The sacred earthly home of Lord Shiva, the Lord of all in Hindu tradition, goes by three names. Varanasi, given by its geographic location between the Varuna and Assi Rivers, as is now commonly used, Banaras its traditional name from the time of British rule, and Kashi – the Luminous – the “City of Light”, its most ancient name.
They say that Kashi is the most foreign of all places for a traveller to visit, due to the magnitude of what meets the eye, the city’s depth of culture and it’s importance. Author of the book “Banaras City of Light” writes “If we could imagine the silent Acropolis and the Agora of Athens still alive with the intellectual, cultural and ritual traditions of classical Greece, then we might glimpse the remarkable tenacity of life in Kashi”.
It is the layers and layers of history which have been haphazardly built on top of each other over the years which give the city it’s unique character as it lines the Ganges from North to South in a horse shoe.
Below are some images which capture some of the charm of the city from walks and journeys by boat from Godowlia in the North to Assi in the South.