Challenging the common ways of the Western world, Varanasi is a land of extremes and deep spirituality.
Double the intensity of an average Indian city, and you have Varanasi: one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. It has stood at the vanguard of India’s spirituality throughout the centuries. The fabric of daily life here is woven with Hindu rituals popping up at every corner. Pilgrims flock to the site every day, whether to wash in the holy waters of the Ganges or to make offerings. Dramatic rituals celebrating life and death offer unique but overwhelming sights. Varanasi is truly not for the faint-hearted—a visit will make you reconnect with deeper feelings in a trapped-in-time atmosphere.
Before you even get closer to the surreal Ganges, leave your judgments behind, as the scenes you witness will be unusually sensuous. The sacred river hosts worshippers on their final journey to death almost every day. This is the gate to Nirvana, according to Hindu belief. At the cremation ghats, the ashes of loved ones are poured into the river. But, don’t be intimidated by the macabre impressions. In Hindu belief, meeting with the Ganges means freedom from the cycle of life and death. It is one of the most profound celebrations across India. Rejoice over it as you sail on the translucent waters of ‘Ganga’ and watch the poetic landscape change color.
Myriad temples and shrines unveil the breadth of Hinduism in Varanasi. The most spectacular is the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. It represents the glory of Lord Shiva and constitutes an iconic shot in the city with its elegant gold structure. Some few miles away, Bharat Mata is a staggering diversion from the temple scene in Varanasi. It honors Bharat Mata, the personification of the country India as a mother goddess. National feelings blend with spirituality here.
Tours visiting Varanasi
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