Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Jan 2: Ride to Sarnath, Stop at Varanasi(part 3 of 3)

The ASI has also attempted to establish that Hinduism flourished in
Sarnath too, by showcasing idols of 'brahminical' dieties like Vishnu,
Ganesha, etc. At this point, I am getting to wonder why there are no
ancient Indian temples depicting Rama and Krishna as gods. Anybody has
answers?

Another beautiful temple to visit, albeit modern, is the Mulagandha
Kutty Vihara, a few steps away. The Thai temple again gets some
brownie points in terms of stylish construction. But that's about it
in Sarnath, other than shopping for Silk Sarees of course! I wanted to
buy a replica of the emblem, but it's out of stock.

Coming back to Varanasi, I head to Piplani Katra, the road having the
most bike shops. Purchased a gear cycle chain at Piplani brothers and
sent off to the bike mechanic a few steps ahead - Naseer mestri.
Naseer sees the casette and hub in my bag, and non-chalantly says he
will fix it, but tomorrow. It's dark at this time, so I can't blame
him. There is something about this mechanic that instills confidence,
so I will be at his shop at nine tomorrow.

After this, time to find a hotel. This time I wanted to try a lonely
planet recommended hotel, 'Hotel Alka', close to Meer Ghat. Varanasi
has 18 ghats on the holy river Ganga! Bad luck, hotel full. Goto hotel
Puja, that's full too, except for one room costing 1200. It's
seemingly difficult to get a room, courtesy foreign tourists visiting
'after celebrating new year at Goa'. Finding a hotel in the narrow,
confusing gullies here is tricky business. Luckily, courtesy a few
local boys, I get a room at Laxmi hotel, near Manmandir Ghat. 400
rupees - very nice room, hot water for bath, good food. Hotels here
ask for identity cards (in the light of the recent bomb attacks) and
there is some amount of police presence. But other than that, things
look peaceful enough...

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1 comment:

Seasons said...

Ram and Krishna were just beginning to be treated as Avatar of Vishnu around 200BC - 200 AD. Also we do not find any Hindu temples or evidence of idol worship till 400 AD which is Gupta age. First temples of this era can be seen in Madhya Pradesh, Devgarh or Sanchi. All earlier temples were for Shiv or Vishnu rather than Ram and Krishna. Also note that Ram and Krishna are avatar of Vishnu , hence it is common to see events of their lives carved in Vishnu temples later.

Hope this helps.

The answer is almost a year late, but never mind, I saw the blog today !