Beware! This Journey Is Not For The Faint Hearted
Often recalled as Benaras and Kashi, Varanasi is one of the most historical cities on the globe. Not only is it a traveller’s paradise but it is also a spiritual retreat for many. Habitated long ago in the past, Varanasi is a pilgrimage for devotees looking to wash away their sins in the gushing river Ganga. Let us explore the sprawling Ghats in and around Varanasi today and soak up in its vastness.
To reach Varanasi, you can either board a direct flight from nation’s capital New Delhi or opt for more convenient and pocket friendly options from the state’s capital like the Allahabad to Varanasi taxi service. But, beware! The Ghats of Varanasi are not meant for the faint-hearted souls. Once you are here, you will not only witness some of the most thrilling rituals of life and death but will also see some graphic visuals, screeches of many, covered in the burnt smell of the wood and flesh; which might haunt you for the next couple of days to come if you aren’t the cut for the crowd. But you can always choose not to be carried away by it and pick the boat ride instead to watch the glorious displays of diyas by the riverside, especially at night.
Although Varanasi is perceived as a place which is noted for its Hindu population yet, you will find people from all walks of life here, irrespective of the religion. From keen tourists on a cultural exploration – mostly in traditional clothes, to avid travellers with a backpack – on a photographic trail; you will never miss the human variation here. While many come to get rid of their sins, many await the public cremation of their loved ones by the west of the hustling river. However, if you are aroused by these mind-numbing imageries, visit the Ghats at dawn and dusk when the prayers are performed and the crowd outnumbers your imagination.
Even if you are a first-time enthusiast, you will never get lost in the narrow lanes of this city because all of them lead to these magnificent Ghats spread across the state and beyond. Some of the most visited Ghats on the southern side are Assi Ghat, Tulsi Ghat, Hanuman Ghat, Dandi Ghat, Shivala Ghat, Bachraj Ghat, Kedar Ghat, Harishchandra Ghat and Manikarnika. Each of these Ghats has an exponential history attached to itself that will not only impress you but will also brush up your knowledge about the city. You can find time to either traverse the entire length on foot or sit on one of the steps and listen to the fascinating stories by the local saints and priests and soak up the atmosphere.
Some other famous Ghats which you can explore in the other direction are Panchganga Ghat, Dashashwamedh Ghat, Trilochan Ghat and Scindhia Ghat. All of them are considered highly holy and auspicious and are crowded almost all time of the year.
If not for anything, visit the city to be a part of the most colourful and liveliest crowd of this state!