Older than history itself, probably the oldest continuously inhabited city, Varanasi has the deep-rooted beauty of its ancient culture and a thriving merchant’s markets, set against the rising sun on the eastern banks of the Holy River Ganga (Jai Ma Gange!).
This city was Lord Shiva’s favourite place, and if He had visited this place around 10,000 years ago, then the city definitely was around much longer than that!
The train ride from Haridwar to Varanasi was the longest ever, scheduled to be 20 hours, turned out to be 24 hours. It was my first overnight train and I was in 2AC (second highest class on the train!) and I had a bed to sleep on, with a personal power outlet, personal reading light and blankets to boot.
I pretended to meditate…so I could sleep!
The guest house at which I stayed was walking distance to the River, also very closely situated to the Golden Temple. I took a boat out to the River on the next morning, started at 5:45AM – I did not sleep well, so I had many spells of falling asleep on the boat.
I pretended to meditate, so every time I closed my eyes, I must have appeared to be in such peace. Actually, I was catching Zs. Hahaha
The boat man brought me over to a temple along the banks, I was in my ‘meditative’ state. Then suddenly the men standing there were ringing bells, clanging pots and pans together – it was a cacophony that brought me back to life.
I got a chance to paddle a bit, though I didn’t get too far.
On my way back, I bought a new Kurta (Indian shirt) and the shopkeeper had the same shirt as me – here is a picture of us!