It was my second trip to Varanasi and honestly, the city hadn’t failed to throw surprises at me, from the moment I landed here. I returned to Varanasi after a gap of 5 years, to attend the Maha-Kumbh which was happening in the holy city of Sangam- Prayagaraj, also known as Allahabad.
My first visit to Varanasi was in 2014, during my initial days of Solo Traveling, to experience it for what it is known for- Spirituality! Despite blissful experiences at the ghat, I wasn’t much impressed with the city then. There were many reasons. I didn’t find it too hospitable, so much that I decided to oil my hairs and wear the weirdest of Kurta I had, along with my spectacles to escape unwanted eyes. I didn’t find it much clean either. You could smell things in the air. Having said this, Varanasi is a place which is believed to be a city of salvation, where people come to die so that they could get that staircase to heaven. And I must say that these are the moments of belief, which will compel you to make a comeback. Despite everything I couldn’t ignore the vibes
And it took me 5 years to make a comeback. I will admit that I wasn’t expecting much but my moments were filled with surprises as soon as I landed. I could see that the services at the airport improved, compared to my experience the last time. I could see the roads improved. Way smoother compared to the bumpy rides last time. I could see that the city is way cleaner than it used to be. Varanasi is showing its artistic self through its vibrant street arts that I could spot. And the city had the batter rickshaws and taxi services which were missing the last time. Made it much convenient to commute during the night 😉
There were a lot of things that changed about this city compared to my last visit here. And all for good !
But you know somewhere you fear this change as well. You fear that the place might loose its charm now. Since the development has kicked in, will Varanasi impress me again? Why ? Because with change comes the change in the vibes of the place and I dreaded this change.
For example when I got up to attend the morning
subah-a-benaras (morning arti) at Assi Ghat, I wasn’t in a good mood. I wasn’t
expecting much. I was sure that I might not be able to feel the same vibes of
the arti again which I did during the last time when I attended it during the
evening. But you know what ?
I would say that though the city has progressed but Varanasi remained same. Development couldn’t replace it’s charm. The sunrise at Assi Ghat will still leave you mesmerised. The morning boat rides will still make you feel happy that you could spend sometime in peace. The chantings at ghats will still evoke emotions in you. The city is same and I was so happy after I got off the boat and I pray that it remains the same .
Here are the postcards from the new face of Varanasi. I hope you will enjoy it. Don’t forget to read the captions 🙂
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