I am now in Varanasi, India's holiest city. For the first time since I am out of home, which is almost a month, my smile faded. Though temporarily - only for a day or so. The city is gloomy and upset me slightly when I arrived. I contemplated on leaving soon, but survived the gloom and started exploring the town. There is indeed something fascinating about the town. Parts of Varanasi has never kept up with time, and its Gallis and the ghats have probably remained the same as they used to be in pre-independence times. It is interesting, beautiful, and crowded. The gloom comes from the dirt and the pollution that seems to be integrated with this place. It is sad to see the Ganga turned into nothing more than a 100 meter wide sewer. It is the same river that looked so pristine and beautiful and I fell in love with, only a few weeks ago in Rishikesh. There still are many things to experience in Varanasi and I shall stay here for a few more day, though I might leave earlier than I wanted to.
I have been out for around 10 days now. I have spent a few days in Rishikesh, walking around and spending my time on the banks of Ganga. I then headed to Auli(last year's report, photos where I spent some time skiing and some time trekking in the snow and wilderness. I don't need to be explicit in saying that I am having a great time. In a few days, I am heading to the wilderness of Rajaji National Park and then to Corbett National Park, and follow it up with a trip to Varanasi. That will keep me on the road for another 2 weeks!