Rai Krishnadasa, Ravi Shankar, Girija Devi, Bismillah Khan are some of the key figures who have hailed from Varanasi and have enriched the realm of fine arts with their contribution.


 Fondly remembering her close association with Varanasi, Kathak Dancer Shovana Narayan, says, “I grew up on stories of Benares as my mother was from Banaras Hindu University. Personally, I am so fond of Kabir Chaura, a neighborhood in central Varanasi, where the mystic poet, Kabir Das is said to have lived. Every lane housed illustrious artists in the 1960s. On a stroll in the neighborhood, one could hear musical sounds emanating from the windows and doors of each house. I remember visiting Sitara Devi’s ancestral house, and Alaknanda jee showed me a dance form and I was enraptured. I have beautiful memories of the old cultural city.”


More than anything else, Varanasi’s intense spiritual pull lures one to experience the divine in the city. The sitar-sarod duo, the ‘Mohan’ Brothers say in the context, “Whenever we have performed there, it has been a very spiritual experience. We have wonderful memories of one of our performances at the Ganga Mahotsav and the serenity that we felt there was something that we can never forget. The rasiks (music connoisseurs) are highly receptive and have a deep admiration for art and culture.”


While Varanasi holds a special place of importance in terms of Hindu mythology, there are many who believe that the city can actually lead one to ‘moksha’ or ‘salvation’. While, on one hand, the city reminds one of the eternal cycles of birth, death, and rebirth, on the other hand, it compels one to bask in the aura of the vivacious life around.“Varanasi is also known as the Dham of Moksha. It’s also said that if someone dies on the holy land of Banaras he attains salvation.” says celebrated Numerologist and Astrologer, Shiv Sadhika Ma Vishwaroopa.


Famed author Anuradha Kumar Jain describes the city most beautifully when she says, ”The boat festooned with garlands of marigolds; the gently lapping waters of the Ganga; the deliciously cool breeze; floating diyas illuminating the gathering dusk; the sound of chanting carried on the wind; the perfectly synchronized movement of the pujaris; smoke rising from the multi-tiered lamps in fantastical shapes. The ghats are brightly lit, even garishly so at places, but somehow it all fits into the magic of the night, into the palpable, living faith that permeates the very atmosphere.”

Varanasi has many attractive places to visit. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, a Jyotirlingam temple of Lord Shiva is one of its prime attractions. Shri Durga Temple, the Nepali Mandir, Tulsi Manas Temple, Ramgarh Fort, Dhamek Stupa, Ruchika Art Gallery, the Sankat Mochan Temple are the other places to visit in and around the city.

The city is also famous for certain things like its Banarasi weave sarees, its glass bangles, its ‘meetha paan’, its delectable street foods like chaats and kachoris. In the context of food in Varanasi, actor Soundarya Sharma says most eloquently, “The food here is so authentic. I love the jalebis, kachori and sabzi. The lassi with malai is out of this world. Deena Chaat Bhandar is my favorite.” Regarding the Bangles and Banarasi sarees, Sharma says,“ Banarasi sarees and bangles is a different vibe altogether. I bought many sarees in rani and white colours. In fact, I visited a weaver’s village and really enjoyed watching the process. “

The News Talkie Bureau



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