A Varanasi ghat
A Varanasi ghat. Image: Shiv Saxena for www.unsplash.com

Varanasi Comes Alive Through Tourism Webinar

April 23, 2020

A webinar showcasing the beauty of the Indian city of Varanasi was held on Thursday by the union tourism ministry and it was attended by many including foreigners.

This was the seventh webinar organised by the ministry in its Dekho Apna Desh webinar series.

The webinar was aptly titled Photowalking Varanasi: A Visual Treat and it showcased the vivid places of tourist interest from the Indian city.

Assi Ghat in Varanasi

A lane in Assi ghat in Varanasi. Image: Charl Folscher for www.unsplash.com

Regarded as one of the holiest Indian city, Varanasi homes various temples of historical and pre-historical significance along with several popular river banks/ports called as 'ghats'.

The webinar was presented by the team of City Explorers Private Limited, under which a special city brand- Varanasi Heritage Walks- was introduced.

The brand was introduced to showcase Varanasi’s diversity, mysticism, spirituality, cultural literacy, life experiences, and personal memories.

The panellists of the session were Dr Sachin Bansal- Chief Explorer (Founder, City Explorers Pvt Ltd), Shrawan Chinchwadkar (Culture Insider, Varanasi) and Shashank Sharma (Guide).

The webinar showcased Varanasi as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with cultural anecdotes, mouth-watering delicacies and living traditions hidden at every corner along with one of the finest river frontages in India.

Miles of ghats, countless shrines, millions of gods and goddesses, this city has an answer to everyone’s prayers.

The webinar touched upon the shifting hues of Varanasi’s ancient history, cultural heritage, its spiritual connection, delicious cuisines through each pit stop.

The webinar began with a perspective of what life in Varanasi brings to the travellers.

The most immersive way to experience the city was covered in an exclusively curated thematic walk like The Waking of Varanasi, The Divine and Divinity and Food of the Ancient City.

Starting with an early morning experience with a mix of heritage and culture Waking of Varanasi brought in the serenity of the city.

The Divine and Divinity walk covered the pious path through the flower market and Vishwanath Darshan to the famous evening aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat.

Followed by the two walks, the audience was taken to a gastronomical journey through the Food of Ancient City.

Vibrant colours on the plate and explosion of taste buds with kachori sabzi, malaiyyo, lassi, jalebi-Dahi, tamatar chaat, palak patta chaat and Banarasi paan!

The food route went from one stop to another, zig-zag through the alleyways - Ram Bhandar,  Blue Lassi, Deepak Tambul Bhandar to Rajesh Chaurasia Paan Wala (chowk area), Baba Thandai, Bhartendu Bhawan, Deena Chaat Bhandar and Kashi Chaat Bhandar, all famous for their traditional recipes!

Finally, the surprise of the walk was encapsulated in the rich festivals of Varanasi, with anecdotes on each – Nakkataiya, Nag Nathaiya, Bhasm Holi and Dev Deepawali.

To conclude the webinar Dr Sachin Bansal brought the hidden gems of the city with weaving traditions and musical gharanas in conversation with the local representatives.

The webinar received very good feedback from participants which included participants from overseas as well.

Sadhus sitting in a Varanasi ghat. Image: Sandip Roy for www.unsplash.com

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