Bella Ispirazione

Day 8: Holy Varanasi

Early Boat Excursion

We meet at 5:15 for an early boat excursion to the holy river Ganges to see the bathing ghats and cremation site. Watching people bathing and worshipping at the Ghats is one of the most extraordinary experiences of a visit to India. While on the Ganges, our guide explained the indian’s castes, the gods and goddesses.

I recommend to read a little bit about Hinduism before going to India, and specifically when going to Varanasi, to enjoy the must out of the Country/City. In my case, I read “Hinduism for Dummies” which I highly recommend even though it sounds silly.

You have some of the stories that I found most relevant in my post “Readings before going to India“.

From the Ganges river

From the Ganges river

From the Ganges river

From the Ganges river

From the Ganges river

From the Ganges river

From the Ganges river

From the Ganges river

From the Ganges river

From the Ganges river

Varanasi

Kasha Vishwanath temple

After the boat ride, we walked around the old city to see some of the 10.000 temples it has, including the Kasha Vishwanath temple, that during the mogol era it was reconverted to a Mosque. The main deity is known by the name Vishvanatha or Vishveshvara meaning Ruler of The Universe. The Varanasi city is also called Kashi, and hence the temple is popularly called Kashi Vishvanath Temple.

The entrance and the streets in this part of the city are very narrow, and to visit this temple you can only enter with your wallet (tickets for free). We left everything to our guide, including cameras, while he was waiting for us in a shop outside.

Varanasi Old City

Varanasi Old City

We ended up buying some incense, necklace and Japa Mala (string of 108 prayer beadsin the shop our guide was waiting, of course, after bargain for a while.

Banaras Hindu University

We walked a little to meet our driver and continue to visit the Banaras Hindu University, which seems highly conserved, clean and quiet. They also have a Shiva temple with the shivalinga inside and the bull (Shiva’s transport, named Nandi) outside. 

Nandi is the vehicle for the Hindu god of Shiva. In Hindu mythology, Nandi is the bearer of truth and righteousness.

Shiva Temple

Shiva Temple

Banaras Hindu University

Banaras Hindu University

Banaras Hindu University

Nandi

We went back to the hotel to have breakfast and take a power nap after changing some money at the Western Union close to our hotel.

Muslim Neighborhood

In the afternoon, we went to the muslim neighborhood which is famous for making saris for weddings all around the world, some handmade. Our guide found one of the guy that own a company and show us around how they make the fabrics, and of course we ended up the tour at his store. I got to say all their work is amazing, beautiful fabrics, cashmere pashminas, duvets…espectacular. We bought a duvet for 100€ (there were others more expensive) and pashminas for 35€. They are expensive to be in India, but after the work you see it is worth and you can pay a lot more for these type of products around the world.

fabric

We went back to our hotel, spend the rest  of the afternoon there and next day went to the airport to catch our flight to Delhi at 9:25am with SpiceJet, which was totally on time and in 1hr 40min we were in Delhi with Mahendra waiting for us.

Manish (tourist guide) contact:

Mobile: +91 9415285186

E-mail: manishgrandindia@yahoo.com

Web: http://www.grandindiatrip.com

The group with Manish

The group with Manish

What did we miss in Varanasi?

  • Bharat Mata Mandir
  • Durga Mandir
  • Tulsi Manas Mandir

ENJOY THIS HOLY CITY!!!

Next post: “Days 9 & 10: Delhi

Previous post: “Day 7: Holy Varanasi

Back to: “Incredible INDIA

Extra readings: “Preparing my trip to INDIA Part 1“, “Preparing my trip to INDIA Part 2 and “Readings before going to India“.

 

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