One of most amazing journeys was the journey to Great Varansi which lied on the bank of Ganage River. Varanasi is a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh dating to the 11th century B.C. Regarded as the spiritual capital of India, the city draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites. Along the city’s winding streets are some 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, the “Golden Temple,” dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
Most visitors agree Varanasi is magical . Intimate rituals of life and death take place in public, and the sights, sounds and smells on the ghats can be intense. Still, the so-called City of Light may turn out to be your favourite stop of all. Walking the ghats and alleyways or watching sunrise from a boat can be unforgettable.
When you visit Varanasi you must visit Sarnath Temple Which is scared place where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon to his five desciples at a deer park.
Buddha’s first discourse, delivered here at Sarnath, is known in Pali as the Dhammacakkhapavathana Sutta. Other Suttas include the Anattalakhana Sutta and the Saccavibhanga Sutta. The Buddha’s central teaching after his enlightenment centered around the Four Noble Truths (concerning the meaning of life) and the Noble Eightfold Path (concerning the right way to live).
The Buddha spent the next rainy season in Sarnath at the Mulagandhakuti vihara. The Sangha having grown to 60 in number, the Buddha sent them out to teach the Dharma to others.
The decaying ruins of the Mulagandhakuti Vihara mark the place where the Buddha spent his first rainy season in meditation. In the 7th century, a writer described it as 200 feet high and containing 100 niches containing a Buddha carving along each wall. A life-sized statue shows the Buddha turning the wheel of the law.
Also you have to goto the new Vishwanath temple of Varanasi is located in the premises of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU). It is also called the Birla temple as the famous industrialist family of India, the Birlas, constructed it. The New Vishwanath Temple is dedicated to lord Shiva and is a replica of the original Vishwanath temple. The temple is built in white marbles, and was planned by Madan Mohan Malviya, the founder of the Banaras Hindu University. The most important characteristic of the new Vishwanath temple is that it is open to people from all castes and religions. The huge campus of New Vishwanath Temple is a delight to the eyes of visitor. The interior has a Siva lingam and verses from Hindu scriptures are inscribed on the walls.
If you are lucky you may attend Varanasi Dev Deepawali celebration. Dev Deepawali festival is celebrated on Kartik Purnima, the Hindu calendar Kartik month’s full moon night. It a beautiful celebration by the people of Varanasi for mother Ganga and all are welcome to join the celebration.
Deepak Singh, an alumnus of BHU, remembers the boat rides he took, to make the most of this beautiful festival.
Finally don’t miss the sun set on the Ganage River.