Kashi, or Varanasi/Banaras as it is known today, is the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. The history of the place is writ amongst its charming ghats to its maze-like by-lanes. Life here is bodacious, vivid and gives you a sense as old as time itself.
This place is an important site in Hinduism. The stepped ghats that lead to the River Ganges are divided into 88 sections, where every community in the country has a section dedicated to them. Walking along the ghats is an experience to the senses, as is watching it from a boat on the river.
The river Ganga that travels from the Himalayas to the plains of Bengal, cuts a journey through most of Northern and Eastern India. In its wake, it has also created teeming cities on its shores where people not only depend on it for livelihood but also revere and worship it.
The Ganga Aarti
The Ganga Aarti (worship with fire) is conducted at many holy sites such as Rishikesh and Haridwar, but it was the one at Varanasi, that really left me mesmerised.
The city is a maze; I volunteered twice to lead the way back and failed miserably. However, when here one must absolutely get lost, because it is only when I got lost is when I found the most mesmerising corners, fascinating people and interesting conversations. The buildings in the city tell a tale of its glorious past and blend in perfectly with its present.