Varanasi at eventide turns a fresh page on an amazing range of new vignettes, unleashing overwhelming emotions about the human connection with the celestial world.
The venerable ghats–theatres of an endless round of activities, both spiritual and temporal, the River Ganga, an abiding force of veneration and promise of the purification of the human soul–and the ancient temples, repositories of faith and hope eternal for man. Together, bathed in the vibrant hues of sunset, they fill us with a wordless longing to be one with the universe in this precious hour.
Why you will love it
- Losing yourself in the timeless mysticism of Varanasi’s twilight moments on a slow boat ride on the Ganga
- The fantastic backdrop of the sun embracing Ma Ganga before going to bed
- Goose-bump giving experience of the Evening Aarti at Dashashwamedha Ghat
- Taking part in a centuries-old spiritual ritual
What you will experience
As the play of shadow and light descends on venerable Varanasi in the sunset hour, ride a slow boat on the holy Ganga in the hush of a picture-postcard evening setting. From the gilded waters of the river, watch from afar as the rays of the dying sun put the spotlight on the ghats and the waterline buildings. As it sinks into the waters, the twinkling lights from the city take up the evening stage, with some places transforming into shadowy silhouettes, while others are a blaze of illuminations.
Varanasi never sleeps at night. A city obsessed with the cycle of birth-death-rebirth always has something to share with the visitors–night and day. Look for the funeral pyres all ablaze at the cremation grounds at Manikarnika Ghat. As you float gently down the river, from Dashashwamedha to Gaay (Centre to North) scenes from the vibrant world of the living pop up at the other ghats lining the waterfront–kite flying, a game of cricket, children whooping with delight at a game of catch, a cultural programme mesmerising a rapt audience… people river-gazing or just gossiping on the steps, rishis meditating. Listen to the riveting stories of your knowledgeable guide soak up his insights on the city architecture, its crafts and bazaars, its temples and centres of learning. Wend your way back to the iconic Dashashwamedha Ghat to lose yourself in the atmospherics of a full-blown, heart-string pulling Evening Ganga Aarti, a time-worn ritual which remains as fresh and emotion–churning as it was from the days it first began.