Benares and Bodhgaya
A trip to see the Ganges and the birthplace of Buddhism
After my trip to Ladakh, the only thing I wanted in the next six months to come, was that I wanted to visit Varanasi to see the River Ganga and the Mahabodhi temple at Bodhgaya. Call it the influence of Buddhism or an eccentricity on my part. But my Christmas eve in the year 2014 was spent by walking on the ghats of the river Ganga. These are some images of places that I found interesting during my aimless meanderings amidst Varanasi.
The Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya
On the way from Varanasi to Bodhgaya, which is a 6-8 hour drive by car the entire landscape is brown - green fields. There is a lot of poverty that is visible in both these states, that is heart wrenching. Once we entered Bihar, and touched the small town of Gaya, it is obvious that all additional income that comes into it is because of the presence of Bodhgaya. Beautiful buddhist monasteries with designs and carvings typical to thier respective cultures are surrounded by equally unaesthetic looking hotels and homestays. The town has a multicultured mix of people from Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, China etc. Buddhist monks and followers from all over the world. Once I entered the Mahabodhi temple - a certain calmness inspite of all the chaos around me - swept over me deepened by the sonorous chants, cool stone flooring on which we walk and my long wait for a single leaf to fall from the bodhi tree.