Varanasi – the city that has an ‘Answer To Every Prayer’
The world is going through unprecedented times and it has become imperative to keep the travel industry as well as individual minds engaged for revival. As an initiative to celebrate India’s diverse touristic and cultural landscape, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has taken the initiative of organising a series of Webinars under the overall theme of ‘Dekho Apna Desh’.
The platform is connecting a large number of tourism enthusiasts to hear and watch experts talking about their region, city, tradition, culture, heritage, and history. As part of this series, the Ministry of Tourism presented a webinar on ‘Photo-walking Varanasi: A Visual Treat’.
The webinar was presented by the team of City Explorers Private Limited, a parent organisation under which a special city brand ‘Varanasi Heritage Walks’ introduced Varanasi’s diversity, mysticism, spirituality, cultural literacy, life experiences, and personal memories. The panellists of the session were Sachin Bansal- Chief Explorer (Founder, City Explorers Pvt Ltd), Shrawan Chinchwadkar (Culture Insider, Varanasi) and Shashank Sharma (Guide).
The webinar showcased Varanasi as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with cultural anecdotes, mouth-watering delicacies & living traditions hidden at every corner along with one of the finest river frontages in India.
With miles of ghats, countless shrines, millions of gods and goddesses, this city has an answer to everyone’s prayers. The webinar touched upon the shifting hues of Varanasi’s ancient history, cultural heritage, its spiritual connection, delicious cuisines through each pitstop.
The webinar began with an enlightening perspective of what life in Varanasi brings to the travellers. The most immersive way to experience Varanasi was covered in exclusively curated thematic walks like ‘The Waking of Varanasi’, ‘The Divine and Divinity’ and ‘Food of the Ancient City’.
Starting with an early morning experience with a mix of heritage and culture, ‘Waking of Varanasi’ brought in the serenity of the city.
The ‘Divine and Divinity’ walk covered the pious path through the flower market and Vishwanath Darshan to the famous evening aarti at Dashashwamedh ghat. Followed by the two walks, the audience were taken to a gastronomic journey through the ‘Food of Ancient City’. Vibrant colours on the plate and explosion of taste buds with kachori sabzi, malaiyyo, lassi, jalebi-dahi, tamatar chaat, palak patta chaat and Banarasi paan.
The food route went from one stop to another, zig-zag through the alleyways – Ram Bhandar, Blue Lassi, Deepak Tambul Bhandar to Rajesh Chaurasia Paan Wala (chowk area), Baba Thandai, Bhartendu Bhawan, Deena Chaat Bhandar and Kashi Chaat bhandar, all famous for their traditional recipes.
Finally, the surprise of the walk was encapsulated in the rich festivals of Varanasi, with anecdotes on each – Nakkataiya, Nag Nathaiya, Bhasm Holi and Dev Deepawali. To conclude the webinar, Sachin Bansal brought the hidden gems of the city with weaving traditions and musical gharanas in conversation with the local representatives.