Banarasi Baati Chokha

An authentic preparation of Bihar called litti chokha made its appearance in eastern Uttar Pradesh and specifically Varanasi a few decades ago. This scrumptious dish took on a new avatar in the holy city and was coined baati chokha.   Baati chokha is essentially a harmonious combination of baati (wheat balls stuffed with sattu roasted over charcoal) and chokha (curry... 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 →

Angeerayeshwar Temple (Angirasesa or Angirasesvara Temple), Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

The Kashi Sapta Rishi Yatra is considered to be as sacrosanct as the Kashi Panchkroshi Yatra. According to the Kashi Khanda in the Skanda Purana, the exemplary Sapta Rishis descended on the ancient city of Kashi after the Supreme Being manifested Itself as the dazzling Jyotirlinga of Kashi Vishwanath.   The eternal Sapta Rishis are Atri, Marichi, Pulaha,... 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 →

Panchkroshi Yatra: Kardameshwar Mahadev Temple, Kandwa, Varanasi District, Uttar Pradesh

One of the oldest surviving temples of Varanasi that holds the rare distinction of escaping the ruthless desecration by Muslim invaders especially the Mughals is the Kardameshwar Mahadev Mandir located near Kandwa Pokhra. This ancient Shiva Temple that forms a part of the sacrosanct Panchkroshi Yatra is one of the best preserved temples of Varanasi.... Continue Reading →

On the history trail: The Grand Meeting of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj with Ekoji I (Vyankoji Bhonsle)

After the decisive rout of Sher Khan Lodhi, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj headed towards Tanjore to meet his half-brother Ekoji to effect a reasonable division of their father’s holdings. He encamped at Tirumalavadi (Thirumalvadi) that lies on the north bank of the Coleroon River, a few miles from Tanjore.   As Maharaj was awaiting the arrival... Continue Reading →

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