Old part of Varanasi by the Ganges River was the most authentic and traditional part of India you will ever see. Narrow maze like alley ways filled with shops, restaurants, temples, markets, street vendors and cows everywhere.
One of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities and one of Hinduism’s seven holy cities, Varanasi is a hub of philosophy, theosophy, medicine and learning. It is now a chaotic mélange of pilgrims, tourists and trident-toting sadhus, cycle rickshaws, boats and ghats. It is not an overstatement or cliché to say that there truly is nowhere else quite like Varanasi. It is impossible to leave unstirred, unshaken or unmoved.
Varanasi has got to be one of the most fascinating and historically and culturally significant cities in the world. It's also one of the dirtiest, including the river Ganges. It took me two trips to India to get here, but my India experience was not complete without seeing the masses bathe in the holy river.
There are so many places in this world that can leave a mark on you as a traveler, but few, no I don't think anyplace in the world resonated its personality on me like Varanasi. I have been fortunate to travel India extensively and know the deep significance of this city to Hindu's - and it is said to be one of the oldest cities in the world. Varanasi located on the Ganges "the holiest of holy rivers" offers up lots of different moods. Spiritual, overwhelmed, amazed. This is a city that is intense - an explosion on all the senses. It is a place if you are interested in India and Hinduism that you must come, however, it is an intense place and certainly not for everyone. I have been twice and it remains at the very top of my memorable travel experiences.