Kashi: The city that never sleeps and the spirituality that never dies
Kashi, the city of lights, is an extraordinary place that has a unique charm and charisma to it. It's a city that never sleeps, where the energy and the hustle-bustle of the streets is infectious. However, amidst all the chaos, there's a sense of calm and spirituality that is palpable everywhere you go.
My short visit to Kashi was a journey of enlightenment. The city's vibrancy, the Ghats, and the temples left me spellbound. The first thing that struck me about the city was the devotion and faith of the people. Be it any hour of the day, you will find people on the streets, either waiting for the next 'darshan' of Mahadev or simply sitting besides the Ganga.
The Ghats of Kashi are the lifeline of the city. The banks of the holy river Ganges are lined with ancient steps, each with its unique story and significance. The experience of witnessing the sunrise over the Ganges was an awe-inspiring moment that will stay with me forever. As I sat on the steps, watching the boats and the people going about their daily routine, I felt a sense of peace and tranquillity that is hard to describe in words.
The Ghats are not just a place for rituals and ceremonies; they are also a place for introspection and contemplation. The people who visit the Ghats come from all walks of life, seeking solace and spirituality. I witnessed many Sadhus who have made the Ghats their home. They had renounced the material world to seek a higher purpose and had found their calling on the banks of the Ganges.
The Vishwanath Temple is the one for which people visit Kashi. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and it is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India. The temple's architecture is breathtaking, and the intricate carvings and sculptures are a testament to the city's rich heritage. The temple's sanctity and divinity are palpable, and it's hard not to get emotional when you're in the presence of the Lord. Moreover, the newly made compound is simply beautiful. Who better can understand and appreciate the beauty, cleanliness and management than those who had visited this years ago. Same goes with Ghats. It is an extremely sad fact that previous govts. did not pay any attention to crores of people who have their faith in Kash. Least they could have done is to make the religious place neat, clean and manageable. Thankfully, not the case now. Reaching the temple is through the thin roads housed by shops on both sides. These shops could serve you everything from food, to lassi, to bangles and clothes!
The temple's inner sanctum is a surreal experience that left me speechless. As I stood in front of the Lingam, I felt a surge of energy and a sense of oneness with the divine. It was a moment of spiritual awakening that I will never forget. Unfortunately, mobile phones are not allowed inside and hence I could not take any photo. I got a chance to see the Mahadev during His 'Shayan' aarti, which is done in the night at around 10:30PM. The energy of the compound was at a different level when all the devotees chant the aarti together.
Kashi is a city that leaves an indelible mark on your soul. It's a city of contrasts, where the old and the new coexist harmoniously. The city's spirituality is contagious, and it's hard not to get caught up in the energy and the fervor of the place. I left Kashi with a sense of fulfillment and a renewed appreciation for life and spirituality.
Kashi should be on everyone's bucket list. The experience of witnessing the city's spirituality and vibrancy is an experience that is hard to replicate anywhere else. The Ghats and the Vishwanath Temple are a testament to the city's rich heritage and offer a glimpse into the city's soul. Kashi is a city that never sleeps, and its spirituality never dies. Har Har Mahadev!!