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Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswathi

24 Oct

Mid-2007, I went on a trip, well not just a trip but a holy trail of sorts starting from Varanasi (Kasi) – the holiest of holy places for a Hindu -> Ayodhya – the birthplace of Lord Rama -> Naimisharanya – a small hamlet on the banks of Gomathi river where Srimad Bhagavatam was spoken by Sage Suta to several other rishis and the abode of many sages -> Allahabad land of triveni sangamam -> Chitrakoot – the land o the banks of River Mandakini where Lord Rama is said to have spent the majority of his vanavas (the 14 years of forest exile) and back to Varanasi (Kasi).

Our first stop from Varanasi was Ayodhya; en route we made a quick halt at Nandigram, the village from where Bharata ruled Ayodhya when Rama was in exile:


Hanuman-gadhi @ Ayodhya:

Ayodhya

Near Sage Vyasa’s ashram @ Naimisharanya:

Naimisharanyam

Festival @ Chitrakoot during the evening Ganga Aarti:

Can a trip to trip to be complete without an elephant sighting?

Sarnath – the place of Gautama Buddha’s first sermon is a few kilometers away from Varanasi, where King Ashoka installed his famous Lion Capital that now serves as the National Emblem of India. The base pillar of this emblem:

This Bodhi tree was apparently planted by Sanghamitra, daughter of Ashoka, taking a branch from the Bodhi tree under which Buddha attained enlightment.

There are several Buddhist temples in this small town, catering to the different schools of Buddhism.

Paintings from the life of Buddha

Finally, a candid picture of me, posting in response to Apar’s tag. This picture is just over a year old, but I am posting this as I don’t have any pictures with me currently that is more than 10 years old 🙂 What started as a hunt for candid picture ended up as a long photo-essay – I have been meaning to do this for a while, but never got around to it. Thanks Apar!

This picture was taken, aboard a small boat on the River Ganga, during our customary Ganga Snanam (holy dip in Ganga) at the various ghats of Varanasi.

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9 Comments

Posted by on October 24, 2008 in Travel

 

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9 responses to “Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswathi

  1. Apar

    October 24, 2008 at 3:59 AM

    🙂 Nice pic 😀
    Btw, is that a political banner at Naimisharanya? And I hope that flag around the Bodhi tree has nothing to do with politics!
    Nice essay 😀 Glad to have triggered it off 😉

     
  2. Laksh

    October 24, 2008 at 4:32 AM

    Just looking at the places you get the feeling there is a lot of history behind them. I wonder how it felt to be actually there.

     
  3. Mads

    October 25, 2008 at 8:14 AM

    Nice post, pics and you look so nice A-kay. You have changed so much I must say.

    Thanks Mads. I hope you meant changed for the better ;-P – A-kay

     
  4. Dinesh

    October 26, 2008 at 11:26 PM

    The pictures were very nice. I guess you had a great trip, a nice account of the travel. The Candid picture is cool too 🙂

    Yes – the trip was great. It was a very uplifting experience on the whole. Thanks 🙂 – A-kay

     
  5. Lakshmi

    October 27, 2008 at 1:31 AM

    Hi A-kay,

    You are looking so good! Laks mentioned as much to me, but the snap says much much more 🙂

    Laks

    Thanks Laks. – A-kay

     
  6. Mitr

    October 28, 2008 at 2:02 AM

    A-kay,

    That is so amazing that you covered some of the most religious spots in North India in your last India trip. Nice pic. of you in the ganges and as usual the write-up with the pictures made it an enjoyable reading.

     
  7. UL

    October 30, 2008 at 4:11 AM

    Akay- I havent been to your site in a long long time, so I am actually reading backward, that mysore pak looked mouth watering…I must try it sometime…but this post caught me…I have always wanted to do a trip like this…and you have inspired me…that must’ve been quite a journey…

    Glad to have you back UL – I haven’t been very regular in reading/commenting in blogs as well. That was a very interesting journey and it is something that one should experience, I cannot put it into words, it falls short. I hope you can make it when you go to India next time. – A-kay

     
  8. sundar narayanan

    November 9, 2008 at 2:42 PM

    your photos brought back so many memories.. of Varanasi, Sarnath, Allahabad…

    most importantly boats on the ganges!

    🙂

    2nd visit to your space after a long time.

    great posts, great pics!

    thanks.

    🙂

    Thanks for visiting. Hopefully will see you more 🙂 – A-kay

     
  9. Madhuram

    November 10, 2008 at 10:08 PM

    My grandmother used to tell that one has to be fortunate to visit Kasi. Glad you were able to make it Akay. Thanks for sharing a candid picture, I was totally having a different image in my mind.

    Would love to know what kind of an image you had 🙂 I have heard that as well and was really glad or rather fortunate, to be able to go there. – A-kay

     

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