Mark Twain called Benares older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.
Off lately I had been posting too much of personal stuff here. It was due to a combination of my stupidity as well as some misunderstood emotions. Now I am back , to post about for what I had started this blog i.e. Banaras or Varanasi or Kashi or......
Why would a city have so many names? Are there others with various names as Banaras has? And the above three are the ones which are known to the world at large. There are numerous others which are in regular use in day to day conversation by the locals.
A friend of mine ,M,who is a travel writer describes it as the hippie land of our country. If the mythological stories are dug out and read, one could easily make out that Lord Shiva was the original hippie of the world, who went on to have a massive following in the subcontinent. I swear the hippies rule the world, and they would keep on ruling it. So, it seems very logical to term the city as the original hippie land of the world.
Banaras is the anglicised version of Varanasi which is claimed to be derived from two words; Varuna river which is a small river which meets the river Ganges near Rajghat, while Assi is the last in the series of ghats, which number between 150 and 175. The city being situated between these two landmarks is called Varanasi.
Kashi ...I still have to find out about its origins. However, if I take a wild guess, it must have something to do with the hair strands of Lord Shiva, hindi word for hair is Kesh. More on that later.
I once again, welcome you all to the world of Banaras/Varanasi/Kashi/Benares.