The mighty Ganges
My fondest memories in Banaras are from two places..
The IT-BHU Campus and areas surrounding it and the Hanuman Ghat area, which is like a little Madras within Banaras.
It was fantastic to go back to the Ghat and take a dip in the Ganges on a quiet morning! It is frozen in time.
When the streets are 4 feet wide and you can only access interior areas by bicycle, the place does remain unchanged over time! Even cows and bulls passing each other within the four feet feel the traffic jam!
This place had all the old folks gather at 8PM every night for a prayer. I used to tag along with the gang for the prayer and the prashad that followed..
Wide streets with lot of Tamil folks !
It was so much fun to watch the kids navigate a Banaras galli, avoiding the dogs, cows, cow dung on the floor and the odd moped or bicycle at "speeds" through the narrow lane with a loud honk!
The Hanuman temple brought back so many memories as well. The mighty river Ganga was in full flow.
My parents wanted me to get them some Ganga jal(water) in a bottle. People in India from Brahmin households usually have a bottle of water from the Ganges in their Pooja shelf. When some auspicious event happens, they sprinkle the Ganga water as it is considered holy. Also when someone dies, they pour a little bit of Ganga water into the dead persons mouth.
When dipping the small water bottle (courtesy of the spice jet flight) into the ganges along the edge of the Ghat steps, what I got was more like "Ganga Gel" than "Ganga jal" and chances were if someone was not yet dead, pouring this into their mouth would definitely seal their fate!
Had to wade a few steps in to get the flowing water to do any cleaning, but clean it did, the mind and the body!
There is something to be said when it comes to saying a prayer to the Sun and having a dip in the Ganges.
Words cannot explain that experience.
You have to do it to realize it!