Aadrita Goswamy Class – VII
The Indian School Delhi
Katha Utsav 2016
Most people visit Varanasi for pilgrimage. When my mother first mentioned a visit to this city, I was pretty upset at first, as I was not interested in a pilgrimage. But before embarking on the trip, I researched a little about the city.
What really fascinated me was that Varanasi is the most ancient city in the world, and is the abode of Shiva and his consort Parvati.
As the train chugged into the station, in the early hours of dawn, I was pleasantly welcomed by the rising sun, casting a gorgeous orange glow on the river. Seated at the ghat, we had tea in earthen cups and enjoyed the mesmerizing sunrise. I felt a calm descending on me when I saw the river Ganges serenely flowing by. I walked to this most pious of all rivers, and sprinkled the holy water from my cupped hands over my face. I felt at peace.
Varanasi is as famous for its temples and ghats, as it is for its Banaras weaves. My mother bought saris and dress materials of various hues and richness of embroidery done on it.
We had the most fabulous continental food as well as the local street food. Walking on the streets of Varanasi, I stumbled upon the birthplace of Rani Lakshmi Bai. We also made a trip to Sarnath where the first sermon of Buddha was held. It is a very tranquil place, and is just 10kms away from the hustle and bustle of Varanasi. We even visited Banaras Hindu University. It was set up by Pandit Madan Mohan Mallya, and is the seat of learning, or should I say, the temple of education. There is a replica of the famed KashiVishwanath temple within the premises.
My most memorable moment was a boat ride on the river, just after dusk, with the boatman singing a soulful local song and leading us to the Aarti at the Dashashwamedh Ghat. Subsequently, I visited Varanasi many times and I discover a new facet of the city every time.