River Cruise | River Ganga (Varanasi)

Varanasi is one of the most visited religious destinations in India, thanks to its historic ghats, splendid temples and the distinct flavour of the city itself. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, a fact that makes it even more fascinating as a popular tourist spot in India. It is the river Ganga though, which lends the city its identity. Indeed, the city and the river have become synonymous with each other. We went for the evening river cruise for the fabulous views of the river Ganga, the ancient Ghats and the Ganga Aarti. Continue reading River Cruise | River Ganga (Varanasi)

Prayagraj to Varanasi Trip

We were travelling from Prayagraj to Varanasi. Due to some last moment changes in the programme, we visited Sitamarhi a.k.a. Sita Samahit Sthal, which is in between Prayagraj and Varanasi. In Varanasi, we went to worship at the Kashi Vishwanath temple in the morning. This is the first time I visited since the renovation of the place. It’s awesome. But, I was missing the emotional connection, which is lost in the renovation and reorganisation of the system at the temple. Continue reading Prayagraj to Varanasi Trip

18th anniversary of our Diksha

Diksha is a ceremony of initiation and the entering of a religious order. It involves a guru giving a mantra to a disciple and having the disciple agreeing to follow a certain religious practice. During diksha, a Guru provides a disciple with a Guru Mantra. The sole aim of the Guru Mantra is to control the senses and set the individual in the path of Brahman consciousness. Continue reading 18th anniversary of our Diksha

Budaun | Sleepy Town with a Vibrant History

Budaun is a historical city with its history lost in its dusty avenues and sleepy streets. It seems nothing more than a secluded small town. But moving around the city, you can come across numerous historical ruins and monuments that reveal many legends from its past. Situated on the banks of the river Ganga, Budaun is indeed a hidden gem of Uttar Pradesh. Budaun was the capital of Delhi Sultanate for four years from 1210 CE to 1214 CE during Sultan Iltutmish rule (reign: 1210-1236 CE). Continue reading Budaun | Sleepy Town with a Vibrant History

Durga Puja in Varanasi

The festival season in India means bright colours, lights, giant floats, ceremonies and excitement. The major Indian celebration is Durga Puja (Puja meaning worship). The Hindu Goddess Durga is the goddess of Shakti (power). Magic may be the only word that best describes the pageantry and fanfare that revolves around Durga Puja. While going through some old pictures yesterday, I came across the photographs of … Continue reading Durga Puja in Varanasi

Shahi Snan on Mauni Amavasya | Kumbh

The Kumbh Mela — the largest congregation in the world — sees world gathering of saints, pilgrims, devotees to take holy dips in the sacred confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mystical Saraswati. Bathing in these rivers is thought to cleanse and purify ones’ soul of all sins. Recognized by UNESCO as India’s ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’, Kumbh Mela never ceases to amaze and its amazement is always felt in the grandeur of it being the largest religious-cultural festival in the world.  Continue reading Shahi Snan on Mauni Amavasya | Kumbh

Siberian Birds at Triveni Sangam | Prayagraj

The arrival of annual visitors — the Siberian gulls — at the Triveni Sangam in Allahabad heralds the onset of winters. With the onset of winters, these Siberian birds spread their wings to take flight of thousands of kilometres all the way from Siberia via Afghanistan, Mongolia and Tibet crossing high Himalayan mountains. Continue reading Siberian Birds at Triveni Sangam | Prayagraj

Triveni Sangam | Prayagraj

In Hindu tradition Triveni Sangam is the “confluence” of three rivers. Sangam is the Sanskrit word for confluence. The point of confluence is a sacred place for Hindus. A bath here is said to wash away all of one’s sins and free one from the cycle of rebirth. One such Triveni Sangam, in Prayagraj (Allahabad) has two physical rivers Ganges, Yamuna, and the invisible or mythic Saraswati River. The site is in Prayag (Allahabad). Continue reading Triveni Sangam | Prayagraj

Bhaarbhunja | Healthy Streetfood

Bhaarbhunja [parched grain] is cooked usually using short grain parboiled rice, grams or chickpeas, groundnuts. Rice, grams, groundnuts are roasted in a huge wok-like vessel called karahi with hot sand. A karahi is a type of thick, circular, and deep cooking pot (similar in shape to a wok) used in South Asian cuisine. The word has been coined from bhaar, which means stove and bhunja means gram or chickpeas. Continue reading Bhaarbhunja | Healthy Streetfood

Maha Kumbh Mela | In Search of the Divine Nectar

Kumbh derives its name from the immortal Pot of Nectar, which the Demigods (Devtas) and Demons (Asuras) fought over, described in ancient Vedic scriptures known as the Puranas. It is these Vedic literatures that have stood the test of time, out of which the tradition has evolved into the one that the world now knows as The Kumbh Mela or The Kumbha Mela. The festival is one of the largest peaceful gatherings in the world, and considered as the “world’s largest congregation of religious pilgrims”. Continue reading Maha Kumbh Mela | In Search of the Divine Nectar