With a riot of colours, strange but fascinating sights, surprises abound every corner, Varanasi is indeed the India of your imagination. We are sharing glimpses of this city through the lens of Suneesh Sudhakaran. He is a professional photographer based in Dubai, travel and photography fanatic, as you can see from his work at his website.
He recently won YOUR SHOT, picture of the day contest at National Geographic.
People who believe in the unseen unforgotten historical past, come to wash away their sins in the sacred waters or to cremate their loved ones. It is believed that dying here can liberate one from the cycle of rebirth.
The city bellows of sounds of the ghats, the bells chiming, a dog barking in the distance, cows mooing about the streets. The sights are fascinating, simplicity of lifestyle yet a struggle and hope in everyone’s eyes cannot go unnoticed. Faith in god in a very unreal overwhelming manner is the way of life at Benaras.
Walking the ghats and alleyways or watching sunrise from a boat can be unforgettable.
Places to visit in Varanasi
Manikarnika Ghat: It is the main burning ghat. The most auspicious place for a Hindu to be cremated.
Harishchandra Ghat: A smaller but the oldest cremation ghat in Varanasi.
Dashashwamedh Ghat : Varanasi’s liveliest and most colourful ghat. Crowded with oppressive boat owners, flower sellers, massage practitioners and touts trying to drag you off to a silk shop, it’s a wonderful place to linger and people-watch while soaking up the atmosphere. Every evening at 7pm an elaborate ganga aarti (river worship) ceremony with puja (prayers) is performed here.
Benares Hindu University: It is a must-visit to experience the age-old tradition of learning and spirituality. History buffs most certainly shouldn’t give this place a miss!
Bharat Kala Bhavan :An art and archaeological museum at Benaras Hindu University
Assi ghat: is particularly important as the River Assi meets the Ganges here and pilgrims come to worship a Shiva lingam (phallic image of Shiva) beneath a peepul tree. Evenings are particularly lively, as the ghat’s vast concreted area fills up with hawkers and entertainers. There's also music and yoga at sunrise. It’s a popular starting point for boat trips and there are some excellent hotels here.