Varanasi – Religious and spiritual destination

For a non-Indian, Varanasi can be one of the most attractive locations for photography. Varanasi has been called the city of temples as well as city of lights. Varanasi is an important destination in many India Tour Packages. A visit to India is incomplete without a visit to Varanasi.

Further more it is also considered to be the oldest living city on earth. When you promenade through Varanasi and spend time and effort to understand its narrative, then you shall come abreast of tales of love, forgiveness, dedication and inspiration.

Sadhus at Ganges

Sadhus at Ganges

Varanasi can be the city of liberation. Generally speaking, in the Hindu philosophy, freedom and joy are attained after death if the life has been well spent in pursuit of these attributes. In Varanasi this can become easier.

The ghats of Varanasi have been much photographed and written about. Stand on the steps leading down to the river, hear the sound of the river Ganges, the fragrance of burning incense mixed with fresh air, the ringing of bells, the chanting, the medication, the wandering sadhu – all of these come together to become a heady mix of upliftment.

Varanasi has about 100 ghats. Most of them were built during the Maratha rule. A large percent of these ghats are bathing ghats. Few are reserved for cremation and washing clothes (dhobi ghat).

For a moment, even if you are hard core money chasing city dweller, you can experience the upliftment of your soul. The pace of Varanasi life ushers in a sense of peace and calm around you.

Bathing Ghats

Bathing Ghats

But it is not an easy city to visit. It generates strong emotions of love and rejection. After Varanasi, nothing else shall surprise you. No city in the world shall have the capacity to surprise you. Varanasi is intense. Very intense.

Varanasi was established by Lord Shiva. Since centuries Indians have travelled to Varanasi in search of moksha or liberation. You shall come upon many old people waiting patiently, to die as it is their belief that the one who dies in Kashi (Varanasi) attains liberation.

Wander through the narrow, winding lanes of Varanasi. Almost every corner has a small temple. Varanasi is a holy city to Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. You shall encounter many hordes of sadhus, renunciates in search of better afterlife.

Ganga Aarti

Ganga Aarti

The highlight of your Varanasi trip shall be in the evening Ganga Aarti. A sight that is ethereal and divine. A boat ride on the river Ganges, especially at sunrise is not to be missed. Thousands of boatman earn their living ferrying people to strategic locations on the river for delightful photographic views.

Varanasi has a significant presence of Muslims. Varanasi is well known for its schools of Indian classical music and dance. Many illustrious names have learnt and perfected their art of instrument playing and vocal rendition at these famous schools. Ustad Bismillah Khan is one example. He was famous for shennai playing. Shennai is a type of flute with piercing high pitch sound.

Varanasi can be your base to do a day’s journey to Sarnath. In Sarnath, you shall see many Buddhist monuments.

As Varanasi is a holy city, you shall meet many reverential devotees. Engage with them and hold conversations on all aspects of this life and afterlife.

It shall also surprise you if you decide to wade in the river, that how swiftly Ganges flows. The current is so strong that if you’re not careful, it shall sweep you away.

All types of food and cuisines is now available in Varanasi. This is one visible benefit of the tourism. A branch of IIT is located in Varanasi. IIT is the celebrated institution of India, from where high IQ engineers emerge.

India beckons you

The extremities of India are well known. It is an ancient land. It has a mythical past and is a living example of the Hindu cosmological vision. It is also known as Bharat. Know this land through our India Tour Packages. A package tour shall make your India journey much easy.

This vast land is inhabited by infinite variety of peoples since remote antiquity. These diverse ethnic groups have come to the Indian subcontinent from all over the world, over many centuries.

Ancient Temple

Ancient Temple

The caste system is still strong in India and keeps the mass is divided along their caste lines. There is unity in diversity, but this is not easily visible.

India is the land where that there are nearly 1000 different languages and dialects. The economic divide amongst the citizens of India is huge and very visible. Both poverty and luxury is in your face.

Women in Colourful Attire

Women in Colourful Attire

Even though India is to be regarded as one nation, it is unusually unique. This unity has existed over many centuries in religious and cultural terms, though not in political and government Administration terms.

We invite you to visit this kaleidoscopic land and experience for yourself how diversity can coexist and flourish.

There are many stereotypes about India and some of them can be hurdlesome in making you travel to India. For instance, poverty, slums, child beggars, huge mass of people and so on.

Overloaded Autorickshaw

Overloaded Autorickshaw

India is a land of contrasts. Hence, if there is a major downside in India, then there is a glorious upside as well. India has the majestic Himalayan range, the glorious beaches of Goa, the Tiger, the lion, many national parks, the Taj Mahal, the cuisine, the backwaters of Kerala, the holy towns of Varanasi, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Amritsar – the list is long.

Golden Temple in Amritsar

Golden Temple in Amritsar

India is ancient history is a history of myths. All that is known today is known due to oral transmission. There are many sacred texts like the Bhagavad-Gita, the Vedas and the Upanishads to name a few. The sages and the poets who created these texts were ignorant of writing.

Khajuraho

Khajuraho

Sanskrit was the language of the ancient India. Texts written in Sanskrit carry a religious authority with them.

However, the true India is deeply rooted in its villages. These villages are the source of India’s history or one can even say – thousands of histories.

Village market

Village market

Broadly, the Indian land mass can be divided in three parts. The first part, the North has the Himalayan range. Mostly considered impregnable, nevertheless invaders sneak through it and have become a part of the Indian history, often contentious.

The second part is the immense Ganges plain. The richness of this land was the booty sought by the invaders. This is a huge land mass and extends from Pakistan to Burma.

The Mighty Ganges

The Mighty Ganges

The third part is the Deccan plateau. Even though it is not very high, it was effective in curtailment of migration between the southern part of India and the northern part of India for many centuries.

India has a long coastline. Yet surprisingly, it neither has a seafaring culture, nor it became maritime empire. The Tropic of Cancer runs through its centre.

Beach in Alleppey

Beach in Alleppey

India’s culture is strongly influenced by its monsoon. Except for the mountainous part, rest of India generally remains dry except during the three months of the monsoon period. Even during the monsoon period, the rains are intermittent but can cause huge damage by creating floods.

A visit to India can be life changing experience.