All posts filed under: Spirituality

Varanasi Diaries – Part 2

Day 2 is a rainy day in Varanasi, and we sit down for breakfast, hoping that it will soon be bright and sunny and we will be able to venture out to do some more exploring. Two hours gone and it still hasn’t stopped pouring so we decide to be a bit bold and step out. It is almost lunch time now, so never mind the muck and dirt and water logging, when you are on a holiday, you gotta do what you gotta do! 1:00 pm We are on our way to the Chowk for some shopping, and as we get into the narrow lane that leads us there, it is so mucky that it becomes impossible to walk, so we have no option but to do a course correction. We decide to head to the Kashi Vishwanath temple – dedicated to Lord Shiva and arguably one of the most famous temples for Hindus, a visit here is supposed to free the true devotees from the cycle of death and sansaar (worldly pleasures) .The temple is near Dashashwamedh Ghat, and is approached by a narrow winding gali (lane), very similar …

Varanasi Diaries – Part 1

I recently took a 3 day trip to the holy city of Varanasi, on a whim really, and not sure of what to expect. Varanasi, Benaras (or Kashi) is one of the oldest living cities in the world – and legend has it, that it was here that Shiva and Parvati stood, at the beginning of time. A vibrant confluence of many things – myth, reality, culture, mystery, spirituality, knowledge and architecture, Varanasi is more than a destination to visit, it is an experience. With its narrow lanes, overcrowded at every nook at corner, the temples, the chaos, the Ghats, the people, this experience can be overwhelming and all-consuming. “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.” – James Michener Day 1 Landing at Varanasi (10:00 am) I land at the Varanasi airport and I am in for a surprise. The airport is extremely clean, not what I had expected. It’s a very comfortable ride from Delhi (just a 1 hour flight). We take a pre-paid cab …

Magical Kerala!

Kerala – a state so diverse and magical – you will find it difficult to leave! From beaches to backwaters, spice plantations to mountains, wildlife sanctuaries to cities, not too forget the unbelievable food, Kerala will completely captivate you. Kerala has a charm which is uniquely its own – from its art and culture, to its natural beauty and friendly people. Agriculture is a big part of everyday life – Coconut, tea, coffee, cashew and spices including cardamom, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg are core to the agriculture sector. There are numerous paddy fields everywhere, and not to forget abundant fish (Kerala is one of the leading producers of fish in the country) I spent 9 days in Kerala covering 4 places – but let me assure you, there is definitely more to see! ( Click here to see my photo blog on Kerala) Kovalam Stay at The Leela, Kovalam – such a fantastic magnificent property, built right on top of a cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea. No matter what part of the hotel you are in, you will be close …