8 Reasons to love India's happiest & hippiest city

September 30, 2016
Varanasi by the day

Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.

– Mark Twain

Kashi, as it was called in the days of yore, is the cradle of Indian Vedic culture. It is the oldest living city of India and as Mark Twain puts it, it is older than time. There's a whole lot of folklore associated with Varanasi - how it it was formed by Lord Shiva and how it became an important place in Mahabharata. Today, it still retains its old-world charm and the past is very much present. Varanasi is a melodious cacophony of its historical fragments and contemporary existence. There’s some enigmatic beauty in its chaos, which you may explore by taking a flight ticket down to Varanasi. It has emerged as India's happiest and hippiest city. 

I am Varanasi, I am older than time

Ghats of Varanasi

Everyone washes their sins here. Even the 200-year-old sunken Shiva temple

A sunken temple

Sarnath, where Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon

Sarnath, Varanasi

The Saadhus seem to have frozen with time as well

Saadhus of Varanasi

The sacred Ganga Aarti is extremely musical and soulful

Ganga Aarti at Varanasi

Fruit lassi, pizza like dosa, pan, chaat and kullad wali chai - Benarasis treat their bellies well

Yummy street food of Varanasi

That's what Varanasi is about, leaving your own mark on time. Graffiti by yours truly!

Ganesha, the elephant God

Colours and cacophony go hand-in-hand here

Colours of Varanasi

Author: Winnie Karnik