Little souls In Buddha’s garden – A picture story

Shravasti – Where Buddha walked in person Sravasti, or shravasti is where Buddha is said to have spent many rainy seasons. The monastery where he lived is in the centre of a garden donated by a rich man of his times. The two young girls climbed down from the trees when they saw me, and lured me to their village with a sweet local accent – “Follow us to the village; Mother Ganges has come to visit us.” They were referring to the flood in the local river that had submerged most of this district. To the faithful, a river flood is a visit by the goddess herself.  I followed them to join a group of shepherds led by an old man the girls were travelling with. The remains of the fort seen in the background were probably the palace of the king of this rich and vibrant trading city. Nothing remains of it now, and only grass and trees grow over the...
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The Historical Indian Cities – that Continue to Be in 21c

Travelling in North India can be tough. One has to battle against heat, dust, the crowds, and agents and touts. Moreover, these are not cities famous for scenic beauty, though historical monuments like the Taj Mahal do provide occasional relief. If travelling in cities like Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur and Allahabad is to be enjoyed, one must know their history and culture, much of which is shrouded in the dark. Varanasi, the oldest of the old cites of the world, sits adoring the Ganga river. Its mornings are famous, and the betel nut (paan). The narrow streets might be filthy, but on the other side of the river stands the Ramnagar fort and museum. Religion is life here, and the burning of the dead on the ghats. Near Kanpur lies Brahmavarta. Legend says saint Valmiki lived here, and so did Sita after she renounced Rama. Many legends of the Hindu myth find home in this hilly terrain adjoining the Ganga. Shravasti is where the...
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