The Tree of Life Resort & Spa, Varanasi
Varanasi or Banaras as it is also known is overwhelming. Unlike many of the cities that you have visited, this city goes on in spite and not because of its visitors. It is a city that requires you to be sensitive, spiritual, careful, and open-minded – even if the experience is not quite the one you expected. So plunge in headlong – cruise the river; visit the temples; go for a live sarod concert; be mesmerized by the evening aarti (prayer); walk the small lanes which go back a thousand years and have the power to make time standstill. Walking through the lanes of Varanasi, you lose your sense of time, place and self and are accompanied by a constant sense of discovery. It is said that the city is home to some 330 million Hindu Gods. Of the pantheon of Gods, Shiva is the most prominent. He is the god of death, destruction, dance, compassion, and defies all conventions. The maze of lanes then gives way to steps that form the ‘ghats’ and sweep down to the water’s edge of the ‘sacred mother’ Ganga. The lanes, the ghats and the river make up the fabric of Varanasi!