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To The Ancient, Yet Interesting Land of Varanasi!

A photo tour of Varanasi, also known as Kashi or Banaras.

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Published: Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 9:30 [IST]
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Varanasi is one of those places in India that is popular across the world for several reasons. Commonly known as Kashi, Varanasi is one of the ancient cities of the country, with some of the sights that surprise us!

Varanasi has a lot to flaunt about. Being one of the seven major pilgrimage centres of India, the city has tourists and travellers thronging in to experience the aura of the divine land. It is also among the 12 holy Jyothirlingas located in India.

Hindus also believe that dying in the holy land of Varanasi will help them attain Moksha or salvation. Many devotees visit the place during their old age in the hope of taking a dip in the Ganges and washing away their sins to attain moksha.

Here are some of the strange sights you can see in Varanasi, which makes the city interesting among travellers across the world.

Ancient City

Varanasi is not just an ancient city in India, it is also among the oldest cities of the world. The city is popularly known as Kashi.

To Attain Moksha

According to Hindu beliefs, Varanasi is considered a holy city. One who dies here or the ashes of the mortal remains being scattered here, is believed to attain salvation, freeing him from all the sins of the past.

The Holy Dip

Varanasi is located on the banks of the river Ganga or the Ganges. Taking a dip in the holy water of Ganga is believed to wash away all the previous sins of one's life.

Ghats in Varanasitravelwayoflife

The river front steps that lead you to the river is known as a ghat. There are several ghats in Varanasi which are the major attractions of the city. Each ghat has its significance among devotees.

Photo Courtesy : travelwayoflife

 

Manikarnika Ghat

Manikarnika Ghat is a ghat in Varanasi which is known as an important place for Hindu cremation.

Photo Courtesy : Noopur28

 

A queue of bodies to be cremated!

Thousands of bodies are cremated at Manikarnika daily. You can witness a strange sight of the dead bodies placed in a long in queue, waiting for the rituals at the ghat.

Photo Courtesy : Mandy

 

Dashashwamedh Ghat

This is one of the main ghats of Varanasi. It is believed that 10 horses were sacrificed here by Brahma while performing the Dasa-Ashwamedha yagna, Another legend has it that the ghat was created by Lord Brahma to welcome Lord Shiva.

Photo Courtesy : dalbera

 

Darbhanga Ghat

Darbhanga Ghat is located between Dashashwamedh Ghat and Rana Mahal Ghat. This ghat is known by the name of the Kings who lived here. You can also find an exquisite palace that was built here in the 1900s.

Photo Courtesy : Ilya Mauter

 

Offering to Lord Shiva

A devotee who performs rituals at the Shivalinga on the banks of river Ganga.

Washing Clothes

You can see several people taking bath and washing clothes by the banks of the river.

Photo Courtesy : Dennis Jarvis

 

The Sunset

Sunsets are extremely beautiful at Varanasi, and is a sight not to be missed!

Photo Courtesy : orvalrochefort

 

Kaliyamardhanam

The sight of 'Kaliyamardhanam' that was performed at river Ganga as apart of a celebration in the city.

Photo Courtesy : Nandanupadhyay

 

Boat Rides

Tourists take boat rides at Varanasi, Several river trips are offered to the travellers here, covering the major ghats and other important places in the city.

Photo Courtesy : ampersandyslexia

 

 

Cycle Rickshaws!

To travel within the city on road, taking a cycle rickshaw would be an ideal option. You can have a different experience travelling like this within the streets of Varanasi.

Photo Courtesy : Ecsess

The King of Kashi

Kashi Naresh, a revered King of the princely state of Kashi, during one of the festivals happening in the city.

Photo Courtesy : Nandanupadhyay

 

Along the river Ganga

A man who rides along the sacred river Ganga...

Photo Courtesy : Emily Abrams

 

A Bathing Ghat

A lady sitting by one of the many bathing ghats in Varanasi..

Photo Courtesy : Ekabhishek

 

Malviya Bridge

The Malviya bridge is a double decker bridge built over Ganga at Varanasi.

Photo Courtesy : Earthshine

 

Bed of Nails

You can see a saint who lies on a bed of nails. Such strange sights are not uncommon in Varanasi.

Photo Courtesy : Herbert Ponting

 

Playing the Flute

Here is another interesting sight from Varanasi - a sadhu who plays the flute.

Photo Courtesy : Ekabhishek

 

Eating Human Flesh

You can find people here who eat the flesh of dead human beings. They are called Aghoris. Here is a sight of an Aghori who has covered his face with the ashes of a cremated body.

Photo Courtesy : Cmichel67

 

A Drugged Sadhu!

You can also see such sights in Kashi. Here's a sadhu who uses drugs at the holy land.

Photo Courtesy : Noopur28

 

Bathing Buffalo

You can see several buffaloes being bathed in the holy waters of the Ganga here.

Photo Courtesy : Arian Zwegers

 

Banaras Silk

Varanasi is also known as Banaras. Banarasi silk sarees are famous here.

Photo Courtesy : Jorge Royan

 

The Holy Cows

You can see cows wandering around the streets of the city. These are termed as the holy cows.

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

 

Floating Bridge

You can see a floating bridge at Varanasi that devotees use to commute from one bank to the other.

Photo Courtesy : Wonker

 

Fan Factory!

Here's one of the factories in Varanasi. These factories manufacture electric fans.

Photo Courtesy : Jorge Royan

Banaras Paan

This is a sight from one of the paan shops in Varanasi. There are several such shops and stalls in Varanasi selling various flavours of paan.

Photo Courtesy : Jorge Royan

 

New Generation Puja!

You can find devotees who take phones on their mobile phones right in the middle of a puja that happens at Varanasi.

Photo Courtesy : Yosarian

 

Last Rituals Done

Many devotees come to Varanasi to do the final rituals of their deceased loved ones. This is a common sight at many ghats here.

Photo Courtesy : Jorge Royan

 

Bathing in Groups

Don't get surprised if you come across people who bathe in groups here.

Photo Courtesy : Antoine Taveneaux

 

Narendra Modi at Varanasi

Here's an image taken during Narendra Modi's visit to the holy city of Varanasi.

Photo Courtesy : Narendra Modi

 

A Stall Selling Flowers

You can find several such stalls that sell flowers at Varanasi. These flowers are used for the rituals done by the devotees.

Photo Courtesy : Jorge Royan

 

Diwali at Varanasi

Varanasi is all lit up during Diwali. Travellers and tourists visit the place to during this time to witness the colourful festivities displayed by the city during this season.

Lighting the Ghats

During Diwali, the ghats are lit up with diyas (earthen lamps), which make it a lovely sight to marvel.

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