Do you know where is the Religious Capital of India? Well, I think it’s pretty clear that it’s Varanasi, otherwise I wouldn’t have mentioned the name of the city in the title. Yes, it is very religious in Varanasi.
I think we all know that cow is respected as a sacred animal, it’s allowed to roam unharmed, and they are pretty used to the traffic and the rhythm of the city. So, you can see them roaming the streets in towns and cities, grazing unmindfully on the roadside grass verges and munching away vegetables thrown out by street sellers.
Well, I know that it is like that all over the country, but it is a lot more noticeable here in Varanasi. I have assumed that it is just some tourist place that everybody talks about on the Internet.
Not only that, my friends who have traveled in India and the local Indians that I have met beforehand urge me to go to Varanasi to get the idea of how authentically cultural and religious it is there. That was when I decide to do some research myself and I read that Varanasi is known as the holiest of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism and Jainism. It plays a really important role in the development of Buddhism. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
Pretty much that convinced me to find more pictures of what it is like there and the rest is history. The pictures that I find on Google on Varanasi convinced me enough that it would be intriguing to go there. Although the pictures on Google have not been taken by professional photographer, but they have been stunning to me. You will see for yourself as well.
Upon my arrival, the city seems old with a complex network of roads. It is pretty hard to understand the directions to the hotel where I plan to stay at. Roads are so small that motors could hit you on the road and you will have to keep on the lookout. You have to be careful.
When Dalton and I prepare us for the day, we collect all information and ensure that we understand where we are going and know where are we visiting.
We discover that Varanasi has many temples, but we choose to not visit because we have visited many before and we want to see something that we have not seen in our own country.
It takes us about two nights and three days to finish the city.
First, we check out the ritual where they burn dead bodies. Unfortunately, photographs aren’t allowed to be taken, so here is a picture of the ritual retrieved from Google below.
Then the next morning. I actually have taken a bath with them in the river despising the fact that it has been filthy. I just want to understand what’s it like to be them. It hasn’t been bad at all as long as you’re being careful about where you’re stepping on. Be sure to walk into the water with caution. Don’t rush yourself! Once you’re in the water, just take around ten minutes out of your time. Bathe yourself with them. It has been awesome swimming with them! If you want to see more of the baths, just take a boat that will take you to the opposite side of the river, that’s where water is cleaner. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many people on the opposite side. If I were you, I’d just stick with one on the street.
After that, I try a cup of Bhang Lassi—holy smokes, I have gotten really stoned after a few hours of consuming Bhangi lassi. I watch the ceremonies stoned, it has definitely given me a new perspective on things and my life. If you ask me what it tastes like… Truthfully, I am not fond of the taste, but it tastes like a yogurt with strong marijuana. It also depends on how much this person puts marijuana in the cup. I finish a cup in just one minute. You’ll live.
I visit the Ganga Arti Ceremonies at night and this has become my favorite ceremony to be at. I love the feeling, color and the vibrations of sounds they have sent to everybody in the presence. The whole program feels forever to me when you really concentrate on the art of their dance and body motions. I feel so connected to it. That one has gotten me to think more about my life by just watching. Amazing isn’t it? By the way, be sure to get repellent because there are a lot, a lot, and a lot of bugs and mosquitos!
Overall, this city blows me away. You can see how amazing these pictures are. Not only that, you also can see that in the video I have shared with you in this post… Unbelievable, Varanasi is one of my favorite cities in the world. If you miss this, you can’t say you finish visiting India. Varanasi is a must-see in India!
Enjoy the video!