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What is so special about Benaras?

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What is so special about Benaras/ Varanasi/Kashi?

Benaras is a city of culture and philosophy and claimed to be most ancient and continuously inhabited city in the world.  Why is it such an enigma to the spirituality seekers and seers? Different people cite different reasons for the same. Not only from the perspective from the seers and saints, we would try to give a gist of Benaras from a perspective of a normal person who is either a resident of the city or from a nearby region or a globe trotter.

Why Banaras is so different is mainly because of the way the city makes you feel. The city has a light-hearted attitude towards everything from greetings to the festivals and has even a sweet touch of philosophy towards most dreaded of human fears ‘Death’ too. Famous Harsihchandra and Manikarnika cremation Ghats are a testimony to this, where funeral pyre never ceases. Old and sick seek death in Varanasi as it is a path to salvation for them. 

The local people however poor they are, at the end of the day you will find a sense of satisfaction on their faces. You find a foreigner every five minutes you walk in the narrow maizelike streets of Varanasi. They also roam the city in casual attire and seek their moments of satisfaction. Chilling out on Ghats, sipping tea or smoking cigarette (or Joint?) playing guitar or practicing classical music. All this casts a mesmerizing effect on an outsider at first glance. Go little deep beyond this and you will find deep philosophical discussions happening or just a casual banter on US-Korea or Iran gossips which does not have to do anything with the participants. Cheap cost of living and affable atmosphere of Varanasi makes it one of the most attractive tourist destinations.  

As a traveler from outside Varanasi, don’t be misled that everything is hunky-dory about this city. There are game spoilers too like some mean-minded people and local goons who can make the city feel like a less inhabitable place. You should better watch out for these people and try not to engage with them. Also, there are people who always on a lookout to overcharge or try to rip off on everything you possibly transact.

In spite of these odds and small maze-like streets of the city, it gives you a fresh bout of energy every morning. A positive energy reverberates in the city all the time. You just need to be in the right frame of mind to feel it. Varanasi is the city where you can find solace and peace even on the cremation ghats called Shmashans. It portrays the realities of life and a body vanishes in front of your eyes leaving behind all relations. You just see the reality of life. Realities of the life, death, afterlife and Joie de vivre are the USPs of this city. 

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