Monday, February 10, 2014

In search of good food Benaras - Part 3 -Bylanes of Kashi Vishwanath..Banarasi Pan and Holy Sarnath

 After bidding good bye to the boat, we venture into the adjoining narrow by-lanes of the Ghats
to get the taste of morning breakfast...

               Sun has now risen bright as a ball at the banks and its time for some Pet pooja..
                                         Now that the soul is fed, its Bon Appetite!

Ghats look as mysterious yet there is a simple co-existence one finds peace in the chaos.
Temples,eateries,shops, tourist inns, all lined up in the same space and locals ,tourists, guides all just rushing in search of something they all seek..for some its daily wages, for some its quick bucks and some are just in search of some inner peace amongst all the hustle bustle.. while Ganga is mere spectator of this chaos.. bringing each of us some tranquility.,

Best part about Benaras is you get to eat awesome stuff in unknown nameless shops.If you are unsure of the place, just ask the rickshaw wallah or any guy walking across the road.We tasted the kachori at an unknown shop near the Kashi Vishwanath temple with a little blue door(it also called kachori wali gali).. Yes even the owner doesnt have a name when we asked. He just said.. mention it just as the shop in the gully opp to Kashi Vishwanath temple with blue door :)

We saw marvelous syrupy piping hot Jalebis being created in a jiffy and all the folk is crazy about this yummy breakfast and for all the tea-lovers, who need a cuppa like us, after a good meal, straightaway head to the small shed next to the Guru temple on the main road.We were at this ttapri or this small makeshift shed thrice a day till we left Benaras having the famous Kullhad wali chai.. (Tea served in earthern cups )     

How can any visit to Benaras be without having the famous Benarasi paan..Yes its that good.. something about banaras which every foodie loves.. You can never get this anywhere else in the world.. Banaras also has a big influence of Patna as its close to Bihar border so one can relish litti chokha and chola chawal served on roadside stalls for lunch.                                                              

Do visit Mahadev Kulfi Falooda just near the entrance to Ghats,  when you walk down from Kashi Vishwanath temple.. Kulfi falooda is as yum as it gets.. and also Kashi Chat Bhandar

Another interesting sights are these makeshift stalls serving butter uttapams before the shops open at 10 am.We saw many people coming in bicycles with huge cans of batter and makeshift stoves to setup their stalls across the pavement between 7-10am before the stores opened up across the street.They started serving hot uttapams for breakfast.till the shopkeepers arrived to open their stores, and then they just vanish like they appeared..
We then head for some sightseeing after a good breakfast to Banaras Hindu University.A sprawling green campus can be toured by foot or by cycle rickshaws at a nominal price to see the famous Birla Mandir followed by Sankat mochan Hanuman Mandir and Tulsi Manas Mandir

                                                                       Our next stop is Sarnath ,13kms from Banaras: SARNATH...

 Sarnath is lined up with Buddhist temples made by various governments across the world, Chinese, Korean, Tibetian,Japanese,Thai ,Indonesian temples all so maintained beautifully.

It is said Buddha gave his first sermon here to his disciples.Do visit Dhamekh Stupa,Chaukhandi Stupa,Mulagandhakuti Vihara, Ashoka Pillar and Sarnath Archeological can cover it in half a day

How can a visit to Banaras be complete without Banarasi Sarees, they are beautiful work of art rich with both history and intricacies of the silk fabric.Tip > Shop for Sarees at Sarnath near banaras, as you can see the weavers in action in the local stores and also avail tax benefit and money surely reaches the weaver without the middlemen.

In Search of Good food... Benaras ... Part2...

                                                      Ghats at the Ganges...Food for Soul..

Benaras is a cultural mix of both the old and new..Modern times living amicably with the glorious past..

Call it Kashi or Banaras or Varanasi.. a magical city makes you wonder how much it holds in its periphery.

A morning boat ride at the Ganges is just pure food for soul.. although one is surprised, how we take our resources so carelessly , when you see the filthy drainage of the whole city just merging into a river which is worshiped by the same very folk..

Its probably the biggest paradox one can experience at the mighty Ghats..

Yet you feel that this ride actually, is the ride of the story of your life..

Ghats have always been fascinated about, by the young and the old..for some its finding inner peace when you are alive, for some its a nirvana and for some its just plain way of finding moksha. whatever we call it.. its about finding the purpose of being alive when you are breathing..or just letting go, once you are long gone..

 Mighty Ganges the deity and the Ghats ,a witness to the devotion of those who have been in search of it dead or living..the very thought that Ganges would wipe away every tear shed every pain suffered every little agony like a mother keeps bringing people at its banks.

Some of these Ghats are maintained by respective states or the dynastys like Peshwas, Holkars,Scindias.
 Prayag Ghat...

 Rewa Ghat..
 Janki Ghat..
 Karnataka State Ghat..
Juna Akhada on the Ghat for yoga..
 Shivaala Ghat

 Kshameshwar Ghat..
 Raja Ghat..
 Narad Ghat..
 Digpatiya Ghat..
 Munshi Ghat..
 Rana Mahal Ghat..
 Manikarnika Ghat.. abode of Moksha..where the Hindu cremation takes place.
 Meer Ghat...
 AhilyaBai Ghat
 Chausatti Ghat...
 Babu Pandey Ghat..

Manmandir Ghat...

Scindia Ghat..

Jain Ghat..
Dashaswamedh Ghat.. where Ganga is worshipped...
Welcome to the sunrise of your life.. Welcome to the mighty Ganges.....