Jhansi fort takes you for a historical ride through the times of Bundelas, Mughals, Marathas and Britishers. Rani Laxmibhai's stories of valor and sacrifice comes alive at this very place.
Cityscape. October, 2018.
Situated at the banks of the river Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, Benares or Varanasi is the spiritual capital of India. Considered one of the oldest cities in the world, Varanasi has both intrigued and attracted people in equal measures. Authors, poets, and photographers have frequented this place, either to seek solace or to gain some inspiration. And Varanasi never failed to provide either.
Durga Mandir was constructed in 18th century by Bengali Maharani. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Durga. Next to the temple, is a kund (pond) which was earlier connected to the river Ganges. It is believed that the existing icon of the goddess was not made by a man but appeared on its own in the temple.
In adhyaya (chapter) 23 of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana, this temple's origin is explained. As per the text, Kashi Naresh (king of Varanasi) called for a Swayamvar for his daughter Sashikala's marriage. The King later learnt that the princess was in love with vanvasiprince Sudarshan. So Kashi Naresh got his daughter secretly married to the prince. When the other Kings (who were invited for Swayamvar) got to know about the marriage, they got angry and went on war with Kashi Naresh. Sudarshan then offered prayers to Durga, who came on a lion and fought the war for Kashi Naresh and Sudarshan. After the war, Kashi Naresh pleaded to Durga to protect Varanasi and with that belief, this temple was constructed.
Begravelsesoptog og brahminer. Hippier og hellige køer. Krydderier og kasteløse. Ludere og lommetyve. Pilgrimme og plattenslagere. Sigøjnere og slangetæmmere. Tuk tuks og turister. 'Hinduismens Jerusalem' er kaos! Står man alt for tidligt op, får man dog et par fredelige timer - næsten for sig selv - inden det går løs.