Back to India

Extremely long day of traveling (about 10 or so hours) starting at 8am from Lumbini (Nepal) to Sanouli. After the border check at Sanouli we took of on our own mini bus to Varanasi via Gorakhpur and Gazipur and arriving at around 6:30 p.m.

Our happy guide Manoj Kumar and the driver Raj Kumar, were both named after famous Indian actors who are no more.

Manoj was young, married, from Varanasi and learning French to be a better guide. He told us stories about his much beloved city while I copied all Raj Kumar’s music from his phone.

We were greeted by a lovely rain as we crossed the border into India.

We stopped along the way to eat and pee a couple of times and on we went to our destination for the next two days – Varanasi.

Varanasi, or Benaras, (also known as Kashi) is one of the oldest living cities in the world. Varanasi`s Prominence in Hindu mythology is virtually unrevealed. Mark Twain, the English author and literature, who was enthralled by the legend and sanctity of Benaras, once wrote : “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together” . According to the ‘Vamana Purana’, the Varuna and the Assi rivers originated from the body of the primordial Person at the beginning of time itself. The tract of land lying between them is believed to be ‘Varanasi’, the holiest of all pilgrimages. The word ‘Kashi’ originated from the word ‘Kas’ which means to shine. Steeped in tradition and mythological legacy, Kashi is the ‘original ground ‘ created by Shiva and Parvati, upon which they stood at the beginning of time. Varanasi is the microcosm of Hinduism, a city of traditional classical culture, glorified by myth and legend and sanctified by religion , it has always attracted a large number of pilgrims and worshippers from time immemorial.” – The National Informatics Centre (NIC) 
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