Date of journey: 30/10/2009
Starting from: Bhilai
Crew: Maneesh and Pawan.
I got my Nikon camera last month and the first thought was to go to Varanasi. Varanasi was always a dream city for me. I have read and watched so many things from a long time. Even my ancestral roots are from Varanasi, or some place near Allahabad. My great grandfather migrated from that place to arrive in Madhya Pradesh or, which is now further categorized in to Chhattisgarh. And now I have migrated from Chhattisgrah to Bangalore. Wow! what a journey. So, now again I am going back to where I belong. Firstly, I went my native place Bhilai and relaxed for a couple of days. Then my brother and I took a train from Durg to Varanasi. Although the AC compartment was cozy, but it lacked the pantry. Anyways, I had eatables from home. We reached Varanasi after a 20 hour long journey at 3:30 pm on 31st of October. Varanasi also commonly known as Benares or Banaras and Kashi is a city situated on the left (west) bank of the River Ganga (Ganges) in the state of Uttar Pradesh, regarded as holy by Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. It is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. The name Varanasi, has its origin possibly from the names of the two rivers Varuna and Assi for it lies with the confluence of Varuna with the Ganges being to its north and that of Assi and the Ganges to its south. Another speculation about the origin of the name is that the river Varuna itself was called Varanasi in olden times, from where the city got its name. This is generally disregarded by historians though there may be some earlier texts suggesting it to be so. Through the ages, Varanasi was variously known as Avimuktaka, Anandakanana, Mahasmasana, Surandhana, Brahma Vardha, Sudarsana, Ramya, and Kasi.
The first thing we did was to look out for hotels. There was a festival of Dev Deepawali on 2nd of November and due to that all the hotels were literally booked. We got some cheap lodges with non attached bathrooms. I said to my brother that we will look for some good hotels. My brother had visited Varansai before and he suggested me to take whatever we are getting as that also won’t be available if we roam around. I said to him that we will look for a while. We met few agents and I asked him that we will get hotels or not. We roamed for a couple of hours with no luck. Then, I agreed to take whatever we are getting 🙂 That agent took us into alleyways and after taking numerous lefts and right turns we arrive to an old looking home known as Yogi lodge.
He said that he will give us a triple bedroom for Rs. 250 per day. Quite cheap huh! but the bathrooms were non attached. This was the first time I took something like that. Anyways, that was our only option. Infront of our room there was a dormitory where I saw few guys from US. It looked like as if they were staying in there for months. Long beard, their clothes getting dried infront of the dormitory suggested that. They were dressed in Indian as well as western clothing. We dropped our luggage and went for the dinner. We had dinner in a small but cool restaurant just near our lodge known as the Ganga Fuji restaurant. The ambience was amazing. There was an old man playing Sitar and he looked like a pro.
After having dinner, we went to see the ghats. Mir ghat was the nearest and we went there.
After roaming there for an hour or so, we went back to the lodge.