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So, I spent 3 or 4 days with this bunch of saddhus out front of Daswadeneh ghat. They had virtually no english, but we hung out going over the sacred texts, traveling on the river and watching them in their daily alms collection and various activities, mostly involved with smoking hashish with the chillum.
I'd advise you keep your wits about you, but this side of Varanasi shouldn't be missed.
Updated Oct 9, 2007
While every tourist in Varanasi makes it a point to visit the ghats in Varanasi, most miss the view of the city and the ghats from the opposite bank. That's yet another beautiful place to be in. Just take a boat for a trip to and back from the opposite bank as you hardly find a boat while being back from there. That's a sandy place, almost like a desert. You can play with the sand and at the same time have a nice view of the city and the famous ghats and historical buildings along the ghats.
Written Jun 29, 2007
There are sweetwater dolphins living in the Ganges River. I know, that they exist because I saw them! It was not really spectacular seeing the small fins on big dark grey backs in the water. But I knew that this is a very rare sight. So I was overwhelmed.
Sorry, they vanished too fast in the muddy water of Ganges River. No way for me to take a photo.
Updated Mar 29, 2004
This is an unusual thing, a steep slope near Meer ghat where you can try to climb. It is difficult to come down or even move up once you have climbed up the slope. One can try and see how much he can climb at one go. It's definitely a proof of your physical fitness. My husband tried to do so. Here's a photograph I took of him in action. The little boy accompanying him is the son of the Guest house that we stayed in. He helped us explore so many unknown things at Varanasi
Updated Jun 30, 2007
I may be bias but this was what happened to me.. so lone female travellers be warned...
I had used this IDD call service from this young guy's shop @ Lalita Ghat, and on bumping into him and his frens at night, had smiled at him in recognition... next thing I know, I was pulled into their gang and everyone started to be overly friendly with numerous handshakes and attempts for hugs etc... luckily my guy fren who was in the area came along and told them off!!!
the lesson!! A smile may be nothing to us but may be misintepreted especially since some locals have this sentiments that foreigners are much more "open"!
Of course, this does not mean that everyone is as "friendly" as those I bumped into.. :P So, I apologise if I have offended anyone.. :P
Written Nov 27, 2005
If you ask me what is Off The Beaten Path here in Varanasi, probably I would say this modern luxury houses, because tourists don't come here to see this, so this is definitely a tip Off The Beaten Path for you. This is a location somewhere in the middle of the city but don't ask me which exact location it was, all I knew was that this kind of place has no tourists, so why not visit now.
Written Feb 27, 2005
Sarnath is where Buddha gave his first sermon and is around 10kms from Varanasi. One of the most amazing sights to see is the Dhamek Stupa which stands at 43.6 metres high and 28 metres round and was built in the 5th century. The Archaeological Museum is also in Sarnath and is open Thursday through to Saturday.
Written Oct 17, 2006
Our guide, who took us to our Ganges at sunrise boat trip, took us here afterwards before we visited the New Vishwanath Temple. The modern temple, which is dedicated to Lord Ram, was built in 1964. Its walls are imprinted with verses and scenes from the Ramcharitmanas, the Hindi version of the Ramayana. Its author, poet Tulsi Das, who the temple is named after, lived here while writing it.
Written Jul 4, 2007
Located 13km (8 miles) north-east of Varanasi, Sarnath is one of the four holy places associated with the life of Lord Buddha. It is the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharam, (the Way of the Higher Truths). At this time Sarnath, from Saranganath, meaning "Lord of the Deer", was called Isipatana which means "the place where holy men fell to earth" and was later known as Mrigadava or "deer-park". Buddha came here about 5 weeks after attaining enlightenment at Bodhgaya. It was here that he gave his first sermon to five monks and his preaching soon spread to a larger community of monks which numbered 1500 when the Chinese traveller Xuan Zang visited in AD 640. The spot where he preached his first sermon is marked with the magnificent Dharmekh Stupa which has carvings that date back to the 5th century AD. The area around this has unearthed several monasteries and other stupas that fell into ruin when Buddhism went into decline. There is a 3rd century BC Ashoka Pillar here that commemorates Emperor Ashoka's visit to Sarnath and his conversion to Buddhism. The ruins and stupas lie within an enclosed compound that you have to pay to enter. As the sight is very holy to Buddhists, monks live here in modern monasteries from different Buddhist countries. I came here from Varanasi via auto-rickshaw on a tour that costs Rs150 for travel to and from Varanasi plus visiting time.
Updated Jul 7, 2007
Looking for internet? Just follow the signs or ask. There are very small internetshops with two till four computers in it. The connection is not too good, but just enough to send some e-mails. An hour on the internet costs you 1,5 dollars.
On the picture: An internetcafe.
Written Sep 7, 2002
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