To conclude, traveling through India isn’t only about samosas, chai tea and the Taj Mahal, it’s about self-discovery and cultivation, seeking a higher-consciousness and expanding your boundaries, both socially and spiritually. So if you’re interested in those things (plus much, much more*), I recommend that you go. I’ll be there, following my dharma, doing asanas and, of course, sharing a cup of chai with a new friend.
* find out for yourself 😉
After experiencing a wonderful journey through India, the time has come to post my final days, starting with Sarnath, the city where Buddha first taught the dharma, and ending in Kolkata, the official capital of West Bengal.
I hope you enjoyed my photos!
– Quiet –
From dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn, the Ganga reflects, absorbs, merges and transforms. Surging from the locks of Siva’s hair as he sits atop the mighty Himalayas, it flows 1,600 miles southeast before spilling into the Bay of Bengal, touching the bodies and souls of millions along the way.
Night or day, Varanasi is a succulent feast for the eyes. Covering the ancient walls and floors are paintings of every taste imaginable. And for the sweet-toothed are tantalizing sculptures of various kama sutra positions; but be warned—these displays are not for the faint-hearted.
I was told millions of Hindus go to Varanasi to die; on the contrary, I believe millions go there to live. While bodies burn and spirits ascend throughout the day and night, this ancient city rejuvenates the soul, reminding us that we aren’t who we perceive ourselves to be — we are so much more, infinite beings in the cyclical drama of creation, experience and destruction.
The Manduadih Express from Delhi takes 15 hours to reach Varanasi, but leftover samosas, chai tea and great company make the trip worthwhile. Plus, being welcomed by spiritual murals is a nice way to jumpstart your pilgrimage (even if your soul doesn’t agree with the hard and lumpy bunk bed).
Contrary to what most tourists do, I recommend staying in Agra, India for at least one night before seeing the Taj Mahal. That way you can witness the extravagant weddings-on-wheels that traverse the city at night. Music, dancing and wild colors paint the bustling streets as couples descend from all over India to proclaim their undying love.