Banarasi Jalebi

The traditional breakfast of the ancient city of Kashi is the piping hot puri sabzi, kachori and droolworthy jalebi! Interestingly, the lightly spiced raswale aloo sabzi with greasy puris followed by kachori served with chana, meethi chutney and hari chutney and topped off with sinfully sweet jalebis (normal serving is four in a plate) really hits the spot!   The batter is made by... Continue Reading →

Banarasi Dahi Bhalla

Dahi bhalla with an overwhelming flavour of bada elaichi and adarak is a delightful innovation of Kashi. Also known as dahi pakodi or dahi vada or dahi gujiya, this vada made from urad dal makes its appearance in almost all festivals and celebrations.   A certain measure of urad dal (sometimes moong dal) is rinsed and soaked overnight. It... Continue Reading →

Banarasi Palak Patta Chaat

One of the most iconic chaats of Kashi is the scrumptious palak patta chaat served at Kashi Chat Bhandar. Better known as palak chaat, this delicious innovation has a bit of everything - crunch, spice, sweetness and tartness.   Fresh palak is thoroughly washed and wiped down. It is then dipped into a thick batter of besan, turmeric powder,... Continue Reading →

Banarasi Rabdi

A visit to the holy city of Kashi is deemed complete only if one samples their signature dish, the delicious, creamy and mildly sweet rabdi. This quintessential dessert makes it appearance in every festival and celebration across the country.   Arguably the most preferred sweet of North India, rabri is prepared using traditional methods even today. The... Continue Reading →

Banarasi Gulab Jamun

All gastronomical roads in the ancient city of Kashi lead to Kashi Chat Bhandar to sample their delicious gulab jamuns, tamatar ki chaat, palak patta chaat, chooda matar, dahi bhalla, aloo tikki and other innovative creations that are unique to the city.   Fresh khoya is mixed with maida, cardamom powder, kesar and other secret ingredients and kneaded to... Continue Reading →

Banarasi Paan

The finest paan of India is the celebrated Banarasi paan prepared in the world-famous Keshav Tambul Bhandar in the ancient city of Kashi. This paan has been loved by visitors from all over for years. Even heads of state including Prime Minister Narendra Modi have sampled their renowned meetha paan.   Interestingly, all the ingredients... Continue Reading →

History of the Prachin Shiv Mandir at Agra – Part II (The Myth of the Taj Mahal)

Since the ancient times, it has been the practice of Hindu kings to assiduously follow the tenets as laid down in the Shilpa Shastra while building forts, palaces, mansions, temples and dharmashalas. Traditionally, these grand structures were built along river banks, seashores or lakes to observe the obligatory rites and rituals of the Hindu scriptures.  ... Continue Reading →

History of the Prachin Shiv Mandir at Agra – Part I (The Myth of the Taj Mahal)

Lazy and uninformed "historians" of Indian (commissioned by the British Raj) and British origin have done an outstanding job for over three centuries to whitewash our glorious Hindu heritage and relegate the contributions of our valorous Hindu kings to obscurity. A concerted effort to prevent one from learning about Hinduism, the oldest civilization in the... Continue Reading →

Kanpur Makhan Malai

Locals from Kanpur, Lucknow and Varanasi eagerly wait for Diwali, when the famed makhan malai, the quintessential winter delicacy makes its appearance. Also known as malaiyo in Banaras, daulat ki chaat in Delhi, nimish or malai makhan, this fascinating sweet is truly a head scratcher.   The best makhan malai in Kanpur can be sampled at Shukla Makhan Bhandar on Birhana Road... Continue Reading →

Banarasi Launglata (Lavanglata)

Banaras, a gastronomical haven offers a staggering variety of scrumptious sweets like malaiyo, jalebi, gulab jamun, rabdi and others but launglata is undisputedly the choicest sweet of this holy city. Believed to be derived from the Bengali lobongo latika, this sweet is said to have made an appearance in Banaras more than 500 years ago.   Also known as lavanga... Continue Reading →

Banarasi Kachori Sabzi

The narrow lanes in Old Banaras prides itself on having the best mouth-watering traditional dishes that are truly in a class of its own. A gastronomical quest for the best street food in Banaras is deemed complete only if one samples the delicious kachori sabzi, the quintessential breakfast of Banaras and pretty much the whole... Continue Reading →

History of Banaras – Part VII (Conclusion)

अयोध्या मथुरा माया काशी काञ्ची अवन्तिका । पुरी द्वारावती चैव सप्तैते मोक्षदायकाः॥ Kashi, a name that evokes a multitude of emotions ranging from bliss, joy, ecstasy, love and relief is the city that promises liberation. Since the dawn of time, Kashi has been considered to be the centre of learning, knowledge, wisdom and Advaita. Sages,... Continue Reading →

Banarasi Tamatar ki Chaat

Tamatar ki chaat as the name suggests is essentially a chatpata chaat with tomato at the helm. Though the tamatar ki chaat sold in Prayagraj and Lucknow is amazing, the Banarasi tamatar ki chaat is in a class of its own. The explosion of flavours - spicy, sweet, sour, tangy and crunchy in each bite is pure... Continue Reading →

Malaiyo

A visit to the narrow lanes of Old Banaras is complete only after sampling their irresistible street food, deemed to be the best in North India. The lip-smacking tamatar chaat, kachori sabzi, chooda matar, golgappe, malai toast, baati chokha, lassi, jalebi, rabdi and malaiyo will make you drool and send you to a heavenly place where no one can reach you!   Malaiyo... Continue Reading →

History of Banaras – Part II

The stature of Benares as the seat of learning, knowledge and wisdom grew under the patronage of the Maukharis of Kannauj, Gurjara-Pratiharas and the mighty Kalachuris towards the end of the 10th century.   The period of the Kalachuris is often referred to as the golden era in the city's history marked with the construction... Continue Reading →

History of Banaras – Part I

Banaras, the golden city of knowledge, wisdom, spirituality and Advaita, has from the ancient times been considered to be one of the most sacrosanct places of Akhanda Bharat. This glorious city has a rich history that can be traced back to the time of creation.   Archaeological excavations have uncovered rare artefacts from the Vedic Period... Continue Reading →

Panchkroshi Yatra: Kapildhara Temple (Kapileshwar Mahadev Mandir), Kapildhara, Varanasi District, Uttar Pradesh

The fifth and final paṛāva (halt) of the divine Kashi Panchkroshi Yatra is the Kapildhara Temple also known as Kapileshwar Mahadev Mandir. After offering prayers at Kardameshwar Mahadev Mandir, Bhimchandi Mandir, Rameshwar Mandir and Shivpur Mandir, devotees take a dip in the three ancient ponds of Sona Talab, Saranga Talab and Kapildhara Talab that are at the final... Continue Reading →

Panchkroshi Yatra: Shivpur Temple, Shivpur Village, Varanasi District, Uttar Pradesh

The fourth paṛāva (halt) of the sacrosanct Kashi Panchkroshi Yatra is the Pancho Pandava Mandir (Pancha Pandeshwar Mandir) located in the bustling Shivpur village. After having darshan at Kardameshwar Mahadev Mandir, Bhimchandi Mandir and Rameshwar Mandir, pilgrims head to Draupadi Kund that is located near a huge tank known as Manasarovar tirth.   According to the... Continue Reading →

Panchkroshi Yatra: Rameshwar Mandir, Rameshwar Village, Varanasi District, Uttar Pradesh

The next stop on the sacrosanct Kashi Panchkroshi Yatra after Kardameshwar Mahadev Mandir and Bhimchandi Mandir is the ancient Rameshwar Mandir situated on the bank of the Varuna River in Rameshwar village. This temple of great antiquity is considered by many to be the most important kshetra or tirthasthala in the Panchkroshi Yatra.   According to the Kashi Khanda... Continue Reading →

Panchkroshi Yatra: Bhimchandi Mandir, Bhimchandi Village, Varanasi District, Uttar Pradesh

The Kashi Panchkroshi Yatra is considered to be one of the oldest pilgrimage routes of the world. According to the Hindu scriptures, Lord Rama along with Sita Mata and his brothers had visited the important tirthsthalas on this ancient route to liberate his father Raja Dasharatha from the curse of the parents of Shravana Kumar (Putrashoka).... Continue Reading →

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