Varanasi is an important city due to river Ganga, that is of tremendous religious importance to the Hindus in India.
At 7pm, Dashashwamedh Ghat is probably the liveliest, most crowded part of Varanasi as locals and tourists gather to watch Ganga aarti that lasts for about an hour.
Chanting, bells ringing, and fire and dance make the aarti a unique, choreographed event that evokes euphoria.
Many sellers gather at the ghat and offer flowers and Hindu worship offerings for a price.
All the ghats.
Boats are a common way to travel in this city. There are ferries throughout the day taking people back and forth from one side of the river to another.
Interestingly, all the ghats in Varanasi are on one side of river Ganga. The other side has open fields and forts.
Saints and sadhus are a common sight in Varanasi, all paying homage to the holy river.
Munshi Ghat was built in 1812 and named after Sridhar Narayana Munshi, a finance minister at the time.
Many believe that if a person dies in Varanasi they will be forgiven by Lord Shiva, for all the sins they commit during their lifetime.
It is believed that bathing in the river at Dashashwamedh Ghat washes off all past sins. So, people come in hoards to take a dip in the holy river all throughout the year.
Varanasi is also filled with death pilgrims who come to heave their last breath in the city. Sometimes they wait for years.
The ghats are always busy with prayer meetings, especially for the dead. It is holy to have a puja organised in the name of the person who died.
Life in Varanasi is quite laidback. Shops open when it’s almost midday and shut by seven in the evening. A far cry from India’s cosmopolitan cities.
Varanasi’s bylanes are filled with old shops and roadside sellers. The holy city attracts lots of tourists.
Narrow lanes are a typical sight in Varanasi and something that makes the city unique. It’s fascinating to see old, dilapidated buildings while walking.
Varanasi’s narrow stone streets have made sure life in the city stays the same like it was before, without cars or traffic.
Varanasi sells sweets on roadsides and people start their daily dessert consumption from breakfast. Jalebi is a popular food item had in the morning.
Streets of Varanasi are crowded and lively mainly because of the endless eating shops and their freshly made delectables.
In Varanasi it almost feels like time has stopped, or has no effect on the burg.
Shops are ancestral hand-me-downs in Varanasi, with one generation after another sitting in the same shop selling the same things.
Hot flavoured milk is another popular street food in Varanasi and Pahalwan Lassi Bhandra is one of the best shops in the city to taste it.