I stepped at Kasi…..
Varanasi – Kasi – Banaras – Anandhavanam, These four names refers to the same oldest living city, where it is assumed our sins are washed away by river ganges (Ganga). I got an invite from Umanath and for sure I didn’t want to miss this life time opportunity.
I stepped at Kasi, with so much of excitement and with my own imagination about the holy place as seen on Television, but all of wasn’t true. Never believe all you see on TV shows
Kasi, wherever you go, hawkers and brokers surround like swam of bees. Though you act smart, somehow you tend to be cheated. Beggars don’t accept coins, priest don’t give you prasad, if you don’t pay them.
So many duplicate babas roaming around, whom you can’t click without paying them. This good soul didn’t demand any money for clicking him
The famous small narrow streets of Varanasi was full of life, colors, at times bit scarey. Where ever you step you will see these two for sure. temple & garbage. They have built tiny tot temples where ever possible and in our country where ever you want you can throw garbage.
My imagination about this place was there will dead bodies burning everywhere in kasi, but that wasn’t true. It is only at Harichandra ghat and Manikarnika ghat where they do these rituals.
A Scene from Harichandra ghat:
A Scene from Manikarnika ghat:
These are the regular activities one can see on the banks of river Ganga. People take a dip in the river and fill there small vessel with the holy water for Lord Vishvanath and the localities getting ready for business with the make-up. There will be so many people around you dress liked saints. Its really hard to spot if they real of just roaming around for money.
One of our friend said he spotted an aghori, who hid his face with his hand when my friend wanted to click him. He said “give me money”, when my friend gave 5 rs, he replied what will I do with this 5 bucks. He gave a 10 rupee note after which he was allowed to click but not more than two. he said “enough enough, how many you will click”
I was surprised on hearing this as these aghories will not be seen in common places during day time.
The next we saw the same so called aghori busy with his make-up session sitting next to this old man.
There are many misconceptions about Kasi, Hinduism & India. He is one good example for that. I was sitting on the banks of Ganga watching this guys, within minutes his appearance changed. He was given a mala and blessed by a brahmin sitting in the ghats.
Below is another common scene from the holy place.
Food was initially a problem for us, but after a lunch at Iyer’s Cafe. We became a regular visitors for all the days we stayed there. For people who love to try new food and snacks, Kasi will be a great place Round the clock you get yummy variety.
My advice to any South Indian going to Kasi will be, Lodging at Jaipuriya Bhavan, hotel where stayed, very close to the ganga, kasi vishwanathar temple and food at Iyer’s Cafe where you get the feel of home food at very minimal cost.
to be continued….