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Crossing Culture

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Footloose in Varanasi

Varanasi is a city where every nook and cranny seems to be immersed in magic. It is an important spot not just for Hinduism but Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism too. The poet Tulsidas wrote his epic Rama Charitra Manas here and other major figures of the Bhakti movement, Kabir and Ravidas were also said to have been born here. The smoke from funeral pyres can be seen all day near the many ghats that dot the city and a boat ride in the evening can turn anyone into a storyteller. Varanasi is also the only city to celebrate Dev Deepawali, a festival of lights a fortnight after Diwali. On this day, a million lamps adorn all the ghats in the city. With a story in every corner, some of the places held Priyanka’s interest and stayed with her for a long time.