Tristhal Yatra: Day1 @ Kashi

April 25th, 2009.  Delhi airport. Flight to Kashi a.k.a Varanasi a.k.a Banares delayed. Time stretches and invites conversation with strangers. I get talking to a young man who is on his way to Allahabad a.k.a Prayag. He is from Mumbai… Talking of Kashi he tells me: “I had no time for faith and such and used to be quite dismissive of all the hooh-had about Banares etc. But I liked to sometimes sit on the steps of Manikarnika Ghat and see the twilight set in… One day, on a spur, I walked down the steps, and had a good dip in the Ganga. And when I stepped out, I had a strange feeling…quite exhilerating… I felt as if a great load had taken off my shoulders… It was incredible…”…

**

Flight landed in Kashi sometime around noon.  The airport is outside the city proper, in a nice landscape of green fields… Took a cab to the city, to old Banares, Hanuman Ghat… Got off the cab, and walked into a narrow lane… Someone asked me to “beware, Vishwanth-ji is coming”, and pulled me to one side… A massive bull walked past me… Representative of Nandi, the bull of Siva…

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Whew, that was close…

The bull sauntered past, down the street, which was actually narrower than what the picture below suggests… What you see is not what I got…

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Took a rickshaw and went to my place of stay, somewhere near Narada Ghat. After some eats at a Dhabha, headed for the river…

Here’s the first view I got of Ganga, from the lane near my place of stay.

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The Lord up high had turned on the heat… As I walked towards the river ghat along with my rickshaw-wala, a local person seeing me  bareheaded, scolded the rickshaw-wala. He was right. Most local folks carried an upper-cloth called ‘Gamcha’ that they rolled up as a turban on their head…

Lost no time in hiring a boat and head into the Ganges…

Here’s the rickshwaw-man with his Gamcha, and the boatman without…

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Went to the other side of the river… Got down at a safe spot, and had a nice long dip. I love rivers, and revere the Ganga. This was special…

Got back onto the boat and took a snap of the Ghat landscape…

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**

Got back to land, somewhere near the Narad Ghat… It was indeed a refreshing bath… For all creatures, great and small…

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**** To be contd ****

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9 Responses to “Tristhal Yatra: Day1 @ Kashi”

  1. l srini Says:

    Nice pic’s; nice write-up.

    Srini

    Camp Toronto (alternate home of the True Guru)

  2. gkamesh Says:

    ik onkaar satnaam!

  3. Padma Ramakrishnan Says:

    Kamesh, You writing is so unobtrusive, yet the message is striking. It is a joy to read. You are a gifted communicator.

  4. gkamesh Says:

    thanks padma… you made my day!

  5. Dr. Kaveri Vishwanathan Says:

    Hi Kamesh,
    The pictures are nostalgic and pulling. Vishwanathji is behaving like gayya in front of mayya.
    The nayya, navik & ganga mayya …. beautiful pics. I am planning to go to banaras in December.

    Waiting for more pictures & your nice commentry.
    Kaveri

  6. gkamesh Says:

    Hey thanks Kaveri!

    December would be a nice time to go! Be sure to spend at least a week if you can. And adopt a cycle rickshaw for that period. They are not expensive and quite the best way to move in Kashi. And they are all simple, pure-heart folks out there… Not for nothing is it the heart of hindustan!

    Best Wishes

  7. Joseph Says:

    You are a modern version of narada muni – traveling incessantly to holy places. I only wish that like him you also put in a dash of philosophy, not just feelings, associated with these places ( if u dont mind me saying so)

  8. gkamesh Says:

    Holy Joe!

    Great hearing from you… kashi… maha-shmashaana bhoomi… the crematorium par excellence… philosophy flows as Ganges…

    Namaste

  9. bala Says:

    nice articles Kamesh,

    Brings back memories of my visit almost 35 years ago..

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