In and around Varanasi
Trip Start Sep 11, 2010
150Trip End Sep 11, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Along the way were lots of buzzing communities; strung along the roadside were their stalls, makeshift homes constructed with different materials ranging from rough bricks to corrugated sheets and sheaves of straw. However, behind the walls lining the road were fine houses within gated grounds
Our first stop was at the Buddhist ruins set in tranquil gardens. The excavated ruins were surrounded by concrete to protect them and also to enable visitors to view them at close range. Dhanekh Stupa in the grounds of the ruins was where Buddha preached his first sermon.
We also visited Mulagandha Kuty Viraha Temple, both the Chinese and Japanese Buddhist Temples and finally the very fine Archaeological Museum. The Lion Capital in the entrance foyer (no photos allowed) is from the 3rd century BC – it has been adopted as India’s national emblem. Next, a walk around the Chaukhandi Stupa, a monument dating to the 5th century AD, where Buddha met his first disciples.
At most stops we were besieged by young children begging either for food and/or money. One had a tiny baby in his arms, crying on cue; it was very hard to walk away.
The volume of traffic does a good job in churning up the dust and many of the pedestrians and bike and cycle drivers wear scarves around their faces. We had been advised that for driving in India you need a good horn, good brakes and good luck! The horn in the taxi sounded like a strangled cat it had been used so much….
Back to the hotel, via a declined visit to a silk weaving shop, for a cup of tea and supper.
October 11 2010
The narrow streets are lined with shops with houses above; it is surprisingly cool as the tall buildings block out most of the sunlight. There are temples, small and large, at every turning. The streets are dusty and dirty, especially with the number of cattle, dogs and goats roaming around, but the conditions were not as bad as we had been warned they might be.
The guide was excellent and had a wealth of information to impart. He is a tax lawyer by profession but enjoys doing the guiding as a way of relieving the boredom of the job!
We were taken to the outside of the Vishwanath Temple, or Golden Temple, as non-Hindus could not enter
Then it was onto the main crematorium at Manikarnika Ghat after which we retraced our steps back out to the busy market at Godaulia Crossing. Another tuktuk ride through the early evening rush hour traffic to return us to the hotel to prepare for our busy day tomorrow.
- Which stretch of water does the Ganges flow out into?