Varanasi

Varanasi

By

I do not care for the ‘truths’ they have faith in or the ‘lies’ they spread. This is not the first cremation that I am descrying nor shall it be the last, but in this moment, I’ve understood the human endeavor of fighting death with life. The answer to the fears of our faith is in welcoming it with our arms wide open and embracing it like a long lost brother. It’ll be perhaps in this gesture that the faithful shall be granted nirvana.

*

Around a 1000 strong crowd has gathered to see what is a daily ritual but is as powerful and enchanting as it must have been a 1000 years ago. The spiritual seekers have loaded the boats – some to get a better view, some for better pictures and some for their beliefs – an adventure of a lifetime. The head priest is crying hoarse asking people to sit down calmly – all the skills of a masterful showman.

So much for the lonely moksha… (sigh)

Read More

A visit to Banaras or Varanasi

By

Our next destination Sarnath is about 10 km from Ramnagar. On the way to Sarnath, we saw Sher Shah Suri Makbara. We were at Sarnath around 1 pm and we all were hungry. So, we first ate Dosha and drank Cold Drink in Vaishali restaurant.

We hired a guide there, guide told us that Sarnath has five main point; Ashoka Stupa, Main Temple campus, Japanese Temple, Sachi Stupa and God Budha statue. Ashoka Stupa ruins and Bodhi Tree inside main temple campus are famous and most important place in Sarnath. Main temple is designed in Japanese temple architecture and walls inside the temple have been painted related to God Budha life. We visited all points but we did not explore much due to very hot day.
“भगवान बुद्ध की विशालकाय मूर्ति, मंदिर के दीवारो पर चित्रित उनकी जीवनी, बोधिवृक्ष के नीचे पाँच मित्रों के साथ बनी उनकी मूर्ति उस समय का अनुभव कराती है ।”

Read More

Music by the ghats of Varanasi – The Mahindra Kabira Festival

By

Mrs. Sucharita Gupta. While Harpreet sang some soulful self-composed pieces on Kabir, Mrs. Gupta worked her magic with thumris, bhajan and you-name-it on Kabir. It is another level of performance when the artist herself feels elated and wants to continue performing bringing out new stuff from the bag. And classical/semi-classical Indian Music works well with our taste and sensibilities. So it was, as they say, magical!

Read More

Kolkata to Kumayon- at the holy city Varanasi

By

We started at 0700 hrs from Lucknow, had our mobile breakfast on the way keeping in mind to cover the distance of 314 kms to Varanasi within midday or a bit more to enjoy the essence of the holy city “Varanasi”, as we only scheduled there for only a day. I purposely avoided the NH 30 and NH 19, which went through Allahabad, remembered the situation while we started through Allahabad in the beginning, though there was no special cause of traffic jam that time but didn’t take the risk.Hence took the NH 30 and to NH 31 after Raeberilley from “Modhupuri”. It took the clock 6 hours to stuck 1300 hrs when we reached at Varanasi.

Read More
Three Ghumakkars

Summer Vacation – a wonderful run through NH-2 towards Ghats of Varanasi – Part I

By

We took a rickshaw and then walked for 5 minutes to reach Dasaswamedh Ghat. The Sandhya Aarati took our breathe away. We have never seen such a live performance – they were at their artistic best. Finally around 8 p.m., the journey took its toll and my son couldn’t stand anymore and we decided to return to the hotel, with a promise to come back again and spend a few days to explore the city once again.

Read More
Kolkata->Varanasi->Allahabad->Sultanpur->Lucknow->Delhi Road Review

Kolkata->Varanasi->Allahabad->Sultanpur->Lucknow->Delhi Road Review

By

Road review for this journey or rather saying road review for NH2 in one word to say is simply awesome. It is advisable to start as early as possible in the morning so as to avoid the city rush.
Starting with the Durgapur Expressway from Kolkata, this is one of the best highways in India, there is absolutely no doubt in that. If you are actually driving in this highway, the road quality is so good and the greenery around are so nice, that you will just want to keep driving on this road. A maximum speed of 150 KMPH is no big deal in this highway and you can easily maintain an avg speed of around 90-100 KMPH.
Every now and then one can find decent places to have tea and snacks, there is not limitation on any kind of meals, whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner. Shaktigarh around 100 KM from Kolkata is one such ideal place to have a good breakfast. It’s known for its famous sweets (langchas). It’s also known as “langchagarh”.

Read More

Kolkata to Delhi drive : Part 1

By

Journey from Kolkata to Delhi through the awesome Durgapur Expressway, was something I had dreamt of since the time I went to Kolkata back in August 2007. I had my plans sorted out that I will be working in Kolkata not more than 2-3 years and then when I return back to Delhi, I will do that by road. It was January 1st week, when I got an offer in hand for a job back in Delhi, and I immediately had in mind, it’s now or never.

We were all set to start on the 4th of February 2011 for Delhi from Kolkata by road in my most loveable Santro.

Read More

Rays of Light

By

We started our walk and soon saw the first of the Sarnath monument, the Chaukhandi Stupa. A beautiful, well kept garden surrounding the Stupa welcomes you with dancing butterflies and chirping birds. Chaukhandi Stupa has a square base. This stupa was built during Gupta times. And later during Islamic rule, it got the peculiar head with edges. Built in red bricks, it was an impressive site, standing tall under a blue sky, silently remembering the era by gone.
This main road of Sarnath is lined with some beautiful Buddhist temples donated and built by several east Asian Buddhist nations. It really shows their affection and devotion towards Gautam Buddha and it’s land.

Read More

The River and the City

By

The airport is located in Babatpur, a slightly funny name but when you see the airport name displayed in bold letters as Lal Bahadur Shastri aiport, suddenly it gains stature and you feel a connection, a long lost memory jogged. And you remember a story of young Lal bahadur swimming across the Ganga for his studies.

Read More