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Varanasi - The City of Life and Death

Observed after fourteen days of Diwali, it marks a tribute to river Ganga. It is a popular belief that on this night (full moon); Gods descends on earth to bathe in the Ganges. Another legend speaks of the return of Lord Vishnu to his abode after the Vamana incarnation. Thus it has become an old tradition in the entire city to lit lamps to welcome Gods.

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No city in the world is as complex and yet simple like Varanasi. The simplicity and the mystical aura of the city makes it worth visiting. At one point you will be submerged in the chaos on the streets, and soon after the calmness of the Ganga will sooth you.

Banaras is not a one time visit. One needs to come here again and again, and surprise yourself every time. Mark Twain writes, "Banaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together". Dev Diwali is an occasion when gods descend upon Earth and take bath in holy Ganges. This is an beautiful moment to visit Banaras because all the ghats of the town are decorated with illuminated lamps.

Varanasi has around 84 ghats and from a birds eye view the scene could be spectacular. We walked from one ghat to another each of them shining with diyas and people celebrating. There was a huge crowd of Foreigners who were watching the celebrating with amazement. We finally reached the Dashashwamedh Ghat where the main celebration was taking place. A massive fire cracker show was going on at the ghat and a huge crowd was gathered around to watch the spectacular show.

There are regular trains running to Banaras from New Delhi. You can travel overnight to reach here. Best and cheapest accommodations are available at Asi Ghat. There are a lot of roof top Guest Houses from where you can see see the Ganga flowing below. It is an amazing sight in the morning. If you wish to visit Banaras or Varanasi during Dev Diwali then you should make sure that all your bookings are done in in advance. You must take out time for boating as it is the spectacle from middle of the river.

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