The Locale, the Food and the Charm of Varanasi

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Traveling to cities unknown to you has its bit of adventure, charm, and experience. You get off from the pedestal of everyday existence to enjoy and celebrate life. For me, one such visit happened to be the land of Varanasi. The trip to this holy city was planned in haste, and my companion was my childhood friend.

The adventure had just set in when we took the train from Kolkata on an unconfirmed reservation to this holy city and a street food paradise. Varanasi welcomes you with its chaos, color, and the feeling of stepping back in time. The ghats, the busy streets, and the local markets will make you relish the time you are here. And our stay at Stay Benaras was the icing on the cake. Nature’s touch and bright ambiance at Stay Benaras is unmatchable.

The ghats in Varanasi are riverfront steps leading to the banks of the River Ganges. A group of priests performs a daily ritual called ‘Agni Pooja.’

Coming to the food, one cannot merely miss Mallaiyo, a must-have delicacy that is only available from the winter season till Holi. It is light, soft golden foam with Kesari milk at the bottom, and it is topped with pistachio. The presence of dew is an essential ingredient for its making.

The perfect breakfast spot happens to be Ram Bhandar, which has mouth-watering jalebis and puri sabzi. It is located in the narrow lanes; this place is a favorite of the locals.

An array of chaats at Kashi Chaat Centre makes for the perfect evening crunch. The must-try chaats at this joint are - tomato, palak, and Dahi chaats. One can get the authentic flavors in these myriad chaats.

The desi feel gets enhanced at Badal Thandai. The orthodox combo of butter toast with masala tea at Laxmi Chai is too attractive an offer to refuse. Political discussion, cricket prediction, and much more happens over here. The Blue Lassi Shop is an attraction in itself that serves unique lassis like the ‘blueberry pomegranate lassi’ and ‘Kesar dry fruits lassi.’

The street burger, litti-chokha, and many more fast food items are available at mini moving carts across the streets till midnight. Especially the street burger is one of its kind. One cannot afford to miss it.

The gravy mixed sauce momos at Nitin Fast Food was definitely amongst the best we have ever had. The cold coffee at Benaras Hindu University compound is a treat to the taste buds. We even had the opportunity to witness the Holi madness of the BHU students.

A boat ride in the evening from Dasashwamedh Ghat to Assi Ghat was scenic and captivating. On the banks of this ghat, there is Vatika Pizzeria, which serves impressive garlic bread and the Nana Mint mocktail. Its ice-cream apple pie is crunchy as well as soft.

In a nutshell, the Varanasi trip was an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. One gets to witness one of the oldest cities in all its colors, charm, and magnificence. It is an experience of a lifetime.

Eat from the streets, shop from the locals, and delve into the holiness of Varanasi.


Written by - Harshit Somani

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