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VARANASI- Destination full of emotions and spirituality

I am in Varanasi, the city of temples and spirituality, one of the holiest places on earth where countless numbers of pilgrims visit…

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Best Places to Visit in Varanasi

It’s 4:00 in the morning, birds are chirping, soothing air touches my face, roads are full of devotees heading towards Vishwanath temple.

I am in Varanasi, the city of temples and spirituality, one of the holiest places on earth where countless numbers of pilgrims visit to bathe in the sacred water of the river Ganges. The Ganges is said to be the purest river that washes away the sins of its devotees.

According to Hindu Mythology, King Bhagirath performed years of meditation to bring Ganga down to earth to release his 60,000 uncles from the curse.

At this hour of the day, small groups hurdle around the teal stall- sipping on chai and bread butter. On the other side of the road, rickshaw pullers are waiting for their first passenger, to make their ‘Bony.’ Some lonely figures are signalling their first nicotine of the day.

Best Places to Visit in Varanasi

A TOUR OF ALAKANANDA CRUISE-

We had our day planned, so we headed towards Ravidas Ghat, from where we had to board our ‘Alaknanda Cruise.’ The beautiful cruise will offer you scenes of the 84 ghats of Varanasi that we might otherwise never see in just Rs 900 per person (tax inclusive).

The cruise offers two times tour – morning (8:00 AM- 9:00 AM) and evening (6:00 PM – 7:30 PM). Passengers have to book the seat beforehand and have to board the cruise from Ravidas Ghat.

ALAKANANDA-CRUISE-Varanasi

Photo by Sillycorners.com

Everything looks so mesmerizing from the top of the deck- the clean Ganges, the long staircases of the ghats, the beautiful hand paintings, the sacred bathe of the devotees, the chirping of birds, the year-old monuments, the lit-up ghats, and the evening Arti.

Some of the famous ghats of Varanasi that you will see during the tour are-

ASSI GHAT-

One of the biggest ghats to the south of the main ghat. Visitors come here to worship the Lingam of Lord Shiva situated under the peepal tree.

assi ghat  | best places to vist in varanasi

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The evening aarti with the mantras chanted will keep you awestruck. From here the devotees can board for boat rides and can visit in the morning for the yoga and devotional sessions.

DHARBHANGA GHAT-

This ghat is a photogenic favourite. This ghat has an appealing and luxury hotel named, Brijnama Palace hotel. This hotel was originally a fort which later turned into a palace by King Rameshwar Singh Bahadur of Darbhanga.

best place in varanasi | Darbhanga Ghat

MAN MANDIR GHAT-

This ghat is famous for its ornate Rajput architecture. The astronomical instruments are still good in condition and are possible to take a look at them. One can head towards its spacious terrace for the beautiful view of the river Ganges.

MANIKARNIKA GHAT-

The most confronting ghat, Manikarnika Ghat is also known as the burning ghat is the place where it is believed that that one who is cremated here would attend moksha (salvation). Hundreds and thousands of devotees bring bodies here to cremate freely. The ghat is handled by doms and one body always burns here.

DASHASHWAMEDH GHAT-

It is the heart and soul of Varanasi and is one of the holiest places where the famous Ganga Arti takes place every evening. Interestingly, it is possible to sit and watch all day without getting bored. There is also a hectic marketplace around the ghat.

The modest crowd and I sit in awe, watching the sky turning blue. My eyes dart everywhere from the colourful boats in the river to the cremation ceremony on the Manikarnika Ghat.

TASTY TREATS-

Aloo Kachori and the pipping hot jalebis are the best early stables of the locals. So, we ventured off to find these tasty treats.

  • DEENA CHAT BHANDAR-

The thongs of people waiting outside Deena Chat Bhandar for their orders made me realise that the wait is worth it. The most famous offering is Tamatar Chat, eat these chats till the taste buds burn. It has two outlets on the Varanasi food hotspots – DASHASHWAMEDH GHAT and CHOWK.

  • LAKSHMI CHAI WALA-

If you find chai a mandatory drink in the morning with bread and butter, you are definitely recommended to visit Lakshmi Chai wala on Godowlia road. This chai and bread butter will give you a better start of the morning.

It is an 80-year-old tea stall that serves tea in kulhad and amazing bread stuffed with lots of butter and toasted over coal.

  • RAM BHANDAR-

A trip to Varanasi is incomplete without eating Ram Bhandar’s mouth-watering Kachori Sabzi. It is located in Govindpura, Varanasi. Foreigners line up to taste the legendry dish. It serves Kachori prepared in Desi Ghee with spicy potato curry.

  • MARKANDEY KI MALAIYO-

Malaiyo is the must-eat sweet delicacy of Varanasi. Markandey, located near Gopal Mandir has been selling for many years. Head towards this destination and enjoy the cities best malaiyo.

Varanasi was everything I had imagined. The grin on my face stayed with me from the first sight of the morning through tucking myself into bed on the last evening.

This is the place that can bring both tears of joy and wonderment. The city is not defined as never-ending suburbs, instead, it is a slower destination oozing emotions and spirituality.

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Lifestyle

6 indoor plants and their upkeep

While almost all green plants can be kept indoors, some plants need more attention than others. Here best indoor plants for home in India.

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best indoor plants for home in india
Source: @Safer Brand

While almost all green plants can be kept indoors, some plants need more attention than others which can be cumbersome if you have a busy schedule. But that doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with greenery. Let’s look at some best indoor plants for a home in India.

Rubber tree plant

It is fairly easy to maintain but is fussy when it comes to the amount of water it needs. Here is what you need to know if you have this plant. Rubber plants are rainforest specimens. While they need consistent moistness, they don’t want it to be soggy. Ensure that the pot the plant is in has adequate draining holes.

Use a dish under the pot lined with pebbles to catch extra water. This will keep the roots from sitting in water but provide the humidity as the water evaporates.

Croton plant

Its beautifully patterned leaves can brighten any space. Now that the rains are here in full force, it is important to ensure that you take care of all your plants. Overwatering can lead to root rot. An important thing to keep in mind is that the pot is well-drained. There is moisture in the air, overwatering will harm the plant. Croton also needs at least six to seven hours of sunshine but excess heat will damage its leaves. Try and keep the plant either East or West facing to make sure that the leaves don’t lose their colour.

English Ivy

It looks pretty and while it may look like it is an easy plant to look after, it is not the case. Like any other plant, this plant too will rot and its leaves will turn brown if you overwater them. Before you water it, check the soil. If it is moist, don’t water it. Make sure that the soil is loose and is kept in a well-drained pot. The plant grows in bright light but it is away from direct sunlight. It is a beautiful plan that can be kept inside the home; potting it in a hanging basket is an excellent way to enjoy the beauty of this plant.

Fern

The delicate curled leaves that unfurl into long, lacy fronds look pretty. Go into the forest and you will find ferns carpeting the floor. They also make a great houseplant. They can grow in any kind of pot — clay to hanging baskets to ceramic and don’t require full sun to thrive.

But Indian weather is different. A plant that may live happily in any other environment needs a lot of care here. They love moisture. During the rainy season make sure you don’t overwater the plant or the roots will rot. You can even spray water on the leaves to lock the moisture in. You can keep this plant in the bathroom or even the kitchen.

Green Aralia

One of the most important things to keep in mind if you have a green aralia is that it has to be kept away from cold drafts and windows during the winter months to ensure that it thrives. It needs a feed once every other month during the spring. During the summer months, the plant needs liquid fertiliser. However, be careful if you buy this plant; it is mildly toxic to humans and pets. Ingestion can lead to gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

They are best as landscape plants. While watering aralia which is indoors, deep water is only when the soil is nearly dry. One of the most important things to keep in mind if you have a green aralia is that it has to be kept away from cold drafts and windows during the winter months to ensure that it thrives.

Pitcher plant

It is not always possible to ensure that the plant that you bring is going to live. Hence, it is important to take care of it properly. Let’s take the pitcher plant. So how does one take care of it if one wants to keep it indoors even if it is a carnivorous plant?

Depending on the species, some require full sunlight and those that originate in the floor of the rainforest may need filtered light. It requires moist soil, and keeps the potting soil moist, but not soggy. Allow the pot to drain thoroughly after watering and never let the pot stand in water or the roots will rot.

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Lifestyle

Mother’s Day 2022: Significance, history, and importance

Being a mother is a full-time job and gets no appreciation-one day where their worth is truly appreciated. Here’swhy we celebrate mothers day.

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why we celebrate mothers day
Source: @TOI

Most of us know that Mother’s Day is celebrated every second Sunday in May. But did you know why we celebrate mothers day? The whole idea behind Mother’s Day is to honour the mother of the family, to celebrate motherhood, maternal bonds, and the important role that they play in shaping society.

Why we celebrate mothers day?

It is said that the need to celebrate this day arose in the 1900s. Back then a daughter – Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis – to honour the sacrifices made by the mothers made for their children started this holiday.

It is said that Jarvis organized the first Mother’s Day service of worship and celebration at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia, the US which serves as the International Mother’s Day Shrine today.

Did you also know that different countries celebrate this day in different months? Some countries celebrate this day in March. Mother’s Day in Egypt is celebrated on March 21, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. In Georgia Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 3.

In some countries, the date is adopted to signify religion, like Virgin Mary Day in Catholic countries. Other countries selected a date with historical significance. For example, Bolivia’s Mother’s Day is a fixed date, commemorating a battle in which women participated to defend their children. Or in Russia where it is celebrated as International Women’s Day instead of Mother’s Day.

In India, the concept of celebrating Mother’s Day is new. This could be because we have traditionally been respectful of our mothers and have been revering them for generations.

We didn’t need to set a single day aside for them. But then, we (Indians) tend to ape the West and what the West does needs to be done back home.

Irrespective of how and when Mother’s Day is celebrated worldwide, children go out of their way to make this a special day for their mother. Lunches, treats and gifts are part and parcel of this day’s celebration.

What can you do? Here are some mothers day 2022 gift ideas

For the foodie mom

If your mother is a foodie a last-minute gift can be a meal subscription box that speaks to your mom’s interests. The subscription boxes are becoming popular across India as they select the finest and latest products every month and ship them across to their clients.

As a gift, you can opt for ingredients, or complete meals, including gourmet food and global cuisine. Innovative subscription boxes share recipes and exquisitely packaged boxes that can be used as a collector’s item.

If your mother is all about fitness

If your mom has been looking to shed some weight, a gym membership is a great gift! There are several gyms in each city that offer membership. This would help your mother work.

If your mother is all about looking good

A woman’s body goes through many changes, and protein is quintessential to cope with it. One can gift herbal products to the mother for that perfect skin that will keep her young at heart forever!

 

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Lifestyle

5 health benefits of dancing, you might not want to miss

You see it on TV or in films. But did you know that the art form has several benefits of dance movement therapy as well? Read on

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benefits of dance movement therapy

Dance is the purest expression of emotion. World over, dancing has a different meaning for different people and cultures. But there is one thing that is common across the board — it is an expression of one’s emotions through movement. These movements are not always graceful or beautiful and most people don’t even understand them, it’s tough to see a perspective on one’s dance.

What Dance Symbolise:

But dancing is extremely therapeutic. Dance therapy can use various hand movements and creative expressions to promote socio-emotional, cognitive, and somatic integration.

This is based on the idea that the body and mind are inextricably linked. It aids in self-expression, resulting in a shift in an individual’s overall functioning.

One has to remember that dance movement therapy isn’t just for dancers, and it’s certainly not a dance class. A dance lesson emphasises style and form, whereas dance movement therapy does not. In the latter, people aren’t judged on how well they execute the steps or how they appear while dancing.

 

In dance movement therapy, people are encouraged to communicate their feelings and thoughts while moving during dance movement therapy sessions.

Dance treatments are used in a variety of settings, including health, education, and social services, in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

It may be recommended as a primary service or as a complement to other forms of ongoing treatment, rehabilitation or education. The therapy can be short- or long-term. Engaging an individual does not require any dance skills or training just the willingness to move. The focus is on the therapeutic process.

Here’s how it can help

Help differently-abled

Dance therapy can help individuals, with different abilities, capacities and life conditions since it works with their bodies at that particular phase of life.

Benefit kids with autism, ADHD

People with developmental, medical, social, physical, and psychological problems benefit from dance movement therapy.

It has been used to assist persons with learning impairments, and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, and ADHD, among others.

Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, mobility disorders, sensory processing disorders, trauma, and even violence prevention are just some of the conditions that can be treated.

Dance movement therapy can help those who are battling communication challenges, body image issues, chronic pain, and adjustment issues.

Communication tool

As language is not a barrier to movement, it can be used in individual, couple, family, and group therapy forms with people of different ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds.

Leads to self-awareness

Self-awareness, self-perception, confidence, producing a sense of peace, relational talents, and mindfulness are all benefits of dance therapy. It has been shown to reduce pressure, anxiety, and nerves, as well as feelings of disengagement and body strain.

Faster recovery

Dance movement aids in the learning of how to transform nonverbal movements into insights that can be applied to one’s recovery process.

Each one of us can move, each one of us has a movement language — we call it body language. All of us can dance! The idea of this therapy is getting aware of your body, feeling, accepting, and working on yourself.

People in dance movement therapy are not required to start dancing as soon as the music starts, unlike in a dance class. It’s all about the journey, not the destination!

Disclaimer: The idea of this article is to create awareness and is not meant to be followed without a doctor’s proper advice.

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