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Oct 21, 2019-Monday



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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

A taste of Benaras through knee-deep water

varanasi  Updated: Sep 27, 2019 17:58 IST

Locals, foreigners and domestic tourists literally waded through knee-deep water at Godaulia in the heart of temple town, Varanasi, even as rain continued to pour incessantly. Most tourists unanimously feel that they miss the opportunity to enjoy walking along the ghats and watching the grand Ganga Arti at the Dashashwamedh Ghat here.

A Japanese tourist, not wishing to disclose his name, is on two-day visit to the ancient city. He said that he was quite eager to take a boat ride from Asi to Dashashwamedh to Rajghat to take in the sights along the majestic ghats, but he couldn’t because, the Ganga is still flowing above the warning mark and heavy rains made him wade through waterlogged Godaulia.

“I missed it. But I will come back in the future. Next time, I will plan my visit in October so that I can enjoy a boat ride and click photographs of the Ghats on one side of the Ganga and the sandy banks on the other,” the tourist said.

An American, also not wishing to disclose his name, waded through the waterlogged road leading to Dashashwamedh Ghat from Godaulia. “I heard that the lanes of Banaras are unique. And the view of the ghats is quite majestic. But the ghats are flooded. So, I missed the opportunity to enjoy a boat ride and watching the ghats,” he said.

Several other tourists were seen wading through knee-deep water. They walked up to the stairs of Dashashwamedh Ghat and returned disappointed because the whole ghat was submerged and the famous Ganga Arti takes place on the rooftop of a building near the ghat.

Sushant Mishra of Ganga Seva Nidhi, which organises the Ganga Arti daily, said, “The Ganga Arti has been taking place daily on the rooftop of a building along the Ghat for the past 40 days, as the ghat is submerged. Though the arti is complete in ritual and ceremony, the rooftop can accommodate so many people and no more. Tourists enjoy the spirituality of the Arti but miss the majesty of the ghats.”

He said that many foreign tourists attend the Arti daily even on the rooftop. After the arti, they ask, how it used to look when the ghats were not flooded, how big the platform is where the arti takes place. They also miss walking along the ghats.

Amresh Kumar, a resident of Bhopal, reached Varanasi with great enthusiasm to enjoy a boat ride and a walk in the lanes. But the rains and flood together threw a wet blanket on his plans. “Heavy rains spoiled the visit,” he said.

First Published: Sep 27, 2019 17:58 IST

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