I always had a feeling that Varanasi is calling me and then one fine day, I decided to go alone despite all perceptions and hitches in mind. I had chosen to visit Varanasi on its very busy and special days, during “Dev Deepawali”.
I had booked overnight train ticket (Becoz I was still the double minded about traveling alone to Varanasi/Uttar Pradesh) and air ticket cancellation means a total loss of money. In the meantime, I booked a hostel instead of a hotel for the first time. Finally, the travel day came and I overcame my hitch and boarded the train. Whenever I travel alone, I don’t travel by train for long journeys i.e. overnight but this time I decided to travel.
So after making my first solo holiday more than a decade back, I broke few of the self-made rules for this trip .i.e. Travel to UP alone, traveling by overnight train and staying in a hostel. But after the end of my trip, I realized that someone up there wanted me to experience the city of Varanasi at my pace and as per my choice that’s why I was not able to tie with anyone. This trip turned out one of the best trips, I had made till date and one of the wisest decision to travel the way I traveled.
Now coming back to Varanasi, there is so much to see and experience. One can spend days sitting and roaming on the ghats. The feel is different in morning, during the day and after sunset. The alleys are small and not very clean but it’s an experience to walk through these to reach ghats or different food joints. Ghats are always bustling with people and activities, it was more so during my visit bcoz it was the most important time of the year in the calendar of Varanasi.
But the evening boat trip on the day of “Dev Deepawali” was most spectacular, all hats were decorated with millions of clay diyas which were places by volunteers throughout the day. The experience and visuals are an unforgettable experience, it was a highlight of my trip.
I went to Ramnagar fort across the river on a small 2 person rowing boat, which was a thrilling experience.
People were nice and friendly. The food was great to be it traditional banarasi chaat or clay oven pizza or some south Indian dosa, everything was fresh and yummy.
Finally, after my trip, I realized once again that everything happens for a reason and there is a fixed time for everything. There is a special feel in Varanasi though there are not any big monuments, the city is not really clean, roads are not so great but…… still it pulls you and I can go there again and again.