Entries in varanasi (2)


Varanasi: River Ganges

Expectations were high as we flew into Varanasi's smart little airport.

Years of wanting to visit one of India's holiest cities had always been tempered with a slight fear as to how to handle the piety and religious fervour and, indeed, the spectacle of death that are an integral part of the DNA of this sacred city.

And now, at long last, here we were, barreling into town on a crowded road through suburbs which looked pretty much any suburb in any small town in India.

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varanasi: the world's oldest living city

Varanasi City

The American writer Mark Twain described Varanasi as, "older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together". Understand that Twain died a century ago in 1910. So Varanasi, which lies on the banks of the River Ganges in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is seriously old.

Varanasi, aka Banaras Benares or Kashi is also seriously holy – one of the world's most sacred cities. Find out what there is to do other than ooh and aah over the grandeur of the crumbling maze: not much, to be frank. Varanasi is more about atmosphere. Still, the temple town offers some intriguing diversions.

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